What is a pipe bender?
A pipe bender is a tool used to bend piping of different materials, such as copper and stainless steel, to form various angles and curves.
There are four main categories of pipe benders: manual, hydraulic, electric and mechanical. This section deals with manual pipe benders only.
Manual pipe benders are a popular choice for worksites where access to electrical power is unavailable or in locations where mobility is needed.
The main objective of a pipe bender is to bend the pipe without any buckling (collapsing under pressure), and with as little crimping and flattening as possible. It is important that the pipe keeps its shape as deformed pipes can break under pressure, crack and generally look less appealing.
When using pipe benders, it is also important to use a quality pipe, as cheap piping can often be the cause of crushing rather than the bender itself.
Bending pipe to a decent standard takes a lot of practice and skill - do not expect to be able to create a perfect bend on your first go.
The structure of a pipe bender changes depending on model, however all have a basic shoe or former which the pipe is bent around.
The former will usually have markings to indicate the different angles that the user can bend to. For more information about pipe bender formers, see the Types section.