It’s a frustrating fact of car ownership that vehicles can pick up dings and dents, whether from a stray supermarket trolley or a careless driver bumping into your pride and joy. Bodyshops and garages can certainly repair them, but not at a price everyone can afford.
Instead of leaving the blemish in place, though, how about fixing it yourself? There are a wide range of dent removal kits available, packed with the same ‘tools of the trade’. Our experts reveal their favourites, plus what to look for in a dent repair kit.
The best dent repair tools
Manelord Auto Body Dent Repair Kit
Most comprehensive offer
This is an extremely comprehensive kit with a vast array of parts to handle dents of all shapes and sizes. The unique golden dent puller device is a clever design that is easy to operate. Simply apply the glue pull tab, connect the lifter and operate the handle. The base of the golden lifter is made from high-quality rubber, so it does not damage paintwork. The kit also includes a bridge dent puller, so it can handle almost any type of bodywork indentation. Also included is a glue gun, a range of glue sticks and a glue shovel, plus an alcohol bottle for removing the glue puller tabs after use. Removing most dents should take around half an hour.
|• Everything you need in one kit||• So many parts included, it might take time to find the right one|
|• Two types of dent puller give plenty of options|
Manelord Auto Body Paintless Dent Repair Tool
Best on a budget
A robust and ergonomic bridge dent puller, this Manelord dent repair tool is very straightforward to use. Its feet are mounted on ball joints, so can be positioned securely even on curved surfaces. This ensures it is very effective, even on body parts such as car wings. The pull screw handle is comfortable to use and easily deals with large, deep dents. It also has enough power to pull dents from thick panel surfaces, so is effective for use on premium cars. This is a very affordable device, but it does not include a glue gun. You will need to buy this separately if you donu2019t already have one.
|• Strong and robust||• No glue gun is included|
|• Easy to use|
Sealey RE012 Air Suction Dent Puller Kit
Best slide hammer dent removal kit
For those deeper, nastier dents a slide hammer and suction cups are the most effective way to deal with them. The brilliance of this kit is that the suction cups and slide hammer are very effective on dents but are incredibly gentle on paintwork and won't leave any marks if you're careful. This kit is also from Sealey meaning the quality will be excellent.
|• Effective on dents||• Expensive|
|• Easy on paintwork|
Clarke CPB9D 9-Pce Dent Puller Set
Best value slide hammer kit
Not as powerful as the Sealey example, and missing the suction cups (it uses attachment hooks instead) the Clarke dent puller is a lot cheaper and will still be effective without damaging your paintwork.
|• Effective on dents||• Not the gentlest on paintwork|
|• Good value for quality|
Draper PDR (Paintless Dent Removal) Kit
A serious bit of kit
If you're repairing a car that's lived its life in Rome or was owned by a student, chances are the bodywork will be more akin to a golf ball. This means that there will be a load of dents to deal with and that means a kit may be in order. While the cost will be a lot to stomach, this kit is incredibly conclusive for most dents and will help keep your paintwork from being damaged in the process. It contains several hooks and bars to remove dents and is of excellent quality too.
|• Effective on a variety of dents||• Very expensive|
|• Excellent quality|
What to look for in a dent removal kit
What type of dent repair is required?
There are two main types of dent repair: glue pull and push from behind. Glue pull involves attaching a tool to the panel with special adhesive, then using the tool to pull out the dent. The push from behind method involves tapping out the dent from behind using a hammer and specialist tools. This takes more time, but is better for smaller, irregularly-shaped dents.
How big is the dent?
Assess the size of dent you want to fix before purchasing a kit. If it is a small car park ding, you might need a different dent repair tool than if you want to fix a larger area of damage.
How many parts are included in the kit?
The more parts that are included, the bigger the range of dents you’ll be able to repair. A word of warning though: sometimes it can be tricky to choose the right tool, because you are almost spoiled for choice.
Is a glue gun included?
Some value-priced glue pull kits do not include a glue gun. This can save you money if you already have one – and lead to frustration if you do not.
Do you need to buy glue sticks and alcohol spray?
Sometimes, glue sticks are not included. You need the right type of glue stick for the dent removal tool to be effective – and 95 percent alcohol spray will be useful when it comes to removing the dent pull tool.