Glue pull vs. PDR – Who Will Win?

There are two main methods of paintless dent removal, glue pulling or glue pdr, and pushing from the back PDR.
The differences are this: one is done from above and one from underneath. Which is better?
Watch these ambiguous videos for the answer.

Think I'm trying to sell you on glue pulling? Watch the next one.

Some say I'm old school, but I like to use glue pulling only when I have to.
I've always said a good pusher makes a good puller, so if you know how to push, glue pulling comes easier.
The requirements are the same for the PDR tech. You must know how to read a dent well and know what is low and what is high. Where to push next, or pull or knock down.

With today's cars you will need to know how to do both, so be clear with your PDR trainer about what you will learn.
There is a disturbing trend with some paintless dent repair schools, where only glue pulling is taught.
This is only half (or less) of the full story of PDR.

Remember, push from behind paintless dent repair has about 15 years head start on glue pulling.
But for those places with no access, glue pulling is a real complement to PDR.
What about you? Push or pull?
Tim

25 Responses to “Glue pull vs. PDR – Who Will Win?”

  1. Michael Shannon October 30, 2009 at 9:29 am #

    I can not say I am old school or new school when it comes to this debate. I have been a PDR Tech for a little over 5 years and have found that most dents should be fixed from behind, but there are some that cant be fixed from behind because of lack of access. Then there are those dents that have access from behind but it is limited. In this case you can glue pull it till it is managable for a tight access tool from behind. In all honesty either one can do the job but both work much better when used together.

    • Safewaymike November 4, 2009 at 3:28 pm #

      @Michael Shannon: by saying “used together” do you recomend glue pulling and then finish the job by pushing the dent ?

      • Tim Olson November 5, 2009 at 9:18 am #

        @safewaymike – this can be good in many cases, but it depends on the dent and the access available.

  2. Airfare Comparison October 30, 2009 at 9:34 am #

    I have tried glue pulling, and have never had any success, so I will stick to pushing for now.

    Great videos though.

  3. tan October 30, 2009 at 9:40 am #

    Hi Tim ,
    In my opion ,push or pull they have the advantage of the technic ,what if the car had paint job on it ? push is a must i think .
    what if there is no asset ? pull is a must, i think ! But as a person who like to control the job push is better ,you are not to worry about vehicle have painted or not, even painted panels with popper technic you can finish the job good ,my opion is Push is better.

  4. david October 30, 2009 at 11:54 am #

    I wish to remove dents so clean and complete with glue pulling as with rods.
    Me experience is that stretch or creased dents are impossible to remove completely with glue pulling. That may be because experience with glue pulling is not as good as with dents but I prefer tools over glue pulling and I use glue pulling for dents which I can not access or more likely for huge or complex dents where i need to released lot of pressure. For that glue pulling is great tools and speed up process.

    wish you all best
    and lot of biz. ;)

  5. Bill October 30, 2009 at 4:00 pm #

    I hate glue pulling and only use it when necessary.

  6. daniel October 30, 2009 at 6:31 pm #

    I’ve pushed and pulled for 10 years. My experience has taught me that pushing is always faster. I only use glue pulling as a last resort if i cant access the panel. But glue pulling to me is very frustrating because it may take 2, or 3, or 4, sometimes alot of trys to get it to come out. And as some have already stated if the dent is very sharp or creased, glue wont get it out completely. Its good to have glue as an add-on option, but for me, my choice is definitely PUSH.

  7. Darien October 30, 2009 at 7:28 pm #

    I prefer pushing dents to pulling, but I am not overly experienced with pulling. I have had success pulling smaller hail dents, but I don’t have much luck with creases and deeper dents. (probably a lack of experience). I am a novice and could use further training. Any suggestions? I want to be excellent at PDR and not give fellow PDR Techs a bad name by doing shoddy work.

    Thanks for the videos.

    • Tim Olson November 1, 2009 at 9:55 am #

      Darien, my first recommendation is going to be the Paintless Mentor System Videos.
      DVD one will teach you creases filmed from my perspective.
      I also have a (new for 2009) DVD dedicated to fixing larger, stretched, deep bottom dents.
      In person training is also available to you at our retail store in Tulsa, OK.

  8. Kent D. Row October 30, 2009 at 10:17 pm #

    Tim,
    The Big $MONEY$ is knowing when to use both. Individually, as well as together. I might have a Lexus that has 15 or 20 hail dents on the roof at a dealer and I know I can cheat the headliner and glue-pull the ones around the braces of the sunroof. If they are releasing well, with minimal effort I might glue-pull them all.
    I would also lean towards pulling up the core of certain dents more often now then before I ever had the option available.
    Glue pulling has made me tens of thousands of dollars, where I would not have had it otherwise.
    Keys = DON”T pull on “old” paint. and be VERY cautious when pulling on repaints if they are questionable in their quality.
    I have only pulled the paint off 2 cars that might have mattered. An “old” collector car ( which was in fact a re-paint after I was rpomised it wasn’t) and a Ferrari ( Go figure )
    Anyway, I got paid on both ( I was trying to save the owner the panel on the Ferrari so all he would have to do was paint it since the panel needed paint from the previous damage). ( OK, it was the size of a baseball, but it superglued right back on and it was going to get sanded and painted anyway!)
    As the “Gambler would sing”, know when to fold ‘em and know when to run!

    Hope this helps.

    May your abilities to work smarter increase by the moment and your chosen field of PDR buy you time to enjoy what God has so richly put around you to partake of.
    Kent D. Row / PDR
    Patmos Ministries / Heisnear.com

  9. Eric October 30, 2009 at 10:40 pm #

    Hi Tim,

    Great Videos and very funny! I have to tell you I learn Pdr from a friend who has been doing it for about 12 years now full time for a living, but my knowledge is limited. I get some vehicles in stock that are just average type cars so being perfect is not always a must, although I do try to make them perfect. I just learned the basic things for my own dents on my own cars and I am not doing it for a living to some other car that someone wants perfect. I would tell you that glue pulling big dents is working for me there is some great new glue tabs that really hold well and some too well, but like I said I keep it simple, no big jobs that I cannot handle thats for the pros!!!!!

  10. Dana October 31, 2009 at 4:15 pm #

    As an experienced and well trained PDR tech, I think of the glue puller as a tool in the box. Paintless Dent Removal is just that. It doesn’t matter how you do it, as long as you fix the dent. If conventional methods don’t work, then maybe the glue will. Reguardless, there are dents that can’t be fixed, whether pushing or pulling. A hail car with 100 dents repaired to 95% is a car with 100 dents still in it. To be successful in today’s market, a PDR tech. needs to be able to fix big dents fast and 100%. Glue is just a tool to help. As much money as training new PDR techs. can make, it just devalues our services for the future. Keep PDR a novelty!

  11. Joel October 31, 2009 at 5:47 pm #

    Really good videos. I have been doing pdr for a couple of years and I think both are necessary. Pushing has its advantage on deep dents and is faster. Pulling is good where there is no access. I like both for different things.

  12. tc October 31, 2009 at 7:27 pm #

    i only have ex. w/ glue,got a cheap kit for a softball size dent on a M/C tank,i got it about 98% out,just needed a very small tab to get the rest out but no tab was avail that small.well it did get the bike sold,hey new tanks are 800.oo + i would like to get the hard tools for pushin but no $,i’m on diss from a head Injury so $$ hadr to come by.

  13. Pham Viet Duc November 3, 2009 at 4:03 am #

    Push or pull have its own advantage, many times pull will help push easier. I use both methods for my job.

  14. Tj November 3, 2009 at 4:38 am #

    Hi Mr Tim, Pushing rulezzzzz

    regards good video

  15. Steve St.Gelais November 16, 2009 at 10:22 pm #

    Tim,In my experiences I find that both pushing and pulling used together usually gets the job done faster.As I start working a vehicle, usually I push first to any areas there is access for tools,as it seems to be faster, more precise and accurate than pulling and then pull the areas with no access.Pulling on the other hand always gives you a backup where there isn’t access and in some instances especially when working hail (depending on size and count)can work just as good and fast.I just got done working a hail storm in the North Eastern U.S. which gave me a huge oppertunity to get more used to glue pulling.I only have three things to say practice,practice,practice

    • Tim Olson November 19, 2009 at 10:59 am #

      Steve, I’m pleased you were able to work a hail storm this year. Its wonderful to hear from you and thanks for your input.
      Keep pressin’ on

  16. samita vaoifi November 22, 2009 at 7:50 pm #

    Hey Tim howzit, samita here, I’ve seen paint pulled off with the glue, so being in business for myself, thanks to you and a local body shop owner here in hawaii, I’m kind of weary of pulling, I’d rather take my chances pushing. I guess you could call it fear of the paint pulleridous. Good hearing from you, have a Great Thanksgiving, oh, and thanks for helping me learn a great skill, aloha.

    • Tim Olson November 23, 2009 at 12:38 pm #

      Hello Samita, good to hear from you! 2005 seems like so long ago. Glad to hear you’re still rocking along in PDR.
      Pulling paint is a very real risk with glue pulling. If you give full disclosure and the customer is willing to absorb the risk, then you’re covered.
      Sometimes its your only option, so the customer must choose.

      Paint pulleridous

      Hilarious!

  17. Gary Doyle January 21, 2010 at 6:04 pm #

    Hey tim amazing video!!! Great idea to put it up on youtube should pull in quit a few hits on your website. Trust me you can’t buy this kind of publicity!!!!! By the way tim, I had a Buddy of mine ( Rich ) watch your gold series video. (He has been a welder for 25 years so he as a good idea how steal reacts.) Anyhow after 3 months he’s actually faster and better at pusing dents than I am!!! (I follwed a four day course and was the only student with the teacher.) Hell Tim if I can get a few spare hours I’ll watch your videos too. By the way we don’t push that many dents up here in the winter cause of all the snow but by spring time Rich won’t be wellding anymore he’ll be pushing dents with me.!!!! Thanks Tim.

    • Tim Olson January 22, 2010 at 7:28 am #

      Thank you Gary. I’m happy Rich’s PDR training is going so well. You two will make good team!

  18. Vladislav August 30, 2012 at 6:05 am #

    Hello. I’m From Russia. I like your video and it’s very cognitive for me. But one of you video i heard “Don’t buy PDR tools on ebay”, that’s why can you give me link where i can buy PDR tools?

    • Tim Olson November 1, 2012 at 4:23 pm #

      Hello Vladislav,
      I don’t believe all ebay tools are bad as I once did…
      B and D tools makes the best door jammer on the market.
      They also make some good tools.
      I try to stay tool company neutral.

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