After a minor fender bender, your car often needs a little bit of body work. While severe damage is best left to the pros, sometimes minor damage can be fixed…or at least improved at home. One such tool that is relatively cheap to try that allows you to repair minor body damage is a dent puller.
A dent puller is essentially a suction cup, usually between 2 and 4 inches in size, that is attached to a handle. The suction cup is relatively strong and is designed to adhere to a body panel that has been dented. After attaching it in the bottom of a dent, you slowly try to pull the dent from the bottom up. If the dent is large enough, this may take multiple steps, starting near the outside and working your way in.
While pulling a dent out will certainly make a visible improvement, there are a couple things you should be aware of when using a dent puller. First, it’s relatively easy to overstretch the metal outward, which creates a new bodywork problem altogether. Steady hands, awareness, and patience are the key virtues that will allow you to avoid pulling the metal too far outward. Second, it’s important to realize that you are unlikely to get a panel perfect if the dent is large. In cases of larger dents (and even many smaller ones), you will mostly likely have to touch up the area with a high quality body filler, sand it down, and paint it. The best dent pullers can be used to accomplish paintless dent removal, but there are enough variables that this isn’t always a reality depending on the damage and location. Any time the metal is creased, a dent puller alone won’t save the panel.
The Best Dent Puller
When it comes to actually selecting a dent puller, it is worthwhile to make sure you get one of the best ones available as it will increase your chances of a great outcome. A high quality dent puller will have high build quality that can easily withstand strong pull forces, be comfortable to use, and adhere firmly to the damaged body panel.
In our opinion, the best dent puller we have encountered is Tekton’s 5652 4″ Suction Cup Dent Puller. The suction cup is 4″ in diameter, which means that this is design is ideal for dents 4″ and larger. It features a suction cup made from rubber that is durable and soft enough to seal off the area against the panel to provide adequate suction without air leakage.
Tekton’s dent puller is constructed of nylon, which is actually an extremely tough material that can withstand high loads. Don’t be fooled by the fact that this tool has a plastic construction, it will handle the force. The handle is large enough to fill the hand comfortably so when applying high force with your arm, it won’t dig into your fingers at all. The handle also has a quick release feature to release the suction cup from the panel atraumatically.
It should also be noted that a dent puller an also be used for other various purposes, such as lifting glass or sheet metal. A great example is that similar devices are used to lift windshields out of cars as they are being replaced, so the functionality of these tools isn’t limited to just pulling dents.
As far as where to buy, Amazon’s free shipping makes for a great deal, so we suggest you take a look there first. Overall, we think you’ll be very satisfied with this tool if used as intended as it truly is the best dent puller on the market. That said, if it doesn’t quite meet your needs, feel free to have a look at some other models on the market by clicking here as there are many other great options out there as well. Happy wrenching!