Recent Topics
AAP 25% Off
by Egg_Head
06/22/18 06:03 AM
GM Ecotec 2.4 - Cracked Exhaust Manifold
by The Critic
06/22/18 05:05 AM
Half Price - Shell Helix HX7, Castrol Edge and GTX
by SR5
06/22/18 03:59 AM
Why hang your bicycle from the ceiling?
by mjoekingz28
06/22/18 03:47 AM
Oil For High Sustained RPM on BMW S52
by ZEK
06/21/18 10:41 PM
Chevy brought the blazer back
by WiskyBadger
06/21/18 10:07 PM
LC20 and uses in modern motor oil
by synman
06/21/18 10:01 PM
Full Synthetic CJ-4 or > 5W-30 or 10W-30
by LeTempt
06/21/18 09:57 PM
2018 RAM 1500 EcoDiesel
06/21/18 08:37 PM
Fram SureGrip coating
by mobilaltima
06/21/18 08:24 PM
Manual transmissioned electric car
by mjoekingz28
06/21/18 06:45 PM
1991 Toyota Previa New JDM engine Redline
by Kurtatron
06/21/18 06:26 PM
8 yr old channeling John Bonham
by Toy4x4
06/21/18 06:02 PM
Traveller nlgi 2
by Spitter
06/21/18 05:33 PM
Upgrading the Kohler 7000 series air cleaner
by Patrick0525
06/21/18 05:08 PM
Any nano reefers here?
by RichardS
06/21/18 05:04 PM
ARC remanufactured Power Steering Pump
by Pajero
06/21/18 04:58 PM
John Deere "Easy Change" System gimmick
by SnowmanCO
06/21/18 04:55 PM
Oz Planstic Bag Bans - not so green.
by Shannow
06/21/18 04:31 PM
help me choose...
by chaindrive
06/21/18 04:07 PM
Newest Members
Fatbrowndog0822, DRNJR, ZEK, Dudewayne, kmdz
65294 Registered Users
Who's Online
51 registered (BrewCityR, bullwinkle, ccs368, bmod305, Astro14, Astro_Guy, 6 invisible), 978 Guests and 22 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
65294 Members
67 Forums
285754 Topics
4768952 Posts

Max Online: 3590 @ 01/24/17 08:07 PM
Donate to BITOG
Topic Options
#4436876 - 06/20/17 03:59 PM Paint Thickness gauge, worth buying?
Rolla07 Offline

Registered: 11/05/11
Posts: 4737
Hi all, I am considering the purchase of a paint thickness gauge. I would like to buy one for my weekend detailing and the future possibility of doing weekend detailing as a side gig. I want to try one on my own car prior to using a rotary, which I would also be looking into purchasing. For those who have experience in detailing, is this something that would be beneficial? I would like to ensure the paint thickness is of reasonable thickness prior to using a rotary for defect removal. Any recommendations for both a paint thickness gauge or rotary would be appreciated. I have been looking at the Eray
Sunray Digital Paint Coating Thickness Gauge Meter on Amazon and the DeWalt DWP849X. Thanks!

Edited by Rolla07 (06/20/17 03:59 PM)
2007 Corolla Red Pearl 155k miles
PP 0w20 & ST 4967

#4436879 - 06/20/17 04:01 PM Re: Paint Thickness gauge, worth buying? [Re: Rolla07]
Reddy45 Offline

Registered: 08/15/08
Posts: 2968
Loc: USA
Worth having if you will be detailing cars with very old or non-factory paint. But if the bulk of your clients are buying Hondas, Chevys, Toyotas from the last 10 years then most will have more than enough paint thickness for it to not be an issue.

Carry good liability insurance!

#4436912 - 06/20/17 04:50 PM Re: Paint Thickness gauge, worth buying? [Re: Rolla07]
L_Sludger Offline

Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 3947
Loc: Ohio
I've known of car flippers who use the gauge to see if a car has been repainted in its past.
too many cars and oil combinations to list in 150 characters or less

#4436945 - 06/20/17 05:14 PM Re: Paint Thickness gauge, worth buying? [Re: Rolla07]
69GTX Offline

Registered: 09/23/15
Posts: 3815
Loc: Connecticut
I've used the very simple Year One Spot Rot "gauge" which at the time cost me $6-$8. It's helped me identify original paint vs. repaints/excess bondo on 1960's and 1970's cars. Even used it on an inspection of a 2000 Camaro SS at my local dealership...and found that the right quarter panel had been repainted. You could easily make your own for a few bucks, or just buy a thin, flat refrig magnet. My Year One Spot Rot gauge has probably saved me hundreds of dollars over the years....and $thousands for other people when I checked out their cars for them. It gives out readings from 0 to 10 based on how well and long the paint allows the magnet to adhere. 8-10 is usually indicative of orig paint. 4-7 typical of repaints or thick new paints. And anything lower is multiple issues though usually too much bondo used. I've always gotten readings of 8 or higher on original/un-messed with factory paints.

2001 Lincoln Cont 4.6L DOHC/ 39K mi / QS HM 5w30 / FUG XG2
1999 Camaro SS M6 /19K /Mobil 1 0w40 /Fram UG /GM MTL-ATF
1969 Ply GTX/RRs

#4436961 - 06/20/17 05:39 PM Re: Paint Thickness gauge, worth buying? [Re: Rolla07]
Ducked Offline

Registered: 10/25/12
Posts: 4368
Loc: Taiwan
I'd never heard of this before, (and I suppose I don't much care if I never do again) but I did a quick Google out of curiosity.

Amazon have an electric (electronic?) version for "only" 80US

#4436966 - 06/20/17 05:43 PM Re: Paint Thickness gauge, worth buying? [Re: Rolla07]
Trav Offline

Registered: 11/20/06
Posts: 18885
Loc: MA,
They work well but there is an issue with these gauges. If the car or panel has be repainted it will give you a false reading. You have the OE e coat, primer, base and clear but if the panel has been repaired and the OE paint scuffed it will have additional sealer, primer, base/clear on top of that and you have no way to tell how thick that is.

Personally I hate buffing cars other than initial color sanding and orange peel removal, I have seen paint detailed to death where the primer or base coat was showing. When painting I usually put an extra thin coat of clear on just to sand and buff away but after that your into the real base coat and it only gets thinner.
If the scratch cant be removed with just a light finishing polishing compound I just leave it and consider it a battle scar rather than hitting it with a full on rubbing compound.
ASE L1, Master. Deutsch Meisterbrief.

#4437125 - 06/20/17 09:24 PM Re: Paint Thickness gauge, worth buying? [Re: Rolla07]
Ethan1 Offline

Registered: 12/29/14
Posts: 1632
Loc: 'murica
A very nice Pro Gauge II is $60 but it doesn't tell you squat in regards to the thickness of the clearcoat, which is the only thing that matters. Like Trav said, some cars have been detailed to death. They will burn through as soon as you touch them.

#4437506 - 06/21/17 11:11 AM Re: Paint Thickness gauge, worth buying? [Re: Rolla07]
RTexasF Offline

Registered: 10/01/02
Posts: 2878
Loc: North TX
Starting off with a rotary polisher can be risky if you don't have experience. If you're going that route then a paint gauge is a must. This is a good one for the money: