What’s the Difference Between a Floor Polisher and a Floor Buffer?

In this guide, we’re going to be taking a look at floor polishers, and floor buffers. You are going to learn all about what these two devices offer, and how they work. From that, you will learn what the difference between them is, and which one is right for you.

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What Is A Floor Polisher?

A floor polisher is a machine that is designed for polishing hard floors. To use a floor polisher, you must plug it in, attach the polishing pad that comes with the machine, and then you must move the floor polisher across your hard floors.

Floor Polisher vs Floor Buffer

While the floor polisher is moving across your hard floors, it removes the dust particles that are on the floor. Most floors are covered in dust particles, and when these dust particles are removed, it allows the floor to look much cleaner, and far shinier, than it did previously.

As the floor polisher moves across your hard floor, all of the dirt and grime that is on the floor is removed. This creates a sense of cleanliness and elegance that permeates the entirety of your floors.

Floor Polisher

What Is A Floor Buffer?

In many ways, a floor buffer is just like a floor polisher. But, there is one very distinct difference, and that’s the fact that floor buffers run at slower speeds than floor polishers because they are designed differently.

Floor Buffer vs Floor Polisher

When you are using a floor buffer, you are relying on a buffer that is used to gather up and remove the dirt and dust on your hard floors. This buffer moves at a slow pace, in comparison to a floor polisher, which allows for thorough and precise floor buffing.

As you are moving the floor buffer across your hard floors, you’ll notice that the surface of your hard floor is cleaned thoroughly and that it looks far cleaner than it did. If there are, for example, large quantities of dust on the floor or various stains, those can all be buffed out and removed from your hard floor.

What you won’t see, however, is the shine that comes from using a floor polisher. Floor polishers operate at higher speeds, which allows for a much quicker, and far more intensive, floor buffing experience. With a floor buffer, your floors will be cleaned and all of the gunk and grime that’s on them will be removed, but the aesthetics of your floors won’t be transformed in the same way that they are with a floor polisher.

Floor Buffer

What Is A Floor Polisher Designed For?

Floor polishers are designed for polishing your floors and giving your floors a nice, shiny aesthetic.

When you have finished using a floor polisher to polish your floors, you will notice that your floors look gorgeous and that they appear to be just as shiny as they were when the floors were first installed.

Floor Polishing Machine

With a floor polisher, you are more than capable of performing the tasks that a floor buffer is designed for. Due to the higher motor speeds, that entire process often takes place in a shorter period.

A floor buffer can be used to perform the same basic functions, it just doesn’t lead to the same aesthetic qualities that a floor polisher does.

What Is A Floor Buffer Designed For?

Floor buffers are designed for removing dirt, dust, and grime from hard floors of all sorts. With a good floor buffer, you can thoroughly and precisely clean all of your floors, ensuring that they are as clean as they can be, and free of the gunk that once pervaded them.

Floor Buffing Machine

Along with that, floor buffers are also great for removing some of the roughness that a hard floor might have, especially after years of usage. This could be things like areas of the floor that aren’t very smooth or small bumps.

What a floor buffer doesn’t do, is give your floors a shiny look. Instead of doing that, the floor buffer restores some of the smoothness of the floor and eliminates the dirt, dust, and grime that is on it.

Related Floor Polishing/Scrubbing Articles

Buying Guides
Best Floor Polishing/Buffing Machines
Best Floor Buffers for Hardwood/Stone/Marble Floors

Single Reviews
Oreck Commercial ORB550MC Commercial Orbiter Floor Machine

Comparison Articles
Boss Cleaning Equipment vs Bissell Hercules
Oreck Orbiter vs Ewbank EP170

Info Articles
What’s the Difference Between a Floor Polisher and a Floor Buffer?
Difference Between Polishing, Scrubbing, Buffing, and Burnishing a Floor


In the end, if you wish to give your floors a nice, shiny look, then a floor polisher is the best device for you to use. However, if you are only looking to thoroughly clean your floors and eliminate some of the roughness, then a floor buffer is the right device.

Floor Buffer | Recommended

Our Pick No. 1
Oreck Commercial Orbiter Hard Floor Cleaner...
Oreck Commercial Orbiter Hard Floor Cleaner...
WHAT'S INCLUDED: Oreck Commercial 12 in. Driver Pad Holder (53178-51-0327)

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Last update on 2022-10-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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