Join Date: Jun 2011
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Essentially a RO polisher will quickly (and safely) polish your vehicle. Yes, you can do paint correction by hand. But it will be labor intensive. The mixture of variable speeds and pad choice will allow you to use the polisher to actually correct paint problems (scratches, swirls, spider webbing) to actually laying down a nice coat of protectant (wax/sealant).
The Griot's Garage polisher is a fine machine for DIY polishing and actually quite easy to use. As far as advantages, the polisher will cut down your time in polishing. You will also use less product to accomplish the same task as hand polishing and/or waxing. Finally, you will be able to correct paint blemishes with the right pad/product.
The disadvantages are: initial cost and a learning curve (albeit small curve) in learning how to hold and use the machine. GG supplies a DVD that explains it in detail.