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Product Review: Meguiar’s DA Microfiber Polishing System

by

Introduction:

As many of you may know, Meguiar’s has been developing this new microfiber polishing system for several years now, and during this time they have reached out to professional detailers across the world looking for helpful feedback in dialing this system in. While I was not one of the original development testers, I was one of many lucky detailers selected to test out the released product before it went to launch. I received my sample kit from Meguiar’s on December 1st 2010, and have had a little over two months to play around with it now.

Product Description:

The Meguiar’s Microfiber Polishing System consists of two polishing liquids, the D300 Compound which utilizes SMAT technology and the D301 Finishing Wax which uses polymers, silicones and carnauba for a high gloss protection. The system also consists of two types of microfiber polishing pads, one for cutting and one for finishing. Each liquid was developed to be used with its correlating pad.

Initial Product Observations:

 

1. Packaging: N/A

2. Directions: For the D300 Compound, Meguiar’s recommends using a speed of 4800opm. Priming of the pads is also recommended. After priming, only a small amount of product is needed to complete a 20” x 20” section (I use 3-4 pea sized dots). The D301 Finishing wax is recommended for use with speeds of 2800-3800opm.

3. Consistency (liquids): On the thicker side, similar to D151.

4. Color: D300 is pinkish, D301 is purple/blue, cutting pad has maroon foam, and the finishing pad has black foam.

5. Scent (liquids): D300 has a pleasant cinnamon scent and D301 has a pleasant blueberry scent.

6. Size: Pads are available in 3”, 5”, and 6”. Liquids will come in the new 16oz bottles, 32oz bottle and gallon size. (Note: the 16oz bottles are pretty cool!)

Testing results pictures and videos:

 -Me doing a product introduction and brief review….and umm! ;)

-50/50 test spot with D300 Compound and D301 Finishing wax on a heavily swirled car.

-Testing on a trashed Nissan

Panel before

Pad primed with D300 Compound on the PCXP

Amount of product used

Results after doing one section pass

-Another test panel, this time with the 3″ cutting pad and D300 on the PCXP followed by D301 on a 3″ finishing pad.

Panel before

After one section pass with the D300 Compound on a 3″ pad with the PCXP

After a quick pass of D301 on a 3″ finishing pad…the D300 Compound finished well enough that the difference is minimal on this paint.

-Removing some 3000 grit wet sanding scratches with the D300 Compound on the PCXP

Sanded panel

50/50 shot after one section pass

Whole panel, which finished down very well with the D300 Compound!

Zoomed in

-Doing some headlight correction with the 3″ pad on the PC7424

Headlight before

Primed 3″ pad

50/50 shot

After results

-Works well on emblems too ;)

Before

After

 

 

 

 

Pros:

-D300 Compound

1. Fast cutting

2. Rotary like results from a D/A

3. Very little, if any, dusting

4. Scent is pleasant and a great addition

5. Amount of product used is very low

6. Product wipe-off is very easy

7. Finishes down very well on most paints

8. Cost-effective

9. Can be used with virtually any D/A polisher

-D301 Finishing Wax

1. Works fast

2. No dusting

3. Extremely easy to use

4. Scent is pleasant and a great addition

5. Great follow-up to the compound that saves time

6. Finishes very well on most paints

7. Very wet and reflective gloss

8. Nice slick feel

9. Amount of product used is very low

10. Can be used with virtually any D/A polisher

-Micro Fiber pads

1. Nicely constructed pads which should be very durable (when used within recommended speeds)

2. Machine washable

3. Low cost

4. Available in 3”, 5”, and 6” pads

Cons:

-D300 Compound

1. Thicker consistency requires more effort to dispense product, which some users may not like. (This design feature was likely done to reduce sling, much like Meguiar’s D151)

2. May not work well on some paints. When testing this system I intentionally wanted to test it on what I’ve found to be “troublesome” paints when it comes to D/A polishing. My testing resulted in noticeable marring on these finishes, which is consistent with my past experiences using D/A polishers and other polishes/pads on those same paint types. (Your individual results may vary)

-D301 Finishing Wax

1. Thicker consistency requires more effort to dispense product, which some users may not like. (This design feature was likely done to reduce sling, much like Meguiar’s D151)

2. May not work well on some paints. When testing this system I intentionally wanted to test it on what I’ve found to be “troublesome” paints when it comes to D/A polishing. My testing resulted in noticeable marring on these finishes, which is consistent with my past experiences using D/A polishers and other polishes/pads on those same paint types. (Your individual results may vary)

-Micro Fiber pads

1. If the cutting pads are used above the recommended 4800opm speed setting, users may experience pad failure, where the backing material separates from the foam. It’s hard to really categorize this as a con for the very reason that you’d be using the product in a manner it was not designed for. Using these pads at the 4800opm setting is still very effective at removing defects, and it also keeps the vibration down on the tool. It’s strongly recommended that you try and stay at the recommended speed setting as much as possible.

2. Pads need to be kept clean for optimal results, and cleaning on the fly is best done using compressed air. While this is not a con for me, users who do not have an air compressor will have to use a brush or towel, which does not fluff up the fibers as well as compressed air.

Final Observations and Summary:

Overall, I’d say this system has exceeded my expectations. It’s also very apparent to me that Meguiar’s spent a lot of time developing the products. While I expected the polishes and pads to work well, as it’s what I’ve come to expect from Meguiars, it was actually the little things about this system that showed how much thought went into developing these products. For instance, the new bottles are a little larger than the traditional 12oz bottles. The larger 16oz bottles can be perfect for the mobile detailer as it can save them from having to bring along gallon sized containers for re-filling, and space is often a factor for mobile detailers. The self-cleaning, non-removable tips on the new bottles are a welcome change, as I’m sure we all hate those little red tips that always seem to get lost. The 16oz bottles are also individually labeled, which is great in itself as it helps differentiate them from each other. On that note, I’m sure most people don’t give much thought on product color and scent, but I think Meguiar’s went out of their way in developing these two liquids. How many of you have ever mistakenly grabbed the wrong bottle because they all tend to be similar in color and smell? I know I’ve mixed up M105 and M205 more than a few times now. Whether this was intended or not, Meguiar’s has not only labeled each bottle for us, but they have also added a distinct color and scent for each liquid. So even if you don’t see the label, the color or scent should definitely trigger your brain to say, “hey silly, you grabbed the wrong bottle again!”

The one thing people also need to keep in mind is that this system was developed mainly for high-volume or production shops. That’s not to say it won’t work extremely well outside their intended market, but for detailers who tend to do more high-end detailing, you may find yourself only using parts of this system. The D300 compound and microfiber pads are probably my favorite part, as the ease of use, fast cut, low dust qualities make them a joy to use over traditional compounds. The D301 Finishing Wax does a great job of finishing out and adding protection all in one step, which is great for those clients who are only looking for a quick one or two step correction. However, if you are like me and do mostly major corrections, you may find yourself wanting a little more perfection out of the final step, as well as a dedicated product for paint protection. The D300 compound finishes down very well on most paints and you can easily follow it up with M205 or similar finishing polish and still keep most correction jobs to only two polishing steps.

So just how well does the D300 actually correct? I’d say it’s pretty close to M105, but the M105 definitely has the edge in terms of overall cut. That being said I still had no trouble removing moderate to heavy defects from all the paints I tried it on, as well as removing 2000 and 3000 grit sanding marks from several paints. The D300’s ease of use and low dust will definitely make it my new “go to” product for most correction jobs, but when serious correction is needed M105 will still be my heavy hitter.

Unfortunately I did not get to test the durability of the D301 Finishing wax. Most my test subjects were from a friend’s used car lot, and after I got done making a bunch of shiny spots on his cars he sent them to be cleaned-up.

Note: Meguiar’s strongly recommends that you use their backing plates with this system. The hook and loop backing is different and it allows easier pad removal, and it also helps keep the pads cooler. For the 6″ pads you will want to get the S6BP backing plate. For the 5″ pads you will want to get the W67DA backing plate. For the 3″ pads you’ll need to get the S3BP backing plate. I was using non-Meguiar’s backing plates at first and there is definitely a difference.

So that’s pretty much it…I’d definitely recommend picking up either the 5″ starter kit or the 6″ starter kit and giving the new system a try, I doubt you will be disappointed. :)

I’d also like to thank Corey (CEE DOG) for allowing me to use his nice little “product review” layout, and I’d especially like to thank Meguiar’s and Jason Rose for allowing me to take part in this prerelease testing!

I hope you all found my review to be helpful,

Rasky

Chad Rskovich Rasky's Auto Detailing
Chad Raskovich
Rasky's Auto Detailing
Minneapolis, MN
RaskyAutoDetailing.com

26 comments on Product Review: Meguiar’s DA Microfiber Polishing System

  1. Micah says:

    Awesome review Chad. I saw your comment concerning the backing plates. Meguiars actually shows the Flex 3401 in one of their videos laying next to other buffers using the 6″ pads I presume. Did you try this system out on the Flex and if so will the “one horse show” single option Flex Backplate be a show stopper as far a pad effectiveness and longevity?

    Thanks

    • Thanks guys!

      Micah,

      I did get to use it on the Flex a few times and the backing plate is definitely NOT a show stopper for it. I would suggest checking your pads temps a little more frequently though, just to make sure they are not getting to hot. As long as the pads aren’t over heating you’re fine. Switching to a new pad more often would also help.

      Rasky :)

  2. Great review Chad…thanks for taking the time to test the products and provide everybody with your findings!

  3. Paul says:

    That was a vey informitive review. I really appreciate you guys sharing your experiences and knowledge with us. I pre-order the system and I’m looking forward to trying out! Thanks

    • Thanks Paul!

      Be sure to check back in and give us your thought’s on it, I’m sure you will be very impressed. If you having questions about it don’t hesitate to ask either. :)

      Rasky

  4. Paul says:

    As soon as get it I’ll try it on my wife’s car first and I’ll let know how it went. Thanks again!

  5. Nate says:

    Chad-
    What are your thoughts on this system for personal, home use? I really like the fact that it is DA friendly and a two step process with seemingly very nice results…

    • Hello Nate,

      Great question!

      I think a lot of factors actually come in to play on this one. Are you only going to be working on your own personal car and that’s it? Most the people I know tend to go in with the intent of only maintaining their own car, and before they know it friends and family members want their cars done too! :)

      What expectations you have are also going to be an important factor. Are you looking for maximum gloss as well as long term protection, or do you just want something that’s quick and easy and still make the car look great?

      I personally think the D300 compound and the micro fiber pads are going to be great for everyone to have on hand. The pads are durable and together with the compound they cuts fast with little to no dusting, wipe off is a breeze, and it finishes down very well on most paints….who wouldn’t want that? ;)

      I my opinion, the D301 finishing wax is the only product that really isn’t for everyone. It’s still a great product if you simply want a light paint cleaner/polish which also offers protection, all in one VERY easy step. It’s also great for detailers like me because I have many clients who simply want their paint to be shiny and there budget doesn’t allow for a multi-step paint correction. This stuff is VERY easy to use and requires very little time to apply and remove. However, if you’re only going to be working on your personal car and you want the absolute best gloss you can achieve with very durable protection, then a dedicated finishing polish like M205, 106fa, or PO85RD followed by a good sealant like Blackfire Wet-Diamond is going to be your best bet.

      This system, like all products, are not going to work perfectly on all paints either. If you have a car with really soft paint you may have trouble finishing down perfectly using this system. I do think the starter kits are great as you get everything you need and you don’t have to spend the money on larger 32oz product bottles.

      If you let me know what kind of car you have and if you plan to do friends and family members cars I can make some product recommendations for you, be it the new MF system or something else.. ;)

      Hope this helped,
      Rasky

      • Nate says:

        Rasky-

        Thanks for the quick response! I am actually located across the river from you in Wisconsin, it is great to have a knowledgeable professional close by. I currently have a 2011 Tricoat white (pearl) GMC Yukon XL Denali (family truckster), a 2010 Steel Silver Subaru Outback Wagon, and a 2011 Jet Black BMW 135i convertible. My current detail interest is the BMW. I LOVE black cars and I HATE the amount of work it takes to keep the black “acceptable”. I just bought the BMW used and am really dreading to see what it looks like outside in the full sun…inside with a Halogen it is actually not too bad. I turn over cars quite often and am often buying “barely used” cars with some less than perfect paint maintenance history. The next addition will likely be a used (2009 or newer) black or white Porsche 911 Turbo after having sold my 2009 Nissan GT-R last fall.

        I would be looking at the MF/DA system for use on the personal fleet. The usual maintenance for a fairly anal owner. I really want it to be as simple and quick as possible, and could sacrifice some of the correction ability for ease in use, due to the fact that most of my cars are and will be on the newer side.

        I have a keen interest in detailing, but unfortunately, the job that pays the bills keeps me a little busy to dedicate a lot of time to my car hobby.

        Thanks again!

        nate

        • Well then, hello neighbor! :)

          That’s a nice line up of cars, Nate! The only car I can anticipate you possibly having an issue working with the new MF system is the jet black BMW. I’ve not yet worked on a newer jet black BMW, however, I was actually on a live web cam chat last night with a fellow detailer while he performed a demo with the new MF system on a 2001 jet black M5. What he found was that that the D300 compound worked great, but it did leave some light micro-marring behind…though it could easily be cleared up with one more step. After some playing around, and with some added advice of another pro, our fellow detailer was able to get the D301 finishing wax to finish down pretty well, but said it would be easier/better to do it with M205, 106fa, or PO85RD. I do think this issue is more frequently occurring on the older jet black BMW’s, but I’ll check with some of the other guys to see if they’ve had a chance to use the MF system on a newer jet black BMW.

          The jet black BMW aside, I do think the new system will work very well for your needs. I have found it to be easy, fast, effective, and a little more simple then some of the other options. For the BMW or even the future Porsche, I’d maybe pick up some M205 or 106fa and a couple finishing pads to follow up after the D300; either the black or crimson LC pads should work great. Finally, follow that up with an application of some Blackfire Wet-Diamond and you’ll have a beautiful finish! :)

          Cheers,
          Rasky

          • nate says:

            Rasky-
            I just bit the bullet and purchased a new PC an the Meg’s DA MF 5″ setup from DI. The wife and kids are out of town for the last week in May and I plan on giving the wife’s 135i vert a good polishing. I didn’t pick up any extra LC pads or other polishes as yet, but am very tempted by the Blackfire Wet Diamond products….I’ll have to see how happy I am with just the Meg’s….plus this will be my first adventure with a DA buffer….maybe I’ll start with the Subaru!

  6. Dennis says:

    From reading the reviews on here, they all state that slower hand motions are needed with this system. Watching the video, the speed at which you moved the buffer is about the speed i tend to move it with my Menzerna polishes. Would you suggest a slower speed or did you notice that your speed seemed to be just right??

    • Hey Dennis,

      You would want to adjust your speed based on the condition and hardness of the paint. For harder or paints in poor condition you would have a slightly slower arm speed then a finish that is softer or in good condition. I try to work with an arm speed of 1-2 inches per second, as seen in the videos. The D301 Finishing wax can use a much faster arm speed and a reduced amount of passes. When I filmed the above video on the Toyota, I was using the D301 like a traditional finishing polish. Later, Meguiar’s gave us the recommended application and I found that I was working it longer than needed and I was using a slower arm speed that what was necessary. That’s not to say that I was seeing poor results, it was quite the opposite, but I was simply wasting time. Do a test spot at that rate above and adjust accordingly. ;)

      Hope this helps,
      Rasky

  7. Chuck says:

    I have a PC 7424, what number corresponds to the 4800 and 3800 rpms do you think? Thanks.

    • Hey Chuck,

      I don’t have the specs on the PC7424, but based on my use and the use of other testers I would use speed 4.5-5 for the MF cutting pad and D300 Compound. For the finishing wax I’d used speed 3-4.

      Hope this helps,
      Rasky

  8. Marlene Miciunas says:

    Rasky
    Great review. How would one decide to get the 5″ or 6″ pads?
    Thank you.

    • Thank you, Marlene.

      For most general polishing I find the 5″ pads to be the best. The smaller size allows them to work better on tighter, more curved panels. Since there is less surface area on the 5″ pads, you can also apply more downward pressure than you can with the 6″ pads before they stop rotating. This can be nice when working on cars with hard paints or sever defects. However, If you tend to work on a lot of larger vehicles, the kind with big flat panels, then the 6″ pads would be good to have.

      If I had to choose just one size, I’d say the 5″ is the way to go. ;)

      Rasky

  9. KC Detailing says:

    Hey Chad,

    Thanks for the wright up. You mentioned that the D301 has silicones in the wax? I’m interested to know more about this. From what I understand, silicones are more a thing of the past because of the damage they can cause to automotive paint. Silicone will penetrate through the tiny pores of paint. Now I’m a bit confused…

    Thanks for any insight Chad!

    • Hey KC,

      My statement of the silicones in the D301 actually came directly form the D301 packaging. There is a LOT of false information about silicones used in car care products which stems many years back. Rest assured, they are in the product for a good reason, and it will not harm your paint in any way. I think you would be very surprised at just how many car care products contain silicones today.

      If you like, send me an email to Chad@Raskysautodetailing.com and I will send you several links which discus the good and bad types of silicones.

      Thanks,
      Rasky

  10. Marlene Miciunas says:

    I have the PC7424 but not the XP model. Can I still use the backing plate from Meguiar’s?
    I see there is a kit that includes the backing plate but it says it will fit the PC 7424XP. I need to make sure the BP will fit my PC7424 model.
    Thanks Rasky

    • Hey Marlene,

      The backing plates will work the same on both the older and newer Porter Cable 7424/XP polishers. I have both units and currently have the 7424 set up for smaller pads, and the 7424XP set up for larger pads. ;)

      Rasky

  11. Rob H says:

    Hi Chad,

    First thank you for the review. I currently have a Black Obsidian 2010 Infiniti FX35, that I’m looking to be able to do some maintenance on. I’m very careful with my cars/paint, but inevitably there are a few very minor hairline scratches that will always pop up in the clear and are very visible on a black car. That is the extent of the issues I’ll be dealing with, with me being picky about my paint I already do the 2 bucket wash method and other things to try and keep it clean.

    So with that in mind, I’m a novice who has never used a buffer of any sorts before, and have heard horror stories about them and their effect on a black car (swirls, holograms, etc). However I’ve also read that if you get a PC7424XP RA buffer, then even in the hands of a novice these problems should be minimized or eliminated.

    I was looking at getting the Package that includes the PC7424Xp as well as the new Meguiars Microfiber DA 5″ starter kit. Would this be a good combo to use for the use I describe above, as well as my vehicle? Or would you recommend something else for my needs?

    Note The 2009 Infiniti FX had a softer self healing paint, but Infiniti went away with this for 2010 and went back to the regular paint they used prior to that.

    Thanks a lot for any guidance you can provide to a beginner who would like to learn more about maintaining their own cars!

  12. Marlene Miciunas says:

    Hi Rasky-
    If you say you’re going to use M205 or 106fa, what pad do you plan to use? Would you use the mf finishing disc or a foam pad? If a foam pad, what color, white, blue, black?
    Thank you very much.

    • Hey Marlene,

      If I’m going to use a dedicated finishing polish like M105 or 106fa I will use a foam LC pad. Which foam pad I use will depend on how the paint finished down after the D300 step, and also the type of paint I’m working on (hard or soft). If there was a lot of haze after the D300 step you will want to use a polishing pad like the white or tangerine LC. If the paint finished down really well after the D300, then a black, blue, or crimson pad should work very well. Doing a test spot is always recommended however.

      Hope this helps,
      Rasky

  13. Mike says:

    Rasky

    Great write-up and follow-up comments!

    I have dark blue 2009 Lexus LS460 that I recently purchased with 4900 miles.

    Paint is in good shape with ever so slight swirls.

    Interested in Meguiar’s Microfiber Polishing System and waiting on their Dual Action 5 Inch Polisher G110v2 that is back ordered…logic is purpose built and idiot proof settings for newbie.

    Questions:

    1. Lexus use hard or soft paint?
    2 Do you recommend claying car first with a mild clay bar like Meguiar’s Smooth Surface Clay Kit?
    3. Thoughts on a treatment of CarPro Iron X Iron Remover?
    3. Would you recommend Meguiar’s Microfiber Polishing System or go with something less abrassive?
    4. Follow up with an application of Blackfire Wet-Diamond or Meguiars Meguiar’s Ultimate Wax ?
    5. Any other recommendations?

    Thanks

    Mike in ATL

  14. Jon says:

    Chad,

    This is an awesome write-up, followed by equally great Q&A. In fact, there are a bunch of general detailing concepts and lessons sprinkled throughout.

    No questions (…yet).

    Thanks for your time.

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