The 9 Best Slide Hammers
This wiki has been updated 24 times since it was first published in August of 2015. Slide hammers are specialized instruments that transfer inertia to a component that you want to remove using a weight that impacts a stop connected to a shaft, which is fixed to the target component or area. Whether you work in an auto body shop or do your own DIY repair, one of these tools will make it easy to pull dents, remove bearings, and strike an object from an inaccessible side. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
November 19, 2020:
For this update, we removed the Lotus Analin AT3689 due to a lack of reliable online reviews or opinions. It may be a quality option, but with the abundance of other models with significant reviews, we thought it best to leave it off our list.
We added the OEM Tools 25922, a heavy-duty option primarily designed for dent-pulling. It includes a lot of accessories that help to access dents in hard to reach areas. Its hammer is a heavy-duty 12 pounds, so you probably won’t find yourself lacking in power with this model. It doesn’t have the axle puller attachments that some of the other kits do, so keep that in mind if you see any axle work in your future.
If your profession or hobby requires even more hammering and whacking, you may want to consider one of these dead blow hammers. Designed to reduce rebounding and minimize damage to sensitive surfaces, these hammers are ideal when it comes to automotive work.
In addition to your slide hammer, you may want to invest in a dedicated jaw puller as well. These tools are specifically designed to remove press-fitted components like bearings or gears, that have become seized or just won’t budge.
July 24, 2019:
Slide hammers offer the ability to perform repairs that would otherwise be extremely difficult. As far as dent pulling, you can quickly weld the hammer to the center of the dent and yank it to form. Without this tool, you would have to remove the plastic liner or the entire piece. Most panels on cars now have inner and an outer panels which complicates the task of popping a dent out from the inside (since the inner sheet is not removable and often blocks the outer panel).
For pulling axles, hubs, and other suspension components, the impact of having a slide hammer like the Alltrade 648611, the CTA Tools 8090, or the XtremepowerUS 02216 is also significant. Suspension components will rust in any part of the world (more so where road salt is used) and pulling them by hand is out of the question. Conventional hammers can be used where enough space is allowed behind the wheel hub but this is almost never the case and they do not produce uniform forces which can lead to marring and failures. These kits include everything that is required to complete the vast majority of these sorts of tasks.
Automotive repair contains many inherent dangers and should only be performed by trained technicians to avoid personal injury or damage to property.