Polishers are a car lover’s dream tool. If you want to keep your car as shiny as it was the day you brought it home, you’ll either need to shell out hundreds of dollars every year for a professional polishing job or invest in a handy polisher. This makes polishing and sanding applications much easier to do than going at it by hand. It reduces the amount of time needed to complete sanding and polishing jobs, and ultimately, it saves you money in the long-run.
Today, we’re going to look at two super-popular polisher models created by two of the largest manufacturers of power tools in the industry the PORTER-CABLE 7424XP and the DEWALT DWP849. If you’re familiar with these companies, you’ll know that there’s very little to be disappointed about in their power tools, including these two polisher models. They’re both easy to use, super-fast, and offer tremendous value to hobbyist woodworkers and car-lovers to professionals. Let’s jump right into our comparison.
When it comes to polishing and sanding, speed plays a huge role. We generally want a polisher that’s fast but not so fast that it jerks around, causing uneven polishing uncontrolled sanding. The PC model has a speed rating of between 2,500 and 6,800 RPM. You have full control of the speed by adjusting the variable speed dial to your liking.
The DEWALT model has a speed rating of between 600 and 3,800 RPM. Although it’s not nearly as fast as the PORTER-CABLE, it still does a great job at polishing. Sanding, however, could be a bit tricky, especially if you need to do an initial sanding on rough, virgin stock.
Conclusion: We feel that you’ll better value and performance from the higher-speed PORTER-CABLE model compared to the DEWALT. High speeds help with sanding applications, but you also have the control bring the speed down for waxing your car without the risk of damaging its paint job.
Weight and Comfort
The weight of a polisher can indicate how easy it is to glide along surfaces and how tired you’ll be from maneuvering it to-and-fro. The PORTER-CABLE weighs roughly 5-3/4 pounds which isn’t the lightest model you’ll find, but it’s light enough that it won’t cause fatigue when operated.
The DEWALT, on the other hand, is on the other side of the spectrum. Fully assembled, the unit will weigh close to 7 pounds. However, the added weight could be used to help with deep-sanding and –polishing applications, though you could do this on a lighter model by adding just a bit of pressure.
Conclusion: Considering the weight of each model, we have to say that the PORTER-CABLE’s lighter weight plays to its advantage. There’s a very small risk that you’ll become fatigued when using this polisher to buff your entire vehicle, whereas the DEWALT’s additional one-pound of weight might be a little bit overbearing, especially when working vertically.
The best power tools should be able to last for years and years. The PORTER-CABLE is a sturdy model, despite its lightweight. Several users have praised this model for being able to withstand falls from their workstations.
The DEWALT seems to be a bit problematic in terms of durability and design. It’s not only quite heavy, but it’s also built rather poorly. It’s a great unit to use, but several customers have complained that the motor will die suddenly within a year or that a shortfall has impaired their unit significantly.
Conclusion: Once again, we feel that the PORTER-CABLE is the better option to go with, at least in terms of durability. The DEWALT, surprisingly, is a bit flimsy, though with proper care you could find yourself using this model for several years.
When sanding or polishing, vibrations could cause uneven results. The most surprising thing about the PORTER-CABLE is that, even at its highest speed setting, there’s hardly and vibrations. This means users have more consistent results with polishing. Starting up the unit is also smooth since the first hundred rotations or so are low-torque and won’t jerk the unit around.
Many people have complained that the DEWALT causes tremors when it’s set to its highest speed. In addition, the speed variable dial is a bit troublesome, especially when changing speeds on the fly. Turning the DEWALT on is also a tad risky since it shakes around so much, but carefully pulling off the touch-sensitive trigger, you can quickly get around the vibration problem.
Conclusion: For experienced users, controlling vibrations on either model is simple. For new users, however, the PORTER-CABLE poses fewer problems regarding random twitches. Just exercise caution when using either of these models, and you should be fine.
Polishers come fitted with pads of all sizes. The PORTER-CABLE uses 6-inch pads which are among the smallest out there. However, with a lower pad, there’s a reduced risk of uneven polishing and sanding on the outer edges of the pad.
The DEWALT can use both 7- and 9-inch pads. Larger pads mean you can complete sanding and polishing jobs quicker since it covers more area. However, it also means that you could be applying uneven pressure across the surface of the pad, resulting in splotchy waxing and polishing.
Conclusion: Only the user can determine whether to go with a large 9-inch pad or a more moderate 6-inch pad. Go with what’s comfortable and more convenient to use.
PORTER-CABLE vs. DEWALT: Verdict
At the end of the day, we feel that the PORTER-CABLE is the more valuable tool to use. First of all, it can reach up to 6,800 RPM whereas the DEWALT is limited to 3,800 RPM. Next, it’s lightweight, durable, and won’t tug your arm around, even when running at its highest speed.
The DEWALT, on the other hand, has a little on the heavier side, has been known to break within the first year of use, and vibrates a bit too much for our liking. Between the PORTER-CABLE 7424XP and the DEWALT DWP849, we highly recommend that first-time polisher buyers go with the former.