The Best Cutting Compound 2022

A cutting compound is an abrasive formula designed to remove swirl marks, light scratches, oxidation and other paint defects. It’s designed to cut and remove a very fine layer of the clear coat to reveal a “like new” finish to the paintwork.

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The Best Cutting Compound
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Cutting compounds are the best detailing product to use when correcting a cars neglected paintwork. They are available in a variety of abrasive levels but it’s advised to use the least abrasive compound to begin with.

The best cutting compound for cars is the Farecla G3, which is an advanced liquid formula that is able to remove paint defects and 1,500 grit markings.

Table of Contents

Cutting Compound Comparison

Cutting CompoundCapacityAbrasive Level
Farecla G3Medium-High500 ML
3M Perfect-it Ultra FineMedium1,000 ML
Meguiar’s Ultimate CompoundMedium450 ML
Mothers Rubbing CompoundLow-Medium355 ML
Sonax Cut & FinishMedium-High250 ML
Turtle Wax T-230ALow-Medium300 ML

Even if you use the best rated car polish available, it won’t have the cutting qualities of a compound. Most car polishes are simply “cleaners” and aren’t as abrasive, which means they are only suitable for very minor paintwork defects.

Below is a list of the best cutting compounds for effectively removing paintwork scruffs, scratches and swirl marks.

The Best Cutting Compound

1. Farecla G3 Advanced Liquid Compound

Farecla G3 Advanced Liquid Compound
Farecla G3 is an advanced formula and is a favourite among many professional detailers. It’s a safe to use liquid formula that can be used to remove abrasive marks quickly and without the use of silicone polymers.

In terms of its cutting capabilities, the brand state that it will remove 1,500 grit or finer markings on the paintwork.

Other features of the Farecla G3 include:

  • Remove 1,500 or finer grit marks
  • Hand or machine application
  • Suitable for all paints
  • Can be used to restore headlights
  • 500 ml bottle

The Farecla G3 is a trusted formula that has been used by professional for many years. It cuts fast and provides enhanced gloss levels, which results is a far more superior finish.
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2. 3M Perfect-it III Extra Fine Cutting Compound

3M are a highly reputable brand worldwide and they offer a variety of cutting compounds. The Perfect-it formula is available in several abrasive levels but the Ultra Fine formula is designed specifically for light paintwork scratches.

In terms of the application, its advised that you use a machine with a yellow compounding pad for the best results.

Other features of the 3M Perfect-it Ultra Fine include:

  • Produces a high gloss finish
  • Removes swirl marks and light scratches
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Application by polishing machine
  • Large 1,000 ml bottle

The 3M Perfect-it series are available in several abrasive levels to suit your paint correction requirements. The Ultra Fine formula is best used for light scratches and should be used prior to trying the more abrasive compounds they offer.
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3. Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound

Meguiar's G17216 Ultimate Compound
By far the most popular cutting compound for cars is the Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound. It’s designed to remove most minor paintwork defects such as oxidation, scratches, swirls, water marks and much more.

Meguiar’s state that you can safely apply this cutting compound by machine or hand application. However, for the best results, it’s advised to use either a rotary or dual action polisher.

Other features of the Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound include:

  • Cuts through defects fast
  • Removes most minor defects
  • Clear coat safe
  • Provides a “Like New” finish
  • Hand or machine application
  • 450 ml bottle

The Ultimate Compound by Meguiar’s is regarding as one of their best detailing products. It’s easy to use yet produces outstanding results each and every time. It’s not the strongest of cutting compounds but it’s completely clear coat safe and suitable for most minor paintwork defects.
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4. Mother’s Professional Rubbing Compound

MOTHERS MO-08612 Professional Rubbing Compound
Mothers are a global brand that are known for their high quality yet affordable detailing products. This rubbing compound they produce is a great example that is designed to be used with a polishing machine for the best results.

Other features of the Mothers Rubbing Compound include:

  • Cuts through water spots, oxidation and scratches
  • Suitable for all paintwork types
  • Easy to apply and buff off
  • Enhances depth and gloss
  • Restores cloudy headlights
  • 355 ml bottle

Overall, the Mothers Rubbing Compound is an excellent all-round option that combines performance with value for the money. Whether you are a professional or beginner, you will be able to achieve great results either way.
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5. Sonax Cutmax Abrasive Cut & Finish

Sonax are another brand favoured by professional detailers and body shops. Their Cut & Finish formula is a highly abrasive compound that is designed for tackling overspray, sanding masks and other tough defects.

In terms of the cutting performance, the brand state that it will remove marks up to 1,500 grit or finer.

Other features of the Sonax Cut & Finish include:

  • Highly abrasive formulation
  • Silicone free for low dust buffing
  • Ideal for tackling paint overspray and sanding marks
  • Made in Germany
  • 250 ml bottle

The Sonax Cut & Finish is a highly effective formula that is ideal for professionals that need to tackle paint overspray. The only real drawback is that it’s fairly expensive considering that each bottle is only 250 ml in capacity.
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6. Turtle Wax T-230A Cutting Compound

Turtle Wax 50191 Rubbing Compound
One of the cheapest cutting compounds that’s actually worth buying is the Turtle Wax T-230A paste. It’s a premium grade compound that the brand states will remove stubborn stains, heavy oxidation and light defects.

Other features of the Turtle Wax T-230A include:

  • Paste formula
  • Restores oxidized paintwork
  • Leaves a clean, smooth finish
  • Suitable for spot application
  • 10.5 oz container

The Turtle Wax T-230A is an affordable cutting compound that is easy to apply and provides great results. Unlike any of the alternatives, the brand recommend that you apply by hand using a damp applicator. This is an added bonus for those that don’t own a car polisher machine and want something quick and simple to use.
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If you are finally looking to correct your defective paintwork, a cutting compound for cars is what you will require. Prior to using a compound, it’s advised that you use a clay bar, which removes any containment from the paint.

Unless you are a professional, we recommend opting for a low abrasive formula to begin with. This will reduce the chances of permanent damage to the paint but still provide great results. All of our recommendations within this article are designed for all experience levels.

The Author Who Worked On This Article

author dan darimo

Dan Morgan

As a keen DIY’er, gardener and somebody that loves the latest tech, Dan is someone that brings years of experience in multiple trades. Since buying his first house, he has been obsessed with renovating properties and filling it with the latest products. This has led him down the road of testing hundreds of products and creating in-depth “how-to” and informative guides that offer his first-hand experience. Other interests include working on cars, keeping fit through sports or his home gym, caravanning and drinking great coffee.

If you would like to read more about Darimo and the authors, you can visit our about page. This goes into great detail regarding how we test products, create our guides and everything else.

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