Accidents happen. That is one fact of life that all car owners can agree upon. No matter how careful a driver you are, no matter how peaceful your neighborhood is and no matter how rugged your vehicle might be, once in a while you are going to have to repair your car’s body.

Professional garages and repair shops are expensive places. If you have a minor scratch, dent or smash it might feel like a step too far to take your beloved car into the shop. For the mechanically inclined, fixing your own car can be a great experience. There is nothing more satisfying than doing something yourself.

There are a number of relatively affordable tools for fixing auto body mishaps at home. Of course, if you have had a major accident it is advisable to take your car into a professional auto shop like for safety’s sake. Here are four of the most essential tools for auto body repairs.

Suction Cups

One of the most common minor auto body mishaps is a dent. Modern cars are designed with deliberately ‘crushable’ exterior body structures in order to keep the occupants safe in the event of a crash. This means that even a small knock will create a big and unsightly dent.

Luckily, the malleable nature of external auto bodies means that a very simple device can be used to fix dents. Powerful suction cups are a really great tool for fixing dents. Simply attach the suction cup to the dented area and slowly pull. This tool is great for fixing cosmetic damage. However, if your dent impacts the engine or exhaust you will need professional help.

Spray Guns

No matter how well you have completed your auto body repair, your car will still look like garbage with a big chunk of paint scratched off. A good spray gun and some officially licensed paint from your car’s manufacturer lets you put on an even coat of paint that blends in with the rest of your car.

An adjustable spray gun is far more useful than an aerosol, as it lets you change the spread of paint as you work.

Bumping Hammer & Dolly Sets

A good hammer and dolly set can last a lifetime. These tools are the bread and butter of auto body shop workers, and are available at reasonable prices for home use. Essentially, a dolly is a shaped bit of metal that acts as a ‘guide’ for hammering out dents.

A bumping hammer usually has a special wide head that allows for gentle cajoling of the car’s aluminum body. The correct use of a hammer and dolly set is a fine art and takes lots of practice. It is worth giving it a try with some sheet metal before setting to work on your car.

Angle Grinders/Sanders

Any damage to the body of your car will likely lead to some acute angles in the aluminum structure. The same can be said of any welding that you may have done during your fix. It is essential that you smooth out any acute angles, as these are both aesthetically and structurally jarring. A good angle grinder allows for the fitting of various heads or wheels to suit any smoothing purpose.

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