In-Depth Review: Black+Decker WP900 Polisher (2020)
A smaller hand-held polisher that offers more portability instead of capability.
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It is always difficult to find the right balance between performance, quality, and savings when it comes to automotive care products. This is especially true with car care power tools like dual-action random orbital buffers/random orbital polishers. Since the dual-action polishers, with variable speed control, backing plates, and heavy-duty foam pads, can cost hundreds of dollars, there is a major financial barrier for first-timers looking to try their hand at powered car detailing.
This is where Black+Decker has intended to place the appeal of the WP900. It is a budget-friendly car buffer that is only a fraction of the cost of professional options. More than that, it attempts to compete with the "big boys" by offering a decently-powered motor and good-sized pad/spindle. Like many budget-friendly tools, the WP900 is good enough in some cases but has some major limitations that may turn away more experienced, more demanding consumers.
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A polisher that stands out due to its compact design. The body is small and comfortable to hold, but the lack of variable-speed capability limits the control you have over the final product.
- A compact car polisher design that saves space compared to competitive models.
- A two-handed handle design that is comfortable to hold for long periods of time.
- Good results on light car detailing work that can create a swirl-free look.
- Not a variable-speed polisher that can take advantage of high speeds. The low-amp motor speed is locked in at 4,400 orbits per minute (OPM).
- The center of gravity is off of the actual center of the body, making it more likely to tip over when not in use.
- The included polishing pad in the orbital polisher kit is likely to break apart after light use.
One look at the WP900 will quickly tell you where Black+Decker has saved money on this orbital buffer. Coming in at a fraction of the size of a normal professional orbital buffer, the WP900 is smaller in terms of compactness, especially on the rear end. As a result, you are not only saving money, but you are also saving on space.
The design of the WP900’s body still manages to offer a lot of surface area for comfort. There are two handles for both hands to support the buffer on both ends of the buffing pad. Both handles are large enough to grip without much strain or effort in the hands.
Underneath the body, the buffer sports a small motor that can spin at around 4,400 orbits per minute. Powered by a 10-foot cord, the motor spins a 6-inch pad, which has a decent amount of coverage when moving around the surface of a vehicle.
The buffer does not come with many extra accessories since the value-saving package is all about the buffer itself. This means you will likely have to buy a polishing or finishing pad to complete the entire kit. The design of the spindle makes it easy to fit a number of pad options right out of the box.
When using a budget orbital buffer, it’s important to remember you won’t get the true performance that many professional models offer. The underpowered motor simply lacks the kick to tackle medium to heavy scratches in a vehicle’s paintwork. Instead, the best results come from light maintenance detailing that you are likely to do more frequently in between the main bouts of car care.
When used in this manner, the WP900 actually has a lot to offer in terms of feel. The two-handle design is extremely comfortable to use for long periods of time. The 10-foot power cord also offers a lot of reaches. The handle design also makes it easy to change the orientation of the buffer on the fly, adjusting to the vehicle’s different surfaces without much trouble.
The stability of the buffer has some strong and weak points in its design. When the motor is on and the pad is spinning, the body of the buffer is extremely stable in the hands. It is very little to no vibration that occurs as the pad runs along the surface of the vehicle. When the motor is off, however, it is difficult to place the buffer down on a flat surface. The handle design forces the center of gravity to one side, making it more likely to tip over on its own. This is why it is handy to have a towel or small object to lean it against when not in use.
Unfortunately, there are also a couple of odd design choices that detract from the overall user experience. First and foremost, the on button is placed in an awkward spot that makes it difficult to use comfortably with a finger. The two-handle design can also feel awkward in some orientations when using the buffer around the vertical surfaces of a vehicle.
Much like the user experience of a budget orbital buffer, you have to taper your expectations of the results to find satisfaction with the WP900. That is not to say that it can’t handle basic car detailing. Instead, it is best used for the small, routine stuff.
Since the motor is limited to one speed, it does its best work with light or medium dirt and debris. When buffing out scratches, the lighter the scratch, the better. Combined with a good compound, there is plenty this little buffer can offer for a good shine on the surface paint.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the tougher stuff. If you are looking for a true orbital buffer that can do some major restoration work on paint, it is best to look elsewhere. It lacks any kind of speed control, meaning you are stuck at 4,400 OPM. The speed is decent for basic detailing, but deeper scratches and noticeable swirl marks are off the table when getting the paint back to a good look.
There is something to be said for a budget orbital buffer you can use for the most simple car detailing tasks. For DIY car detailers, the WP900 is a great option to consider if you don't want to spend hundreds of dollars on the professional models. To really get the most out of the WP900, however, you need to make sure you are prepared for its limitations.
This is not a heavy-duty, “beast mode” orbital buffer. Locked in at 4,400 orbits per minute, you won't have the fine control and power of larger options. Instead, the motor does a good job with light marks and dirt that can build up over time on a vehicle's paint surface. When it comes to more noticeable or deeper stuff, however, you may have to spend more for a tool that can really tackle the challenge.
Final verdict: The WP900 is a good, budget-friendly orbital buffer that's well worth considering for first-time DIY car detailers.