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Published Jan. 11, 2021

Tube benders are handy, extremely useful tools. Tube benders are popular items in tool kits, whether you’re a professional or a DIY enthusiast. With a high-quality tube bender in your workshop, you can complete standard plumbing work, refrigerator repairs, and more. Tube benders are also known as pipe benders, known for their ability to provide a smooth bend to any type of metal pipe. Owning a reliable and powerful tube bender is a smart idea. With recent advances in technology, there are more and more options available for tube benders and tube bender kits in the marketplace. Whether you are looking for great value, durability, versatility, or portability, we look at the best tube benders available. Read on to see which tube bender is the best fit for your needs.

If you’re looking for a high-quality product, the Imperial Tool 370FH Tube Bender may be the best option. This tube bender is designed to bend 3/16-inch, 1/4-inch, 3/8-inch, and 1/2-inch tubing. It features calibrated markings for making accurate left-hand, right-hand, and offset bends. The cushioned grips are built to provide a firm, yet comfortable grip while working. This tool can bend soft copper, aluminum, thin wall steel, and other metals. It also allows you to bend over a full 180 degrees. It is constructed from a lightweight, extremely durable die-cast aluminum. The tube bender measures 17.4 inches by 5.1 inches by 3.2 inches with a weight of 2.43 pounds. This reliable product will not result in any scoring or flattening of tubing.

One downside of the Imperial Tool 370FH Tube Bender is its weight. It is a bit heavier and on the bulkier side compared to other tube benders. So make sure you are aware of that and comfortable using a heavier tube bender before purchasing this model.

Key Features
  • Designed to bend 3/16-inch, 1/4-inch, 3/8-inch, and 1/2-inch tubing.
  • Features calibrated markings for making accurate left-hand, right-hand, and offset bends.
Specification
  • Brand Imperial Tools
  • Model 370FH
  • Weight 2.43 pounds
PROS

Cushioned grips are built to provide a firm, yet comfortable grip while working.

Can bend soft copper, aluminum, thin wall steel, and other metals.

Allows you to bend over a full 180 degrees.

Constructed from heavy-duty, extremely durable die-cast aluminum.

CONS

A bit heavier and on the bulkier side compared to other tube benders.

Make sure you are aware of that and comfortable using a heavier tube bender before purchasing this model.

Get the best bang for your buck with the Wostore 180 Degree Tubing Bender. Although it is available at a great price point, this tube bender does not lack in quality. This tube bender is designed to bend three sizes of tubing: 1/4-inch, 5/16-inch, and 3/8-inch tubing. It comes in three color options: black, blue, and red. The tool will perform well with a variety of metals, including copper, aluminum, brass, and thin stainless steel pipes. The ergonomic wide hook grips are equipped with non-slip, long grip handles for an optimal and extremely comfortable working experience. This tube bender features high-visibility markings and a 180-degree design to avoid denting or collapsing your tubes. It is made from high-quality machined steel for added strength and durability to withstand the test of time.

One issue with the Wostore 180 Degree Tubing Bender is that it is prone to damage, specifically rust and corrosion. Make sure to take proper care of this tool and store it in a cool, dry place to avoid rust or corrosion.

Key Features
  • Designed to bend three sizes of tubing: 1/4-inch, 5/16-inch, and 3/8-inch tubing.
  • Available in three color options, including black, blue, and red.
  • The tool will perform well with a variety of metals, including copper, aluminum, brass, and thin stainless steel pipes.
Specification
  • Brand Wostore
  • Model B07LDY3V82
  • Weight 14.4 ounces
PROS

Ergonomic wide hook grips are equipped with non-slip, long grip handles for an optimal and extremely comfortable working experience.

Features high visibility markings and a 180-degree design to avoid denting or collapsing your tubes.

Made from high quality machined steel for added strength and durability to withstand the test of time.

CONS

Prone to damage, specifically rust and corrosion.

Make sure to take proper care of this tool and store it in a cool, dry place to avoid rust or corrosion.

The Hilmor Compact Bender Kit is another high-quality product, featuring a tube bender and several essential parts. It includes a tube bender body, crossbar, reverse bending attachment, and mandrels for 1/4-inch, 5/16-inch, 3/8-inch, 1/2-inch, 5/8-inch, 3/4-inch, and 7/8-inch tubing. It is an ideal product for all-around work, whether you are using it for DIY home projects or professional use on the job site. This kit comes with a convenient tool box to hold all of the parts and easily travel with or carry inside your vehicle if needed. It is extremely easy to use: simply place the universal crossbar and desired color-coded mandrel on the handle, snap it into place, click the pumping lever into the ready position, and place the tubing between the bar and mandrel.

One downside of the Hilmor Compact Bender Kit is its premium price point. Since it is priced at a premium, this product is not recommended unless you are a professional or will be using your tube bender regularly.

Key Features
  • Includes a tube bender body, crossbar, reverse bending attachment, and mandrels for 1/4-inch, 5/16-inch, 3/8-inch, 1/2-inch, 5/8-inch, 3/4-inch, and 7/8-inch tubing.
  • Ideal product for all-around work, whether you are using it for DIY home projects or professional use on the job site.
Specification
  • Brand Hilmor
  • Model 1926598
  • Weight 10.39 pounds
PROS

Comes with a convenient tool box to hold all of the parts and easily travel with or carry inside your vehicle if needed.

It is extremely easy to use and assemble.

CONS

It is priced at a premium.

Not recommended unless you are a professional or will be using your tube bender regularly.

If you’re looking for a user-friendly, lightweight option, look no further than the  Imperial Tool 470FH Tube Bender. This tool can be used to bend 3/16-inch, 1/4-inch, 5/16-inch, and 3/8-inch tubing. It features calibrated markings for making accurate left-hand, right-hand, and offset bends. The patented Roto-Lok Indexing Lever allows for smooth, tight 180-degree bends with little effort and improved control. This tube bender is made from a lightweight, die-cast aluminum that includes deluxe cushioned grips for maximum comfort and stability while working. It is designed to bend soft copper, aluminum, brass, thin wall steel, and thin wall stainless steel either at home or while working professionally. The compact, lightweight design is ideal for working in tight spaces.

One issue with the Imperial Tool 470FH Tube Bender is that it doesn’t come with a case. Since it can be prone to rust and corrosion, make sure to store this tube bender in a tool box or a cool, dry place to avoid any damage, rust, or corrosion.

Key Features
  • User-friendly, lightweight option.
  • Can be used to bend 3/16-inch, 1/4-inch, 5/16-inch, and 3/8-inch tubing.
Specification
  • Brand Imperial Tools
  • Model 470FH
  • Weight 1.32 pounds
PROS

Features calibrated markings for making accurate left-hand, right-hand, and offset bends.

Patented Roto-Lok Indexing Lever allows for smooth, tight 180-degree bends with little effort and improved control.

Made from a lightweight, die-cast aluminum that includes deluxe cushioned grips for maximum comfort and stability while working.

CONS

Doesn't come with a case.

Since it can be prone to rust and corrosion, make sure to store this tube bender in a tool box or a cool, dry place to avoid any damage, rust, or corrosion.

The CPS Blackmax BTB300 Premium Ratcheting Tube Bender is another reliable kit, featuring a tube bender and several essential parts. This kit includes a full tube bending set, enclosed in a durable polymer case for easy access, storage, and transport. This “ratchet crossbow” style tube bender is ideal for bending soft copper, aluminum, and more metals up to 90 degrees in both forward and reverse configurations. It is very user-friendly and easy to use, including seven quick-change color-coded mandrels. One mandrel may work better with aluminum, while another colored mandrel is best suited for copper. This extremely versatile set can be a great option for DIY home projects as well as professionals on the job site. This reputable product comes with a manufacturer’s warranty to cover any issues or manufacturing defects.

One downside of the CPS Blackmax BTB300 Premium Ratcheting Tube Bender is its price point. This tube bender set is priced at a premium, so unless you are a professional or will be working on projects regularly, it may be best to consider a more budget-friendly set.

Key Features
  • Reliable kit featuring a tube bender and several essential parts.
  • Includes a full tube bending set, enclosed in a durable polymer case for easy access, storage, and transport.
Specification
  • Brand CPS
  • Model BTB300
  • Weight 8.78 pounds
PROS

Ideal for bending soft copper, aluminum, and more metals up to 90 degrees in both forward and reverse configurations.

User-friendly and easy to use, including seven quick-change color-coded mandrels.

An extremely versatile set can be a great option for DIY home projects as well as professionals on the job site.

CONS

Priced at a premium.

Unless you are a professional or will be working on projects regularly, it may be best to consider a more budget-friendly set.

Concerning tube bender sets, the Wostore Tube Bender Kit is one of the most reasonably priced options. This tool set includes a tube bender, two fixed supports, seven tube bender heads, a pipe cutter, and a convenient carrying box. It will work efficiently on a variety of different sizes, including 1/4-inch, 5/16-inch, 3/8-inch, 1/2-inch, 5/8-inch, 3/4-inch, and 7/8-inch tubing. This tube bender can be used on soft copper, aluminum, coated soft copper, and more metals. In addition to professional use, it makes a great option for casual projects or DIY home projects. Since it is extremely easy to use and control while working, it is a great choice for beginners as well as professionals. The reliable carrying case provides added durability to protect the tube bender and parts from damage, rust, and corrosion.

One issue with the Wostore Tube Bender Kit is that it does not have any measurement markings. So if you are looking to complete precision work, it may take you a bit longer to complete the project than with other models.

Key Features
  • Includes a tube bender, two fixed supports, seven tube bender heads, a pipe cutter, and a convenient carrying box.
  • It will work efficiently on a variety of different sizes, including 1/4-inch, 5/16-inch, 3/8-inch, 1/2-inch, 5/8-inch, 3/4-inch, and 7/8-inch tubing.
Specification
  • Brand Wostore
  • Model 1509
  • Weight 7.98 pounds
PROS

Can be used on soft copper, aluminum, coated soft copper, and more metals.

In addition to professional use, it makes a great option for casual projects or DIY home projects.

Since it is extremely easy to use and control while working, it is a great choice for beginners as well as professionals.

CONS

Does not have any measurement markings.

If you are looking to complete precision work, it may take you a bit longer to complete the project than with other models.

The Ares 70240 Heavy Duty Tubing Bender is another extremely versatile tool. This tube bender is extremely reliable and available at a budget-friendly price. It is specially designed to work with 1/4-inch, 5/16-inch, and 3/8-inch tubing. It is ideal for both professionals and DIY home projects, to help avoid collapsed tubing and inaccurate bends. This tube bender features a marked degree gauge that allows you to make accurate bends between zero to 180 degrees with accuracy and precision. It is built to bend a variety of materials, including copper, brass, aluminum, steel, and other metal tubing. The knurled handles provide a reliable and comfortable grip while working. Perhaps best of all, this reputable manufacturer includes a limited lifetime warranty for peace of mind and to cover any potential manufacturing defects.

One downside of the Ares 70240 Heavy Duty Tubing Bender is its durability. Since there is no carrying case included, it will be prone to rust and corrosion. It is recommended to store the tool in a tool box or separate carrying bag if possible.

Key Features
  • Extremely reliable and available at a budget-friendly price.
  • Specially designed to work with 1/4-inch, 5/16-inch, and 3/8-inch tubing.
  • It is ideal for both professionals and DIY home projects.
Specification
  • Brand Ares
  • Model 5864301355
  • Weight 1.01 pounds
PROS

Features a marked degree gauge that allows you to make accurate bends between zero to 180 degrees with accuracy and precision.

It is built to bend a variety of materials, including copper, brass, aluminum, steel, and other metal tubing.

The knurled handles provide a reliable and comfortable grip while working.

CONS

Lacks durability

No carrying case is included

The OTC 6515 Heavy Duty Tubing Bender is another reliable, yet very affordable product. This tube bender is user-friendly, and extremely easy to use, allowing you to make 180 degree bends in copper, brass, aluminum, steel, and other metal tubing. It is designed to work with three different sizes, including 1/4-inch, 5/16-inch, and 3/8-inch tubing. With lightweight and slip-resistant comfort grip handles, this tool is ideal for both beginners and professionals. It is capable of bending over a full 180 degrees, including easy-to-read measurement markings for a precise and accurate bend. The tool is made by a reputable manufacturer and includes a limited lifetime warranty for peace of mind and to cover any potential manufacturing defects.

One issue with the OTC 6515 Heavy Duty Tubing Bender is its durability. This tube bender does not come with any type of carrying case, so rust and possible corrosion can be an issue. Make sure to store it inside your tool box or carrying case to preserve the lifespan of this tube bender.

Key Features
  • Reliable, yet very affordable product.
  • User-friendly, and extremely easy to use, allowing you to make 180 degree bends in copper, brass, aluminum, steel, and other metal tubing.
Specification
  • Brand OTC
  • Model 6515
  • Weight 1.05 pounds
PROS

Designed to work with three different sizes, including 1/4-inch, 5/16-inch, and 3/8-inch tubing.

Lightweight and slip-resistant comfort grip handles.

Ideal for both beginners and professionals.

Easy-to-read measurement markings for a precise and accurate bend.

CONS

Does not come with any type of carrying case, so rust and possible corrosion can be an issue.

Make sure to store it inside your tool box or carrying case to preserve the lifespan of this tube bender.

Best Tube Benders Buying Guide & FAQ

Tube benders are available in a wide variety of types, shapes, and sizes. They can be used to bend a variety of different types of metals, including aluminum, brass, copper, stainless steel, and other metals. In addition to professionals, many types of tube benders are great for beginners or home DIY projects. A high-quality tube bender will allow you to work on intricate projects with precision and accuracy.

Most tube benders are typically user-friendly, lightweight, and quite easy to use. They are available to purchase in a variety of different sizes, designed for metal tubing ranging from 1/4-inch to 3/8-inch tubing. Some even come as part of a set with various parts and a protective carrying box.

Do You Need a Tube Bender?

There are several key advantages to using a tube bender. The tool is extremely precise and accurate. High-quality tube benders can be used to complete standard plumbing work, refrigerator repairs, household piping work, and more. 

Also, it is easy to operate and extremely versatile, for use in several different working situations and on several different types of metals. Using a tube bender will prolong the lifespan of your metal piping, by preventing the chance of breaking or cracks in the pipe.

  • In general, tube benders are an extremely durable product. As long as you prevent rust or corrosion by storing them in a tool box or cool, dry location, tube benders are a reliable tool that can be used for several years.
  • Another main benefit of tube benders is that they are a highly versatile product. This tool can be used to bend a variety of different metals, including aluminum, copper, steel, brass, and it can be used confidently by both beginners and professionals.
  • A tube bender is an extremely reliable tool. It will improve the structural integrity of your home piping by clogging and buildup from occurring inside the pipe. 

Different Kinds of Tube Benders

tube bender tool in hands of a worker
A tube bender is a mechanic’s best friend.

There are three main types of tube benders, and each one comes with unique features and advantages. Depending on the type of project you will be working on and the type of metal you will be bending, you may need a different type of tube bender to best fit your needs. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the different types of tube benders before making your final purchase.

Press

This is the most common type of tube bender available on the market today. This type of tube bender is named for the bending die, which places the force against the pipe. Press tube benders can be used on a variety of different types of metal, including steel, aluminum, brass, and copper, and it is available in a variety of different sizes. Make sure that the press bender you are looking at is available in the pipe size you need before making your final purchase.

Rotary Draw

The rotary draw tube bender is less common than the press bender, but it is still an extremely high-quality product. This type of tube bender attaches to the pipe’s outer part. The clamp is used to bring the pipe over a set form, which dictates the angle of the bend. Rotary draw tube benders can be used on most types of material, including steel, aluminum, brass, copper, and other metals. Make sure that the rotary draw bender you are looking at is compatible with the size pipe you will be working on before making your final purchase.

Mandrel

Mandrel tube benders are the most expensive type of tube benders. This type of tube bender is primarily used by professionals or in industrial settings. The mandrel bender fits into the interior of the pipe, and when used with exterior clamps, it achieves the desired bending. This type of tube bender is extremely effective, but unless you are a professional or will be using a tube bender regularly, you may want to consider a more budget-friendly option.

What to Consider When Buying Tube Benders

worker using tube bender hand tool
A tube bender comes in handy more often than not.

For this article, we researched and tested several different types and models of tube benders. These included all three types of tube benders and tube bender kits from many reputable manufacturers. The numerous tube benders were all tested for versatility, durability, reliability, and ease of use. 

The results of extensive research and testing can be found throughout this article. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the different types, brands, and features of each tube bender before making your final purchase.

The Most Important Features of Tube Benders

Whether you are a professional or using your tube bender for DIY home projects, there are several key features to keep in mind to improve your efficiency and accuracy while working. It is important to consider all of these features before deciding on which tube bender is the best fit for your needs.

Range

The bending range of your tube bender is one of the most important features to consider. Some tube benders can reach a full 180 degrees, while others are not able to work as efficiently. Tube benders with the widest bending range are typically the most versatile, as they allow you to work on the largest variety of projects and nearly any type of metal.

The best tube benders typically include a bending range of 180 degrees, although many of these models are priced at a premium. If you are shopping on a budget, then you still may be able to find a quality tube bender without a full 180-degree bending range.

Precision

To work on the most intricate metal projects, the precision and accuracy of your tube bender are extremely important factors to consider. The best tube benders usually include precise measurements that are easy to read. This allows you to make accurate bends at the exact angle you desire.

The type of grip is also important to ensure you are making precise and accurate bends. Look for the grip to be comfortable, yet slip-resistant for the best results when bending any type of metal.

Durability

The final factor to consider is the durability of your tube bender. You want a tool that is built from a lightweight, yet durable material that is built to withstand the test of time. When considering which tube bender is the best purchase, make sure to pick a product that is not prone to rust or corrosion.

Some of the best tube benders come as part of a kit that includes a tool box, or they are available to purchase with a convenient carrying bag. If your purchase does not come with a case, consider purchasing one or store your tube bender in a cool, dry place to prolong its lifespan and prevent rust or corrosion.

Best Tube Benders FAQ:

Q: What is the difference between a pipe bender and a tube bender?

There is no actual difference between a pipe and tube bender. The only difference is that a pipe is measured by inside diameter, while a tube is measured by its outside diameter.

Q: How do you bend tubing with a tube bender?

Measure the tube and set the bender accordingly to the angle desired. Place the tube into the opening and ensure that it is firmly in place. Grip the handles of the bender securely and pull them until you reach the desired angle. Let the tube spring back a little and make sure to double-check your work. 

Q: What is the minimum bend radius of tubing?

The minimum bend radius of tubing is typically about six times the overall diameter. It is possible to have a tighter bend radius, but it will typically require more expensive tools such as mandrel bending tools.

Our Top Pick

The Imperial Tool 370FH Tube Bender is our choice for the best overall tube bender. This bender features calibrated markings for making accurate left-hand, right-hand, and offset bends. The cushioned grips are built to provide a firm, yet comfortable grip while working on almost any type of metal. 

Final Thoughts

For the best overall tube bender, consider the Imperial Tool 370FH Tube Bender, designed to bend 3/16-inch, 1/4-inch, 3/8-inch, and 1/2-inch metal tubing, or the Wostore 180 Degree Tubing Bender, featuring high visibility markings and a 180-degree design to avoid denting or collapsing your metal tubes.

Sources:

  1. Tube Bending – Wikipedia

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