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Dent Removal Tools -- Paintless Dent Repair

Updated on November 26, 2010

Dent Removal Tools

Cars get dented, it happens when you're moving 80 miles an hour down the road, and having good dent removal tools is somewhat essential to keeping your car in good shape. "Why do I need dent removal tools," you ask? "When someone hits my car, I just have their insurance pay for the damage." And you are very right, in most circumstances. But what about when you're all hanging out at a friends house late one night and one of your buddies leaves before you only to come back inside after a few minutes with a look of despair on his face saying, "Dude you better come with me and check out your car. I don't know what happened, I just didn't see you parked there." Trust me, it happens. It's happened to me at least twice.

In a scenario like that, don't you owe it to your buddy to at least try to fix the damaged area, to use some simple dent removal tools and see if you can't repair the panel yourself? When it happened to me the first time, I was lucky enough to be able to borrow some dent removal tools from a friend. I thought there was no way I was going to be able to fix my car. My car was gray, and inside the dent a large white streak of paint from my friends car was rearing its ugly head. But I found that the paint from his bumper actually came off quite easy, and the dent, because it was one large dent, actually pulled out pretty nicely and left little sign of its ever having been there.

Car dent.  Lucky for this guy, no paint was damaged.  This is an easy fix.
Car dent. Lucky for this guy, no paint was damaged. This is an easy fix.

How to Use Dent Removal Tools

Dent removal tools aren't for every circumstance. If a portion of the bumper has been crushed, they may or may not work. Bumpers aren't generally metal, and dent removal tools work their best on metal. The perfect application is for the doors and side panels. Dent removal tools are generally nothing more than powerful suction cups that will allow you to give a large pull to a tiny area. It actually works better the larger the dent is, which is always a plus. And for just twenty bucks, don't you owe it to your buddy to at least give it a try yourself. Think about it, for twenty bucks, your buddy will be forever indebted to you for being willing to fix the dent yourself and not jack up his insurance for the next three years. It's a win win.

Just push the suction cup onto the middle of the dent first, apply pressure and then pull out again. Then, move the dent removal tool around the different parts of the dent still present to pull them back out as well. In many cases, especially those like the one pictured where there isn't any paint loss, the dent removal tool is the perfect application. In many cases, it won't make all traces of the dent go away, but like I said, for twenty bucks, you can't beat it.

Paintless Dent Repair Tools

In my research, I've learned about a really cool dent removal system called paintless dent removal. Though paintless dent removal is limited to relatively small dents where the paint is undamaged, it really does work wonders. Paintless dent removal is simple. It involved buying a large piece of dry ice at your local grocery store, and holding it against the dent on the car on a warm day with a good amount of pressure for up to five minutes. How in the world does a piece of dry ice remove a dent, you ask? That's a very good question. It basically works like this. When metal is hot, it expands. When it is hot, it contracts. So what happens is that when the surface of the car is warm, and you apply dry ice to the dent, which is solid CO2 at a temperature of minus 76 degrees, the metal on and around the dent cools very quickly, which also causes it to tighten. The metal will pull against itself as it shrinks, and if the force from the shrinking is strong enough, it will pull the dent out itself.  This will work well for:

  • Hail Damage Dents
  • Small Shallow Dents
  • Dents without Chipped Paint

It sounds like magic, but the paintless dent removal system has been shown to work on many minor dents and dings. And since dry ice is only a few dollars at the store, it's definitely worth the price to test it out. Paintless dent removal doesn't damage the paint or clear coat of a car, you just have to be careful not to scrape the dry ice over the surface of the paint. Just hold it firmly against the affected area, and shift it slowly around to ensure that all areas of the metal body are being covered. This will ensure that the paint on your car is undamaged. There are a few other systems that work for dentless paint removal as well, but this one is the best, safest, and cheapest.

Dent Removal Kit

Now for those of you who have ever done serious auto work, you know that a simple suction cup isn't going to get out every dent and ding. They're only really suitable for your standard circular dent. That's why many people prefer using a dent removal kit. Dent removal kits, such as the ding king dent removal kit, allows you to very precisely target the center of the dent or ding and apply better pressure than a standard suction cup can apply. The Ding King dent removal kit uses a special kind of glue to affix the dent puller to the surface of the car. Though the glue is strong enough to pull the dent from the car, it isn't so strong as to damage the paint of the car, and the glue can easily be removed with rubbing alcohol. The Ding King dent removal kit is key for those dings and dents that can't seem to be removed with the standard suction cup or dent puller. Not to worry though, the Ding King kit is less than $20 and comes with instructions on how to use it.  You can't go wrong for the price.

Comments

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    • profile image

      Fluid Studio 

      6 years ago

      Alex's Autohaus specializes in automotive repair and has served Salt Lake City, Utah as a premier mechanic for over 14 years. They specialize in BMW, Mini, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Volkswagen, Saab, Volvo or any French, Italian, Japanese, and European import cars. Alex’s Autohaus is the best option for both foreign and domestic auto repair. They provide great customer service and are a local mechanic that you can trust.

    • Benjimester profile imageAUTHOR

      Benji Mester 

      7 years ago from San Diego, California

      Haha, maybe not for that particular vehicle. I think a good new coat of paint might be its only hope.

    • lefseriver profile image

      David Walli 

      7 years ago from Northern Minnesota

      I have an old beater Ford F150 that has so much rust and I think it has dents from throwing firewood and hitting tree branches. Is there any hope? There also look like dents on the hood from hail or something...

    • g1pkn profile image

      g1pkn 

      7 years ago

      Great post about dent removal, I always wondered how they did it ?

    • Benjimester profile imageAUTHOR

      Benji Mester 

      7 years ago from San Diego, California

      Yeah, no worries. Thanks for stopping by.

    • profile image

      Dents Removal 

      7 years ago

      Thanks a lot for the wonderful post, how simply you have made understood the terms ans use of tools, thanks.

    • profile image

      terry 

      7 years ago

      Thanks a lot for the wonderful post, how simply you have made understood the terms ans use of tools, thanks.

    • Benjimester profile imageAUTHOR

      Benji Mester 

      7 years ago from San Diego, California

      Thanks David!

    • profile image

      DavidLivingston 

      7 years ago

      This for sure helped a lot who read it. Interesting and helpful. Thanks for posting.

    • Benjimester profile imageAUTHOR

      Benji Mester 

      7 years ago from San Diego, California

      Right on. I hope it works for you. I've removed a number of dents with pretty simple tools, but it all really depends on where the dent is and how severe it is. Some dents are really a lot easier than others to repair.

    • 2tewdream profile image

      2tewdream 

      7 years ago

      I've heard commercials for Dent Genie and I always wondered how products like that worked. Now I know. I've got a dent in the tailgate of my truck that I may give your techniques a try on.

      Thanks

    • Benjimester profile imageAUTHOR

      Benji Mester 

      8 years ago from San Diego, California

      Thanks! Dents are the worst.

    • world2info profile image

      world2info 

      8 years ago

      Hi great stuff I like the tools you have talked about and you have given me food for thought on dent repair.

    • Benjimester profile imageAUTHOR

      Benji Mester 

      8 years ago from San Diego, California

      Haha, that's awesome. Thanks for the comments!

    • Autoaficianado profile image

      Autoaficianado 

      8 years ago from California

      Sounds like you've got some stoner friends! But seriously, great advice!

    • Benjimester profile imageAUTHOR

      Benji Mester 

      8 years ago from San Diego, California

      Best of luck! Thanks very much for your comments.

    • mwatkins profile image

      mwatkins 

      8 years ago from Portland, Oregon & Vancouver BC

      I just got my fender dinged - I'm going to get this tool to get out the ripple effect look, I was lucky to not be hurt in a hit and run, but the fender took a hit. Very scary! Thanks for an most excellent tip! I had no idea this was even available and I hated running it through insurance!

    • Benjimester profile imageAUTHOR

      Benji Mester 

      8 years ago from San Diego, California

      Sweet, I hope they work for it! Did the guy dent your car and drive off? With a good dent removal tool, it would be nearly impossible to make the dent any worse. The only thing that sometimes happens is that there's still a small amount of warping in the metal once the dent is fixed. But it still looks a lot better than having the dent. Much less noticeable.

    • profile image

      Shannon 

      8 years ago

      I as also if these tools actually work. I had someone give me a nice dent on the side of my Mazda this weekend. It looks like I can get it out with a nice pop, but I don't want to do it and mess it up. I'll give a dent removal tool a try.

    • Benjimester profile imageAUTHOR

      Benji Mester 

      8 years ago from San Diego, California

      Thanks Sally :) My trunk is a definitely a random assortment of car tools and emergency equipment, haha. Thanks for your comments!

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 

      8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      This was very helpful information. I've seen these tools on infomercials, but I don't know anyone who has ever used one. Seems like a really smart item to carry around with your emergency items like flashlights, flares, and jumper cables.

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