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I recently purchased a Harbor Freight dual-action polisher and pad set to detail my Cruze with. I also picked up a 5" Astro Pneumatic backing plate to replace the stock backing plate, which does not work with the HF polishing pads.

First, the HF DA polisher does its job very well when the backing plate is swapped out. It had enough power between settings 3 and 4 to get out some long and noticeable scratches and holograms in the paint.

It vibrated a noticeable amount, but it was not outrageous or objectionable. It does rely on an orbital motion, so some vibration is to be expected. The machine itself was easy to maneuver around the car with the included handle. It's not a bail-type handle like other machines have, but works well enough. The on-off switch needs a firm thumb to use, which is all right. The machine was decently noisy, so earplugs are recommended when using it. I used it for a few hours, so I got a good feel for it.

The pads, well, were pads. I used 6 pads in total for the Cruze, one set per side. Each pad worked as advertised. There was some heat buildup noticeable in the center of each pad, about the temperature of lukewarm tap water. From what I understand, that is fairly typical. Excessive heat buildup is bad, so it was good to see that my setup did not get too hot.

In short, it is a decent DA polisher that will not break the bank when it is used with a smaller backing plate. If you are looking for a new DA polisher, I spent $100 on the polisher, backing plate, and 6 pads. Add another $15 for name-brand compound and polish, and I was off to detail.

Pictures will be on request, as there are tons of pictures on other web sites.
 
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