Top 10 Best Tube Benders (Reviews & Buyers’ Guide 2022)
Engineer Warehouse is an expert in professional tools and equipment for home and technical use. We recommend products and services based on unbiased research from our editorial team. We have reviewed thousands of products ranging from classic models, new releases, and innovative technologies. Our articles provide objective insights into what will make a smart investment for customers like you. We may receive compensation if you click on a link. Last updated on July 7, 2022.
- Best Tube Bender for Sale in 2022
- Top-rated with over 1,000 user ratings on Amazon
- Compact and portable design with carrying case
- Uses a ratcheting system to bend pipes and tubes, can be operated with one hand
- Easy setup design; mandrel and crossbar snap into place and are ready for bending pipes
- With reverse bending attachment to create bends in opposite directions
- With locking slider for storage and transport
- With quick-release button to release tubes and pipes after bending
- Can bend tubes with sizes from ¼” to 7”8
- Best tube bender runner-up
- Top-rated with over 1,300 user ratings on Amazon
- Compact design for working in tight workspaces
- Calibrated markings for accurate tube bending
- Works well with soft copper, aluminum, and thin wall steel tubing
- Can bend up to 180-degree tight radius bends
- Cushion grip on both handles for comfort and extra grip
- Can bend ¼”, ⅜”, and ½” tube sizes
- Best ratchet crossbow tube bender
- Top-rated with over 560 user ratings on Amazon
- Features a ratchet crossbow design to bend tube to 90-degree angle, can be used in both directions
- Compact and portable design with carrying case for parts and dies
- Color-coded mandrels for easy identification and sizing
- Great fit for HVAC tradesmen for working on heating, venting, and air conditioning tubing
- Aluminum dies do not kink copper tubing
- Ratchet can be used with one hand
- Best tube bender for professionals
- Highly-rated with over 150 user ratings on Amazon
- Can bend high-strength tubing like stainless steel and titanium
- 16-inch long handles provide more leverage, with cushion grips for added comfort and grip
- Two-stage design allows bending from 90-degrees to 180-degrees
- With calibrated markings for precise bending
- Built-in vise clamp provides stability when bending
- With ½” outer diameter and 1-½” bend radius
- Made with durable materials for tough and rugged use
- Best heavy rebar bender and cutter
- Highly-rated with over 110 user ratings on Amazon
- Long handle provides more leverage when cutting and bending, with 12” no-slip handle for comfort and added grip
- Adjustable 2-½” diameter bending roller
- With replaceable cutting jaws
- Comes with lifting chain that makes carrying easy
- Tough and rugged, great for working with #3, #4, and #5 rebar
- Best hydraulic tube bender
- Highly-rated with over 130 user ratings on Amazon
- Heavy-duty tube bender with 12-ton capacity
- ½” to 2” bending range, with six dies for a variety of tubing sizes
- 1/2"", 3/4"", 1"", 1-1/4"", 1-1/12"" and 2"" size dies
- Can bend from 90-degrees to 180-degrees
- Hydraulic system makes bending easy and convenient
- With long handle with rubber grip for extra leverage
- Made with durable steel material
- Stable base for added security when in use
- Size is great for workshops
- Best mounted tube bender
- Highly-rated with over 100 user ratings on Amazon
- With mounting tabs for secure and stable use on work tables
- With 7 tube bending dies: ⅜”, ½”, 9/16”, ⅝”, ¾”, ⅞”, and 1”
- Long handle with rubber grip provides leverage when bending
- Made with tough 40CR steel for rugged use
- Can bend up to 2mm-thick tubing with pipe diameter ranging from 10-25mm
- Manual tube bender design is good for construction, machining, repairs, and other industrial applications
- Best copper tube bender
- Highly-rated with almost 100 user ratings on Amazon
- Can bend a variety of copper tubing, perfect for HVAC tradesmen and professionals
- With ratcheting design for one-handed operation
- Can reverse bend copper tubing
- With 7 exchangeable aluminum dies: 1/4"", 5/16"", 3/8"", 1/2"", 5/8"", 3/4"", and 7/8""
- With included pipe cutter and spare blade
- Comes with a carrying case
- Portable design is perfect for working at different job sites
- Best tube bender for workshops
- Highly-rated with over 90 user ratings on Amazon
- Big size and components are great for frequent use, good for fabrication work
- Can bend up to 2-inch diameter round or square tubing
- CNC machined components for precision work
- 29-inch handle provides leverage when working
- With calibrated markings for precise bending
- Best rugged tube bender runner-up
- Highly-rated with almost 80 user ratings on Amazon
- Made with high-strength stainless steel for durability and rugged use
- Can bend stainless steel and titanium tubing
- With calibrated markings for precision work
- Can bend tubing from 90-degrees to 180-degrees
- Extra long 16-inch handles provide leverage
- With built-in vise clamp for added stability
- ⅜” outer diameter capacity, bend radius of 15/16”
Professionals and DIYers alike will benefit from having a reliable, high-quality tube bender. But with so many options in the market, it can be overwhelming to choose.
Getting the best tube bender for the job is crucial; getting it right means saving a lot of money, time, and effort as well as preventing tube/pipe damage and more mishaps.
We compiled a list of the ten best tube benders in the market, in the hopes of helping people like you make the best purchase for their home or office improvement project. Our review dives into some of the most well-known hope equipment brands and some not-so-common names in the game. We check each tube bender’s performance, price, and more.
The main reason for getting a tube bender is to get good bends for a variety of tubing types and sizes. The picks on this list are all capable of giving you clean bends if you know what you’re doing. 90-180-degree bends can be achieved if you have a proper tool (like the ones we have on this list).
Parts like formers, rollers, dies, and mandrels can be used to bend different tube/pipe sizes and materials. We have a wide variety of tube bending tools that can be used for HVAC trade, plumbing, automotive, and even home improvement.
You should always check your project first before trying to bend tubes or pipes with a specific tool. Once you know the specs, then you can choose the right tool for the job. While you may be able to bend tubes and pipes without a proper tube bender, chances are you’ll get less than perfect results so it’s probably wiser to get a proper tool instead.
Ease of Use
Tools are supposed to make your life and work easier, not the other way around. The tools we feature here are easy to work with so you can be more efficient with your tube bending projects. We didn’t want to include picks that have overly complicated designs that will probably confuse or frustrate you down the road.
Bending tubes can be dangerous without the proper tools. You will be applying torque on the tubes/pipes that you’ll be working on so your safety should be one of the considerations when it comes to picking a tube bender. Our recommendations on this list are safe to use (practice helps to promote a safe working environment when using any kind of tools) due to their good design and quality construction.
It’s not enough to be able to bend tubes into different shapes and angles. Professionals know and take this to heart whenever they’re working on a specific project. Your bends should be able to match the specifications of the job so an accurate tool will greatly help you do that. Our picks have calibrated graduations to get you the perfect angles for your bends. Mastering them might require a little bit of patience and time. You will be able to get the perfect bend every time with a little effort with the help of these top quality tools.
A good tube bender should be able to handle working with different materials or sizes of tubing and pipes. If you’re an HVAC technician, you will have to work with a variety of tubing sizes for your projects. The same goes if you’re a plumber, automotive mechanic, fabricator, or even if you’re a serious DIY enthusiast. We picked some of the best tool benders in the market that can work with different materials like steel, copper, and titanium so you can work on a variety of projects. Being flexible with different kinds of tube/pipework will let you learn more about the trade and get better results faster.
View the Best Tube Benders in the Market Below:
|Key Features||Compact and portable design with carrying case|
|Uses a ratcheting system to bend pipes and tubes, can be operated with one hand|
|Easy setup design; mandrel and crossbar snap into place and are ready for bending pipes|
|With reverse bending attachment to create bends in opposite directions|
|With locking slider for storage and transport|
|With-quick release button to release tubes and pipes after bending|
|Can bend tubes with sizes from ¼” to 7”8|
|Item Weight||7.8 lbs|
|Product Dimensions||13.4 x 9.71 x 3.15”|
Best Tube Bender Overall
Tube and pipe bending can be easy and efficient with the right tools and the proper know-how. If you already have your eyes set on a project, then you’re probably ready to purchase a tool that will get the job done. Up for your consideration is the Hilmor CBK Compact Bender Kit—our best tube bender overall pick.
Specialized tools like tube bending kits can be daunting to look at at first. Like many other specialized tools, there’s a learning curve involved. However, this pick from Hilmor takes the guesswork out of tube bending with its unique ratcheting system and included dies.
This tube bender features an easy-to-assemble working design that lets users bend tubing and pipes to the correct specifications for the job at hand. The included seven tube bender dies can bend a variety of tubing sizes for your different projects. In addition, the mandrel and crossbar easily snap into place so you get the correct bend and shape every time.
The feature we like most about this particular tube bender is the ratcheting system. Instead of using handles to bend tubing, you use the ratcheting mandrel along with the crossbar to get the shape you desired. We have to praise the design for its ease of use and how it minimizes the effort needed to get kink-free tubing for different industrial applications. You can bend brake and fuel lines as well as heating and cooling vents all by yourself.
Another feature worth mentioning is the compact and portable design of this tube bender kit. Hilmor added a slider lock feature that lets users disassemble this tube bender kit and put it in storage in a matter of minutes. The carrying case also helps to keep things organized so you always know where to find the right dies you need for the job.
|Key Features||Compact design for working in tight workspaces|
|Calibrated markings for accurate tube bending|
|Works well with soft copper, aluminum, and thin-wall steel tubing|
|Can bend up to 180-degree tight radius bends|
|Cushion grip on both handles for comfort and extra grip|
|Can bend ¼”, ⅜”, and ½” tube sizes|
|Item Weight||2.43 lbs|
|Product Dimensions||17.4 x 5.1 x 3.2”|
Best Tube Bender Runner-up
Snagging the second place on our list is this durable and high-quality option from Imperial Tools. The 370FH Triple Head Tube Bender is a tool for the tradesman who wants an accessible and versatile tool that you can carry anytime and anywhere.
The lever design of this Imperial tube bender makes tube bending instinctive since you don’t have to worry about using the right dies or other components for the task at hand. You simply have to know the size of the tubing you’re working on, select from the three built-in heads and you’re all set.
This pick is a great fit for HVAC technicians who work with a lot of fittings in their day-to-day jobs. The ¼”, ⅜”, and ½” heads can accommodate commonly used tubing sizes and materials. Bend copper, aluminum, and even thin wall steel tubing with just one tool. It’s perfect for tradesmen who go from one job site to another since they don’t need to worry about carrying heavy kits with components that they may not need for the job.
We like how straightforward this manual tube bender is. It will make easy work of different fittings in the right hands of a trained professional. At the same time, this can be a useful tool for the handyman who likes to work on different projects at home.
Other features of this manual tube bender include the 90-degree to 180-degree bending radius, cushion grip for ergonomic handling, and the adjustable hook that works with each diameter of tubing for perfect bending. It’s an affordable tube bender that is useful as it is versatile.
|Key Features||Features a ratchet crossbow design to bend tube to 90-degree angle, can be used in both directions|
|Compact and portable design with carrying case for parts and dies|
|Color-coded mandrels for easy identification and sizing|
|Great fit for HVAC tradesmen for working on heating, venting, and air conditioning tubing|
|Aluminum dies do not kink copper tubing|
|Ratchet can be used with one hand|
|Item Weight||9.05 lbs|
|Product Dimensions||10 x 3 x 10”|
Best Ratchet Crossbow Tube Bender
We’re still looking at the top choices for the best tube bender and at number three, we have the CPS BLACKMAX BTB300 Ratcheting Tube Bender.
This tube bender kit is similar to our top overall pick for best tube bender as it shares a similar ratcheting design to bend tubes and pipes to the correct specs. However, this tube bender is priced a little bit higher and can be a little heavy on the pockets if you’re just a beginner who’s looking at learning the trade of tube bending. But if you’re a professional who wants a tool kit that can keep up with you and the demanding tasks of your trade, then this might be worth considering.
This tube bender from CPS BLACKMAX has seven included dies for different sizes of tubing and pipes. The variety it offers to the discerning tradesman is pretty decent considering its overall size. In addition, this tube bender has a reverse bending feature so you can work on more intricate shapes of tubing required for more detail-oriented jobs.
Again, it’s worth noting that this is a ratcheting tube bender so it requires less elbow grease to get the right bend or shape for your tubing. This is a lifesaver if you’re planning on taking on huge jobs that will require you to make a lot of fittings of different sizes.
One feature that we also would like to give focus on is the color-coding of the different-sized dies. This makes identifying the dies much easier, especially during busy and hectic days at the job site. You can easily spot the size you need for a specific tube or pipe you need to work on. It’s a small thing for some but professionals will surely find it helpful.
|Key Features||Can bend high-strength tubing like stainless steel and titanium|
|16-inch long handles provide more leverage, with cushion grips for added comfort and grip|
|Two-stage design allows bending from 90-degrees to 180-degrees|
|With calibrated markings for precise bending|
|Built-in vise clamp provides stability when bending|
|With ½” outer diameter and 1-½” bend radius|
|Made with durable materials for tough and rugged use|
|Item Weight||6.6 lbs|
|Product Dimensions||24 x 4 x 3”|
|Manufacturer||Ridgid Tool Company|
Best Tube Bender for Professionals
RIDGID’s tagline “Made for those who know” is perfect for their 600 series tube benders. These specialized tools are perfect for tradesmen who need a reliable tool that they can use day in and day out in their line of work. HVAC technicians, plumbers, and even serious DIY enthusiasts will love this tube bender from RIDGID.
The RIDGID 38048 Heavy Instruments Tube Bender is part of the brand’s 600 series of bender tools. They are dependable specialized tools that feature a lever design that makes bending tubes a hassle-free job. This one is for ½” tubing, a size that is commonly used in different industries like heating, ventilation, and air conditioning as well as plumbing. It can bend different materials like copper, stainless steel, and even titanium thanks to its durable construction and well-designed components.
We like the functionality of this pick from RIDGID. They really know how to make tools for professionals and they understand the need for quality results. One of the features that we like about this manual tube bender is its twist-lock mechanism that lets you do continuous u-bends (180-degree bends). Once you reach the maximum bend or shape that you want, you simply twist the working handle and it will reset to a position so you can continue your bend. It’s a simple feature if you think about it but it’s definitely useful if you’re a professional who wants to do things smoothly and efficiently.
And since this is a tool marketed to professionals, you can rest assured that it meets high quality standards especially when it comes to the materials used in making it. This RIDGID tube bender has stainless steel rollers, former, and handles so you know it’s durable all throughout. It’s the perfect tool for people who want a certain degree of quality in their tools and their work.
|Key Features||Long handle provides more leverage when cutting and bending, with 12” no-slip handle for comfort and added grip|
|Adjustable 2-½” diameter bending roller|
|With replaceable cutting jaws|
|Comes with lifting chain that makes carrying easy|
|Tough and rugged, great for working with #3, #4, and #5 rebar|
|Item Weight||55 lbs|
|Product Dimensions||61 x 8 x 10”|
|Manufacturer||BN Products USA, LLC.|
Best Heavy Rebar Bender and Cutter
A heavy rebar is commonly found on construction sites due to its inherent strength and numerous applications. If you’re a contractor and you tend to bend or cut rebar frequently, it’s only wise to invest in a proper tool that will help you get the job done. Introducing our number five pick, the BN Products MBC-16B Manual Rebar Bender and Cutter.
This rebar cutter from BN Products is perfect for bending and cutting rebar at construction sites. Rebar is tough in nature and can be difficult to bend into your desired shape without the proper tools. This pick solves that problem with its strong bender and cutter along with its durable construction. It will make easy work of bending #3, #4, and #5 rebar and can cut up to 60-grade rebar without issues.
We like how heavy duty this pick from BN Products is. It’s made for tough use so you can rely on its ruggedness and durability. The long handle gives you a lot of leverage to bend and cut rebar while the wooden plank base helps in keeping things secure and stable while you’re working.
We also like the easy-to-set bar selector so you can adjust your tool for the material you’re working on. All you have to do is pull the selector towards you and choose the correct cam setting for your needs. You have three options: 10mm, 13mm, and 16mm.
The cutter is also worth noting due to its power and versatility. There are two cutting slots to choose from: #4 and #5 can be found on top while the #3 cutter can be found at the bottom. Once you pick the correct slot, just apply pressure to the handle and the hardened forged blade will do the rest of the work for you.
This bender and cutter combo is a great tool for contractors, tradesmen, and serious DIY enthusiasts who want a reliable specialized tool that can bend and cut rebar efficiently.
|Key Features||Heavy-duty tube bender with 12-ton capacity|
|½” to 2” bending range, with six dies for a variety of tubing sizes|
|1/2", 3/4", 1", 1-1/4", 1-1/12" and 2" size dies|
|Can bend from 90-degrees to 180-degrees|
|Hydraulic system makes bending easy and convenient|
|With long handle with rubber grip for extra leverage|
|Made with durable steel material|
|Stable base for added security when in use|
|Size is great for workshops|
|Item Weight||69.9 lbs|
|Product Dimensions||25.5 x 7.4 x 21.6”|
Best Hydraulic Tube Bender
Keeping it simple when it comes to tools and tasks is always a good idea. As for tube benders, you can’t get any simpler with the Happybuy 12-ton Exhaust Tubing Bender that’s capable of bending ½” to 2” diameter tubing.
This tube bender is for the home garage owner who likes an easy-to-use tool that doesn’t require much preparation. This pick from Happybuy uses a hydraulic jack that pushes the tube upward using different-sized dies. It can make 90-degree up to 180-degree bends with ease. The hydraulic jack will do the work for you and not the other way around.
We like the straightforward design of this bender. It’s not portable like the other picks on this list but it is perfect for DIYers and tradesmen who tend to work with steel tubing for building racks, cages, and other similar pieces. The robust dies can accommodate commonly used tubing sizes so you can work on a variety of projects. The wide base, albeit lacking mounting tabs for permanent mounting, is adequate for frequent use. The weight of the tube bender keeps it stable even when you’re working with tougher materials like steel.
We highly recommend this Happybuy tube bender for people who want a reliable tube or pipe bender with a hydraulic jack.
|Key Features||With mounting tabs for secure and stable use on work tables|
|With 7 tube bending dies: ⅜”, ½”, 9/16”, ⅝”, ¾”, ⅞”, and 1”|
|Long handle with rubber grip provides leverage when bending|
|Made with tough 40CR steel for rugged use|
|Can bend up to 2mm-thick tubing with pipe diameter ranging from 10-25mm|
|Manual tube bender design is good for construction, machining, repairs, and other industrial applications|
Best Mounted Tube Bender
Tube bending requires leverage, there’s no way around that. While some benders have long dual handles to give you enough leverage to shape tubes and pipes, this pick has mounting tabs so you can secure it to your work table.
The Mophorn Pipe and Tube Bender is a useful tool if you’re planning to work on roll cages, handlebars, racks, and other fabrication projects. It can easily accommodate seven sizes of tubing, making it a flexible and versatile tool to have in your arsenal. Even DIYers and weekend warriors will love this tube bender, especially for hobbyist purposes. Although it is a specialized tool that’s meant only for bending tubes and pipes, it can come in handy if you need to work on specific projects like on your car or pipe fittings around the house.
We especially like the mounting design of this tube bender. While a lot of the picks on this list are handheld tube benders, this one goes the other route as it can be fixed on a work table. We’ve even seen an example of this being mounted to a piece of metal that is then clamped to a fixed position via a bench vise. It’s a pretty simple but ingenious design to maximize leverage and improve the bending capability of this tool.
Aside from the roller dies and mounting tabs, we also like the rubber grip handles that provide extra grip when in use and the durability of the 40CR steel used in the body of the bender. We highly recommend this for shop use especially if you’re planning to work on a lot of projects that require bending and shaping tubes or pipes.
|Key Features||Can bend a variety of copper tubing, perfect for HVAC tradesmen and professionals|
|With ratcheting design for one-handed operation|
|Can reverse bend copper tubing|
|With 7 exchangeable aluminum dies: 1/4", 5/16", 3/8", 1/2", 5/8", 3/4", and 7/8"|
|With included pipe cutter and spare blade|
|Comes with a carrying case|
|Portable design is perfect for working at different job sites|
|Item Weight||11.35 lbs|
|Product Dimensions||16.77 x 11.38 x 3.31”|
Best Copper Tube Bender
Working with copper tubing for your project? Then check out this crossbow-type tube bender from IBOSAD.
The HVAC Reverse Ratchet Manual Tube Bender from IBOSAD is great for bending and shaping copper tubes that are commonly used in the HVAC industry. This portable tube bender uses a ratcheting mechanism to bend tubes up to ⅞” in size. It has a carrying case to house all the components so you can bring this along on job sites with relative ease.
We like how easy it is to assemble this tube bender. The parts are easy to identify and put together and you have seven dies to choose from so you can work on different tubing sizes. All of the parts fit nicely in the included carrying case so you don’t need to buy a separate bag for your tube bender kit.
Another feature that we like about this tube bender is its ratcheting mechanism. It is simple to operate and requires less effort compared to other tube benders that typically use levers to bend or shape tubes. Tradesmen and DIY enthusiasts can operate this tube bending tool with one hand, making quick work of copper fittings for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning projects. The kit also comes with a pipe cutter and a spare blade so you have additional tools to work with at no extra cost.
|Key Features||Comes with wide base and stand, perfect for use in workshops|
|Big size and components are great for frequent use, good for fabrication work|
|Can bend up to 2-inch diameter round or square tubing|
|CNC machined components for precision work|
|29-inch handle provides leverage when working|
|With calibrated markings for precise bending|
|Item Weight||59 lbs|
|Product Dimensions||24 x 18 x 12”|
Best Tube Bender for Workshops
If you’re working on a variety of big projects like roll bars, cages, and even roof racks for off-road rigs then you probably need a bigger tube bender that’s up to the task. This is where the Woodward Fab WFB2 Tube and Pipe Bender comes in.
This square tube bender is perfect for larger diameter tubing that typically needs more force and bending power. Steel has material memory so you need something robust to bend it in shape and the Woodward Fab Tube Bender has exactly just that.
It is important to note that this tube bender does not come with the dies needed for bending nor the wide base stand. Those are sold separately but once completed, this is a true workhorse of a shop tool. The wide base stand will give you a proper working position so you don’t overexert yourself while working with tough materials like steel. The dies on the other hand will give you the capability of working with different sized round or square tubing.
We like the overall quality of the WFB2 from Woodward Fab. The components are CNC machines for more precise work including the calibrated degree dial. This is the type of square tube bender that will feel perfectly at home in a professional fabrication shop as well as in your home garage.
This Woodward Fab tube bender is a great option if you plan on working on more fabrication projects for different applications.
|Key Features||Made with high-strength stainless steel for durability and rugged use|
|Can bend stainless steel and titanium tubing|
|With calibrated markings for precision work|
|Can bend tubing from 90-degrees to 180-degrees|
|Extra long 16-inch handles provide leverage|
|With built-in vise clamp for added stability|
|⅜” outer diameter capacity, bend radius of 15/16”|
|Item Weight||4.09 lbs|
|Product Dimensions||21 x 3.375 x 3.5”|
|Manufacturer||North Coast Electric|
Best Tube Bender for Professionals Contender
As far as specialized tube benders go, RIDGID is a brand you can’t go wrong with. They have a dedicated range of bending instruments for the serious tradesman including this one—their 38043 600 Series ⅜” Tube Bender.
This is the smaller sibling of the ½” tube bender from RIDGID that we also have on this list. It can help you make intricate and precise bends using ⅜” tubing with its solid set of features like the stainless steel rollers, former, and vise clamp lock.
The steel rollers help with minimizing kinks and misshapen bends. Professionals know the value of doing high quality work as their reputation depends on them. For plumbing and HVAC trade, kinks and damaged tubing are a big no-no. The durable former and vise clamp lock also help with preventing kinks as they create the bend and help the tube stay in place respectively.
One feature that we like about RIDGID tube benders is their long handles that help in providing users good leverage. They make the work a lot easier which in turn produces better-looking bends and tube shapes, especially for projects that require detailed fittings.
Other features that we like about this RIDGID tube bender include the twist-lock handle that allows continuous bending without crossing the handles, the cushioned grips for added comfort and grip when working, and the calibrated graduation marks that help with more precise tube bending.
Lever Type vs Crossbow Type vs Hydraulic Type vs Mounted Type
If you think there are just one or two types of tube or pipe benders then we have news for you. There are actually a lot of them. Let’s count down some of them that can be found on this list and talk about their pros and cons plus their appropriate uses.
Let’s start with the lever type tube bender. This type of tube bender is typically handheld and portable enough to be carried from one job site to another due to its small size. They can fit in tool bags and can be used in tight spaces making them especially useful for HVAC technicians and plumbers. Lever type benders commonly cater to one size of tubing but other versions have interchangeable dies so you can work with a variety of tube sizes.
This specialized tool is used for intricate bends and shapes. One thing to consider when using this type of bender is the length of the handles. The handles should be long enough to provide you with enough leverage to bend and shape tubing especially if they are tougher to bend like stainless steel and titanium.
Crossbow type benders typically come in kits since they have multiple components that let users work on different sizes of tubing/pipes. They have interchangeable dies, mandrels, and crossbars and usually have a ratcheting design that slowly bends the tube/pipe in shape. Some designs can be used with one hand to lessen the strain on the arms and hands. This type of tube bender typically comes in a carrying case so you can bring with you all the dies and components for whatever project you’re working on. The carrying kit can also serve as an organizer so it’s easier to find the right die you need for a specific task.
Now, this type of tube bender uses a hydraulic jack to bend tubes and pipes in shape. They are typically heavy duty and are made of durable materials that can withstand the force required to bend tougher and thicker tubing/pipes. These are typically found in workshops or home garages of hobbyists and are used in a variety of applications like automotive works (like making roll cages, roof racks, and bumpers to name a few) and fabrication.
This type of tube bender is big and bulky but the hydraulic jack can make quick work of bending tougher materials. You can use interchangeable dies to accommodate different sizes of tubing and pipes when using hydraulic tube benders.
This type of tube bender is much like the lever type, it has a long handle and a former and rollers to bend tubing and pipes. However, they have mounting tabs or stands that you can use to fix the tool in a permanent spot in your workshop. This is also like the hydraulic type since it is typically used for bending or even cutting tough material like steel and thick walled tubes or pipes. This is an excellent choice for the serious DIY enthusiast or tradesman who needs to work on tubing/pipes extensively.
- Always clean your tube/pipe bender after use especially if you use it for professional work. Dirt and other debris can find their way into any tool if you use them frequently. Make it a habit to maintain your tools and wipe down contaminants that can accumulate inside and between different components to make sure they are fit for use whenever you need to use them.
- Avoid using tools that have cracks or breaks in them. Bending pipes requires force and if you’re not careful, you might injure yourself or damage your project and the tools you’re using to work on it. Make sure to inspect your bender before you use it to make sure that the structure is not compromised.
- Always check if the die or components you are using are right for the job. Once you bend a tube or pipe, there’s no way to get it back to its original position. Make sure that the die you are using is correct for the material you’re working on. Also, dies and other components might shift during the bending process. Inspecting them before working on another bend will make sure that they are seated correctly and the outcome will be just like what you expect.
- Practice, practice, practice. Like with other tools, there’s a learning curve when it comes to using tube/pipe benders. Especially with the variety of tools available in the market, it’s easy to get lost in the process and get unsatisfactory results. But don’t fret. You can always practice your bending technique to get to a point where you are satisfied with your work. Familiarize yourself with your equipment and ask more experienced people for tips and tricks.
- When using softer material, it’s a good idea to slowly work on it to avoid kinks, flattening, or wrinkling. Sudden and abrupt movements using your tool may not always be the best way to get good results. Sometimes you have to take time when working on tubing and pipes. Some experts even stuff the pipes and tubes they’re working on with sand to prevent damage to the material.
- When working on tough materials like steel, it’s a good idea to overbend your stroke by a few degrees to get the right bend and angle that you’re looking for. Some materials have “memory” and they tend to want to stay in the same shape they’re originally in. Account for this spring back and overbend your material a little so you get it just right. Of course, practicing with different materials won’t hurt either.
Getting a tube bender for your projects will be a great investment in the long run. You’ll be able to get perfectly bent and shaped tubes/pipes for your projects in a shorter amount of time. The quality of your work will drastically improve and you’ll be able to get back your initial investment with just a few projects. Remember, you get what you pay for when it comes to the tools you use in your trade or hobby. Buy quality tools so you won’t have to buy twice.