Written By
Published Sep. 27, 2021

You try to avoid it, but the inevitable happens: a small dent appears. Maybe someone opened their door into yours in a parking lot or hail-created minor dents in the hood of your car. A paintless dent repair kit can be the solution to your dented car frustrations. DIY kits are affordable and beginner-friendly, so save yourself a trip to a professional body shop and take care of the minor dents that are degrading the look of your ride. There are a few types of DPR kits out there, and the one you choose will depend on the type of dent you’re dealing with, the number of dents, your budget, and your experience level. Our guide of the best PDR kits will help you find the perfect kit.

Best Paintless Dent Repair Kits Reviews & Recommendations

The Gliston Auto Dent Puller Kit is one of the best overall kits for dent pulling because it comes with everything you need and is simple to use. The kit comes with everything you need to get started, including 21 tabs, a glue gun, 10 glue sticks, a rubber hammer, and five tap down pens. The professional quality glue and textured tabs keep everything securely in place while pulling.

And thanks to its rubber stabilizer feet on either side of the tab and large handles, you can squeeze them together to ratchet the dent outward. You may, however, find the rubber stabilizer feet to be a bit challenging at first. Though with practice, they become easier to manage and having them move is worthwhile because it allows you to move large and small dents. This kit may, however, not be the best at removing dents on curved surfaces.

Specs
  • Brand Gliston
  • Model 5824087928
  • Style Glue-on
PROS

Included rubber hammer and five tap down pens

Professional adhesive viscous glue

Textured pads to prevent sudden glue release mid-pull

CONS

Confusing instructions

Not suitable for thicker metal

Not effective on curved surfaces

If you aren’t ready to invest in a more complex dent puller kit, this suction cup design from Manelord may be what you’re looking for. This particular dent puller stands out from others with a similar design because of its durability as the suction cup is made of a thick rubber measuring 4 5/7 inches in diameter. The housing and handle are an aluminum alloy and another nice feature is that the handles lock together for a secure hold while pulling.

This design of dent puller is best for shallow and small dents, not deep or large dents. And the one size of the suction cup means you don’t exactly have a precise application, which can make it challenging to get just the right position over the dent. Be sure to store your puller in a safe place too, as heat, sun, and harsh cold can all cause the rubber suction cup to wear out faster.

Specs
  • Brand Manelord
  • Model 5824087884
  • Style Suction cup
PROS

Easy to use

Durable construction

Compact with minimal parts

CONS

Not a precise application

Not effective on deep or large dents

The suction cup can give out

We picked this PDR kit from Wcaro as the most precise because not only did the company include rods, but you get ten of them in different shapes and sizes and this lets you get just the right kind of leverage on the dent to push it out. In addition to the rods, the kit comes with three metal O-rings and S-hooks, plus a chain, hail repair hammer, metal tap down with two heads, and a plastic wedge. And everything neatly packs away into a zippered bag to prevent you from losing parts while in storage.

What we especially like is that these rods have coated handles to help you maintain a better grip, making them easier to use than other rod kits. That said, given that some of the rods have a shorter length, it may limit how you use them. This kit is also noticeably more expensive than others on this list, but the precision and versatility make the investment well worth it.

Specs
  • Brand Wcaro
  • Model ‎JUMFMYC
  • Style Push rods
PROS

Easy to control for this type

Multiple shaped rods

Durable construction

CONS

Not ideal for large dents

Expensive

Requires experience and know-how

The Manelord Auto Body Dent Repair Kit is a smart buy for first-time users as this high-quality puller is made from durable high-carbon and standard stainless steel. The thicker handles make them easier to grasp and pull together and the kit includes 13 tabs, 10 glue sticks, a glue gun, a rubber hammer, and five plastic tab down pens. The rubber hammer in this kit is larger and has a better construction than other similar kits, which helps you get a more precise tapping action to smooth out your car’s finish.

Despite being able to use this puller for large and small dents, it isn’t designed for use on metal that is thicker than one millimeter. You’ll also want to be careful with the glue as it can break loose if not applied correctly as when this happens, it can dull your paint’s finish.

Specs
  • Brand Manelord
  • Model 5824087884
  • Dent Kit Type Glue-on
PROS

Thicker handles on the puller

High-carbon and standard stainless steel

High-quality rubber hammer

CONS

Not suitable for metal surfaces exceeding one millimeter thick

Poor quality glue

Will dull your paint finish

The Yoohe Paintless Dent Repair Puller Kit is a top contender for removing large dents as the telescoping T-bar puller is made of high-carbon stainless steel, standard stainless steel, plastic, and rubber. This kit is beginner-friendly, with everything you need to remove dents as in addition to the puller, it comes with 16 tabs, six glue sticks, and a glue gun. Unlike other similar kits, the glue is strong with this one, so you can pull without fear of the glue breaking loose.

The pull handle can be hard to use for some people, however, the system is beginner-friendly and can successfully remove a variety of dents. It’s also effective at removing dents near edges and those that are large. Be careful with the glue, though, as if you decide to remove dents on items other than your car, it can damage the stainless steel finish on appliances.

Specs
  • Brand Yoohe
  • Model 13
  • Style Glue-on
PROS

Slide hammer can be converted into two different T-bars

High carbon stainless steel or standard stainless steel construction

Strong glue

CONS

Can be awkward to hold and pull the T-bar handle

Results are not perfect

Glue can damage certain finishes

How We Selected The Products 

When choosing the best dent pullers, we considered the types of dents they can fix, ease of use, purchase price, and durability. We excluded any glue-on dent pullers that lacked plenty of tabs, as these would have limited use. We also avoided professional-level kits that were too expensive to justify their occasional use. Each kit was chosen because it effectively removed dents when used by the average car owner. 

Our product selections, rankings, and awards for this story are based on research. While we haven’t conducted real-world testing on all of these products yet, we’ve looked at consumer testimonials and data, tutorials, and general discussions on social media and in forums. We also consider price and specification in the context of the segment. And, of course, we rely on our institutional knowledge of the automotive landscape to weed out weak products.

Buying Guide/What to Look For 

When buying a dent puller, start with the type of dent you want to fix, your budget, and your experience. These factors will help you narrow down your options. Some pullers are only meant for small and shallow dents, while others are designed for complex or large dents. Certain pullers are only effective when in the hands of someone experienced. The benefit of choosing the right dent puller is that you have a vehicle that looks dent-free. 

Types of Paintless Dent Repair Kits

Glue-On Puller 

This is one of the more popular DIY dent repair kits, as it uses tabs that you glue onto the dent and then use a mechanism to hook onto the tab and gently pull it and the dent out. This style of DPR kit is beginner-friendly because it doesn’t require brute strength or precise skill and the kits tend to come with multiple tabs for repairing dents in a variety of shapes and sizes. There are two styles of dent pullers that use glue-on tabs: handle and crossbar. Crossbar pullers look like a bridge over the dent with a dial that you slowly turn to pull the dent out. The other style of puller has two handlebars that you squeeze together to ratchet the tab outward. 

Suction Cups 

This type of PDR kit has a single large suction cup that’s attached to a heavy-duty handle. You’ll place the suction cup on your car’s body panel over the dent, secure the suction cup to your vehicle, and then use the handle to pull the dent out. These types of kits are beginner-friendly and the suction cups come in different sizes to accommodate a wide variety of dent sizes. You can also use the suction cup on both metal and plastic. The downside of the suction cup is that you don’t have precise control, as it also requires brute strength on your part to pull the dent out. 

Push Out 

Unlike the other PDR kit types, this style pushes the dent out from the backside and requires the most skill and knowledge. The more rods and tools your kit comes with, the more flexibility you’ll have pushing the dent out, but the removal process will take longer than other methods. The finished product will be smoother and it’s also the method most often used by professionals. While you can get a more precise dent removal with this type of kit, it also requires you to have enough access to the backside of the body panel. 

Paintless Dent Repair Kits Key Features

Dent Size Repair Capabilities 

Choose a dent repair kit that can fix the size of the dents in your vehicle as some repair kits only repair one dent type and size, while other kits come with a variety of attachments to help you fix a wide range of dent sizes and shapes. A versatile kit is useful for repairing more than one dent or future dents. Some advanced kits can address more than shallow dents and if you have a dent with ridges or gouges, you’ll need a kit that can specifically address these. 

Glue Tabs and Gun  

If you buy a kit that uses glue-on tabs, you will also need a glue gun. Some kits come with the gun, while others require you to purchase it separately. You could save money buying a complete kit, however, buying your gun separately allows you to buy a better quality gun. Look for high-quality glue that securely adheres to your car’s surface while also not damaging your paint, as low-quality glue may pop off during the pulling process or damage your paint when removing the glue after the pulling. Finally, consider the number of tabs a kit comes with, as a larger kit gives you more dent pulling versatility, but it also is difficult to keep the kit together when in storage. 

Dent Puller

The pulling mechanism is what does the bulk of the work for the dent removal. Depending on the type of kit, it could be a large plastic handle or a metal crank mechanism. Look for a kit that has a reinforced and durable puller that can withstand the pressure and torque of pulling the dent. Adjustability is a nice feature for the puller to have as this gives you precise control and finesse when pulling a dent. Consider your strength when comparing dent pullers as a plain handle requires you to provide all of the pulling force, making you work harder than a crank style where you simply turn a dial or lever. 

Paintless Dent Repair Kits Tips and Tricks

As with something you do for decades upon decades, you pick up a few tips and tricks along the way in terms of selecting the right product, and/or using it. That’s the case with us and paintless dent repair kits. To help you bridge the information gap, here’s a selection of what we’ve learned along the way.

  • Prep your tabs and car’s surface before using them. Wipe them down with rubbing alcohol to remove any oils from your fingers, dust, dirt, grease, or wax. This helps the glue have a secure hold. 
  • If you have more than one dent or a large, save yourself time and effort by gluing all of your tabs at once. 
  • Don’t push too hard on the tabs while gluing them. If the layer of glue is too thin, it won’t be strong enough to hold during the pulling process. 
  • Test the glue with your fingernail before pulling your dent. If your fingernail leaves a mark, let the glue set for a few more minutes. 
  • Sometimes you are left with a high spot after pulling the dent. You can gently tap it back down into place. Be gentle, or you will create new dents or low spots. 

FAQs

Q: How big of a dent can paintless dent repair fix?

If there are no signs of paint damage, you should be able to repair shallow dents that are up to a few inches in diameter. The key to fixability is the placement of the dent and its depth. It shouldn’t be too close to the edge, be too deep, or have any harsh creases.

Q: How do I use a paintless dent repair kit?

That’ll depend on the kit you choose, as each has its own very unique directions. By not following them, you can damage your car’s paint or worse, so make sure to read up.

Q: Can hot water pull out a dent?

Hot water won’t help you repair dents in the metal parts of your vehicle. However, it can help with dents in the plastic parts. Use the hot water to soften the plastic and gently push the dent back out.

Final Thoughts

Our top pick for the best paintless dent puller is the Gliston Auto Dent Puller Kit. It has a high-quality construction and can fix a variety of dents. 
For a more affordable option, consider the Manelord Hand Tool Suction Cup Dent Puller. The simple design is easy to use.

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