Tools Needed for Auto Body Repair - A Guide

If there is one thing that a great shop must have, it's the right tools needed for auto body repair.

Whether you are getting a body shop up and running for the first time, or just giving a facelift to the services you are offering, it's crucial to make sure you are outfitted with the proper tools to get the job done. In this article, we will lay out the basic equipment needed for a body shop.

Please note, we're assuming you've already got the basics for automotive repair -- wrenches, bolts, screwdrivers, etc. -- so we won't be going over those, nor is our list totally exhaustive. Ultimately, you will want to have the tools for the kind of services and repairs that your shop offers.

But this body shop tools list is a great place to start.

Car Painting Equipment List

If you're planning on offering car painting and touch ups as a service in your shop, here are a few of the bigger items you should have at the ready.

Paint gun

We know that this one might be a bit obvious, but it's worth mentioning that choosing a paint gun is no unimportant task. While you don't necessarily need to get an ultra expensive paint gun, if you do a lot of paint body work, you may want to opt for a higher quality product. You may also want to get multiple spray guns for different job types.

Air compressor

A paint gun is only as good as the air compressor that's running it. Make sure that you get a compressor that is specifically designed for paint guns so that you have enough power to get the job done.

Air hoses

When painting cars, the air needs to be conducted under pressure; that's where air hoses come in. You'll want to choose one that is long enough to reach the necessary distance in shop, as well as light enough that it isn't a nuisance.

Paint Booth

One big product you may want to invest in is a paint booth. While smaller paint jobs can normally squeak by without one, if you'll be doing a lot of painting in your shop, you'll want to be ready.

Paint booths ensure you have a designated area that's only used for automobile painting, and also help with safety concerns and maintenance that come along with vehicle painting.


As with any auto body shop, there are also odds and ends that should be on hand for painting purposes, too such as tips, nozzles, replacement cups, and paint shakers to name a few. These painting supplies may not be the bigger purchases you think about, but they play a crucial role in getting the job done with efficiency.

Auto Body & Collision Repair Tools List

Obviously, there are many tools that we could list here, but we'll just touch on the necessities for a few common repairs below.

Small repair tools

For the smaller repairs you come across in your shop, have some dent tools on hand, from stud guns to fillers and spreaders, among others. For larger dent repairs, you'll need to get something similar to the deluxe steel dent removal system.

Big repair Tools

When a car's damage is bigger than minor cuts and bruises, you'll want to pull out the heavy duty tools.

One of the most important is a frame and body straightener, which allows you to restore the car's original frame when it has been warped.

Beyond the body straightener, you'll also want to have these accessories on hand for frame jobs:

  • Pulling posts

  • Anchor pots

  • Pulleys

Glass repair

Another common repair seen by many auto body shops is glass or windshield repair. While there are a myriad of tools for these repairs, a few should not be forgotten:

  • Removal tools - Don't try to pry that windshield off with a pry bar -- get a glass and windshield removal kit or tool set so that you can remove glass safely.

  • Caulking gun - It's the glue that holds it all together. A high-performance caulking gun dispenses sealants, adhesives, and caulks in a smooth and firm manner.

  • Glass setting stick - Place a glass setting stick at the base of the windshield opening to ensure that your installation stays in place.

Diagnostic Tools List

As an auto repair person, you are like a car doctor in that you have to understand what's wrong with a vehicle, and then move on to fixing it. Step one: diagnose.

There are many tools out there that can help you figure out what the problem is. Below are a few diagnostic tools we suggest having and their respective uses:

  • Code reader -- identify and read error codes across different models

  • Electrical system tester -- verify battery conditions

  • Leak detector -- spot instances of fluid loss in the vehicle

  • Multimeter -- take various measurements of the car's health and performance

Air tools

Whether you need to quickly remove rust and paint from an area, drill into a projects, or sand and polish a surface, you'll want to have various air tools at the ready to make things easier for you around the shop.

We recommend having the following air tools in your shop for these jobs:

  • Sanders

  • Grinders

  • Buffers/polishers

  • Drills

Other Basic Shop Equipment and Supplies

As we mentioned above, this is not an exhaustive tool list, and your shop may need different tools, accessories, and odds and ends that come in handy.

For example, we suggest car lifts for shops that want to maximize storage and improve undercarriage visibility. Beyond those, you may also want to have different tapes, paints, caddies, and maintenance supplies on hand so that in a pinch, you've got your bases covered. These accessories also help increase productivity and efficiency around the shop.

From basic tuneups to full-car paint jobs and more, your auto body shop should be ready for action when the time comes, with all the equipment and tools you need to get the job done.

To determine what you'll need beyond the basics, start from the services you offer and work backwards. While some tools are must-haves and others are nice-to-haves, your core set of products should be quality, reliable ones -- don't skimp on these!

Here at Auto Body Toolmart, we want to help you find all the tools you are looking for to equip your auto body shop to be ready for action. Shop our wide selection of body shop tools today!

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