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10 '23

Is XPEL Better Than 3M? Best Paint Protection Film for Cars

When it comes to automobile paint protection installation, it is always a challenge to select the best quality film to protect your car’s paint. The modern market offers a variety of car paint protection solutions. The car’s exterior surfaces are covered with waxes, sealants, ceramic coatings, Teflon and PPF. Beyond doubt, specialized paint protection films remain the most efficient means for safeguarding the car’s expensive paintwork. They represent a virtually invisible urethane film that is applied over the car’s paint to prevent rock chips, minor scratches, UV rays and other environmental and mechanical damage.

3m vs xpel ppf in chicago

Paint protection film installation is rather expensive, and it is vital to select the best option before investing in a clear bra. To make it easier for you, we have compared the best paint protection films – XPEL vs. 3M. Offering quality protection, they still have some key differences. Keep reading to learn more and make the right decision.

About 3M paint protection film

3M is a very famous brand with a long history. It produces multiple lines of paint protective films. The most popular options are:

  • 3M Scotchgard Pro Series 200 Gloss
  • 3M Scotchgard Pro Series Gloss
  • 3M Scotchgard Pro Series Matte
  • 3M Scotchgard Pro Series 100 Gloss

All these products deliver superior protection to the vehicle’s paint – they have excellent scratch and stain resistance, self healing properties and a 7-10-year warranty. 3M protective films have a thickness of 7.5 – 8 mils, creating an invisible barrier that reliably fends off road debris and keeps the paintwork in excellent condition for years.

About XPEL Clear Bra

XPEL is a much younger brand than 3M, but it has already managed to earn a good reputation as a manufacturer of prime quality paint protection films and other products for the automotive industry. The company has an array of protective solutions for exterior and interior surfaces. The most popular XPEL paint protection films include:

  • Ultimate plus
  • Stealth
  • Interior protection
  • Tracwrap
  • Armor
  • Lux plus

All of these XPEL paint protection film variants have one common goal – to safeguard the paint surface from various outer damage and prolong car’s resale value. An invisible layer of polyurethane coating will protect the vehicle’s exterior paint from all

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Common features of 3M PPF and XPEL

There are more similarities than differences between these two paint protection films. What are the common features that make PPF from both brands a popular paint protection solution?

  1. Clear and invisible coating. It is not a coincidence that PPF is often referred to as a clear bra. PPF protection from both 3M and XPEL represents an optic clear layer of virtually invisible film that does not change the car’s appearance. On the contrary, it only enhances its look.
  2. Scratch resistance. Both manufacturers have designed their protective films to serve as a barrier against scratches, stone chips, and minor abrasions. The adverse effects of the surroundings will inevitably contribute to the vehicle’s wear and tear. PPF wrapping fends off these threats, keeping the outer car’s surface pristine and intact.
  3. Durability. The installation of car paint protection film frequently raises the question of how often you need to replace it. Both XPEL clear bra and 3M Scotchgard possess a lifespan of 7 years and more. Both companies provide warranties for their PPF products.
  4. Self healing properties. Many modern PPF options incorporate this innovative technology. It means that minor scratches and swirl marks can fully disappear when is processed with heat, for example, hot water. Both 3M and XPEL films come with a different degree of self healing capability.
  5. UV and stain resistance. Both 3M and XPEL PPF offers superior UV protection. This feature helps prevent the fading and deterioration of both the film and the car’s glossy paint. Besides, protective films are formulated to repel stains of different origin.
  6. Installation process. XPEL’s protection films, as well as 3M paint protection products, are installed in the same way. The vehicle’s surface is thoroughly cleaned and wetted with a soapy solution, and then PPF is applied. The procedure is best installed by professionals who have the required expertise and proper tools for the job.
  7. Both 3M and XPEL films are customizable. Manufacturers allow PPF to be precisely cut and fitted to various parts of the vehicle, ensuring a tailored fit that matches the contours and shapes of the surfaces. You can find XPEL software designed kits for different car makes and models.

In general, it is fair to say that both manufacturers offer high- quality paint protective films to safeguard custom paint job from all potential outdoor risks. However, there are some nuances you need to know before you are definite about your choice.

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Key differences between 3M and XPEL

While both brands produce PPF with lots of common features, there are also some differences between specific products. Here are some of them.

  • Warranty. Both 3M and XPEL typically provide warranties for their paint protection films. They cover such key factors as yellowing, cracking, peeling, and other potential defects based on specific terms and conditions. But 3M usually offers a term of up to 7 years, while XPEL protective films come with a 10-year warranty.
  • Self healing ability. XPEL’s film is less vulnerable to all sorts of damage. It repairs light scratches and dents, restoring its smooth surface. 3M paint protection films are more susceptible to various imperfections. Thus, XPEL’s self repairing abilities make it more durable and reliable.
  • Appearance. Which film has better visual appeal – XPEL or 3M? XPEL offers both matte and glossy finish, and remains crystal clear for years. At the same time, 3M protecting films can develop a yellowish shade after some time.
  • Cost. XPEL clear bra costs more than 3M paint protection film. It is partially due to XPEL’s advanced features and technology. But the professional installation cost largely depends on the area you want to cover and other details. You can contact a professional installing service to get an estimate.

It is obvious that XPEL protective films are a more winning decision even if it is costly. The investment will fully repay itself over the years and may serve you decently even beyond the term specified by the warranty.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is XPEL better than 3M?

With many features in common, XPEL paint protection film outperforms 3M products: XPEL offers stronger self healing film properties, it never discolors or fade, and the warranty is 10 years. Hence, with XPEL PPF, you will be on the safer side.

Is XPEL a 3M product?

XPEL is a standalone company that produces protective films for automotive and marine industries, home and commercial use. The company’s PPF products are considered to be the best among those available on the market today.

Does the PPF brand matter?

PPF products vary in many parameters, including quality, cost and durability. No matter what brand you choose, it is going to be a costly investment. Thus, it is better to opt for the options from the most reputable brands in the industry. And XPEL is an ultimate leader when it comes to paint protection films for cars.

What is the difference between 3M crystalline and prime XR Plus?

Both products have excellent protective characteristics. Still, there is an important discrepancy – it is a degree of sun glare reduction. Prime XR Plus comes with 95% protection, while 3M crystalline paint protection film provides only 77% of sun glare reduction.

How does XPEL Paint Protection Film heal itself?

XPEL film contains elastomers that can restore minor damages of the film. It can be compared to the human skin healing after a cut. PPF needs a heat source to activate self-healing. It can be the sun or a heat gun. However, these only minor damage can be self-repaired.

How does XPEL Paint Protection Film resist staining?

XPEL protective films are specially formulated to repel corrosive materials that can cause stains and fading of the paint. These include UV rays, bird droppings, insect acids, oils and even tar.

How reputable is XPEL?

XPEL is a young brand, founded in 1997. But it quickly made its way to the industry leader among manufacturers of automotive protective products. The company offers prime-quality paint protection films with the strongest characteristics.

The final verdict

Summing up the above, it is difficult to go wrong with either brand. 3M and XPEL protective film assortment offers superior protection for a vehicle’s paint. There are options available for different needs and preferences, be it a standard full-vehicle coverage or customized wrapping for certain models. Still, XPEL has more advanced products to offer, which makes this manufacturer an ultimate industry leader. But bear in mind that both companies are continuously evolving and introducing new technologies.

Besides, there are many other companies in the paint protection film industry that offer other paint protection films for automobile’s exterior paintwork. So, it is worth checking the official websites of PPF manufacturers for the latest information and products, as well as consulting with authorized dealers, like Tinting Chicago, to get the most up-to-date information on paint protection films. Our specialists individually approach every request, finding the most suitable and affordable solution for every vehicle. So do not waste time, contact us today to install XPEL ultimate, the best paint protection film!

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