What is an Airway Buffing Wheel?
Airway buffs are a type of buffing and polishing wheel that is made up of multiple discs of cotton cloth attached to a steel center plate. Each cloth layer of these 16-ply wheels is attached to the steel plate in a way that forces the cotton to form pleats.
High-speed buffing and polishing wheels can create a lot of heat from the constant friction of the wheel, surface being buffed, and polishing compound grinding together. The pleats are designed to increase airflow so that you can buff and polish at a lower temperature. This allows you to work continuously longer than traditional polishing wheels, extends the overall working life of the airway buff, and lowers the chance of causing damage to the object you are polishing.
Airway Buffing Wheel Colors
The different colors of airway buffs are not there to let you work with your favorite color. Each of these colors has a different firmness/softness of the cloth pieces which are meant for different steps in the polishing process. You should also consider pairing each color buffing wheel with the appropriate color buffing compounds.
Blue Buffing Wheel (Blue Mill)
Blue buffs are mill treated to increase the firmness of the cloth flaps. This makes the blue airway buffs optimal for cutting, the first stages of the buffing process.
Recommended buffing compounds: Black “Magic”, Brown Tripoli, and Gray
Yellow Buffing Wheel (Yellow Mill)
Yellow airway buffs are also mill-treated to increase stiffness but are 15% less stiff than their blue counterpart. Yellow buffs should be used in the second step of buffing and polishing.
Recommended buffing compounds: Brown Tripoli and Green Rouge
Untreated White Buffing Wheel
This is one of the most versatile of the airway wheels. Comprised of white cotton 86/80 and left untreated, these have a minimal stiffness and can be used to aggressively cut or gently color, based on the type of compound used.
Recommended buffing compounds: All compounds, but they work best as a final step with green, white diamond, blue, or pink rouges.
White Buffing Wheel (White Domet Flannel)
White airway buffing wheels are made of soft domet flannel. They are left untreated to remain ultra-plush. Unlike treated airway buffing wheels, the white domet fabric buffs are best saved for the final polishing stage when you want to get the perfect shine or a mirror finish.
Recommended buffing compounds: White “Diamond”, Pink Rouge, and Blue Rouge
Satin Surface Prep Airway Buff
In addition to the colored airway buffing wheels, we also offer a surface prep variation. This version is 4-ply pleated design comprised of flexible, non-woven, nylon mesh fibers impregnated with abrasive grains comparable to Scotch-Brite™ material. They are ideal for use to surface prep before use of a blue or yellow buff.
Recommended buffing compounds: None, this product is meant to be used without buffing or polishing compounds
Tips for Using Airway Buffing Wheels
Use light pressure and allow the buffing compound to do the work. Increasing the pressure against the surface being polished will not help you get a better shine or get the job done faster.
Start buffing from the top of your surface and work your way down to the bottom using a consistent and smooth side-to-side motion. You should make several passes, overlapping each time to make sure you evenly cover the entire surface.