What is Cut and Polish?
Many customers have asked me this very question! I am going to discuss the specific process of Cut and Polish to help you understand how Officer Car Detailing undertakes this decontamination service. I will explain them one by one.
The cutting removes scratches, swirl marks, holograms and helps to create more shine. I would recommend a cut and polish occurs before a ceramic coat application, which has a 9h hardness rating. Not preparing the car’s paint surface will create a poor finish. Defects, imperfections and oxidised paint will seal into the paint, which is not only awful to look at but very difficult to repair and remove.
Why is decontamination important?
A contaminated surface that has not been ‘cut’ correctly will most likely end up with paint surface damage. Deep scratches will form and will quickly make your cutting pad dirty and heavy. It will also create micro dust, which is harmful to your lungs.
There are various cutting methods such as a DA(dual action) polisher, rotary polishers, hand polishing, and by machine or hand sanding.
DA(dual action) polisher
In my opinion, this is by far the best method of cutting the car’s paint surface as it doesn’t create holograms and doesn’t burn the paint. It is a slower cutting process but very efficient. Normally, 1st stage cut with a DA polisher use 3-4 passes on a single point. With a DA polisher, 3rd stage cutting should produce brilliant results.
Personally, I do not recommend using rotary polishers because this method can damage your car. Using rotary polishers takes years of experience and if not done properly will leave holograms and haze marks on your car. Rotary polishers will remove significant defects for single stage only but still need to be followed up with a DA polisher to correct paint defects made by rotary polishers. Rotary polishers are time efficient but do not give the best results.
Hand cut is by far the worst method to use. We strongly urge our customers to stay well away from the hand cut technique! No matter how good the cutting compound is, it will most certainly damage your paint surface.
Commonly used by body shops, and some detailing companies work with this system too. Machine sanding is often used to remove a paint defect: a wavy pattern known as ‘orange peel’, from a car’s surface. Sanding with the machine requires good skills and PPE. It also generates lots of dust and gives the paint surface a flat finish. DA polishers, on the other hand, allow for maximum shine and depth in the paint colour and should always follow machine sanding. We prefer not to hand sand and will only do so in tight areas. Hand sanding can create an uneven surface, which can then result in the need to repaint the area.
Lastly, the terms: paint correction, paint rejuvenation and paint restoration is almost always the same as a Cut and Polish. To conclude, in my experience, a DA polisher is the best method to bring the shine back to your car. For peace of mind, please do your best to make sure that your car detailer, dealership or car wash outlet is not using rotary polishers. A Cut and Polish is too important and only skilled detailers that are trained to use a DA polisher should take this on – just like the team at Officer Car Detailing!