Every dent is a different shape and size. As a result, there are many different PDR Tools that are made with certain scenarios in mind.
Having the right tools for the job and using them correctly can make your work quicker and easier. It will also increase the chances of a successful repair.
I’ve listed below the best PDR tools that money can buy. These tools are an essential part of getting the results you want. Some of them, you may not even have thought of.
- Elimadent LED Inspection Light
- PDR Slide Hammer
- PDR WhaleTails
- PDR Door Rods
- Window Wedge & Protector
- PDR Tap Down Kit
- Heat Gun
The price of paintless dent repair and/or tools can be costly.
If you’re someone that’s just getting started or want to do small repairs at home, you should buy a DIY Dent Repair Kit.
Buying a DIY kit will allow you to remove unsightly dents for a fraction of the price. It will also allow you to get an idea of whether you want to pursue a career in PDR.
If you’re serious about PDR and don’t mind investing money upfront you should consider the tools in this article.
Paintless Dent Removal Tools for serious technicians
The best PDR techs are able to remove dents using various different methods and tools they have gathered over time.
If you were to ask a professional how long they’ve had their tools for, you’ll most likely find out they’re using a lot of the same tools today as they were on day 1.
Keep in mind that experience trumps everything when it comes to bodywork. If you don’t know how to use the tool to remove dents, they’re effectively useless.
99% of pros will opt for reliable tools they have a history of using over the “latest and greatest” designs though they will be open to ideas and willing to trial new products.
Before offering a PDR service make sure you’re confident in your ability to remove dents, customers are trusting you with one of their most prized possessions.
Below you’ll find a list of the best PDR Tools that every professional should have. Once you learn to master them, you’ll be unstoppable.
Elimadent Led inspection light
If you’re doing any kind of detailing or autobody work an LED inspection light is necessary.
It’s important that you’re able to find a shaded area away from daylight and take an LED light to inspect the area you’re working on. Doing this will allow you to see the panel for what it truly is, seeing dents, high spots, and scratches that you may not have noticed outside.
The Elimadent “Mini PDR Lights” are by far the most versatile and allow you to work on the car with both hands because it has a suction cup you can place on a panel or window.
This light board more than just an inspection light though. The Elimadent Mini PDR lights double up as a line board, that helps you to detect and understand every dent on a vehicle.
Click here to watch the Elimadent PDR light in use.
If you don’t want to spend too much money on a light you can opt for a cheap LED Pen to inspect the panel.
The major difference between these lights and an LED Pen is the fact that it doubles up as a line board and allows you to light up the panel completely handsfree.
If you’re in the market for something a little more than an LED pen, but cannot afford the Elimadent light. I’ve got a solution.
As a middle ground, you could buy an LED bulb and stand. Couple this up with a line board and you have a budget elimadent light.
Admittedly, it’s very inconvenient. You will have to plug the light into an electric source and it won’t have the same kind of movement or flexibility.
Ultra Light Slide Hammer
Many beginners will buy slide hammers and/or mini lifters and expect their untrained asses to pull a dent out of a panel and back to factory standard with little to no effort.
Think of it as one of many tools you may need to use in order to achieve a professional finish.
Don’t expect to be finished after one pull, you will probably have to make multiple pulls. You may even need to tap down high spots with a nylon crayon.
The reason I choose a slide hammer over a mini lifter because they’re less likely to create more dents in a panel.
If you cannot get a flat surface to place the mini lifter onto (a body line for example), you’re going to have a hard time pulling the dent without creating any further issues.
A mini lifter relies on creating power from the panel whereas a slide hammer generates its pulling power from the user.
Personally, I like to use the Manelord Slide Hammer and T-bar dent puller.
The set comes with a nice variety of tabs that allow you to pull dents of all shapes and sizes. It’s available to buy on Amazon but you will need your own glue gun.
Whale Tails have been used in paintless dent removal for a long time. They’re not the easiest of tools to master and require a twisting movement pattern rather than a push or a pull motion.
When tackling creases using this tool, you need to be precise and hit the crease right in the middle otherwise you could find yourself creating a bigger, more stubborn crease that doesn’t want to move.
PDR technicians have their own preferences when it comes to WhaleTails.
As you become more experienced and try out new tools, you’ll find that you have preferences towards certain manufacturers.
You are able to get WhaleTail sets for $300 that will offer you all different shapes and sizes. These are of great quality and are sold by dentcraft. Great for qualified tradesmen but maybe too expensive for those needing a DIY fix.
If you’re looking for a cheaper option, here’s a budget kit that will get you started. It will come with 3 different whale tail rods and another rod with adjustable nylon tips.
Spend time mastering your tools. Do this and you’ll most likely achieve the same results with the budget kit and be able to save yourself $1-200 in the process.
Hooks are a necessity for those pesky little dents in the door panel that are hard to reach.
Door hooks are often thin, hockey-stick shaped rods that will fit in through the windowpane and will allow you to push out dents easily without having to remove any trim or interior.
Yes, removing a door car may only take half an hour, but that’s 30 extra minutes added onto a job that could have been done in 10.
You could probably get away with having just 1 hook in your PDR toolbox, however, they’re so cheap and can be used for various other panels I suggest you buy the Dentcraft 3 piece set.
Window Guard and Wedge
Side panels are the most common location for dents and dings.
A lot of the time you’re going to have to get your tools in-between the panel and windowpane, as a result, you’ll need to protect the windows from getting scratched, or worse, smashed.
To prevent damage to the window you will need a window guard and wedge.
All that you need to do is slide the window wedge in, pushing the glass back, creating space for your tool to work.
You don’t need to break the bank on a window guard and wedge, you can get these for $20-$40 on Amazon.
There isn’t much difference in build quality between brands.
This MMPP Window Wedge and Protector is more than enough.
Tap Down Kit
The whole purpose of a tap down kit is to knock any high spots back into place that you may have created when pushing or pulling.
A traditional panel beater would likely just use a hammer, but a PDR technician will use a tap down kit.
PDR tap down tools will have a plastic or nylon tip. This will allow you to knock down the high spots without creating any damage to the paint.
While you want to prevent stretching the metal too much, high spots are inevitable. Sometimes dents will react differently to what you thought, other times it may be an off day.
You can be the best PDR tech in the world but you’ll still need a tap down kit. Think of it as a get out of jail free card.
My personal recommendation would be the G&S PDR Tap Down Pen. It’s cheap and comes with 9 adjustable tips that will let you get the finish you desire.
Make sure you buy & learn how to use a PDR Tapping Tool! It plays a vital part in repair!
There are 2 reasons why you’d need a heat gun when performing PDR.
If you’re working in cold temperatures you may need to heat up the dent so that it responds better to your actions.
The other reason if is you are performing Paintless Dent Repair on a plastic bumper.
You don’t need to break the bank on this. We’re just looking for a gun that will provide enough heat to make the panel a little easier to work with.
A cheap & reliable heat gun will do just as good a job as the latest and greatest DeWalt gun.