Over the years, one Meguiar’s item that has been a constant in my detailing has been their Soft Buff Pads: W-7000/7006, W-8000/8006, and W-9000/9006. When I first started detailing with a rotary some 20 years ago, I used Meguiar’s pads that had a built in backing plate that attached to the rotary. Then when I began using the Velcro versions, I thought to myself: “It does not get any better than this…one plate and multiple pads!”
When Meguiar’s told me about some new pads they were bringing out, I was really curious about just how different could they be over the current ones. As you will see, they are very different and in a very good way!
The New Soft Buff 2.0 Pads come in 3 different aggressive levels that correspond similarly with their counterparts: W-7207 Cutting, W-8207 Polishing and W-9207 Finishing. They feature a new 7” size that works perfectly with both Dual Action Polishers like the G110 and rotaries. They contain a recessed back just like the Solo pads so using the Solo backing plate tucks right into the recess perfectly. And two of the best new features in my opinion are the attaching method which uses a laminate to prevent wicking through of product to the Velcro which is a feature I consider very important; and, the fact that they are now machine washable! Awesome!
Here is a picture of the new pads. The New Soft Buff 2.0 are down the centre with the current models on the left and the Solo models on the right.
Here is a picture of the backing plate/Velcro system. Meguiar's photo:
When I first received the New Soft Buff 2.0 pads for testing, I began by thoroughly looking the pads over. The new W-9207 Finishing Pad feels really soft and smooth, similar to the foam material used for the Solo Finishing Pad, which to me already makes this pad a winner as I love the Solo Finishing Pad! The new foam is indeed different than the W-9000/9006 Finishing Pads as the new foam feels both softer and perhaps a little denser. The slight increase in pad size is noticeable and as you will see very beneficial.
The second pad I reviewed was the New W-8207 Polishing Pad. This pad uses the same foam as the current W-8000/8006 Polishing Pads. The polishing pads are probably the pad that will get the most use by most people. I have spent many years using the W-8000/8006 foam and just love it. Again, the size difference and recessed backing plate attachment points are notably different between the W-8006 and the new W-8207 and are quite noticeable.
Finally, the pad that many including myself are very curious about: the New W-7207 Cutting Pad. Having the same size and attachment features as the above, the first thing that stood out to me was the density of the foam. Opening a new W-7006 pad from the package gives you a pretty stiff pad that does with use soften up considerable. But when looking at the new cutting pad you can visually see and feel the new foam’s cell structure and how it differs from that of the W-7006’s foam. It is perhaps the new foam technology and other features which allow the new W-7207 pad to be used with a Dual Action Polisher!
Here is a picture of the current W-7006 Cutting Pad (Left) versus the New W-7207 Pad (Right)
Another picture with the W-7006 pad on top of the new W-7207. Take note of the difference in the foam cell structure.
But all is theory until it is put into practice and actually tested in the real world! I had a vehicle lined-up to detail and was planning on using the new pads. But as luck or bad luck would have it, things changed. I just finished detailing my truck which is one many are by now quite familiar with and one which was rotary buffed out leaving the paint looking awesome. About 3 weeks later during one of the regular washings, I noticed a real drag on my wash mitt as it did not glide over the paint like it always does. The culprit was bad over-spray! At work, one of the maintenance guys was spray painting/sealing a building with a long wand. The paint cloud was enormous and as a result, my truck was coated with over-spray! Suddenly, my easy detail was changed to a full on, aggressive claying, rotary buff out on my truck that was just detailed! Oh well…
I used the new pads with both the rotary and the Meguiar’s G110 Dual Action Polisher and what I discovered was pleasantly surprising. After using the Solo light cut wool pad on the rotary for some deeper marring, it was off to use the new foam pads! First off was the W-7207 Cutting Pad, I used it with the rotary spinning at 1500 RPM to remove some light marring due to the aggressive claying. The combo was smooth with no chattering or bounce which can be caused by a fresh cutting pad. This combo did give me a very slight haze to my dark paint, but to me, the haze seemed slightly less that the W-7006/rotary combo I normally use would usually produce on dark paint. I followed this step with the W-7207 on the G110 set to speed 5. Previously, with the W-7006 Cutting, it was not recommended using the W-7006 pad with the G110 as that combo could haze the paint leaving a person relatively new to machine polishing in big trouble. But with the new W-9207 Cutting Pad/G110 combo, there was no to extremely minimal paint hazing and believe me, I looked from every angle and with multiple lights just to make sure. Now I am not saying that on softer paints that the G110/W-7207 combo will not haze paint as it just may but in my case it did not. I will update the thread as I use this combo on other paints and see at what point the combo if/when it leaves hazing in some paints.
Picture of the truck after compounding work was completed:
Next step was polishing. I am a perfectionist, and I like the paint I detail to end up being flawless. This desire requires multiple steps and refinement of steps/products along the way; so next up was the New W-8207 Polishing Pad. Again, I used it with both the rotary and the G110. The paint was already looking really good and probably did not need to be polished with the rotary, but I wanted to see how this new pad would perform. As expected, since it uses the same foam as the W-8000/8006 its performance was on par with that of its counterpart. What I did like was the way the recessed backing plate area fit perfectly to my Solo backing plate which lives on my rotaries! This recessed area automatically centers the pad which is very important when rotary polishing! On the G110, the pad also responded the same as expected. However there was one new benefit to these new pads that I discovered.
The larger pad size created one other benefit that I never realized until I actually used it with the G110 and the W67 DA backing plate: it allowed the pad to flex at its edges thereby allowing the pad to better conform to the curvatures of the body panels and body lines! At first I was not sure if I like that or not, but after buffing for a few hours, I realized that I like that ‘feature’ more and more all the time!
Here is a picture with the pad flexing in a curve on the truck's body panel:
Finally, the new W-9207 Finishing Pad. Because I wanted to try it with both the rotary and the G110, and having only one pad of each type, I could not cross contaminate the pad by using different products with it. So I chose to use Meguiar’s M21 2.0 Synthetic Sealant which can be used by both rotary and dual action polishers. The new foam of the W-9207 is a pure pleasure to use! It just floats across the surface easily and effortlessly. Sometimes when using a finishing pad, it can get grabby, especially with the rotary, but not so with this new pad’s foam material. With the rotary set to 1000 RPM, I did not get any holograms, but that does not mean that it will not create them. It just means that I may be using this combo more in the future! In my case, it created this beautiful liquid look to the paint! I followed for my second coat of M21 2.0 with the W-9207 with the G110 set to speed 3. Again, the pad’s new foam allowed me to spread a second of M21 2.0 very easily.
The completed truck!
In the end, I enjoyed using these new pads very much. After I do a few more vehicles with them, I will be able to comment on their durability and how well the new backing plate/laminate system holds up. So far I have not experienced any wicking through of product to the backing plate, which is a major plus in my eyes. Also some like me may really enjoy the slightly larger size of the new pads and the extra flex they provide when used on the G110, but others may prefer the stiffer sides of the current model of pads. In the end, it comes down to personal preference, and for me, these new pads are going to get used…a lot.
I hope this review helps!