Are Swagelok tubing benders worth the money?
Close
Login to Your Account
Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    6,131
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    710
    Likes (Received)
    2861

    Default Are Swagelok tubing benders worth the money?

    This is a typical hand-powered tubing bender from Swagelok. I have one in 3/8" and 5/16" sizes....kinda want one in 1/2".

    These run well over $200, even used. They are, for the record, very well made.

    I see a lot of other similar bender on Ebay for much less. These are Asian makes in some cases but also older Ridgid, Imperial Eastman, etc.

    So...are the lower cost versions 'just as good' or 'nowhere close' in terms of function? Are the Swageloks offering a use/final product benefit?



    swagelok.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    GA
    Posts
    809
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1
    Likes (Received)
    140

    Default

    I have a few of the Swagelok ones here like you have pictured and will say they are nicer than Ridgid or imperial eastman ones I've had. Their stuff is all focused on prep for their automatic orbital welders and those are pretty pricey. $250 for a bender maybe doesn't look like much compared to a $20k tube welder so I bet a lot of the ones they sell are part of package outfits with those machines bought at the same time

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Posts
    4,836
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    855
    Likes (Received)
    2003

    Default

    The Swagelok is better in every way, sans price

    Id say it depends on your tubing though. The Swagelok design really shines in stuff like 1/2" .065"wt where the roller follower really reduces required bending force.

    Another perk is the bench vise tab. Lock that sob in the vise and go to town.

    Lastly, I really like ability to change handle position. Not sure if other brands do that.

    Sent from my SM-G930R4 using Tapatalk

  4. Likes TFPace liked this post
  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    702
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    171
    Likes (Received)
    197

    Default

    Yes, its worth the price
    Parker used to make a nice one too, not sure what the current offering is like.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Hawaii
    Posts
    216
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    5
    Likes (Received)
    33

    Default

    The Swagelok benders are much better at bending heavier wall stainless steel tubing in my opinion.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Virginia
    Posts
    2,454
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    179
    Likes (Received)
    971

    Default

    In my opinion it all depends on how often you use it. I really like nice tools but I have bought some crap from Harbor Freight that has served me well if I only use it infrequently. I'm not saying buy a tubing bender from HF, I'm just saying that sometimes it's a good idea to consider if you need to have a high priced tool sitting in a cabinet and dragged out three or four times a year. I will say I have a set of the Swagelok benders and they are very nice.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    6,131
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    710
    Likes (Received)
    2861

    Default

    Thanks all. On further digging in my shop, I found I already have one! I have two Swageloks (1/2" and 3/8") and an Imperial in 7/16 and 5/16. I had no idea I owned the Imperials but once I saw them I remembered being given them years ago.

  9. Likes Garwood, DrHook liked this post
  10. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    4,771
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    5156
    Likes (Received)
    2463

    Default

    I collected hand benders like that for years. I have Parker, Rigid and Swagelok to 7/8".

    I got an imperial bench bender then all those hand benders just sit.

    Bench benders make nicer bends and handle much tighter radius compared to the hand benders.

    I think Imperial, Lakeland, Parker focused more on the pro bending side of things. Bench benders also carry very high new prices, but sometimes they pop up used.

  11. Likes GregSY liked this post
  12. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    6,131
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    710
    Likes (Received)
    2861

    Default

    I saw one Swagelok bench bender, electric powered, that was a breathtaking $16,500, used.

  13. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    4,771
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    5156
    Likes (Received)
    2463

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GregSY View Post
    I saw one Swagelok bench bender, electric powered, that was a breathtaking $16,500, used.
    Makes me wonder who pays those prices. It's not hard to find an older Pines mandrel bender ready to work with some tooling for $5k-$10k.

  14. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    California
    Posts
    5,586
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    103
    Likes (Received)
    1079

    Default

    There is a Swagelok factory in Sunnyvale area next to route 101. The walk-in counter, displays, and prices makes one feel humble indeed.

  15. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Posts
    4,836
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    855
    Likes (Received)
    2003

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Garwood View Post
    Makes me wonder who pays those prices. It's not hard to find an older Pines mandrel bender ready to work with some tooling for $5k-$10k.
    I've seen some large engines and compressors that use a LOT of tubing for lube lines, etc. Those packagers are about the only ones I can think of that'd justify it.

  16. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    new plymouth id
    Posts
    423
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    27
    Likes (Received)
    100

    Default

    I have that style not that brand and have ran a lot of tubing with it. 3/8"s is easy, 1/2" is bearable 5/8" is a bear probably has to do with my holding ability. thought about a 3/4 decided if I needed it I would figure out a way to power it, your reefing on it so hard that its easy for the lines to get out of plane unless the radious is huge of course.

  17. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    4,771
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    5156
    Likes (Received)
    2463

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by idacal View Post
    I have that style not that brand and have ran a lot of tubing with it. 3/8"s is easy, 1/2" is bearable 5/8" is a bear probably has to do with my holding ability. thought about a 3/4 decided if I needed it I would figure out a way to power it, your reefing on it so hard that its easy for the lines to get out of plane unless the radious is huge of course.
    The 5/8" and larger hand benders I have are ratcheting with a gear reduction built in. If you have a hand bender that size and it doesn't have a reduction it is an HVAC bender only intended for soft copper and aluminum.

  18. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    North Carolina
    Posts
    184
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    288
    Likes (Received)
    94

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cole2534 View Post
    The Swagelok is better in every way, sans price

    Id say it depends on your tubing though. The Swagelok design really shines in stuff like 1/2" .065"wt where the roller follower really reduces required bending force.

    Another perk is the bench vise tab. Lock that sob in the vise and go to town.

    Lastly, I really like ability to change handle position. Not sure if other brands do that.

    Sent from my SM-G930R4 using Tapatalk
    The Ridgid 600 series are a pretty decent knockoff of the Swagelok design and include all of these features. I have a full set of Ridgid's minus the 5/16" size and like them quite a bit. I've never used a real Swagelok, but I have a hard time seeing how they're functionally much different. The Ridgid 600's aren't exactly cheap, but much cheaper than the Swagelok...guessing the Chinese origin of the Ridgid has a lot to do with that.

    Here's a photo of my collection...

    img_20161012_064815676.jpg

  19. Likes Cole2534 liked this post

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •