What is the best tubing bender on the market in 2020? With the number of options to choose from deciding which is the right one for you can be difficult.
Do you opt for a 100% specific version, designed for off-road roll cages and chassis, or would a more standard option work for you. Then there is the question of material capacity, just how wide is the metal that you plan to bend?
There’s also the important issue of whether the machine will be fully manual, or require an additional hydraulic press. Is your head spinning yet? Well, to help you in your search we have carefully selected 5 top-rated tubing benders currently available.
For our findings at a glance, just head to the table below. For an in-depth review of each of our picks, plus a detailed buyer’s guide, keep on reading.
Top 5 Best Tubing Benders
SWAG Off Road
66 Dies Available
5 Dies Included
Off-Road Tubing Bender Reviews
We have selected the following tubing benders in an effort to provide a cross-section of options that will appeal to different needs.
Each machine can be rated based on price point, construction quality and materials used, extra features included and other important details.
Based on these criteria and more, the following are what we consider to be some of the best off-road tubing benders on the market today.
1. TOP PICK: SWAG Off Road Tubing Roller “HULK”
This appropriately named, beast of a machine is designed from the ground up, specifically for roll cage tubing and is a vital addition to any workshop where off-road driving maintenance is required.
It is also completely designed, machined, formed, manufactured & assembled in the USA.
The company has 66 different die sizes that are compatible with the Hulk, however, only one size (of your choosing) is actually shipped with the machine.
The HULK is able to process rolling material up 2” by 2” and in order to provide consistent results, the machine also has a digital display providing measurement data on the downward travel.
The operation here couldn’t be easier. Once you have placed the material into the roller you merely “zero” the height gauge.
Then, after rolling the material to the desired radius you can use the system to record the location of the outer dies.
The downward travel is automatically measured and displayed on the digital readout. This provides all the information you need to repeat the process on another piece of material, essentially rolling it out to the same specifications.
To help provide a smooth range of motion so that you can maintain accuracy, roller bearings have been installed on both the outer non-drive dies as well as the center drive die.
And not only is the HULK’s performance best in class in 2020, but it is also probably the best looking tubing roller on the market today.
Featuring a black powdered coated steel frame and green powder-coated handle this machine is definitely striking. Add little touches such as the well constructed countersunk stainless steel fasteners, and internally threaded aluminum spacers and you have yourself a unit that simply exudes quality.
If you are looking for a high quality, standalone machine for your off-road tube rolling and maintenance the HULK is the unit to buy.
High-quality craftsmanship is at the heart of this offering from SWAG, and the results speak for themselves.
Yes, it is expensive, however, if you want reliable performance and ease of use, it is a small price to pay for what is currently the best option on the market.
Our number one pick for good reason.
2. Baileigh RDB-050 Manual Rotary Draw Tube Bender with Stand and Handle, 2-1/2″ Tube Capacity
We go from the very best available to a machine that falls short in a few ways. The RDB-050 from Baileigh is a good machine, however it can not compete with the high grade performance that the HULK provides.
Let’s take a closer look.
The machine is another tube roller designed predominantly for the use of off-road maintenance.
It is manually operated and provides sufficient power for optimum tube rolling. In fact, the maximum capacity of material diameter is an impressive 2.5”. (The wall of the tubing should be no thicker than 0.120” however.)
The three selectable bending speeds are provided; these can be picked in line with the material size, type, and thickness.
For example, Speed one (which amounts to 4 degrees per pull) will give the user the most torque.
It is recommended that this speed is used when bending material with 2” of outside diameter (chrome alloy) or 2.5” outside diameter when working with mild steel.
Speed two produces 8 degrees per pull and can be used with intermediate material.
Speed 3 should be selected for lighter gauge materials as it produces 12 degrees of pull.
Overall ease of operation is good. Materials can be bent in one shot without the need to reset the machine. Simply put your tubing into the hook arm insert, choose your speed setting and use the manual operation to begin bending.
The Baileigh RDB-050 can bend up to 200 degrees. It also features an anti spring back mechanism so that each bend can be held in place as the operator ratchets forward.
Overall the Baileigh RDB-050 Manual Rotary Draw Tube Bender is a good machine that performs well.
However, in the absence of some of the more distinct features of the HULK, (digital display and measurement indicators for repeatable results for instance), the RDB-050 does fall short.
You will not be disappointed, however we would still recommend the top pick reviewed above, over this unit.
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3. BEST BUDGET: Affordable Bender ab105 1-3/4″ Hydraulic Tube Bender
Our top pick budget tube roller for 2020 is the more than appropriately named, “Affordable Bender AB105.
And believe it or not, “Affordable Bender” is actually the name of the company.
It seems these guys set out to create a budget-friendly hydraulic tube rolling system that is significantly cheaper than a lot of the competition.
Do they deliver? Well on price yes certainly, however, the performance levels are good too.
And when it comes to metal tube rolling, reliable performance is key as the materials do not necessarily come cheap.
110 degrees of bend is available on the AB105 and used in conjunction with an 8-ton bottle jack, 1-3/4″ round tubing can be bent.
This is a smaller capacity than available on both the HULK and the Baileigh RDB-050, however, this should be expected considering the difference in price point.
Different types of material can be manipulated of course, (the manufacturers state that the machine can bend .080 to .120 wall HREW or ERW and .080 to .095 DOM or 4130 Chromoly tubing).
However, the smooth results that can be achieved, are capable of passing NHRA, SCORE, SCCA technical inspections.
Additional die sets are available, however, a small die set is actually included with the unit.
If you are looking for an affordable tube bender for your offroad, boating, workshop needs, this is quite simply the unit to buy.
However, bear in mind the reduced metal bending capacity when compared to other machines, and the fact you will need to purchase an 8-ton bottle jack too.
Nevertheless, this is still our top budget pick for 2020 for all the above reasons and more.
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4. Allstar Performance ALL10300 1-3/4″ x 7″ Radius Hydraulic Round Tubing Bender
In the same vein as our top budget pick from Affordable Benders, this unit from Allstar Performance offers a maximum capacity of 1-3/4” material alongside the need of an 8 ton hydraulic jack.
This, of course, is more than adequate of bending roll cages and chassis tubing from the home workshop. If offroad maintenance at an affordable price point is what you are looking for, these are the specifications you will be limited to.
Much like the other units in our review roundup, operation is easy and the machine is versatile.
Different cast aluminum shoes are used with the machine in order to provide varying results.
For example, a 7” radius is used on 1-1/2”, 1-5/8” and 1-3/4” round tubing, while a 5” radius shoe should be used for 1-1/4” and 1” round tubing.
Changing shoes for the different material sizes and types is a simple procedure too.
Specifications on the thickness of material come in at reasonable rates as well. Mild steel tubing up to .134” thick can be worked on and when using chrome alloy tubing the machine can handle thickness of .120”.
The total weight of the machine is only 42 lbs should you need to transport it from place to place.
While the Allstar Performance ALL10300 1-3/4″ x 7″ is a good machine with adequate specifications, the fact they match the best budget pick AB105 while not being as cost-effective make this one you should consider before you buy.
Users have rated it highly, however we do recommend the Affordable Bender ab105 over this due to price point alone.
5. KAKA Industrial HB-8 Heavy-Duty 8 Ton Hydraulic Roll Cage Tube Bender
The final tube bender to make our top 5 in 2020 is this high quality offering from KAKA Industrial.
This 8-ton hydraulic roll cage tube bender features all the power you need for fast and reliable tube processing.
A whopping 5 dies are fully included, making this one of the most well-supported packages in our review roundup.
From the start you will have access to 3/4″, 1″, 1-1/2″, 1-5/8″ and 1-3/4″ diameter dies for superior versatility when it comes to your tube rolling.
The unit is also nice and easy to use, with the hand-operated, hydraulic system requiring none of the muscle work from you.
90 degrees of bend capacity are on offer, meaning it does fall short on other systems such as the AB105 and the HULK, however as you will see from the operational specifications tab below, a wide range of material sizes can be worked on.
That being said, with the maximum size being 1-3/4” this machine doesn’t have the power of premium units such as the HULK and the Baileigh RDB-050.
Overall the KAKA Industrial HB-8 Heavy-Duty 8 Ton Hydraulic Roll Cage Tube Bender is a great machine.
It’s price point puts it firmly in the mid performance zone when compared to others in our top 5, and with the included dies and robust build quality, this is certainly a unit worthy of consideration.
Off-Road Tube Bender Buyer’s Guide
There’s a few factors that you need to consider before buying a tube bender for your off road, roll cage or chassis needs.
Everything from your available budget, the demands of the work you will be doing and your experience using the machine will have an impact on the type of unit you should opt for.
You may also seek the advice of review guides such as this one. However, it is always good to have an understanding of the features available in order to purchase the correct tube bender for you.
So if you are ready, let’s take a look at some of those deciding factors.
Operational capacity can be ascertained from the specifications of the tube bender.
Generally speaking, more premium units will be able to bend thicker materials of a wider diameter when compared to the capacity of budget machines.
As you will have seen from the reviews above, both the high priced HULK and the Baileigh RDB-050, can bend tubes of 2” or more in diameter. The capacity of the other units is 1.3/4” or below.
In other words, if you envisage yourself working with larger materials, you will need to purchase a tubing bender up to the task.
Versatility (Bending Degrees & Available Dies)
The question of capacity is also linked to versatility. However here, the range of degrees that the machine can bend the metal, plus the varying sizes of die available play a large part.
Again, it will be important to look closely at the specifications and related marketing materials.
The Baileigh RDB-050 has a bending range of 200 degrees. Other options only have 90 degrees.
The HULK has an impressive 66 dies available that can be purchased as you need. This offers a huge amount of versatility.
Less premium machines are compatible with as little as only 5 dies.
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Build Quality & Brand Reputation
Build quality is clearly another factor to consider. A tube bending machine will take a lot of abuse over its lifetime. In order to ensure that the machine will continue working as it should, the main structure should be well built, with all other components designed in a way that will last.
User reviews are great in this respect, as you can get an unbiased view of what the machine is like to use in practice, and if any issues present themselves after sustained use.
Brand reputation is also important. A well-known brand with a proven track record is where your money is probably best placed. Such a manufacturer should have a robust returns system in place, in the case of any potential problems you might have.
The HULK has a very useful extra feature in the form of a digital display that makes achieving precision-based, repeatable results, easy to achieve.
These are the kind of features to look out for.
Some units rely on hydraulic jacks to produce the bending power. Does one come with the machine you are interested in or will you need to buy it separately?
We’ve already covered the subject of dies, however, brands do vary in the policy of how many are shipped with the machine, (in some cases none at all, meaning you will need to purchase separately).
In all these cases it is important to know exactly what you are getting when you buy a particular model. Only then can you accurately compare available options to ensure that you buy the correct tubing bender for you.