Popular Manufacturer DA Pad Comparison Chart


There is a huge minefield out there when it comes to buffing pads by various manufacturers for similar products. Although they may look the same they can perform very different tasks. What I have tried to do here is create a chart of the most well known manufacturers and their Dual Action pad products. I chose the ‘Dual Action’ variables for a couple of reasons.

1) I have a Dual Action tool.

2) Rotary pads are for the experienced, incorrect use can damage your paint job.

I am a weekend washer especially if a take my car out for a drive, my car is washed when it gets to show via a quick detailer, and a full waterless wash when I get home before it goes in the garage and covered up. I found many charts and explanations from many sources but none that done a full comprehensive comparison side by side. This has taken me many, many hours to collate and put together, for my own sanity and for you if helps. The Pad Guide below is for reference and you really should get the right pad for the right job.

I have tried to provide links to each manufacturer and the descriptions of their own pad products below, if you find any others that may be of use, just let me know and I will try and add them.

Clicking on the links below will take you to the ‘company’s’ page there will also be a link to their website as well. Some are great pages with lots of info, some rather shabby to say the least.

  • Lake Country Products and Charts click here.
  • Meguiar’s Products and Charts click here.
  • DoDo Juice Products and Charts click here.
  • Chemical Guys Products and Charts click here.
  • Mitchell & King Products and Charts click here.
  • Auto Finesse Products and Charts click here.
  • 3M Products and Charts click here.
  • Shine Mate Products and Charts click here.
  • Gyeon Products and Charts click here.
  • Menzerna Products and Charts click here.
  • Scholl Concepts Products and Charts click here.
  • Sonus Products and Charts click here.
  • Vertool Products and Charts click here.

I found a couple of images from the net that are pretty good to explain some terminology of this detailing skill. There are many, many books out there and plenty of ‘how to..’ on YouTube as well, so I won’t duplicate.

However my own reviews will feature many of the processes for those products and what they perform like. See the “Car Detailing Reviews” for many products that I own or have owned and what I thought of them! All purchased with my OWN hard earned cash – so there are no favours being repaid in my honest unbiased reviews.

Back to detailing, the idea of detailing is to make the car the best it can be, in many cases better than new. Detailing has a purpose to protect the car as well as makingit look good.

Here is an explanation of some damaged paint. The varying degrees of the damage and what these Polishing/Buffing pads are designed to work with.

Some examples of things that damage the paint and how badly, and yes that does say ‘fingernails’!

The light reflects badly and is distorted instead of a straight bounce back, that is when you get to see the marks on the paint as shown here:

Various way to fix this is the buffing with pads to get to the bottom of the damage to leave a smooth even reflective area. However, things likes glazes, sealants and waxes can help a long with disguising these areas of damage to make the light reflect in a uniform manor. Thus making the surface look smooth and shiny again.

Then we get a little more techy with the thicknesses of paint and how they are applied. Of course the different applications of paint (Single coat, 2 pack, water based, cellulose etc.), amount of paint applied, types of paint; solid, metallic, pearlescent, matte, special mix custom. The type of primer, fillers, top coats, clear coats all need their own types of care, some one product may not work the same on another manufacturers paint etc. Some manufacturer paints are known as hard paints, while others are considerably softer. This diagram shows the generic application of thicknesses, these vary wildly depending who done what. some respray jobs cost £2,000 and others £20,000 for a reason.

Here is the ‘basics’ of the paint application;

Don’t worry that is as technical as it will get about paint and the theories behind it. After all we are just looking at the comparison of pads to ‘fix’ the paint, according to my comparison chart above.

Just to confuse things a little more, different manufacturers use different colours for different applications as well, don’t make the mistake of choosing the same colour from different manufacturers. This image below shows a comparison of some of the USA to Europe comparison of foam pads. It’s not definitive by any means. The UK tens to have Black as well.

I hope this helps. Any feedback would be useful if i need to do more of this sort of thing or not.