When And How To Use A Handheld Polisher

A look at when and how to use a handheld polisher.

Power tools can make the job that they're used for much easier, though they can create complications if used for a job that they're either not intended for or not really needed for. It's important to know your tools and the proper usage of them before starting on a project... this can save you both time and money in the long run.

A handheld polisher is a tool that, as the name implies, is used to polish metal or other similar surfaces. Operating much like floor buffers that are used on linoleum and tile, the polisher consists of a motor that spins a rotary pad to which polish or wax has been applied. The polisher is usually powered via an electrical cord, and usually has one or two handles for the operator to hold on to and to manipulate and move the polisher (though some smaller polishers are designed with a pistol-type grip or with no definite handles whatsoever.)

While being operated, the handheld polisher is usually moved slowly and smoothly in a circular pattern... this motion helps to blend the polish or wax with the rest of the polish on the surface so as to avoid visible streaks or lines. Whether used to apply polish or used dry to buff out the dried polish, a firm grip should be maintained on the polisher at all times while pressure should be applied downward... holding it loosely or not holding it to the surface well can result in the polisher trying to spin or tilt, which can mar or scratch the surface being polished in addition to possibly causing injury to the arm, shoulder, or wrist of the person operating the polisher.

Care should be taken not to assume that the handheld polisher is a tool for every job... certain materials and objects simply shouldn't be polished or buffed with a motor-driven tool. Small objects or those that are loose or light can be moved, spun, or thrown by the polisher, and can potentially cause injury to those nearby. Some soft materials can actually be damaged or marred by the polisher, as they require a softer touch than a machine can supply. In cases such as these, the object or material should be buffed or polished by hand so as to avoid dangerous situations or damage.

As with any power tool, safety should be kept in mind while using a handheld polisher. Eye protection and a breathing mask should be worn to protect against stray debris that might be thrown up by the polisher as well as any fumes that might be emitted by the polish or wax being used. Gloves should be worn, and any loose bracelets, sleeves, or dangling jewelry should be removed to prevent tangling up in the spinning head of the polisher. Should any accident or injury occur, shut off the polisher immediately and seek medical help. Even though a handheld polisher may seem like a relatively minor tool, even it can be dangerous if used improperly.

In the end, a polisher can make a hard and tedious job much quicker and much easier, but you need to keep in mind that it's not always the tool for the job. A variety of different heads are available for the polisher, but if you find that there isn't one for the purpose that you need then you might need to do it by hand.

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