This is a discussion on Buffing wheels within the The Pipe Hobby How-To Discussion Forum forums, part of the Pipe Smokers Forums category; Must I use muslin wheels or will cotton wheels work for my bench grinder
Tough to answer without more description of the setup, what you plan on doing, etc.
Generally, rougher compounds on firmer wheels (red/green on muslin or flannel/muslin, white on a softer wheel, Carnauba on your softest).
If you go softer than recommended, things will just take a little longer. So I'd err on the side of cotton/flannel/whatever. Particularly if you are talking pipe restoration.