Basic tools to start learning paintless dent removal | PDR

Basic Tools You Need to Start Learning Paintless Dent Removal

​Basic Skills Tools

If you're just starting out with paintless dent removal there's only really two things you need to be thinking about right now. One is selecting the right training for you and two, is working out which tools you really need to get started. Let us cover the basic tools you need to start learning paintless dent removal.

​1. Reflector Board

You need a reading device like this reflector board with a flexible arm and a suction cup. A reflection of the lines give me an indication as to whether a panel is high or low.  There's a variety of different reading devices out there. Some people prefer lines, others prefer fog boards. You can get a variety of different light setups, different LEDs and strip lights to give you different reflections to work with. A really nice simple line board set-up is what you definitely need as a reading device. 

2. Bar with Screw Tips

To be able to remove dents you are going to need a bar. This is a fairly standard  bar and I recommend getting one roughly this kind of length. My preference is the ones with a slight double bend. It basically puts the tip roughly at a 90degree angle from the handle which is  really good in terms of giving you leverage and control. I recommend getting a screw tip as well which means you can pick up a variety of different tips and turn this one tool into a very versatile multi-tool.  An array of soft tips really makes this one tool very useful and brilliant for getting into the open era such as bonnet panels, front wings fenders where you've got plenty of room and access to get in a dent bar like this. 

3. Hammer and Knockdown

We use our knockdown and a hammer when there is a high spot also known as a kind of  crown or shoulders or ridges around the dent.  That is where we generally knock down those highs. Also when you're learning you're likely to pit plenty of high spots in a panel as you start pushing and kind of getting the feel for PDR. So once you create those high spots you need to be able to knock them down so you will need one of these. 

4. S Hook and O ring  or PDR Hanger

If you're just getting started learning the basics of dent removal and working on a practice panel like a bonnet panel you will also need some form of hanging device. That may be a  simple hook and a ring that's available at most kinds of DIY hardware places. A specific tool such as this pen tool gives you a hook. Then you pick your PDR bar through there and it gives you plenty of leverage to start being able to control and remove the dents. 

​Glue Pulling Tools

​1. Glue Gun and  PDR Glue

You need to really start taking out small things with glue. Of course you're going to need a glue gun and it doesn't matter if it's a corded one, whether it's battery-powered or gas-powered. You need a glue gun and some PDR glue to start removing dents. 

2. PDR Tabs

There's a whole variety of different tabs you get but the different tabs have different shapes ,different designs and colors. Generally they all serve a different purpose so I recommend picking up one or two different varieties or packs just to give you a real range of the different glue tabs out there. It’s definitely worth picking up one or two variety packs to give you a range of glue tabs. 

3. Dent Lifter

So once you glue the tab to the dent you're going to need something to start to lift in that tab. So you can either pick up a lifter gun and you can put that over the top of the tab and then just start to gently pull the tab up. Alternatively you can pick yourself up a slide hammer so we attach this end onto the back of the tab and there's a hammer to start pulling the tab back this way. I find a slight hammer is generally a bit more versatile because it is what I use more often than the lifter but they both serve a certain purpose. 

4. Glue Removing Agent

You're also going to need a balloon releasing agent as sometimes the glue doesn't come easily with up fun panels in which case you have some kind of release and agent so  personally I use methylated spirits but you can get different forms of alcohol based products that releases the glue from the panel. So definitely have that in your glue selection as well so once you've started removing small dings and dents with the bars the screw in tips and getting used to a hammer on a knockdown and you've also started to remove a little dense with glue by gluing tabs and even pull a slide hammer or lifter we generally move on to working on to door dents.

​Door Dent Tools

1. Glass Window Protector Board

There's just a few different tools that really make a difference with working on doors. So working on door dents you will need to get yourself a glass of a window protector board. It slides down the side of a door glass in a panel and then reuse a window to open up the gap. So I've got the gap between the glass and the door pop down my board that protects the glass. My different bars and walls can leverage to enable me to remove dents without shattering the glass. 

2. Hook Bar (Different Lengths)

Again there's a huge variety when it comes to door dent removal tools. So we can start off with something like a generic small little hook bar ideal for getting into the upper sections of door panels. A slightly longer tool I call a hockey stick shaped bar is a little bit longer and it covers the midsection of a door panel. To make sure we can reach the bottom of the door panel we use a slightly longer bar. So you can work with a variety of tools as a lot of door bars are left-handed or right-handed.

3. Ratchet Handle Tools

At this stage you can also get the ratchet handle tools and by having a door bar that has a ratchet handle. You can quickly change between a left-handed to a right-handed  tool without removing it from the door. So pressing the button you can just switch it to a different angle to whichever one suits you'll need. So great little tools to have as well the ratchet handles just being able to flick between left and right without changing tools. 

Conclusion

So I've just covered all of the tools that you need to start learning paintless dent removal on a very basic level. If you take our online training we have a basic skills course and it teaches removing small dings and dents from open panels such as a bonnet. And the tools that I've just covered are all you need to really get started taking out small dents yourself. So you don't need to buy a fortune of tools to start learning the industry. Just get the essential tools to start learning the process and then we can add to our tools as we develop as technicians.

​In my opinion  those are all of the tools that you really need to start thinking about if you're learning paintless dent removal. If you're looking at different options for training i've also done a video on Youtube that identifies the different training options available for you. Sometimes it can be overwhelming in terms of all the different trainers and then tools that is why I'm trying to simplify it to help you understand the very basics. ​

Here are the tools you need to kickstart your PDR career. This will get you started and then progress as you go.

Basic Skills Tools:

1. Reflector Board

2.Bar with Screw tips

3.Hammer and Knockdown

4.S Hook and O ring  or PDR Hanger

Glue Pulling Tools

1.Glue Gun & PDR Glue

​2.Glue Tabs

​3.Dent Lifter

4.Glue Removing Agent

Door Dent Tools

1.Glass Window Protector Board

2.Hook Bar (Different Lengths)

3.Ratchet Handle Tools

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