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Why magnetic rollers are bad for your paintless dent removal training


The magnetic tip from youtube user retrocarexpress looks like it will really help you know right where your tool is.
I mean, this is what paintless dent repair is all about right?
Knowing where you are and pushing just the right amount in the exact spot of the dent. It looks like a quick fix for the paintless dent repair trainee.
But sadly, there is no such thing as a quick fix.
In fact, using a small ball bearing on the outside of the panel is a really a step backwards in your pdr training.
Why so?
Because how you see dents matters. When you look at a panel with a reflection, you can, with proper training, see the tool move underneath.
How you train your eyes matters a lot.
In fact, I’ll tell you this. After spending eight years in paint booths, watching for texture in my spray outs, I thought it would be a natural move to do paintless dent removal. No.
How you see as a painter, and how you see when fixing dents is two very different techniques.
Watching a ball bearing roll around on a panel will hinder you from learning what you need to see for the same reason.
Finding your tip while watching the top and watching a bearing move are as far apart as black and white is to color.
If your training shows you what the instructor sees through his eyes, then you will have no need for a magnetic roller. You will see your tip as you should, and your eyes will train in paintless repair much faster.
So skip the tip and you’ll thank me later.

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  1. I don’t have any experience here but just a comment or two on your post. It seems that using a magnetic roller would prevent one from obtaining the skill you’re talking about (seeing the tool below the surface). In some ways, it’s a crutch for the lesser skilled technician. What I’m having trouble understanding is how the crutch prevents a successful repair. In other words, depending on which method is used, how does the final result differ and why?



    1. Don,
      thanks for a great question.
      Magnetic rollers are not so much a crutch as a hindrance to the real way you will learn to see dents.
      Looks like a short cut but not this time.
      Its like taking driving lessons, but starting with an eyepatch over one eye.
      The final results as far as the repair goes may not differ, same as you very well could drive with one eye closed.
      It is more a needless holding one’s progress back.


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