What is the Best Dent Puller? (Suction Cup & Slide Hammer Tools)
Finding a dent in your car is very annoying, especially if you have no idea how it got there.
The good news is – whether your vehicle has been involved in some heavy outdoor terrain, or your eldest son hasn’t quite got his head around the parallel park – there are a few ways of removing a dent without having to pay for expensive auto shop repairs.
On smaller dents, a suction cup dent puller can work wonders. On more stubborn problems you might want to try a slide hammer puller kit. Both are easy to use dent removing solutions you can do yourself.
In this top 10 review roundup, we look at each method in detail and bring you some of the best tools to use to get that dent out of your car.
Best Dent Puller (Vacuum Suction Cup)
Best Slide Hammer Dent Puller
Car Dent Puller Buyer’s Guide
Car dent removal – the suction cup method
The suction cup is the best dent puller for small dents. It is the simplest method to carry out as the tools are cheap to buy and relatively easy to use, (see video for more on that).
It is merely a case of attaching the cup to the dented area of your car. The edge of the cup contains a rubber seal that presses against the bodywork of the vehicle.
The cup mechanism then creates a small vacuum that once operated by the user, pulls the metal against the cup thus removing the dent.
Let’s take a look at what you should look out for when buying a suction cup dent puller.
There are a range of sizes available when it comes to buying a suction cup dent puller. The most common start around 2 inches in diameter and go up to 5 or 6 inches in size.
The size you go for is an important consideration because the dent you are trying to fix should have an area larger than the actual suction cup you use.
If this is not the case you will find it difficult to get the cup to work properly as it will not be able to create a true enough seal against the metalwork, (and thus create a vacuum to hold the cup in place).
The seal needs to be made of quality strong durable rubber so that an airtight vacuum can be created against the body of the vehicle.
This too should be as robust as possible so that the dent puller is comfortable to use while being strong enough to withstand the job at hand.
Removing a Car Dent with a Slide Hammer
The slide hammer process is slightly more difficult when compared to the simple suction cup method.
However, you may need to use a slide hammer dent pulling kit on more serious bodywork issues.
You first have to drill a small hole in the center of the dent. A small attachment fixes into the hole and the slide hammer is then connected to that.
You then use the slide hammer to pull the metalwork back into shape.
With the attachment removed, it is then a case of patching up the small drill hole so that no sign of the dent repair exists.
Suction Cup Dent Remover Vs Slide Hammer
The benefits of the suction cup dent puller rest in the fact the tool is very affordable (generally less than $10), and you use it on your car without causing any extra damage.
The negative aspect is that these tools do not always work. If the cup cannot get a true enough hold around the area of the dent, the vacuum will not occur and you will have no way of pulling the metal back into shape.
Suction cups will not always work on hard to reach, intricate areas either.
However, with that being said, it is always best to try the suction cup before moving onto the slide hammer.
The slide hammer method is a lot more reliable. If you are confident with the tool, you will be able to bring the metalwork back into shape, (even in hard-to-reach areas and on large dents – you just might need to drill more than one hole).
The disadvantage of course is that you have to repair the holes that you drill after you have mended the dent. Slide hammer kits are also more expensive to buy in the first place.
The best-case scenario is to actually own both tools.
That way you will be able to apply the correct dent removal method as and when the situation applies.
Dent Puller Reviews – Top 5 Suction Tools
1. TOP PICK: TEKTON 5652 4-Inch Suction Cup Dent Puller
Our number 1 choice suction cup dent pullet is the Tekton 5652 4 inch model. In our opinion, this size is the best dent puller for small dents. (For really tiny defects in your car’s metalwork you may want to consider a smaller 2.5-inch puller instead).
First off, the Tekton obviously allows you to pull out your vehicle panels without any ugly drilling or tarnishing of paintwork.
The build quality is good too. The heavy-duty rubber seal is able to hold fast against smooth sheet materials, (which includes plain glass should you need to use the puller to remove windows).
The main body and handle of the puller is constructed from rugged, high-impact nylon.
The device also includes a quick-release handle system that allows the user to re-position the cup with ease.
Pros of the TEKTON 5652 4-Inch Suction Cup Dent Puller
- Well made for the price – main unit constructed from rugged, high-impact nylon.
- The 4-Inch diameter is a good size for small to mid-sized dents
- Heavy-duty, yet pliant rubber that enables superior purchase on sheet materials Suction Cup
- Quick-release handle for easy repositioning
- The 4-inch diameter is too large for really small defects (remember, the area of the dent needs to be larger than the dent puller you use.)
- Some users have failed to get it to work properly due to the dent being on the curved part of the bodywork.
The Tekton 5652 is a no frills suction cup dent puller that gets the job done. The seal and subsequent purchase have worked wonders for a number of users. (Bear in mind the difficulty in gaining a vacuum on curved areas of the bodywork, however).
2. Leadrise 5 inch Aluminum Suction Cup Puller / Lifter, 110 Lbs.
If you require a suction cup dent puller with a little more width and lift capacity the Leadrise is probably the best dent remover for you.
Body panels, window panes and sheet metal can all be lifted and/or reshaped using this tool; which has an impressive 110 Lbs weight capacity.
The durable aluminum handles as well as the impact-resistant housing, help set the Leadrise apart from other pullers in our top 5 review round up.
Apart from making the unit more robust, it also has the added benefit of providing a more pleasing aesthetic.
The diameter comes in at 5 inches, (which translates to a suction cup diameter of 4 5/8 inches. Leadrise do insist however that when using the unit as a Dent Remover you need to ensure that the dent is larger than 5 inches across.
For operation the Leadrise features an easy to use single stroke pump action. This offers the fast efficient results that you need.
Pros of the Leadrise® 5 inch Aluminum Suction Cup Puller Lifter 110 Lbs.
- The Leadrise has an impressive 110 lb. maximum lifting capacity
- Robust and aesthetically pleasing build with the aluminum handles and housing
- Easy to use single stroke pump action
- Large 4-5/8” suction cup diameter
- As with all suction cup dent pullers size is an issue – this can only be used on dents 5 inches in diameter or larger.
- A number of users have reported that it hasn’t worked for them when trying to remove dents, raising questions on overall reliability.
For larger dents or applications where you need to lift heavy flat objects such as glass windows or mirrors, the Leadrise is a great tool. However, like the Tekton, some users have had problems getting the tool to work on less than flat surfaces.
3. 2-1/2″ Vacuum Suction Cup Handle Dent Puller
Now we move onto a suction cup dent puller that really comes into its own for those hard to reach metal work indentations that often occur.
If you’ve got car bodywork defects of smaller proportions, this micro-sized 2 ½ inch puller is the way to go.
The device provides a deceiving amount of holding power for such a small cup, (stated as 25 lbs).
The main unit is made from impact-resistant nylon. However, the overall build quality is on the low side. A number of customers have complained that the tool broke after just a few uses, (or even upon arrival)
The rubber suction device will work well on smooth clean surfaces, however, the manufacturers recommend that a small amount of lubrication around the cup rim will increase seal reliability and help improve the strength of the vacuum.
A stronger the vacuum, the better the results. (Don’t go overboard with the lubrication however as it becomes difficult to line up the cup over the dent – you will find it slipping all over the place).
Pros of the 2-1/2″ Vacuum Suction Cup Handle Dent Puller
- Smaller-size suction cup designed for tight hard to reach places and small dents
- Soft rubber cup provides a reliable surface to rim purchase, especially when properly lubricated.
- 25 lbs lift and pull weight capacity
- It is small; it is recommended that you own one of the larger cups too.
- Build quality is rather lackluster – a number of users have complained that the tool breaks very easily.
This 2-1/2″ Vacuum Suction Cup Handle Dent Puller is great for getting into those hard to reach and small sized dents; just bare in mind the low build quality and the fact you will likely need the backup of a larger tool too.
4. Capri Tools CP21077, 4-1/2 inch Premium Suction Cup Dent Puller
The Capri Tools CP21077 is another mid-ranged sized suction cup dent puller that packs a punch in the lifting capacity.
While the 88 lbs pull power doesn’t meet the levels of the larger, more heavy-duty Leadwise (which comes in at 110 lbs), you will still find the tool sufficiently strong enough for the most dent pulling applications of the appropriate size.
Capri Tools have offered a real plus point on the CP21077 with the inclusion of a non-recycled, odorless, premium rubber seal.
The manufacturers state that this amounts to a less toxic solution that performs better than basic rubber and nylon suction cups currently available.
That being said, they still suggest that the area and rubber be lubricated before use for more reliable results.
As with all dent pullers, the dent needs to be larger than the cup for the process to work. It is also difficult to gain a sufficient vacuum when used on curved areas of the vehicle bodywork. (A number of customers have complained that the product did not work for them at all when used as a dent puller).
On the plus side to all of the above, Capri Tools generously include a 1 year warranty against any manufacturer defects.
Pros of the Capri Tools CP21077, 4-1/2 inch Premium Suction Cup, Glass, Dent Puller
- A robust 4.5″ suction cup with 88 lbs of lifting capacity
- The seal is made from durable, odorless, extra-strength rubber for increased performance
- Despite the adequate lifting capacity, this is another suction cup dent puller that is plagued with the issue of not working on certain areas of the vehicle – it is not always easy to get the vacuum required to remove the dent.
While the Capri Tools is a good suction cup dent puller, apart from the superior manufactured rubber seal, the tool doesn’t really offer anything different to rise above the competition. And like the competition, it doesn’t always work for dent pulling applications.
5. Bondo Dent Puller Review – Bondo 956 Double Handle Locking Suction Cup
Bondo is a more well-known manufacturer in the suction cup dent pulling space, and have proven to be a popular option as a result.
What sets them apart is the stated level of pulling power you are said to get from tools such as the Bondo 956.
This heavy-duty double-handled solution is said to have 300 times more suction than other nonlocking variants you can buy.
This makes the tool suitable for larger, more stubborn dents that the competition is unable to pull back into shape.
While it is difficult to fully test whether this 300 times more powerful statement is true, there is no denying many users have been satisfied with the results the Bondo 956 provides.
That being said, there are still those customers that have experienced lackluster performance from the dent remover.
Pros of the Bondo 956 Double Handle Locking Suction Cup Dent Puller
- Clearly, the potential 300 times more lifting capacity is a big selling point
- The double handle locking operation does lead to higher performance rates
- More difficult to use than some of the other suction cup car dent removers in our list
- Some customers have experienced problems getting the tool to work at all.
Given the extra lifting power that the Bondo 956 is purported to have, it is worth buying if your needs demand such power. However, it is worth considering the difficulty a number of customers have had getting the tool to work.
Best Slide Hammer Dent Puller Reviews
As we talked about above, if you have larger more demanding dents in your vehicle a rubber suction cup may not be up to the task of pulling the metalwork back into shape.
If you want to avoid a trip to the auto shop and feel confident enough with some tools in the garage, a slide hammer dent removing kit is definitely worth a try.
Let’s take a look at some of the best dent pulling slide hammer kits on the market today.
1. TOP PICK: OTC 4579 9-Way Slide Hammer Puller Set
The great thing with kits such as the OTC 4579 is that you can use them for a whole lot more than just pulling metal panels back into shape.
The OTC 9-way slide hammer puller set is designed for a full range of tasks. That’s what makes it a favorite for both professional auto shops as well as home users.
For bodywork use, the set includes a grip wrench adapter and a dent puller attachment device. Ideal for sheet metal, it gives you the control and pulling strength you need for tough jobs.
Beyond that, the kit is perfectly suited to work on other specific car maintenance jobs. If you need to pull flange-type rear axles or work on your front-wheel drive hubs, OTC has provided a tool to fit the bill.
The toolset features internal and external jaws that can be adjusted to pull bearings, gears, and seals in a wide range of configurations.
For easy storage, the OTC 9 way packs away into a durable blow-molded case.
Finally, should you wish to purchase further OTC products, the set is fully compatible with the OTC 5/8 inch-18 thread slide hammer attachments.
Pros of the OTC 4579 9-Way Slide Hammer Puller Set
- Ideal slide hammer for bodywork use – set includes a grip wrench adapter and a dent puller attachment device
- This versatile kit can also be used on flange-type rear axles and most front-wheel drive hubs
- Two- and three-way cross blocks and cone – you can set up a wide range of jaw configuration with the OTC 4579 9-way
- Very few customer complaints on the OTC. However, the majority of the customers do use the tool for more than just dent pulling.
The OTC 9 way slide hammer set is a versatile tool that can be used on a wide range of applications. However, if all you need is a reliable device for pulling vehicle metalwork into shape, you will not be disappointed. In our opinion, this is the slide hammer to buy.
2. OEMTOOLS 25922 Dent Puller Set
If you’re after a dedicated dent pulling set, the OEMTOOLS 25922 is definitely worth a look.
The versatility of the tool, along with its ability to get in all those hard to reach areas of the vehicle’s bodywork (above and beyond you could ever hope with a standard suction cup puller), has helped this make our top 5 review list.
The tools and accessories that make up the set (believe me, there’s a few, we provide the full list shortly) are made from fully dropped forged steel.
This superior quality production process ensures that the tools have the strength and durability to withstand tough workplace activities.
As for that kit list; OEMTOOLS has provided a full range of accessories with the 25922 dent puller set. These include:
- 12Lb Hammer
- Slide Hammer Shaft
- Slide Hammer Handle
- Slide Hammer Adapter
- Deep Hook
- Short Hook
- Door Edge Tool
- Straight Driver Hook and Chain
- Sheet Metal Screw and Holder
- Nose Piece with Screw.
In short, everything you need to tackle compromised vehicle bodywork (and any other sheet metal distortions that need to be pulled true).
For safe storage when not in use a blow mold case is also provided.
Pros of the OEMTOOLS 25922 Dent Puller Set
- A comprehensive set of tools designed specifically for car dent removal
- Superior build quality with the dropped forged steel
- Safe storage with the included durable blow mold case
- Again, very few Amazon customer complaints reported on the OEMTOOlS. However, at the time of writing it is more expensive to buy than our top pick OTC.
The OEMTOOLS 25922 Dent Puller Set shines due to its dedication to the job in hand. The full set is designed for vehicle dent removal. The comprehensive list of accessories that comes with the set, makes this one of the best dent removers on the market. Highly recommended.
3. ABN 9 Piece 5-lb. Slide Hammer Dent Puller Set
The ABN 9 Piece 5-lb. Slide Hammer Dent Puller Set is another tool designed specifically for auto body DIY repairs.
Suited to both home users and professional mechanics, if you’ve got sheet metal with a dent in it, the ABN will make short work of it.
Like the Oemtools 25922 reviewed above, the tools and accessories are constructed from forged hardened steel. When you’re pulling hard and need that extra strength, this forging process helps the tool meet the demands of the task.
Well in theory that is the case. However, a small minority of customers have reported issues with the build quality on this set, experiencing components bending when in use.
This is a smaller kit than the Oemtools in the fact a 5lb hammer is included rather than 12 lb, however the full list of adaptors and accessories is impressive nonetheless.
Let’s take a look at what’s in the box:
- 5 lb. Hammer
- Nose Adapter (18 TPI I.D. x 14 TPI O.D.)
- 1 Nose Cone (18 TPI x 24 TPI)
- 1 Metal Pulling Screw (14 TPI)
- 1 Pierce Punch (24 TPI x 13 TPI)
- 2 Puller Hooks
- 1 Plate Edge Puller
ABN has stepped up when it comes to ease of use. The comfortable grip handle ensures a good operator grip, providing the control you need when pulling out the dents.
Pros of the ABN 9 Piece 5-lb. Slide Hammer Dent Puller Set
- A comprehensive kit with everything you need to mend and repair auto body dents.
- Forged hardened steel construction.
- Comfortable grip handle for secure operation
- A minority of customers have had issues with the build quality with reports of some of the components failing under strain.
The ABN 9 piece slide hammer set is another great tool specifically design for dent removal. Marred slightly by the fact the hammer set doesn’t have the overall build quality when compared to the likes of the OTC and OEMTOOLS, it is still a worthwhile option nonetheless.
- Related Content: Hydraulic Shop Press Reviews – Top 5 Picks
4. Heavy Duty 18 Pc. 13 Lb. Dent Puller Body Tool Kit
This heavy-duty dent pulling tool kit is another tool that opts for a 5lb hammer to give you the heft you need to repair auto body defects.
A full 18 pieces are included in the set, which is again specifically designed for auto body repair mechanics in mind. (That doesn’t stop you, home users, from giving this type of dent removing a go, however).
Combination steel construction has been used on the puller to provide the strength required.
To ensure everything is safely packed away after use, (and all those components do not get lost around the workshop), a blow mold case is also provided.
Pros of the Heavy Duty 18 Pc. 13 Lb. Dent Puller Body Tool Kit
- Tool is specifically designed for auto body repair work.
- Good sized 5lb hammer provided to give you the heft you need
- The puller has been made from combination steel for extra durability
- Blow mold case for easy and safe storage.
- A minor complaint, but a minority of customers have received a different color tool to the one advertised.
Much like the Oemtools and ABN 9 piece, this auto body dent removal set provides all the tools and accessories you need to work on repairing your vehicle like a pro.
The plus point here is the sheer value for money; this is an 18 piece set designed to facilitate all manner of dent removal tasks. Highly recommended.
5. Capri Tools 21008 Slide Hammer and Puller Set
Another Capri Tools product makes our top 5 dent puller review list. Here the brand has released a top notch, 15 piece slide hammer and puller set that includes a well considered assortment of accessories.
Designed of course for dent pulling, the kit list also lends itself to a wider range of pulling tasks beyond that of auto body repair.
Construction quality is good too. Components within the Capri Tools 21008 slide hammer and puller set are made with strong, durable Chrome-Vanadium steel; the end result being tools that are built to last.
The kit list (while slightly less than the heavy-duty puller set reviewed above) does offer a number of items that both the professional mechanic and home DIYer will find useful.
As we state, the set is fully designed to accommodate a wide range of pulling applications. Tools include:
- External 3-jawpuller
- internal 3-jaw puller
- external 2-jaw puller
- internal 2-jaw puller
- grip wrench adapter
- puller hood
- rear axle puller
- dent puller.
As with all the kits in our top 5 slide hammer review roundup, the tools can be safely stored in the provided blow-molded case.
For a peace of mind that goes even further, Capri Tools provide a full lifetime warranty on your purchase.
Pros of the Capri Tools 21008 Slide Hammer and Puller Set
- A comprehensive 15 piece set – covers all manner of pulling applications
- Durable Chrome-Vanadium steel construction
- Lifetime warranty included
- Blow molded case for safe storage
- Very few complaints on this Capri Tools offering. One customer experienced the T-handle breaking upon arrival. However, with added extras such as the lifetime warranty, you can have peace of mind against such manufacturing errors.
Capri Tools have manufactured an extremely versatile slide hammer dent pulling set here. With 15 pieces included, along with a lifetime warranty, this was a close contender for our number 1 pick. Top value for money.