A Complete Guide on Using Drill to Polish Your Car

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Last Updated on 1 month by Ollie Barker

Using Drill to Polish Your Car

As a car enthusiast, you want to take care of your ride and keep it looking new. Polishing job must be very familiar with you but have you ever tried using drill to polish your car?. So I’ve compiled a handy guide that will show you how to use a drill to polish or buff your car.

Why Polish Your Car With A Drill?

A drill is used to polish car parts that are meant to be polished by hand, such as rubber cabinets. There are 2 main benefits to using the drill to polish a car.

Do you know: Differences between Polishing vs. Compounding?!

# Lubrication

The drill removes the old finish and surface particles from the part by spinning it against the surface of the metal. This will keep your parts working efficiently without leaving any damage to them.

# Scratch Treatment

You can use it to buff scratches out of your paintwork. This way you won’t need to buy a new bumper cover or grill for example.
You can polish the surface of your car by using a drill. It is safe and easy. It can eliminate swirl marks or blemishes and bring back the shine to your car in an easy way.

Read about: How often you should polish your car for a better look!

Things You’ll Need

  • Drill
  • Sanding paper (fine grit)
  • Car wax
  • Clean cotton cloth
  • Spare time
  • Water (optional)
  • Clean towel
  • Bucket (optional)

How To Polish Your Car With A Drill Step by Step

Step 1: Prepare Your Drill

Before you start polishing your car with the drill, make sure that you have everything you need.

Replace worn-out parts immediately to avoid accidents. Replace old brushes, old or leaking batteries and damaged cords. Make sure that your drill is in good condition before using it to polish your car.

However, if your drill is working well and this is the first time you intend to polish a car with it then you can skip this step and go straight on to step 2 below.

Step 2: Choosing The Sandpaper

To begin with, choose an abrasive paper in between 120 and 200 grit in accordance with your drill’s capabilities and load it into your drill. You can either buy pre-loaded sandpaper, or you can choose the one that’s best suited to your car.

Step 3: Keeping Your Car Dry At All Times

When using a drill to polish a car, avoid water and wet paint. If the paint gets wet then it will become sticky and will make your car look worse than before. Apply some oil on the surface of your car after it has been thoroughly dried using a cloth that has been thoroughly dried.

Step 4: Start Polishing

Now, you can start polishing your car using the drill. Begin with an area that is less sensitive than others. You can start polishing from the cabin and move your way to the boot lid.

Always hold your drill straight and polish evenly with little pressure.

Step 5: Buffing With A Clean Cloth

After some time, you can switch from sandpaper to a clean soft cloth. After each area is polished, wipe it with the cloth. This will add shine and remove the little scratches left by the sandpaper. If you don’t have a cloth, you can use your clean hands while polishing with the drill to remove all the sand particles and polish your car.

Step 6: Repeat Until You’re Happy

It will take some time to polish the car up to your expectation. Be patient.

Reasons Not to Polish Your Car with a Drill

Even I said it’s possible to use a drill to polish a car but there are drawbacks to using it as well.

There’s a common misconception among many people that using a drill to polish a car can actually damage the paint finish. I can tell you that this is normally not the case. But if you do it on purpose then yes, maybe you would end up damaging your paint finish but I don’t think it will affect your car’s performance or safety in any way.

However, there are some incidents where drilling might damage your paint finish. If you drill into a painted surface that is already covered with rust, then it might cause serious damage to your car paint.

Check out: Pros & Cons of Owning a Black Car!

Moreover, it’s hard to hold the drill for a long time. You can polish small areas but the whole car is a different story.

Frequently Asked Questions

#1 What Is the Best Way to Polish a Car?

The best way to polish a car is by using the finest abrasive grade of sandpaper that is available in the market and then use a foam polishing pad.

To polish your car, buy an abrasive paper in between 120 and 200 grit and load it into your drill. Then polish your car according to the steps mentioned above.

#2 How Do You Polish a Car in High Speed?

Do not use a high speed when polishing your car.

Polishing at high speed can damage the paint finish. For best results, you should polish your car by alternating between high and low speeds to achieve the best results. If you are using a drill to polish your car then it is better that you have an electric drill than a corded one. This is especially important if you are using a brushless drill as it tends to generate heat when used at high speed.

Find out: How often you should use machine polishing on your car?!

#3 What RPM Should I Use to Polish My Car?

The best rpm to use while polishing your car is between 2000 to 3500 RPM.


Finally, I hope you find this guide useful. I don’t mean to do any harm so do not take a drill to polish your car in a negative way. Sometimes, we need to do things manually instead of relying on automated methods that are meant only for some part of the job. Just go slow and steady and use your imagination and creativity to make the best out of things.