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Do dent pullers really work?

Do dent pullers really work?

Getting a ding or a dent from someone who isn’t paying attention while they back up in a parking lot is a tale as old as the first Model T. So now what? Do you try an at home DIY dent puller kit or do you go to a professional? Well, in some cases, a DIY kit can work, but you’re actually far more likely to do more harm than good with one of these As-Seen-On-TV style kits.

I Saw It On TV!

There are a few different types of commonly advertised dent pullers:

Suction Dent Puller: These kits look and act like your everyday toilet plunger. Suction dent pullers latch onto your vehicle’s panel and, with a forceful pull, are meant to remove small dents and straighten out the car’s metal panel.

Glue Dent Puller:  This type of dent remover utilizes an adhesive glue and special strip to attempt to pull out small dents. This works by glueing a flat pull tab onto the dent and allowing the glue to dry for a bit before you can pull it out. This method can be tricky because, as glue has the tendency to do, it could remove more than just the dent. What these ads don’t show you is that some of your paint may come off as well during the process. Ouch. 

Don’t Be Fooled

While the previously mentioned options are often advertised, they are rarely successful. If you want to permanently remove those dents and not damage your ride in the process, you’re going to want to go with the pros.

Paintless Dent Removal (PDR): 

PDR is where a skilled technician uses a reflection from a light board and guides professional dent removal tools (that look nothing like the ones you see on TV) under your vehicle’s panels to gently work out the dent from the opposite side. This is done without grinding, sanding, using a body filler or having to repaint the area. 

Dents are removed and the body paint remains intact. This is the best and least invasive method of dent removal, but this is a skill you can’t buy in a kit, it takes going to a dent repair shop or the like to get done. 


At home dent puller kits only work on surface dents and the area must be flat and flexible. If not, you could (and are very likely to) end up causing more damage than you started out with. And say your car is a leased vehicle – You could end up accruing excessive fees for adding even more damage. If you are someone who takes pride in your car’s appearance, then seeking out professional paintless dent removal is the best way to go.

Of course, dent pullers can improve the appearance of the dents, but don’t expect a perfect finish. They often leave behind a small dent that’s just noticeable in the right light – just enough to bug you every time you notice it. Also, deep dents or dents with damage along the bodywork are not recommended for these products. In fact, we don’t recommend using these shoddy products on your beautiful car at all.

One final risk: Oil canning. 

Oil canning is what happens when the car’s metal panel has been overworked to the point where it is no longer stiff. This causes an uneven surface that doesn’t sit in line with the curvature of the vehicle and makes it even more difficult to fix.

Do you have a stubborn dent?

Only a professional can get out all types of dents, whereas DIY dent pullers remove only the shallow, flat kind and are prone to causing more damage than you started with in most cases. We always recommend going with  a skilled PDR technician to deal with your dents and dings. 

Many people are hesitant to go to a professional shop to repair a dent. However, if you want to make sure a dent is taken care of correctly, the only truly reliable and safe method is to take it to someone who knows what they’re doing. 

Our qualified PDR technicians at JM Dent Repair are here to get your car looking like new again. Unlike other auto body shops, we specialize in paintless dent repair — meaning our service is quick, affordable, and of the highest quality. Contact us today to see how we can help.

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