Long term follow-up on Meguiar’s DA MF Correction Systemby Todd Cooperider
Well it’s been 9 months now since I started using the Meguiar’s DA Microfiber Correction System, and 6 months since I helped launch the product with my product review and tutorial. Now that I have had even more time with it I figured I would give some feedback after a countless amount of paint correction details with it.
For those who have been following my work now for several years (and more), you know that I specialize in heavy paint correction and Restorative Details as opposed to the quick reconditioning work. Given this, I do a tremendous amount of heavy compounding and defect removal and therefore require products and techniques that work well under demanding conditions.
With this in mind, one might assume that much of my work is done by a rotary buffer, but actually the opposite holds true…I haven’t used the rotary for compounding in 9 months!!! Sure I still use it regularly for finish polishing, but for the heavy stuff, using the D/A polisher is where it’s at right now with the current technologies available in pads and compounds.
So what makes it so good?
When compounding in particular, you’re typically looking for the right combination of 3 key elements…how heavy of a cut can you achieve (correction rate), how quickly you can achieve that level of correction, and how fine of a finish you’re left with. So if you have a product or process that provides fast and heavy cut, but leaves a bad finish that will require 2 or more finishing steps to achieve pure clarity, then it doesn’t do you much good (unless you simply like to spend lots of unnecessary finishing time).
When we look at the MF Cutting Disc in particular when teamed up with the proper backing plate (backing plate choice makes a huge difference, but that’s another article) and compound (Megs D300 or M105), you can get a seriously high correction rate, WITH a fast cutting process, and also WITH a fine finish. On most paints, you can’t come close to this same combination of all 3 elements with a rotary and either a wool or foam pad. Sure there are exceptions, but I’m talking about the majority of the time. And once you’re done with your compounding stage, you know that you’ll be able to go straight into your finish polishing process…be it via D/A or with rotary. The light haze that is leftover from the compounding stage is much easier to clear up than with swirling and hologramming from heavy cutting on the rotary.
So…what makes it so good is that you can achieve a high rate of correction, a quick rate of correction, and a fine finish in your compounding stage! It’s also versatile for the paint type you may be working with. By changing up pressure and machine speed, you can get the level of correction and finish that you desire depending on the type of paint and condition. Don’t be afraid to experiment a bit…more pressure, less pressure, down to speed 3.5, up to speed 5. It’s impressive sometimes what slight changes in your technique can do to the final product.
What about pad durability?
To me, this has been a huge plus in this system. Despite the fact that you need to use heavy pressure, and you’ll only use one or two pads for an entire car, these Microfiber Cutting Discs just keep going and going! I started off with just a few of the Cutting Discs just so I could use and abuse them to see how well they would last. Despite many compounding marathons and cleaning sessions, the pads hold up and maintain their high level of cut for much longer than you would get out of foam or wool. I’m still using some of my original testing pads 9 months later and they still maintain a high level of correction.
A few benefit highlights of the DA MF System:
- Edge correction is better, and safer than what you can achieve by rotary
- You go through fewer pads on a full correction job than you would with foam or wool
- Less taping is required since you don’t have the same risks that you’re faced with on a rotary
- Quicker finish polishing times after compounding with the DA MF system
A few drawbacks to the DA MF System:
- For best results, you need to frequently clean with compressed air
- Compressed air then leaves a dusty mess all over the shop
- Even though it still requires skills and ability to “read” paint types, the gap has closed between amateur and professional! (Good for the amateur, bad for the pro)
So in the 9 months that I have been using the Meguiar’s MF Cutting Disc and D300, not only have I come to like it even more, but it has also become my main method of compounding. When a product arrives on the market that completely changes a professional detailer’s methods and techniques, then it’s a safe assumption that the detailer is completely behind that product.
I don’t just see the DA MF pads as game changers…I honestly view them as evolutionary milestones in paint correction history. These will undoubtedly breed new technologies and offspring, and you can bet money on it that there are a lot of people working in labs right now to either catch up and / or follow in the direction that this system has taken us in.
Using the Meguiar’s MF Cutting Disc with M105 (for heavy cutting) on the ultra-hard Lamborghini paint
Condition of the paint before:
Very nice review Todd, I initially bought a Rotary because I wanted to take the time to train in achieving great finishes but since you have brought this review out I am considering pick up the Meg’s MF system along with a DA. I mean who would go through all the pain and dangers of a heavy rotary rather then quick and safe DA?
Thanks Hamza. I believe that it’s important to know both machines, as you may find some paints that react better on the finishing stage to a rotary than with a DA (and vice versa). But all things being equal however, I’m sure most people would prefer to use the DA during both steps when they can.
Great follow-up Todd! My story is pretty much the same as yours where my rotary polishers (even the new Flex PE 14-2 150) have been spending more time then ever sitting on the bench. I also still have one of my original MF cutting pads from 9 months ago in use today! 🙂
I love this system! 😉
Thanks Chad…most of the early adopters to this system share the same story as you (and me)!
Which DA is your go-to with the MF setup?
It depends…I usually have several ready to go with different sized backing plates already installed so I don’t have to stop and switch them out. The Meguiar’s G110 V2.0 is going to be the more powerful of the two offerings here at DI. The Porter Cable works just fine, but when you have heavy defects / hard paint, and need to apply a high amount of pressure, the Meguiar’s won’t bog down as much.
Now that you have used this system, how does it compare to the Surbuf pads?
The Surbuf has a slight edge in overall cut, but the Megs Cutting Discs finish better. I’ll use the Megs most of the time, but if I have some really heavy / difficult defects to deal with, then I reach for the Surbuf.
I have been using it for a few months now and I do a lot of work on newer Mercedes and lamborghinis with rock hard finishes and I could not believe how fast the da microfiber with d300 leveled the finish. I actually thought at first that it just filled it in. I didn’t believe it just did what I thought it did. It literally cut as fast or faster than foamed wool on a rotary. It amazes me how fast with how well finished down it leaves the finish. I use the system more than a rotary for compounding. It’s faster, no doubt. Saves many finishing steps as well as prep steps. And it’s safer. In addition it’s much easier on your body as well. I’m no where near as fatigued after hours of compounding with the da system as I am using the rotary all day.
Great review Mark…thanks for sharing!
Hi Todd, Thanks for this article. I’ve read that D300 is not strictly required for archive great results with this new MF system. Is M105 as good as D300? Can be used with this system other non-diminishing abrasives polish, like GTechniq P1?
True you don’t have to use D300, but it was designed specifically for the MF. Yes you can use M105 and it will actually provide a little more cut than D300. It does create a little more drag and heat than D300 (not by much), but once again it works fine. Yes you could use P1, but I don’t think it would provide as much cut as either D300 or M105.
Nice! I have been a practicing amateur for about three years now and since I picked this system up, I haven’t been able to stop polishing The results are so quick and easy, relative of course
Good to hear Roy!
Thank you for your follow-up. I have two questions for you. Which backing plate do you recommend for the Meguiars MF system? Or what should I look for in a backing plate that would work well for the MF system?
And my second question is: For the weekend warrior like myself, how many pads do you recommend I have on hand? I understand that keeping the pads clean is super important and I am thinking about purchasing a few more to make sure I safely compound/polish my car.
You definitely want the Meguiar’s backing plate for this system! When using other backing plates, you can (and will) run into issues with heat and with a reduction in cutting ability.
If you have an air compressor and frequently blow it out, then you could get by with just a couple of pads per car. If you’re spurring or brushing them clean, then I would use 3 or 4 per.
Thanks Todd! I’ll switch that backing plate out ASAP.
I always enjoy seeing your write-ups, they are always very in-depth and extremely helpful.
I am currently working on a 2010 SL65 AMG Black Series Coupe (carbon fiber panels except doors/fenders). The paint is in horrible condition because even a new MF will scratch the car (no ceramiclear here). I have been doing the correcting with MF DA system for the initial compounding, although it clears up most of the defects, it leaves the finish extremely dull. Is there another option for a clear this soft, or am I just stuck with a 3-step correction?
Thank you for your time and inspiration.
Very nice car to be working on! When you’re dealing with paint that soft and finicky, you typically either need to do a 2-step and realize you’re going to leave behind some of the deeper defects, or you go for a near perfection level and do up to 3 steps. What finishing polish are you thinking about using? In my experience, paints like this are extremely challenging to get to finish down with either a D/A or a rotary. One option may be Menzerna PO85RD, but you need to work it for a very long time to get it to break down properly. The other would be Sonax Nano Tech Paint Cleaner (see review).
Thus far, I have done DA/D300/MF pad, then DA/M205/green Uber pad and then finished with rotary/85RD/blue Uber pad. The hood and fenders are complete and they look great. I just wanted to make sure that the process/products I was using were the most efficient (was thinking about trying 106fa for the 2nd step). I haven’t jeweled that many vehicles (rotary/85rd/finish pad) but I have been getting some good results on this car. Working on the car in my spare time as I have a full-time job, should be done in a couple weeks. I’ll keep you posted!
Thank you for the response Todd.
You might want to try going straight from MF/D300 to your finishing process to see if you can bridge the gap and skip a second step. It’s definitely worth a test section!
Nice article Todd as always……I’m using this system more and more myself now. Looking forward to your article on the backing plates and the difference they make. I’m getting good results with the recommended system but would be interested to hear what other combinations are being used with the Meguiars system out there.
Well I was a bit skeptical with this system at first, but seeing the results again 9 months later, and hearing the durability is excellent, I think it is time to invest. I was in a bind recently with a dead PC, and no time to get a replacement. I had a local detail guy with great reviews do a simple correction on my 01 red SS, and it was a completely and utter waste of money. His three stages looked worse than some hand wax that would fill and hide the defects. I literally had to go back over the entire car to remove the compound in the jams, and probably would have been better off with doing the entire car myself by hand.
With all that out of the way, how does the system react to different surfaces? The 4th gen f-body has plastic nose and rear bumper, fiberglass hood, doors, and hatch, then the only metal would be the rear quarters. How much adjust in speed have you had to make over similar surfaces, or do you have a guideline to go by? Thanks, and I will be making an order soon 🙂
In that case you simply need to approach it like you would any other system, pad, or polish…test it on the different surfaces and see how it reacts. You’ll typically find the plastic bumpers to be more challenging to correct than the painted areas in most cars. There are no “guides” to go by unfortunately, it’s just a matter of trial and error as each car is a bit different. If you do one section and figure out a system, then move to the next section of different material and you find that you’re not getting as much correction, or that it doesn’t finish down as well, try different speeds and different pressures to determine the best approach for that particular part of the car.
I just got a deal with a Limo Company to do paint correction on one of their cars to test my abilities, I am only 17, I have some surbuf and orange pads for cutting. Todd, would you recommend that I invest in getting at least a couple of the MF cutting discs and the D300? I have a whole gallon of m105 and m205 but would want to use D300 considering it was designed for its specific use. Also how is wipe off with D300 considering m105 is impossible if left to dry?
Having the MF discs and some D300 is most definitely something you want to have in your arsenal. There’s hardly no dust, and it’s very easy on and off. As for M105, if you have a hard residue leftover then you’re probably using too much product (and/or not working it long enough). When I work 105, I hardly have any visible residue whatsoever left to wipe off when I’m done working it.
I think that I am not working it long enough because I have really cut down on my product usage.
Todd, great write up I really appreciate all the reviews published here. I have been eyeing this system for a few weeks but have a concern. Is this only safe to use on OEM paint? Can it be used on a three stage repaint?
It can be used on re-paints, but just keep in mind that on your finishing stage, most aftermarket paint will struggle to get a fine finish with the D/A action. It’s a non-issue on the compounding stage though. I have had a lot of success however using the D/A on finicky aftermarket paint when using the Megs MF Cutting Disc and D300 for compounding, followed by Sonax Nano Tech Paint Cleaner and a black finishing pad for the finishing stages.
Thanks Todd. Would you recomend I consider a more traditional compound/polish with foam pads for a repaint. FYI, the car is a Black 2010 Acura TL SH-AWD, that was repainted due to a factory paint defect.
Only for the finishing polish process. For compounding, get the MF Cutting Discs and D300.
Nice review Todd.I find that after using this new system for a while that my foam cutting pads are gathering dust on the shelf. Sure makes us hobby guys look like pros.
I own 2 alfa solid red with black roof (147 and MiTo), a 166 metallic black and a Grande Punto metallic red. I have a very limited experience and i can’t tell if the paint is actually soft or middle, i have noticed that the MiTo paint (AR289) is much softer than the 147 paint (AR289/A) and the metallic red and black are a bit harder than the solid reds.
Do you recommend to use D300 + MF cutting disc on soft/middle paint?
I currenty have LC CSS (orange, white, blue, black) and P1, Menz 3.02 and 106FA and i want to try something new, what do you suggest?
Why not try them all? Part of the fun is figuring out which combination(s) work best on each paint system, and comparing the polishes / combinations to one another. As for the MF Cutting Disc / D300, it seems to work very well on the compounding stage for just about every type of paint I’ve worked with so I’m sure you’ll like it as well. Have fun testing.
Hi Todd! Again a very informative article! Megs said to operate D300 on MF cutting disc on a DA set at 4800 OPM. What would be the possible problems if we operate at higher OPM’s? In your article you mentioned it can be used up to speed 5. Or do we only go to these higher speeds if we plan to apply more pressure on the DA for higher correction? Thanks!
More speed doesn’t always equate to greater cut. And in some instances where it does, it may do it at the tradeoff of a less clear finish. I apply very heavy pressure whether I’m at speed 3.5, or 4.5…you won’t be applying increasing pressure as the speeds go up necessarily. Each paint is a little different, so you’ll want to test with varying speeds and pressure for each vehicle you’re working on. For most of them, I find that speed 4 to 4.5 is the “sweet spot” in terms of correction and finish.
Got it Todd!! Your indeed a great help! Thank you very much!
hey todd great write up quick question will the surbuf pads work with d300 to get a little extra cut and that can you go to a finishing stage if you can how much of a difference would make that the meguiar’s microfiber cutting pad
Not much was said about D301. I’ve use it and really like it but am more used to sealants like BFWD. I keep my dd clean and don’t mind waxing it. As far as durability, how often do you think I must apply D301 to keep decent protection even though a Chicago winter?
I’d like to see a write-up on rotrary microfiber pads. I have a Makita and I do fine for home use with foam, but if a MF system will save time and energy, I’d be very interested. I’d like to avoid buying a good DA if the MF rotary pads are just as good. Thanks!
Can the Mf system be used for light scratches and swirls?
Hi todd. I am using this system for a while now and love it. Im having a problem with the discs turning oval shaped after one wash. After a few washes its completely un usable as the pad becomes longish. I have been through many cutting pads in the last few months. Can you shed some light on what may be the problem? Thanks