Buffing and polishing are two common finishing processes used in the manufacturing industry. They both involve smoothing the surface of a workpiece to improve its aesthetics as well as its physical properties.
Buffing is defined as a finishing process that involves the use of a loose abrasive on a wheel. To polish a workpiece, a manufacturing company may use a wheel that's covered with an abrasive disc. The loose abrasive on the disc essentially removes superficial material and imperfections, thereby creating a smoother surface.
Polishing, on the other hand, is a finishing process that involves the use of an abrasive that's secured — typically with glue or other adhesives — to the wheel. As a result, polishing is considered a more aggressive finishing process when compared to buffing. It's able to remove more superficial material from the surface of a workpiece, allowing for a brighter and more polished finish.