TheDrive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more. Car care can be a rewarding but frustrating experience. There are countless brands, colors, materials, and sizes of buffing pads—which do you choose? In this guide, we’ll give you the information and tools you need to make an informed decision when it comes to purchasing buffing and finishing pads. Most buffing pads use a hook-and-loop design, which simply refers to how the pad attaches to the backing plate of your buffer. You’ve probably seen the hook-and-loop style before if you’ve ever worked with Velcro—it’s the same concept. Hook-and-loop polishing pads are the most common you’ll see. Cutting pads are rougher and are intended to contact the surface of the paint and create friction/heat when used with cutting compounds. They may also be referred to as compounding pads, though polishing pads fall into this category as well. Typically made of coarser materials, cutting pads must be used in conjunction with polishing pads (and polish) to achieve a swirl-free, sparkling, like-new effect when doing some heavy cutting. Most cutting compounds come in all shapes and sizes, ...