The 8 Best Tube Benders
This wiki has been updated 11 times since it was first published in June of 2019. A tube bender is a metal forming tool that permanently changes the angle or arc of a metal tube or bar. It can help in building networks of pipes for structures, conduits, engine components, or even musical instruments. They vary from small-diameter, handheld copper pipe benders to large-scale mandrels mechanisms. Our picks will assist in clarifying this complex category of equipment. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
June 21, 2019:
A tube bender can serve many purposes: from precisely curving brake and power steering lines in cars to building racing and off-roading roll cages to creating metallic works of art. One common source of confusion in using these tools is in what sizing to use when ordering stock. Often, at hardware stores and other suppliers, the inside diameter(ID) of small soft tubing is used for buying and ordering given that it is meant to meet certain fluid-flow thresholds. On the other hand, tube bender channels and dies are sized to work on pipes and tubes of particular outside diameters(OD). This is important to consider given that it can lead to confusion and frustration when it comes to using these tools to bend the materials.
The stand-outs in terms of quality are benders like the Baileigh RDB-050, the Hilmor 1926598, and the Imperial Tool 470FH. Each of these deals with a different range of diameter tubing and they are all professional level tools that will serve their owners for a long time given that proper care and lubrication are used. Often, a kink caused when bending is blamed on the tool when in fact, it is that the user has neglected to adequately prepare the surfaces.
Using large tube benders can be dangerous given the high torque applied on the parts and the stored potential energy. They should only be used by trained fabricators to avoid personal injury and damage to materials.