Meguiar’s MT320 Dual Action Polisher


Cost: Around £175 – £400 (shop around for the best package deals)

The prices vary massively due to the packages you can buy. There are just the tool, tool and bag, tool and pads, tool, pads and bag, tool pads and the selection of cutting compounds etc.

Background:

I have seen many cars with a shine so deep you can stand in the gloss. When I ask about how they did it the answer is always the same – I use a dual action polisher. The important part here was the “dual action” reference. There are plenty of polishers that are just rotary and are used by paint sprayers and if used incorrectly will burn through the paint can cause more damage than fix it. I had narrowed my search down to Das 6 pro or the Meguiar’s. There are the serious money tools like the Rupes polishers, which are just out of my price range. So I had to be realistic and get the best tool for the money. The Meguiar’s unit at full retail price is almost twice the cost of the Das 6 equivalent. To spend more on a tool than something similar is a bold choice.

Sales Pitch:

The MT320 has been completely re-designed to bring together the perfect combination of ergonomic design and function. The tool has a wide speed range of 3,000 – 7,500 OPM which allows for faster compounding, superior final polishing and waxing. The all new thumb adjustable speed dial and outer casing have been designed to allow for a more ergonomic feel and smoother buffing experience.

The MT320 can be used with ease on all paint types from new to neglected without training and can be used with an extensive range of the Meguiar’s Ultimate range of products.

  • Digital torque management, electronically adjusts torque to maintain speed.
  • New billet counter weight ensures smooth, precision and balance.
  • The dual action orbit and rotation mean that you never have to worry about damaging paint.
  • Soft start which provides easy control when turning the tool on.
  • Speed range of 3,000 – 7,500 OPM

Technical Specs:

  1. 5″ or 6″ backing plates
  2. 5″ or 6″ backing plates
  3. Orbit: 8mm
  4. Product Net weight: 2.3kg
  5. Spindle Size: 5/16”
  6. Voltage: 240
  7. Current: 710 watts
  8. Lead length 3m

What’s In The Box:

MegDAP1

I went for the package version without any materials.

  1. The MT320 tool itself
  2. Carry bag
  3. Soft buff 5″ DA backing plate
  4. Soft buff 5″ foam purple cutting pad (bad paint)
  5. Soft buff 5″ foam yellow polishing pad (medium paint)
  6. Soft buff 5″ foam black finishing pad (good paint)
  7. Tightening spanner
  8. Allen key (for the handle)
  9. Spare set of tool carbon brushes
  10. Instruction manual
  11. Warranty manual
  12. Quick guide

The tool:

MegDAP11

The tool itself feels nicely weighted and it’s possible to hold the handle with one hand. The tool is fitted with a generous lead of 3m if you straighten the wire out properly, and has a substantial feel to it. This will allow the lead to go over the shoulder away from the paint and still be on the floor for the power socket. The solid feel plastic front handle has three positions (four if you want it all the way back). The handle is adjusted via an Allen key each side, I would have prefered to see some sort of quick release to adjust it. The case has a matt non slip feel to it. The side of the tool has a twist of cover which allows access to the motor brushes which can be replaced with the spares supplied.

MegDAP21

A helpful guide is supplied to show how to store the cable. The instruction manual is simple and points out the basics of operating the tool and replacing the brushes. There is a warranty card supplied, but to be honest it’s easier to register it online. There is a hole in the trigger which you could put a small padlock through and stop the tool being used. I am guessing that’s what it’s for at least.

Assembly:

Fitting the backing plate is simple, remove the rubber thread cover and twist into the spindle, when you feel it nip, slip the spanner between the backing plate and the tool to tighten while holding the backing plate still.

The backing plate is the standard hook and felt fitting so it’s just press on and pull off. Starting the tool without the backing plate shakes the daylights out off you. Yet as soon as the backing plate fitted and turned on again the vibration is gone and feels super smooth through the whole speed range.

Storage:

The supplied bag is well thought out and holds the tool with ease. There are four pockets around the inside two each side that holds the backing plate or the pads. To be picky I would like to have seen a small pocket for the spanner and Allen key instead of putting it in a pocket with the pads. There is a pocket on the outside at each end, which aren’t very deep but could hold a small bottle of compound. The quick start guide advises to leave a loop before wrapping the wire around the tool. I prefer to use loops rather than wrapping the cable around the handle. The lead is fine, but as I am 6’4″ tall the cable has to go a long way up and down again. I would prefer it to be another meter longer to give me space from the extension lead socket on the floor.

Application:

I won’t sit here and tell you how to buff the car or how to use a compound as I could be writing page after page for a review. The Pads are dead simple velcro fit and stick well.

Moisten the pad and apply the product to apply to the car.

The trigger is not heavy located under the handle and easy to hold which doesn’t make your hand ache after two minutes of use. Ergonomic design obviously helps and feels very well-balanced in the hand, although it’s not the lightest in the class. It’s possible to work the tool with just one hand on the panel, should you feel the need to do so. The pad rotation starts very slow and will increase up to the desired speed within a couple of seconds, this means you can control the tool without having to worry about the product being flung around the work place, or slipping off the panel you are working on, I do love this slow start feature. There is a side locking button that will enable continual power without having to hold in the button for prolonged use. To release just press the trigger again. The slow down is a natural slow down from the motor.

Using the tool is a dream as there is hardly any vibration in the hand or travel up the arm. This makes the prolonged use a dream and worth the extra money in my view. Working with low or high speed makes virtually no difference to the vibration of the tool, just an increase in the noise levels.

Noise is limited and it’s possible to have a conversation at full speed, and one of the quietest tools of this type I have used. Low speed there is just a dull hum.

I found the red cutting disc flattened after a while and started to break up. This is down to the pad’s and not the tool’s fault. Other pads will work with the tool if they are velcro, just the size 5″ may be challenging to locate. The 6″ being much more readily available.

Results:

Amazing and very even smooth movement of the dual action. The tool gave me confidence in what I was doing and not bogging down or sudden speed ups.

The tool does exactly what it says, it spins and also rotates on its spinning axis. There is no burning of the paint, like you would get from a rotary tool of course. But, if you leave the tool in a stationary position and press down it’s possible to make the panel hot, even so on close inspection, I still didn’t see any tool marks in the clear coat. Even when removing some pretty awful scuffs.

Using the tool for the application of liquid wax was even and uniform with no marking on the paint with the black finishing pad.

The technique is to allow enough pressure for the pad to spin as well as rotate on its second axis. Too much pressure and the rotation axis will stop, to little pressure and the product will not be worked into the paint. In fact the perfect pressure is the weight of the tool on its own. Your other hand is used just to guide the tool around at the front.

Rating: 9 out 10

I like this tool – a lot, honestly I have no reason to fault it.

But, the cost is prohibitive for an initial outlay and for most people, the replacement pads costing around £15 each replacement with genuine Meguiar’s pads. So why not the perfect score? Simply the cost or value for money. If this was closer to the £150 – £180 Mark this would be one hell of a good buy.

I would have liked a longer lead to be honest, although just under three meters is pretty good anyway. An illumination light to show it’s still plugged in and receiving power would have been a good idea too. I can’t see why Meguiar’s didn’t supply the trigger pad lock with it. For the higher cost I would have expected the little extras.

However if you get this tool at a cut down or bargain price then the rating would indeed be 10 out of 10!

Would I recommend this unit? Definitely – but the cost can be difficult to justify with other quality tools on the market.

Would I buy it again? Yes – If it last as long as I expect it to and could get it at a reasonable price.

Conclusion:

I went for this tool because I liked the feel of it in my hands. It didn’t feel to heavy and felt balanced. The guide handle was on top of the unit and not to the side, this for me was important as I didn’t want to dig the side of a component pad into the paint work. The top handle allowing me to keep the pad flatter to the paint surface. The cost is expensive, and there are certainly cheaper versions out there for a quarter or half the price. I have used them and they vibrate, and they certainly feel cheap. How long they would last is anybody’s guess. But I am expecting a long service life from this tool.

A friend of mine has a DAS 6 and thought his DA tool was excellent as did I. However he has used mine on a couple of occasions now, and thought it was better especially with the slow start up, he now prefers the feel of the Meguiar’s tool. He has also said that if his DAS 6 breaks he will replace it with this Megs model too!