Best Conduit Bender: Reviews in 2019
Whether you are on a commercial or residential project, conduit bending is a must. When it comes to a small project, you will require hand benders, but when it comes to a larger project, you will need a more advanced type of bender. Good benders will minimize the time and effort necessary to bend and increase accuracy.
Normally, conduit benders come in four types: hydraulic benders, electrical benders, mechanical benders, and hand benders. You get to choose depending on the type of pipe you are bending.
All benders serve one purpose: bending conduit to a curve of particular degrees to make it fit where needed. To achieve the desired angle, it is important that you have a tool that is easy to use and durable.
If you don't have time to read the whole article, check our top 3 choices below-
Top 7 Conduit Benders Review
There are a variety of benders in the market. However, not all the brands can comfortably handle the task. That is why we recommend to you the following benders.
1. Greenlee 1811 Little Kicker Offset Bender For 3/4-Inch EMT
The Greenlee 1181 Little Kicker Offset Bender features a mechanical compression that creates an offset matching the knock out in a box. The maximum offset that this bender can achieve is .56”.
This bender is made of durable high ductile steel that ensures that the tool performs matching and unswerving offsets each time. This bender bends offsets in a single and easy operation—simply inserts the conduit, depress the handle release and pull out the conduit.
- Easy to use
- Fast consistent offsets
- Aluminum built, light weight
- A full throw of the handle creates an offset larger than most standard boxes
2. Conduit Bender for 1/2-Inch EMT Conduit- Klein Tools 56206
If you are looking to have perfect conduit bends such as Offsets, stub ups, back-to-backs and saddles repeatedly then you can count on this aluminum conduit bender. What we like about this conduit bender is that it comes with added premium features that make it easy to make bends. The manufacturer also is known to use superior materials for their products, hence you can rely on them.
The Conduit Bender for 1/2-Inch EMT Conduit comes with a wide foot pedal that offers tremendous stability. The bender also features angled grooves for additional traction.
The cast-in benchmark symbols, multiplier scales and degree scales help save time. The ½ inch bender comes with an interior clamp and a hook for increased safety. The interior clamp ensures that the conduit is securely held into place while cutting. The interior hook surface stops the conduit from twisting or rolling during the bending process.
The bender has markings for 60 degrees, 45 degrees, 22.5 degrees, and 10 degrees. It also has easily visible arrow for alignment on conduit marks. The die-cast aluminum bender minimizes rippling of conduit.
- Offers Precision casting
- Dimension- 36 x 6 x 2 inches
- Light handle
- Markings for 60 degrees, 45 degrees, 22.5 degrees, and 10 degrees
- Lacks the 90 degrees marking
3. OTC 6515 3-in-1 Tubing Bender
The OTC 6515 3-in 1 tubing bender is capable of making 180 degreed bend in steel and copper brass aluminum tubing. The most important feature about this bender is that it is a 3-in-1 bender: it works on tubing of ¼ inch, 5/16 inch and 3/8 inches.
If you are bending conduit of those sizes, you will not need to but a separate bender. This product is also lightweight which means that you can carry it around easily. And if you are worried about its performance, you will be glad to know that the manufacturer offers a lifetime warranty so if you have any issues, they can always be addressed.
- Easy to use
- 3-in-1 bender
- Bends to 180 degrees
- Handles are a little too short
4. Aluminum Die Cast Conduit Bender
This bender has a cast-in angle pointer with elevated bending reference points to help the installer. The body is made of aluminum die cast which is light Sand robust for everyday use. This bender is 6 degree inside radius and can bend ¾ inches EMT (Electrical Metallic Tubing) or ½ inches rigid.
- Features cast in-angle indicators with raised bending points of reference
- Lightweight, durable aluminum construction
- Easy to use
- Size for For 3/4" EMT or 1/2" Rigid
- Does not come with a handle
- Bubble level often falls off
5. Gardner Bender 931B Aluminum Conduit Bender
The Garden Bender is on our list for a number of reasons. First, the company has done a good job with the foot pedal size. The pedal allows you to use the bender even with boots on. Also, the markings are well highlighted which makes it easy for the installer to view.
The bender also has a dual sight-line that allows you to bend on the floor and also view the angle when you are bending in the air. The bender comes with angle markings of 90 degrees, 60 degrees, 45 degrees, 30, 22, and 10 degrees.
- Easy to see angle markings
- Lightweight and sturdy
- Rugged foot pedal creates consistent bends
- High accuracy level
- Does not ship with a handle
6. Southwire Tools & Equipment MCB3/4
Are you looking for a bender that performs all types of bends? The Southwire Tools & Equipment MCB3/4 does the trick. The bender performs common bends like saddle bends, back-to-back, offset, stub-ups and common bends.
The bender features raised and well visible bender markings on both sides of the bender head. This makes easy to view the markings when bending. The head is built using cast aluminum to ensure lasting durability and boost strength.
The bender also features a grooved hook that prevents the conduit from twisting, slipping or rolling when making bends. Also, it comes with a large serrated step to provide greater control and prevent slip when force is applied.
- Visible bender marks for easy viewing
- Durable and sturdy
- Large serrated step for firm grip
- Easy to use
- No handle
7. Ideal 74-027 3/4" EMT Bender With Handle
Ideal conduit bender head with a handle has a ductile iron construction to ensure durability. It has a rugged construction that withstands a lifetime of heavy use. It can be used to bend conduit pipes to fit on any corner, ceiling, irregular shaped passageways or wall.
The bender features precision marks locating degree scale, arrow, star, and rim notch for accurate bends all the time.
The bender has easily visibility markings that are raised and cast on both sides. It also features deeply ragged steps and indented internal hook surface to stop slippage when applying leverage. It is heat treated to boost strength and reinforce at stress points for longer life.
Things to consider before Buying a Conduit Bender
You need to take many things into consideration when choosing a conduit bender for your use. Do not settle for just any blender that you lay your hands on. Only pick what is best for your needs. We will take you through a list of top factors that you need to consider.
a) Decide on the type of bender you need
The type of bender will determine the accuracy, speed and repeatability. You have four different benders to choose from:
- Manual benders: these are economical units and are perfect for DIY projects, entry-level, and small production runs projects. Accuracy and bend repeatability of the bend angle varies depending on the user’s attention to detail.
- Air/hydraulic benders: these are powered by a mix of shop air and hydraulics. While these units offer significant bending power, they can be painfully slow for production applications. These can be fitted with auto stops that are usually accurate to about 0.5 degrees.
- Mechanical benders: these are fully programmable and equipped with touchscreens, encoders, and auto stops. These benders produce highly accurate bends of up to 0.1 degrees.
- Electric benders: these are powered by electricity and are much faster than the hydraulic systems. They can also be fitted with auto stops.
b) Know the materials
The details of your application will determine the type of bender suitable for the job. When preparing for a bending job, you need to consider the following factors to avoid bend failures like kinks, wrinkles and crushing.
- Wall thickness
- Material type
- Centerline radius of the desired bend
- Size (outside diameter)
c) Match the machine capacity to the strength of the material
The majority of industrial-grade, production-style blenders available can function at full capacity on a daily basis. But the entry-level or light-duty machines may not fully function when used at maximum capacity for extended period of time.
If you want efficient, accurate and quality bends, ensure that the bender can match the tensile strength of the materials passing through it. Familiarize yourself with the materials for each job and ensure that they are within your machine’s capacity.
d) Explore the tooling options
The quality of the bends depends on the tools used. Make sure that you take time to research the market and learn which tooling will match with your machine. The market is literally filled with thousands of accessories so it is important that you take your time.
e) Bending mechanism
Bending a conduit pipe can be done using several methods.
- Ram bending: a solitary hydraulic ram shoves a developing die into the tube, which causes it to bend amid two divergent dies. This type of bending is commonly used in carports, exhaust systems, and gates.
- Roll Bending: three roll machines use dies to bend large-radii and coiling applications.
- Mandrel Bending: a solid steel plug is injected into the tube providing inner tubular support for applications with a tight radius.
- Open rotary draw bending: component bent with open rotary draw bending is often used in structural, motor sport and industrial applications.
f) Consult with experts
Whether you are adding bending to your capabilities or are upgrading or expanding processes you provide, it is important to consult with tube bending specialists. This can save you time and money as it ensures that you grab the best machine for your needs.
Buying your bender form a reputable equipment manufacturer with reliable customer support is advisable. You can be able to add their bending expertize to your team whenever you have a tough job coming up and you need their service to be sure that the machine keeps working at peak levels.
How to Use a Conduit Bender
Whether you are wiring a new home or making renovations to an old electrical construction or creating a furniture masterpiece, you must know how to bend conduit correctly and safely. Conduit can be bent to fit many angles.
The hardest part is getting proper measurements and applying the right amount of pressure to make a good bend. Here is how you can use a Conduit bender to make a 90 degree stub-up bend and offset bend.
Preparing the Conduit for bending
1) Measure the length of the conduit you will require: start from a corner to the point where the conduit will end. Mark on the conduit at the measurement where the corner should be.
2) Calculate the amount of extra conduit you will require: when the conduit is bend, some of its length is lost. The amount of conduit that you will need for the corner is determined by the diameter of the conduit. For instance, ½ inch pipe will require 5” of extra conduit.
3) Cut the conduit to the size you require, and remove burrs form the cut end. Use a conduit knife or reamer to scrape the edges and get rid of any rubbles.
Making a Basic Bend
1) Before you can start bending, look for any instructions on the conduit bender that describe how much conduit should remain past the bend to the end of the bending shoe. The bender comes with three or four features: the 90 degrees mark; other common angle marks (10, 22.5, 30, 45, and 60); and stub height mark.
2) Slide the conduit into the bender. Make sure that you leave the right amount of space past the arrow on the bending shoe. Place the conduit on a flat, firm ground and place your foot firmly on the foot of the bender. Ensure that the pipe comes through the bender so you can support it with your foot as well.
3) Pull the bender handle towards you to create the bend. Make sure that you use a firm and steady motion to avoid crimps or kinks in the conduit. Ensure that your hand and foot remain secure on the bender as any slip can lead to an off-centered bend and you have to start over again.
4) Bend until the bender reaches the 90 degrees mark or other desired angle.
5) Check to ensure that the bend is the right angle. This can be done by holding it up against the wall or using a level held tightly against the front side of the pipe.
Using a Conduit bender to make Box Offsets
1) First mark 2 ½ inches from end of pipe
2) Mark 2 inches from the first mark
3) Place the bender on the handle when it’s turned upside down and slip the pipe through the bender. Then line up the first mark at the pointer mark on the bender
4) Put the pedal on the floor pressing the end of the bender with pipe down 10 degrees
5) Slide the pipe down to the second mark to the arrow and rotate the pipe 180 degrees upside down, and then bend the pipe back to 10 degrees angle.
- Use the right-sized bender for the conduit you are using. Benders come in different size which means that you need to but a bender for each type of conduit you want to bend
- Use a protractor and level to double check the measurements.
- Take time to ensure that the bends are well aligned.
- Experiment with different types of bends as a typical electrical job will require more than the 90 degrees stub-up bend.
Electricians often need conduit benders and other bending tools to make bends on conduits so that they can fit whenever needed. Well, the problem is not how to use the conduit bender, buy rather how to find the best one.
There are several brands in the market but just like any other product, not all can deliver a perfect job. To help you grab the best conduit bender, we have listed the top benders in the market.
We have also offered you a guide on how to choose the best conduit bender to meet your needs. And to make sure that you are using your bender correctly, you can refer to how to use a conduit bender as we have listed above.