Items Needed

Watch this brief video about the tools of the trade. Then, familiarize yourself with the common items needed for Paintless Dent Repair by reviewing the cards below the video. Flip each card to see an image of the tool.

Online PDR Training

Hood Stand

Dent Light

Automobile Hood

China Marker (or Equivalent)

Panel Lever

Dent Hammer & Knock Down

Dent Rod

Hood Prop

  • Hood Stand
  • Dent Light
  • Automobile Hood
  • Bungee Cords/Ratchet Straps
  • China Marker or Equivalent
  • S-Hook or Panel Lever
  • Dent Hammer and Knock Down
  • Dent Rod

Setup and Use of the Reflector/Line Board or Dent Light

Reflector Board

  • Designed to be mainly used outside, by positioning yourself in a manner on the vehicle that would allow you have the sun on your back, shining over your shoulder. This will allow the sunlight to “illuminate” the board creating a reflection on the panel to be repaired. 
  • Unlike a Dent Light, you will place the line of the Reflector Board Reflection in the center of the dent. On a low spot the reflection line will widen out, stretch, or take the shape of the dent. On a high spot the reflection line will draw to or pull to the highest peak causing the line to become narrow.

PDR Light

  • There are many brands of dent lights available from 12” to over 48” in length and are powered by 12-volt plug, 18/20-volt batteries and even DeWalt/Milwaukee style rechargeable batteries. The size, brand and type are not near as important as making sure you are using it correctly.
  • The correct placement of the dent light is crucial.  Place the bright solid LED portion of the reflection about 1/2” – 1 inch in front of the dent.   Do not place the dent in the center of the solid LED portion of the reflection, because it will cause the dent to “Wash Out”, making the depth of the dent unrecognizable. If the dent is positioned properly on the reflection, the half furthest from the technician will be dark, and the half closest will be light.
  • Dent or Shallow Area = Light to Dark
  • High Spot = Dark to Light
  • The “Dark” area we are referring to is vitally important. It is the low area of the dent. You see this with the dent light positioned correctly, because the light will “cast” a shadow (also called “the fade”) into the dent. The darkest point is the deepest point.
  • Looking in a dent, with the dent light positioned correctly you will see a distinctive “line” in the bottom of the dent. This “line” is where the light area meets the dark area. This is important as it shows you the deepest point of the dent. The point where they intersect or come together is the deepest point.
  • The “Light” or bright area we refer to is the high area. The highest point will also be the brightest point.

Lesson 1 – The Dent Light & Tip Location

Every Paintless Dent Repair process incorporates the use of a dent light, a battery powered portable version, traditional boom stand light or reflector board.  The light creates shadows to see the depth while the reflector board gives the technician a constant straight edge to work as a guide. More importantly, it illuminates the dent in a manner that allows the technician to see exactly where his/her tool is.

“If you can’t see it, you can’t fix it!”

Explore the parts of a dent in the image below to better understand the anatomy of lighting a dent.

Light Side of Dent





Technician Side of Dent

Closing Thoughts

Technical skills are only a part of what makes an individual a productive member of society. Being employable also means that you possess every day life skills, such as punctuality and integrity. These are a vital part of professional life are are equally important to understand and master while on your path to becoming a paintless dent repair expert! Here’s another word from president, Todd Sudeck, on the importance of these skills!

Essential Skills

Great work on completed another module. Before we wrap up, let’s explore another essential skill of everyday life: communication! 

It’s probably not the first time you’ve heard about the importance of communication. It’s vital to relationships of all kinds: coworkers, family, significant others, and even friends! In the paintless dent repair industry, it can be make or break between a customer having an exceptional experience. And an exceptional experience means they’ll come back to you time and time again! If you move into management, it’s critical to having happy, reliable employees. And that equals greater success for you!

Review the PDF below for more details, and then continue to the next module. 

Please Complete the Lessons Below in Order to Proceed

Click on ‘Show What You Know!’ and  ‘Knowledge Check’ below then mark each complete in order to proceed in the training.