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Old 17-02-2011, 05:00 AM   #1
RaskyR1
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Review: Meguiar's DA Microfiber System

Review: Meguiar’s DA Microfiber Polishing System


Introduction:

As many of you may know, Meguiar’s has been developing this new microfiber polishing system for several years now, and during this time they have reached out to professional detailers across the world looking for helpful feedback in dialing this system in. While I was not one of the original development testers, I was one of many lucky detailers selected to test out the released product before it went to launch. I received my sample kit from Meguiar’s on December 1st 2010, and have had a little over two months to play around with it now.

Product Description:
The 2011 Meguiar’s Microfiber Polishing System consists of two polishing liquids, the D300 Compound which utilizes SMAT technology and the D301 Finishing Wax which uses polymers, silicones and carnauba for a high gloss protection. The system also consists of two types of microfiber polishing pads, one for cutting and one for finishing. Each liquid was developed to be used with its correlating pad.

Initial Product Observations:
1. Packaging: N/A
2. Directions: For the D300 Compound, Meguiar’s recommends using a speed of 4800opm. Priming of the pads is also recommended. After priming, only a small amount of product is needed to complete a 20” x 20” section (I use 3-4 pea sized dots). The D301 Finishing wax is recommended for use with speeds of 2800-3800opm.
3. Consistency (liquids): On the thicker side, similar to D151.
4. Color: D300 is pinkish, D301 is purple/blue, cutting pad has maroon foam, and the finishing pad has black foam.
5. Scent (liquids): D300 has a pleasant cinnamon scent and D301 has a pleasant blueberry scent.
6. Size: Pads are available in 3”, 5”, and 6”. Liquids will come in the new 16oz bottles, 32oz bottle and gallon size. (Note: the 16oz bottles are pretty cool!)
7. Price: N/A (See manufacturer’s site for product MSRP)

Testing results pictures and HD videos:


-Me doing a product introduction and brief review….and umm!

-50/50 test spot with D300 Compound and D301 Finishing wax on a heavily swirled car.

-Side by side testing with D300 Compound on the PCXP and Optimum Hyper Compound Spray on the rotary.

-Before and after walk around of a 2004 Subaru with a neglected finish. Paint was corrected using the D300 Compound on the PCXP and followed up with M205.

-Testing on a trashed Nissan
Before pic


Primed MF pad with D300


Amount of product applied


After one section pass of D300 Compound on the PCXP


-Another test section on the same car with 3” pads
Panel before


After the D300 Compound with a 3” cutting pad on the PC7424, which finished very well


After the D301 Finishing Wax


-One more, but a little more zoomed in this time
Before


After the D300 Compound with a 3” cutting pad on the PC7424


After the D301 Finishing Wax…you may be able to better see the improved clarity now


-Removing some 3000 grit sanding scratches from rock hard paint
Sanded panel


50/50 after one section pass with D300 Compound on the PCXP and a 5” cutting pad


After


Zoomed in…not bad for a compound huh?


-Headlight correction with D300 and the 3” cutting pads on a PC7424
Before




Primed 3” cutting pad


50/50 shots






All done


-Works great on emblems too!
Before


After


-Here’s a black Chevy truck that left some micro marring behind
Before


Right side after one pass with D300 on the Flex D/A and a 6” cutting pad


Sanded left side wet sanded with 1000/2000/3000 grit


After one section pass using D300 on the PCXP with a 6” cutting pad, finished a little better on the PCXP, but still left some micro marring


Pros:
-D300 Compound
1. Fast cutting
2. Rotary like results from a D/A
3. Very little, if any, dusting
4. Scent is pleasant and a great addition
5. Amount of product used is very low
6. Product wipe-off is very easy
7. Finishes down very well on most paints
8. Cost-effective
9. Can be used with virtually any D/A polisher

-D301 Finishing Wax
1. Works fast
2. No dusting
3. Extremely easy to use
4. Scent is pleasant and a great addition
5. Great follow-up to the compound that saves time
6. Finishes very well on most paints
7. Very wet and reflective gloss
8. Nice slick feel
9. Amount of product used is very low
10. Can be used with virtually any D/A polisher

-Micro Fiber pads
1. Nicely constructed pads which should be very durable (when used within recommended speeds)
2. Machine washable
3. Low cost
4. Available in 3”, 5”, and 6” pads

Cons:
-D300 Compound
1. Thicker consistency requires more effort to dispense product, which some users may not like. (This design feature was likely done to reduce sling, much like Meguiar’s D151)
2. May not work well on some paints. When testing this system I intentionally wanted to test it on what I’ve found to be “troublesome” paints when it comes to D/A polishing. My testing resulted in noticeable marring on these finishes, which is consistent with my past experiences using D/A polishers and other polishes/pads on those same paint types. (Your individual results may vary)

-D301 Finishing Wax
1. Thicker consistency requires more effort to dispense product, which some users may not like. (This design feature was likely done to reduce sling, much like Meguiar’s D151)
2. May not work well on some paints. When testing this system I intentionally wanted to test it on what I’ve found to be “troublesome” paints when it comes to D/A polishing. My testing resulted in noticeable marring on these finishes, which is consistent with my past experiences using D/A polishers and other polishes/pads on those same paint types. (Your individual results may vary)

-Micro Fiber pads
1. If the cutting pads are used above the recommended 4800opm speed setting, users may experience pad failure, where the backing material separates from the foam. It’s hard to really categorize this as a con for the very reason that you’d be using the product in a manner it was not designed for. Using these pads at the 4800opm setting is still very effective at removing defects, and it also keeps the vibration down on the tool. It’s strongly recommended that you try and stay at the recommended speed setting as much as possible.
2. Pads need to be kept clean for optimal results, and cleaning on the fly is best done using compressed air. While this is not a con for me, users who do not have an air compressor will have to use a brush or towel, which does not fluff up the fibers as well as compressed air.

Final Observations and Summary:

Overall, I’d say this system has exceeded my expectations. It’s also very apparent to me that Meguiar’s spent a lot of time developing the products. While I expected the polishes and pads to work well, as it’s what I’ve come to expect from Meguiars, it was actually the little things about this system that showed how much thought went into developing these products. For instance, the new bottles are a little larger than the traditional 12oz bottles. The larger 16oz bottles can be perfect for the mobile detailer as it can save them from having to bring along gallon sized containers for re-filling, and space is often a factor for mobile detailers. The self-cleaning, non-removable tips on the new bottles are a welcome change, as I’m sure we all hate those little red tips that always seem to get lost. The 16oz bottles are also individually labeled, which is great in itself as it helps differentiate them from each other. On that note, I’m sure most people don’t give much thought on product color and scent, but I think Meguiar’s went out of their way in developing these two liquids. How many of you have ever mistakenly grabbed the wrong bottle because they all tend to be similar in color and smell? I know I’ve mixed up M105 and M205 more than a few times now. Whether this was intended or not, Meguiar’s has not only labeled each bottle for us, but they have also added a distinct color and scent for each liquid. So even if you don’t see the label, the color or scent should definitely trigger your brain to say, “hey silly, you grabbed the wrong bottle again!”

The one thing people also need to keep in mind is that this system was developed mainly for high-volume or production shops. That’s not to say it won’t work extremely well outside their intended market, but for detailers who tend to do more high-end detailing, you may find yourself only using parts of this system. The D300 compound and microfiber pads are probably my favorite part, as the ease of use, fast cut, low dust qualities make them a joy to use over traditional compounds. The D301 Finishing Wax does a great job of finishing out and adding protection all in one step, which is great for those clients who are only looking for a quick one or two step correction. However, if you are like me and do mostly major corrections, you may find yourself wanting a little more perfection out of the final step, as well as a dedicated product for paint protection. The D300 compound finishes down very well on most paints and you can easily follow it up with M205 or similar finishing polish and still keep most correction jobs to only two polishing steps.

So just how well does the D300 actually correct? I’d say it’s pretty close to M105, but the M105 definitely has the edge in terms of overall cut. That being said I still had no trouble removing moderate to heavy defects from all the paints I tried it on, as well as removing 2000 and 3000 grit sanding marks from several paints. The D300’s ease of use and low dust will definitely make it my new “go to” product for most correction jobs, but when serious correction is needed M105 will still be my heavy hitter.

Unfortunately I did not get to test the durability of the D301 Finishing wax. Most my test subjects were from a friend's used car lot, and after I got done making a bunch of shiny spots on his cars he sent them to be cleaned-up.

Note: Meguiar's strongly recommends that you use their backing plates with this system. The hook and loop backing is different and it allows easier pad removal, and it also helps keep the pads cooler. For the 6" pads you will want to get the S6BP backing plate. For the 5" pads you will want to get the W67DA backing plate. For the 3" pads you'll need to get the S3BP backing plate. I was using non-Meguiar's backing plates at first and there is definitely a difference.

So that’s pretty much it…I'd definitely recommend picking up one of the starter kits and giving the new system a try, I doubt you will be disappointed.
I’d also like to thank Corey (CEE DOG) for allowing me to use his nice little "product review" layout, and I’d especially like to thank Meguiar’s and Jason Rose for allowing me to take part in this prerelease testing!

I hope you all found my review to be helpful,
Rasky
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Old 17-02-2011, 05:27 AM   #2
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Thanks for your honest review! I've been waiting to hear about these new products for a few months now, they certainly look promising for the DA!

Have you tried the pads with different polish?
How do the pads differ to the surburf ones?
Not too sure if I like that finishing wax, seems like they are 'cheating' to get a glossy finish. Have you tried an IPA wipe down after using it?

Last edited by -Raven-; 17-02-2011 at 05:33 AM.
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Old 17-02-2011, 05:56 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by type[r]+ View Post
Thanks for your honest review! I've been waiting to hear about these new products for a few months now, they certainly look promising for the DA!

Have you tried the pads with different polish?
How do the pads differ to the surburf ones?
Not too sure if I like that finishing wax, seems like they are 'cheating' to get a glossy finish. Have you tried an IPA wipe down after using it?
The only other polish I've tried using the pads with is M105 and it was only on one paint, but I know a lot of the other testers have tried it with several polishes. A lot of other reviews are starting to pop up on the US forums too.

The M105 cuts very well with these pads but it dusts more and likely won't finish down as well as the D300 compound

M105 on a Surbuf pad will cut better on most paints than the D300 and MF pad. However, with the MF system finishes better, you'll have little to no dust, wipe off is very easy, you only need 1-2 pads to do a whole car, and the pads last a lot longer.

The D301 finishing wax is more for high volume or production work. It does do a good job at following up after the compound and it's great for those clients only wanting a quick 1 or 2 step job. I wouldn't say it's cheating, but it can fill...which any wax will do to some point.

Of the test panels where I did an IPA wipe down the gloss was diminished slightly, but I saw no apparent filling where any micro marring came back.

Personally, if your not striving for full correction I see nothing wrong with a little filling as long as it's not holograms or micro marring you're trying to hide. Concealing defects that were to deep to be removed with your set process is a plus IMO.

Cheers,
Rasky
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Old 17-02-2011, 06:10 AM   #4
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Cheers Rasky! Great info mate. I'll certainly be trying it out, thanks for your honesty once again.
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Old 17-02-2011, 04:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by type[r]+ View Post
Cheers Rasky! Great info mate. I'll certainly be trying it out, thanks for your honesty once again.
No prob! I'm glad the review was helpful!
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Old 17-02-2011, 05:22 PM   #6
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Best review of this product thus far-Thanks for shareing this info
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Old 18-02-2011, 04:54 AM   #7
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I was also going to post my experiences with the system but Rasky you did a great one so its not necessary for mine.

The system has a place in my tools, its a great option for the client not seeking total perfection a good quality 2 step process. I'm a fan of the pads for sure!

Cheers,
GREG
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Old 18-02-2011, 05:02 AM   #8
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Thanks Guys!


Greg you had some more experience with M105 on these pads so I think your review would still be very helpful for those who have questions.
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Old 18-02-2011, 05:40 AM   #9
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I also had some time using M101 which you can get in europe I'm told. While m101 dusts its fast at leveling with a pretty good finish.

Surbuf and 105 will level paint faster IME (than the m300), but its left more haze behind too.

The MF pads and surbuf are based on the principle of keeping the abrasive on the top of the pad, rolling around like beads, thus making better contact with the paint. Having the MF fibers and surbuf "fingers" creates more surface area too. Both pads are great at min to no product absorption, thus you need less and use less product.

The MF compounding pad and finishing pad are slightly different in the type of MF fibers, I don't really know how to explain the difference. You can switch the compounding pad and m300 for the finishing and m300 to get a different cut/finish.

I've tired to destroy the pads either by soaking them in harsh soap cleaners, citrus washes, or applying lots of heat, they held up much better than foam IME. In fact I have yet to get one to de-lam from the velcro backing.

Hammered paint:






Now we're turning towards the gloss.






While not absolutely perfect in the photos, nor in my eyes........not too bad for a two step process.

Cheers,
GREG

ps. See Rasky......you got me rambling and highjacking your thread! Good thing you're a nice guy.
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Old 18-02-2011, 06:21 AM   #10
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I will try out the compound and the compounding pad, thats for sure. Thanks for the review.

Greg: can you tell us something more about the 101 foam pad cutting compound? Did you use it with DA or rotary?
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