Thanks for the sage advice. After reading up on this topic some more, I am inclined to go with the Porter Cable.
I am completely new to this; I wonder if you can recommend pads and polish that would work well for:
The Tundra windshield. For some reason, my windshield picks up some very persistent grime.
The Tundra body.
An RV with a painted aluminum corrugated siding.
Thanks so much in advance!
Any random orbital polisher is most valuable as a correction tool; i.e. bringing the shine of the painted surface to perfection.
Depending on condition, e.g. oxidation, correction may require use of rubbing compound with Lake Country CCS foam pads (see link in my earlier post), either yellow (heavy cutting) or orange (medium-light cutting). If the paint is not oxidized (e.g. relatively new vehicle), it may still be desirable to polish out swirl marks or fine scratches caused by improper washing technique using a Lake Country CCS white pad with a fine polish or polishing glaze.
Once the shine meets your goal, protection is the next step. In the case of a new truck, no correction at all may be required, and you can go directly to protection products. You can use a polisher with a Lake Country CCS red foam pad to apply wax or sealant, but the Zaino sealant products that I use for protection only recommend hand application.
The only product recommendations that will start more "pi$$ing contests" than motor oil would be...paint care products, i.e. polishes, waxes and sealants. Everybody has their favorites, and you will get more recommendations.
As I said, I use Zaino products, hand applied, for protection. If I have to correct severe oxidation, or polish out finish sanding (new paint with orange peel), I use 3M rubbing compound followed by 3M foam polishing pad glaze simply because I have found they work well.
I have also used old school Meguiars products for a long time (Mirror Glaze line), and those will be a safe choice for a beginner. If the paint is in good condition, I would probably use their M83 Dual Action Cleaner Polish or their M205 Ultra Finishing Polish (slightly less aggressive). If the paint is in GREAT shape, I would probably use their M3 Machine Glaze or M7 Show Car Glaze.
will be a good resource for recommendations. He is correct that the Griot random orbital polisher is a more powerful polisher than the PC7424XP. The Griot GG6 has an 850 watt @ 7 amp motor where the PC7424XP has a 500 watt @ 4.5 amp motor. The GG6 does cost about 20+% more. My PC is probably 15 years old, and if I were looking today, I would take a look at the Griot.
My PC has served me well, and will be adequate for most DIY polishing. I used mine to polish out the paint on the same vehicle twice...first as finished-sanded fresh paint with orange peel, and 14 years later as finish-sanded, severely oxidized paint. (Good protection is absolutely required with the new paint formulas; no Zaino on this one.) A professional would have used a rotary buffer for these jobs, but I don't trust myself with a rotary buffer. I really could have used the extra power of the GG6 both times to polish out 1500 grit scratches, but the PC7424 got the job done. Having mastered that challenge, it will manage whatever future chores I have for it until one of us passes on.