The TORQ 10FX and the Porter-Cable 7424XP are both polishers intended primarily for use on cars, but they’ll work on your fiberglass boat, too. Designed to help get rid of scratches, swirl marks, and oxidation, each tool replaces hours of hard labor that you might remember doing as a kid with an old towel with faster and much better buffing and polishing capabilities.
The Porter-Cable is clearly aimed at the weekend DIY crowd – it’s both less sophisticated and less money. The TORQ bridges the gap between experienced amateurs and professionals unwilling to shell out several hundred dollars for a high-end polisher but don’t want to skimp on quality.
The choice between these two is a little easier for the pros, but if you’re a rookie detailer, keep reading. You’ll want to consider both.
The Porter-Cable 7424XP is a great polisher and weekend warriors love it. For many of its fans, it’s often the first detailing polisher they’ve ever used. But the TORQ 10FX is another step up the ladder in terms of technology.
The TORQ offers a digital readout. In this day and age, what isn’t digital? The TORQ demonstrates its commitment to remaining current by incorporating a digital display for its variable speed motor. By comparison, the PC looks a little old-fashioned with its dial control. A digital display provides a higher degree of precision plus a deeper understanding of how the tool operates, both of which will help you attain the best performance.
The TORQ uses a gradual speed mechanism. When you turn it on, it doesn’t immediately begin spinning at the setting you chose, but instead starts slowly and (quickly) works its way up to your chosen speed. In addition, as you switch to a higher speed, it changes gradually. The graduated system keeps product from flinging off (and onto the finished sections of the car) and it gets rid of the herky-jerky starts and speed-ups. All the transitions are smoother, making the entire experience fully under your control. The PC doesn’t do this.
In terms of technological advances, this is no contest – the TORQ is the clear winner.
Anyone who has detailed for a few hours has concerns about fatigue. The TORQ weighs about half a pound less than the PC and is marketed as having vibration reduction technology. Half a pound doesn’t seem like a lot, but it’s enough to notice after a few hours of detailing, especially while you’re working on door panels. Vibration is occasionally called out as an issue with the PC when it’s being used at the highest settings.
And although the PC does offer the clever design feature which allows you to use the extra handle on either side, no one has seemed overly excited by that concept. TORQ, on the other hand, uses the word “ergonomic” four times on its website’s page about this tool, plus includes multiple other references to design and ease of use. In other words, TORQ seems to have put a fair amount of effort into making this tool feel good in your hands.
The design win goes to TORQ.
Both polishers are going to leave your car looking better than when you woke up this morning and both are going to protect you from your own enthusiasm by preventing you from polishing the paint right off the car. Both tools have a reasonably long lifespan, and both accommodate a variety of backers and pads, giving you the best in versatility. And both can handle the big scratches and the obvious swirls and restore the finish to better than new.
The TORQ is a fancier tool, but at the end of the day, a lot of the impact from detailing comes back to the human doing the work. Do more pros use TORQ tools? Yes. Are experienced pros more likely to do an A+ job on a car? You bet. So, we can’t give all the credit to the tool for any possible performance gains TORQ may seem to have.
On performance, we’re calling a tie.
The TORQ is going to cost you about 50% more than the PC. This isn’t particularly surprising. The TORQ website describes, at length, all the nifty technologies it has incorporated into this tool, and they are up-front about targeting professionals as their intended audience. Porter-Cable makes no such claims about its polisher.
If you’re looking strictly at price, Porter-Cable is the obvious choice.
Professional-caliber tool any rookie can use
Entry-level polisher delivers results
Who are you? Are you someone who wants to detail their own car a few times a year? Someone who is brand new to this hobby? Or are you planning to be out in the garage every weekend, or maybe turn a favorite hobby into a business?
These are both good tools but there’s a big price gap between them. If you’re just beginning the journey into the world of car detailing, you’ll be perfectly happy with the Porter-Cable 7424XP. Use the money you save on the tool to splurge a little with the products you’ll need to get started. (An entire industry’s worth of products has replaced your dad’s tub of Turtle Wax.)
But if you know what you’re doing already – or if money is no object – go for the TORQ 10FX. It will feel like a professional-quality tool and you’ll appreciate some of the subtle ways it will help you get the job done better and faster.
Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!