Shurhold Shines Among Electric Buffers

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Practical Sailors endless testing of hull waxes and polishes gives us ample opportunity to try out electric buffers. Weve used countless brands and types over the years-from cheapos to professional grade-and decided to see how Shurhold Industries new Dual-Action Polisher compared.

Shurhold Shines Among Electric Buffers

Florida-based Shurhold touts its new variable speed (2,500-6,500 rpm) random-orbital polisher as a do-it-yourselfers tool that offers professional results. The lightweight polisher (about 5 pounds) has some great features: six speeds, quick-change pads, an extra long heavy-duty cord (20 feet), and a special GFCI plug that helps prevent electric shock in wet environments. Designed for marine use, the polisher comes with a rugged toolbag, a wrench for changing pads, a carbon brush, and two handles, one that is adjustable and the standard 90-degree handle.

For buffing and waxing, the $150 Shurhold matched our $200 7-/9-inch DeWalt DW849 rotary polisher and weighs less. Key distinctions are the Shurholds smaller pads (5.5 to 6-inches), dual-action, and higher minimum speed. The small pads get into tighter spaces, but some of our favorite products like 3M Finesse-it II call for a slower turning speed.

Another con testers noted about the Shurhold is its short warranty: one year. DeWalt tools are backed by three-year warranties, and Milwaukee gives its power tools have five-years.

The Shurhold DA polisher is well made, easy to use, comparatively inexpensive, and performs great. If you own a small to mid-size boat and covet a super-shiny hull, the Shurhold is a fine choice for buffing, waxing, and polishing projects. But if you own a large boat, understand polishing, and need a more versatile tool, a good 7- to 9-inch device than also can sand and grind would be our first choice.

PS tested the Shurhold on the well-oxidized hull of a 21-foot powerboat. Testers reported that the dual-action tool was relatively quiet and easy to operate. The job went fast, and the finish was top notch. However, it is worth noting that technique, pad selection, and polish choice can matter as much as tool selection. Weve gotten great results from $50 rotary polishers, too, but a dual-action polisher offers the DIYer a little more margin for error. (For tips,check out this past article.)

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Practical Sailor has been independently testing and reporting on marine products for serious sailors for more than 45 years. Supported entirely by subscribers, Practical Sailor accepts no advertising or any form of compensation from manufacturers whose products we test. Testing is carried out by a team of experts from a wide range of fields including marine electronics, marine safety, marine surveying, sailboat rigging, sailmaking, engineering, ocean sailing, sailboat racing, and sailboat construction and design. This diversity of expertise allows us to carry out in-depth, objective evaluation of virtually every product available to serious sailors. Practical Sailor is edited by Darrell Nicholson, a long-time liveaboard sailor and trans-Pacific cruiser with more than three decades of experience as a marine writer, photographer, boat captain, and product tester. Before taking on the editor’s position at Practical Sailor, Darrell was the editor of Offshore magazine, a boating-lifestyle magazine serving the New England area. Darrell has won multiple awards from Boating Writer’s International, including the Monk Farnham award for editorial excellence. He holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100-ton Master license and has worked as a harbor pilot and skippered a variety of commercial charter boats.

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