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Product Review: Sonax CutMax


With all the compounds and polishes on the market currently it can be quite difficult to try them all, however I am always looking for that perfect product.  Sonax has done an excellent job with the formula for CutMax.

Product Description

The Sonax CutMax was designed to remove heavy imperfections while finishing down extremely well! The highly corrective paste formula helps remove up to 1500 sanding marks and other heavy imperfections from severely weathered paint with ease. CutMax is water-based which allows for a long working time and it will not dry out like other compounds. This means dust free polishing so you don’t have to clean up that annoying dust! After application, simply wipe off the polished area with a clean microfiber towel and you’re done. Even though you will have a great deal of gloss left behind, you still may need to follow up with a lighter polish. If this is the case, the Sonax EX 04-06 is a perfect follow up to remove the haze and finish the paint down. This unique polishing formula is solvent, silicone, and petroleum free, making it body shop safe. If you are looking for a great heavy cutting polish, the Sonax CutMax is a great choice!

As a test car, we used this Aspen White 2006 Subaru WRX STi.

KMG - Sonax CM

The car has roughly 100k miles on it and has not been babied for those miles.  Below are a few before pictures showing the existing condition of the finish.

KMG - Sonax CM

KMG - Sonax CM

I found CutMax to be quite easy to use with a fairly long work time, while producing very little dust.  While working on the STi in the photos, we used basically the full line up of Rupes Polishers (21ES, 15 MKII, Mini and Ibrid) with Meguiar’s microfiber pads.  The cutting abilities of CutMax were quite impressive, but even more impressive is how well it finished down while providing this level of cut.  Below is a 50/50 shot showing the results after the cutting phase with CutMax on the driver side door.

KMG - Sonax CM

Source: YouTube

My process was four (4) slow passes starting with moderate pressure, while proceeding to lighten the pressure with each following pass.  Using this process produced excellent results and the product was still fairly easy to remove.  Only slight marring was visible following the cutting process, which would clean up quite easy in the polishing phase.  I did notice that it does tend to gum up  your pads and towels quite a bit, so you do need to clean your pads thoroughly after each pass and change towels quite often.

KMG - Sonax CM

Here are the directions for Sonax CutMax as provided on the bottle:


  1. Sand to P1000 or finer then wipe clean.
  2. Apply a small amount of polish to each area. Polish with a SONAX Polishing Pad (493 100) for approx. 10 seconds at low rotational speed and exerting increased pressure, slightly tilting the machine.
  3. Afterwards, exerting slight pressure, polish with flat pad for 20 seconds.
  4. Remove polish residues with SONAX Microfibre Cloth ultrafine (450 700). Use SONAX ProfiLine Perfect Finish (224 300) or SONAX ProfiLine EX 04-06 (242 300) to achieve perfect, high gloss results.

PLEASE NOTE: Do not allow polishing area to overheat. Regularly clean polishing pads. Never use different polishes on one pad. Keep from freezing.

Unlike some heavy cutting compounds, Sonax CutMax will actually finish down quite nicely.  I was using a microfiber cutting pad while working on this project, and even though it did leave some surface marring the finish looked great considering I was using an aggressive product and pad.  So, if you’re looking for a product that is easy to use, provides a user friendly work time and is aggressive yet finishes down nicely I would high recommend giving Sonax CutMax a try.

Once the vehicle was fully compounded we proceeded to polish the vehicle with Carpro Essence prior to applying CQuartz Professional coating on the paint and trim.  Below are a few finished pictures of the car.

KMG - Sonax CM

KMG - Sonax CM

Kevin M. George
KMG Detailing
Lebanon, PA

16 comments on Product Review: Sonax CutMax

  1. Steve K says:

    Great article, Kevin! Another great product to consider.

  2. Greg Pautler says:

    Nice review, glad to hear you are liking the results!

  3. Terry Bella says:

    Great write-up, thank you. I am always looking for a more effective polish. Can I ask though, how do you clean a buffer pad between areas? Using a meg mf pad, I find it needs cleaning often, but besides soaking in some cleaning solution I don’t know of how to clean them.

  4. Stephen Osekoski says:

    If you were only able to use one polisher for thia project which would it be?

    • Kevin George says:

      Stephen, if I could only have one machine it would likely be the Rupes 15 mkII. On this certain car though it almost requires the need for smaller pads on the mini in many areas unless your going to do them by hand.

  5. Brian says:

    Great review! I bought Sonax CutMax earlier this year and I love it!

  6. Evan Green says:

    I have a new white colored car- Genesis G80 Sport. After I put Jet Seal on and let it cure for 12 hours over night, I did not want to have to wash it again before topping it with my favorite wax. (The car is a fully enclosed garage-port). Is there a product you can recommend so I can gently wipe off the dust or prepare the surface for wax without taking it outside to wash and dry again?

    • Kevin George says:

      Even you would want to use either ONR or EcH2o for something like that. Both of these are great products for a quick simple waterless wash.

      • Evan Green says:

        Kevin, I am going to try Sonax Profiline Perfect Finish with my Porter Cable 7424XP on my new white colored car and want to know which Lake Country pad I should use with this product? I really want to do this correctly so I will buy which ever pad you deem right for this job even if it is not Lake Country.( I already have several Lake Country pads indifferent colors). And, how many pads will I need for my mid size car? Thank you very much.

        • Kevin George says:

          Evan, I would use either a white Lake County pad (I prefer the CCS pads) or a yellow Rupes pad. I finish most vehicles yellow Rupes pads which are quite nice. You typically want to have at least 3 pads to do a vehicle.

  7. Jordan says:

    I wanted to know how would you compare it to 3D AAT Compound and polish. Also which of their polishes (Sonax) would you recommend and I’m not using any ceramic coatings but wanted to know would you still recommend topping with Essence

    • Kevin George says:

      Jordan, I have not use any of 3D’s compounds or polishes yet. Detailed Image just picked up their line so I am likely going to pick some up to try out here soon. A lot of people really like their Profiline Perfect Finish polish, I have certain polishes that I always use and this is not one that I commonly use. My main polishes are usually M205, Optimum Hyper Polish and Carpro Essence.

      As for topping Essence with a coating. I typically let the vehicle sit overnight after polishing with Essence prior to coating the vehicle. If I am not letting it sit for at least a few hours I will still do an Eraser wipe down prior to coating.

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