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Cutting compounds

Think I'm ready for something different, just bought maybe my last gallon of 3m Perfect it EX compound.
It works, but messy and $$.Not to mention cleaning it up after it dries. Like trying to scrape off concrete.
Tried wizards and presta and end up back with the 3m. Using it with a wool for cutting and their black pad and EX machine polish to finish. Mainly on higher end collision work.
What's the consensus on the Chemguys v32, Sonax cut max, Menzerna, others over the 3m.
As far as speed of cut , material usage , and finishing. I'm guessing all are in a similar $$$ range.
Last gallon of 3mEX was $105.21 on sale thru one of my jobbers.
I be traying the menzerna 300 with QG hex-logic pads,,for 2 reasons less dust and no filllers like 3M,,i finish most of my stuff 3000 but also sometimes i do a quick denib and 1500,2000 and i also want to to see how it cuts after that i will try sonax cut max
been through all that with the ex compound. generally the price of the 3m isnt bad because your buying it in gallons. sonax and menzerna is quarts and your gonna pay more for it but worth every penny over the 3m. you have probably seen my posts on the subject. i hate buffing so whatever makes the job easier, i am all for it. dont care if it costs more. menzerna 300 and sonax cut max are my top choices. used them both and both are really good. i found the sonax to cut ever so slightly faster and even though its more watery than the menzerna i found it to be a little cleaner and definitely low or no dust. with that said im really picking the two apart here. you would be fine with either one. menzerna is $10 more per qt though and since i like the sonax just a hair better it doesnt make any sense to go with it imo. i have not tried chem guys. i know shine really likes the stuff and gives it good reviews. someone else on here said they didnt think it cut very fast but that doesnt mean anything without a side by side comparison.
I have yet to find anything that cuts well with a foam pad. My go to compound right now is Megs 105 with a twisted wool pad for cleaning up the scratches.
Recently tried the Wizard Products and the Chemical Guys V32 doing side by side comparisons with the Megs 105. While I really like the way the V32 works (reminds me of Menzerna) in that you can seemingly go forever without it drying up, I still ended up with the Megs 105 in my hand.
The Wizard Products worked but were thinner and like to splatter around, they also seem to dry up fairly quickly.
I have been using Lake Country CCS foam pads for the finer polishing with Menzerna SF-3800. (Used to be PO85 RD)
Maybe another line of pads would work for the initial cut but so far I end up back with the wool pad.


Top Banana
Sonax will be my next purchase.

I used M105 and learned as said here, scratch fillers make 105 seem good till a month later.
And if u get used to fillers, other compounds seem to blow.
M205 does not come off if little splatters dry. I rebuffed them and aint coming off. I had to sand some off.
i was told a long time ago from the 3m rep that the 105 is the perfect-it compound with extra shine enhancers/scratch fillers. just packaged in a different bottle. the meguires line is geared for the car detailers, not the bodyshop. if you take a bottle of each and put a drop on your finger they are basically identical. i used 105 for a while and thought it was great. i thought wow this stuff works fast. of course i ended up with even more scratches coming back than the perfect-it compound. what works for me though isnt always the same as everyone else so if your results are different then im not knockin anyones process. there is alot of good stuff out there and alot of crap. gotta use what works for you.


Trying to be the best me, I can be
My main problem with the 3m Perfect line is similar to what Jim says, the perfect it ex is that it looks good until you wash it. But I really hate the machine polish, because the spatter does not come off when it dries. It will come off but you have to spend a lot of time getting it off. Stuff is like cement when it dries.
I just take stuff out to 5000 trizact now, Use the 3M blue foam pad (double sided) and whatever stuff I have around that isn't 3M.:) I've used Presta Ultra Cutting with the Blue pad and it works as good or better than the 3M and I can wipe the spatter. Believe it or not the Transtar Tri-cut works well with the blue pad as well. Al of this is after 5000 trizact. If it is a dark color I'll go back with the 3M Ultrafina and a single sided Ultrafina blue foam pad to remove the swirls. That stuff works well and cleans up well.
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New Member
I am a big fan of both Menzerna and Sonax compounds and polishes. I also like Jescar heavy cut compound made by Menzerna.
I always cut with a Meguiars or SM Arnold microfiber cutting pad with Rupes 15 mark II and Rupes Mini 3” for the tight Areas , A B C pillars Ect.
The compound I use depends on the hardness of clear. On softer clear I’ll use Menzerna FG400. On Harder clear I’ll use Menzerna 300 or Sonax heavy cut or Jescar.
I like the Menzerna 400 too, and I finish with 3800 - on foam pads. Expensive stuff, but the small amount of cut/buff I do It's OK.
3M bought Meguiar's in 2008.
Just got a qt bottle of the Sonax , what are guys that are using use for cutting pads? Right now I have the 3m foam cutting white and the wool on the quick connects.
Had the same deal as R/T , always end up back starting with wool. Although I'm not finishing out to 5000 either. I've been doing about 85% collision here on newer stuff, and find
that unless its a dark color on a high end vehicle(Mercedes, Bmw ect..) that 2000-2500 works for the average everyday car.
the white foam kinda sux and is really slow. yellow foam from most brands is usually the heavy cut foam and will work somewhat at the speed of wool. for the hexlogic pads alot of us use, we will be compounding with yellow or the orange which is the next step finer. the 3m black pad is fine for the polish step. yellow foam, sonax should work out 2000-2500 super fast. if not then the clear your using buffs like concrete or you havent gotten all the scratches out from the previous sanding step.
Using all Spi mostly Universal , and some Production for clear. May have to get into some Euro again, have'nt used it in awhile.
Will check into the hexlogic pads.
Are guys using the pad conditioner with the foam pads for cutting or final polish? Or is that for use with chemical guys compounds?
Looking at hexlogic and the Lake country for pads , any big difference?
Will probably experiment with the Sonax and a wool , until I decide on which of the foams.
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i have used both lc and hl pads. both are similar but i do like the hl better. i have not used the conditioner but alot of guys here have and say its good. coarse foam has more of a tendency to burn the paint when they are fresh and new. i will kind of break mine in by spinning it on the buffer and hitting the face and edges with a piece of 36 grit paper. it make it more like a broken in pad and i have no issues or need for any conditioner after that. you can really do everything you need to do with a yellow and black hl pad and the sonax. large flat areas like roofs and hoods i still like to use wool though.
i like the tapered cut on the CG quantum hex logic pads, some times it helps keep the edge from bumping into things you did not intend to.
I do still use the pad conditioner with the polishing steps but not as much as the compounding.
i use the cg compounds and such because they are very clean. hexlogic has been my choice for years . the conditioner helps keep things clean. i detest any compound that drys out and leaves a white mess. i have found that windex works well as a pad cleaner . i am a stickler on cleaning the pad every third round .
haha wow. funny i am just the opposite with foam atleast. wool i wash but foam i dont feel they really start working until the pad gets compound all worked into it. in the old days of using compounds like presta cutting creme i would wash every job or more since those would like to actually clog the pad and glaze over. now though with the newer compounds i might wash the pad 4-6 times through its life.