Best Tubing Bender For Roll Cages: Reviewed & Compared

When it comes to building roll cages, it’s imperative for car owners to have access to a quality tubing bender. They especially need this in order to bend the thick steel required for a roll cage. Through high-performance tubing benders, manufactures can design and create bends that will precisely adhere to the interior of their car’s framework.

Yet, if you’re new to the world of tubing benders, it can be incredibly difficult to find the right tool. Simply searching tube benders on the internet will yield millions of contradictory results. This oversaturated market leaves many novices baffled as to how to find the best possible tube bender for creating safe and effective roll cages.

For those suffering search overload, this article should be able to help you out! The following will explore the qualities to search for in an effective tube roller. Furthermore, it will examine three high-quality tubing benders that are suitable options for building roll cages.


Preview

Model

Max Bending Angle

Min & Max CLR

Check Price

KAKA Industrial HB-8 Heavy-Duty 8 Ton...

KAKA Industrial HB-8

90 degree

3/4” to 1-3/4”

SWAG Off Road Tubing Roller'HULK'

SWAG Off Road HULK

15-inch diameter circles

2.0” by 2.0”

Baileigh RDB-25 Cast Iron Manual Rotary Draw...

Baileigh RBD-25

180-degree

2.0” to 4.25”

Affordable Bender ab105 1-3/4' Hydraulic Tube...

Affordable Bender Ab105

90-degree

1.0” to 1.75”

Woodward Fab Tube and Pipe Bender, Model#...

Woodward Fab WFB2

unknown

2.0”

Baileigh RDB-050 Manual Tube Bender

Baileigh RDB-050

200 degrees

0.120” to 7.0”

Allstar Performance ALL10300 1-3/4' x 7'...

Allstar Performance ALL10300

90 degree

1.0” to 1-3/4”


How Do Tubing Benders Work?

There are several types of roll cage tubing benders on the market. You will notice manual machines that require muscle to operate and powered devices that make the work easy. Whichever method you choose, the bending is the same. Either rotary draw bending or press bending is used to form the workpiece into the angle you desire. You can also use a roll bar bender to shape the tube with multiple bends.

The central aspect of using a hydraulic or manual tube bender is to remain safe during the operation. If you need safety tips, you can reference this helpful video.


Tubing Bender Considerations

As you look through the tube bender reviews, you want to evaluate the options with the following criteria.

Material Type

Before you can choose a tubing roller vs. bender, you need to decide what tool works best for the material you are using. This involves analyzing not just the material, but also the size and outside diameter of the tube. You must pay attention to the thickness, Center Line Radius (CLR), and the distance between bends on top of that.

Level of Use & Production

If you do a lot of unique designs and don’t mind physical labor, you can save money by choosing a manual roll cage pipe bender. If you plan to do the same bends many times, or you plan to take some of the work out of a job, then you would rather have a programmable or hydraulic bender instead.

Style of Roll Cage

To build a compact cage for your drag or race car, you want a tube bender that’s meant for that job. If you plan to work on the dome-shaped cages for your off-road toys instead, you would rather use a high-quality roll bender. While it’s possible to do the job without the right bender, having the proper equipment makes life easier.

Bender Type

There are four main types of benders. The open rotary draw bending method is used in motorsports, structural, and industrial applications. Mandrel bending is for tube and pipe bending with the help of a solid steel rod placed into your material. Roll bending requires the use of a series of rollers to change the pipe radius. Finally, ram style bending uses a hydraulic ram to push the tube. It's best for gates, exhaust systems, and carports.

Speed, Accuracy & Repeatability

With a manual bender, you don’t want to do much more than an entry-level job and small productions. The air hydraulic bender is ideal for hands-free operation but tends to be slower than some other options. An electric hydraulic bender is faster and an ideal choice for busy auto repair shops. The last option is an electromechanical bender, which is entirely programmable. This produces the most accurate bend.

Machine Capacity vs. Material Strength

To create the highest quality bend, you need to work efficiently. Make sure that the machine you choose is equipped to deal with the materials you are working with. If you plan to operate at full capacity every day, you want an industrial grade bender. For entry-level or light-duty work, you can use something less intensive, but you will spend more time performing the bends.

Design Quality & Ease of Use

Anytime you work with tools in the shop, you want them to be comfortable. After all, you will have to operate and hold them regularly. Check the grip, ergonomic design, and evaluate how comfortable it will be to hold during lengthy jobs. The last thing you want to do is rush through a job because the tool is hard to operate.

Safety Features

You can evaluate the various safety features that come with the best tube bender for a roll cage, but each add-on will raise the price. Look for a touchscreen for easy input. This alerts the operator when there is an error and allows you to correct the problem before moving on.

Price & Warranty

While you might want to save money, it's difficult to sacrifice quality for the price. You can find an affordable tube bender with plenty of features if you are willing to do a little digging. Whatever you do, don’t sacrifice on the warranty. Purchasing a unit without a warranty is like asking for trouble. If something is manufactured incorrectly, you want it to be covered.


7 Best Tubing Benders For Roll Cages Reviewed

Our tube bender reviews investigate a variety of styles and performances to ensure there is a model for your work.

1. KAKA Industrial HB-8

Best Hydraulic Tubing Bender

Max Bending Angle

90 degree

Max Pressure

8 ton

Min & Max CLR

3/4” to 1-3/4”

Bending Speeds

unknown

OD Capacity

3/4” to 1”

Warranty

Yes, 1-year

This KAKA roll cage bender is constructed with industrial strength. It’s an eight-ton hydraulic tubing bender that helps create roll cages with ease. You can depend on the solid steel frame and sturdy, durable design. This well-constructed bender was created to bend chrome-molybdenum and steel tubes.

The eight-ton forming jack won’t let you down as you produce high-precision bends. The steel forming dies combined with the cast followers don’t flatten or defame your material edging. What you are left with is a professional job that others envy. With this bender, you have five varying dies: 3/4″, 1″, 1.5″, 1-5/8″, and 1-3/4″ diameter. This allows for maximum flexibility. It will bend up to a 90-degree angle and allows for rapid changes for superior versatility.

It is a heavy unit at nearly 100 pounds, so you won’t want to take this on the go with you. Still, the company stands by this piece of equipment with a one-year warranty. Because it is hand-operated, it might not be the ideal option for all shops, especially if you need to do the same bends repetitively. We recommend this bender for any automotive enthusiast or novice mechanic that wants to create a roll cage at home.

Pros

  • High-quality construction
  • Five die sizes
  • Stable 8-ton forming jack
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Heavy

2. SWAG Off Road HULK

Top of the Range

Max Bending Angle

15-inch diameter circles

Max Pressure

unknown

Min & Max CLR

2.0” by 2.0”

Bending Speeds

unknown

OD Capacity

0.375” to 3.0”

Warranty

Yes, 1-year

Just like the superhero Hulk, this tubing roller packs a powerful punch! Made entirely in the United States, the HULK is a roller intended for only the strongest of tubing material. Here are some of the features of the HULK:

Product Specifications
  • Capable of rolling material up to 2” by 2”
  • Electronic digital display promotes consistency
  • Composed of heat treated chromoly 4340
  • Manufactured entirely in the United States
  • 64 specialized dies to choose from

With lime green accents and a strong design, the HULK actually gets its name from its resemblance to the monstrous superhero. Yet, although this model won’t ever ‘go on a rampage’, it remains incredibly fortifiable. With every component of the tube bender manufactured in the USA, the SWAG roller places a heavy emphasis on quality materials. The center drive axle and the outer non-driver roller pins are entirely composed of heat-treated chrome 4340 chromoly. This strong steel alloy ensures that the machine won’t ever be structurally compromised by heavy use.

The HULK has the ability to roll items that are as thick as 2 x 2” .1250 wall square material. With such a large size range, it truly makes this tube roller a versatile choice. This versatility is extended by SWAG’s extensive die collection. Although the HULK only includes one complimentary die, the list to choose from is seemingly endless. SWAG houses nearly 64 specialized dies. These include round pipe, round tube, flat bar, square, angle iron, and so many more. This vast selection ensures that every possible project can be accounted for and accommodated.

Even though SWAG only includes one die with their HULK model, they do offer the option of purchasing additional dies. In fact, SWAG prides themselves on having the least expensive prices of any die manufacturer in the industry. Thus, with a low price point, users are able to afford multiple die choices.

One of the more notable features of the HULK is its inclusion of a digital readout screen. This was designed to combat the minor imperfections that can occur from repeated rolling. Users use the quality Brand I Gauging system to simply gather measurements of their first piece of tubing.

These measurements include the distance of the downward travel displayed on the digital readout and the location of the outer dies. Armed with this information, it becomes incredibly easy to simply replicate this measurement on subsequent pieces of tubing. This is especially helpful if you’re doing the precision-based work required by a project like roll cages.

Pros

  • 64 die choices
  • Durable
  • Precise operation
  • Immune to weather

Cons

  • Does not include a stand

3. Baileigh RBD-25

Best Manual Tube Bender

Max Bending Angle

180-degree

Max Pressure

Manual power

Min & Max CLR

2.0” to 4.25”

Bending Speeds

unknown

OD Capacity

3/8” to 1.0”

Warranty

No

Despite the lower price, this roll bar tubing bender works well on a variety of materials. Sure, you have to do the manual labor with this operation, but you can twist up to 200-degrees without stopping or resetting, so we have rated it the best manual tube bender. Users have commented that they can play out a changeover in just a minute or less. That’s remarkably impressive.

This cheap tube bender for a roll cage is perfect for hobbyists on a tight budget. It comes with a cast-iron frame. Plus, you can mount it on a pedestal or bench. It comes with a variety of round and square tube die sets for maximum versatility.

It does feature a lighter weight than the mechanical benders, so it’s easy to take with you. In fact, the company includes a carrying case to make portability simple. Furthermore, Baileigh continues to be a leader in the industry and can be trusted to produce durable equipment. While this model is on the lower end of what they provide, they still put as much detail into the manufacturing. The only thing that isn't clear is what type of warranty this comes with, if any at all. If you don’t mind manual labor, this is a cheap pipe bender for a roll cage.

Pros

  • Speed options
  • Powerful
  • Quick changeover
  • Low-cost

Cons

  • Manual operation

4. Affordable Bender ab105

Best Hydraulic Roll Bar Tubing Bender

Max Bending Angle

90-degree

Max Pressure

8-ton

Min & Max CLR

1.0” to 1.75”

Bending Speeds

unknown

OD Capacity

0.080 to 0.134”

Warranty

No

If you need an automatic and straightforward tube bender to design your roll cage, this might be the perfect option. It features a fully hydraulic operation because of the eight-ton bottle jack. It also comes with a complete die set, and you can purchase additional ones for more versatility.

It effectively bends up to a 90-degree angle without breaking the bank. In fact, it’s challenging to find a jack with this capability with such a low price. That’s what makes it one of the best cheap tube bender options. If you are operating on a budget, you won’t have to sacrifice quality with this machine.

Because both the die and mandrel have one-inch shafts, you can count on the durability and lifespan. Plus, it generates smooth and clean bends that pass SCAA, NHRA, and SCORE tech specs. The best part is that you can use this bender to create more than just roll cages.

Consider utilizing it for your chopper frame or boat railings, as well. It also weighs less than 50 pounds, so taking it on the go with you won’t be a problem. The only trouble we see with this option is that there is no warranty information. Still, for the price and superior reviews, it is worth taking a chance on.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • 8-ton bottle jack
  • Clean bends

Cons

  • No warranty

5. Woodward Fab WFB2

Best Cheap Tube Bender

Max Bending Angle

unknown

Max Pressure

unknown

Min & Max CLR

2.0”

Bending Speeds

unknown

OD Capacity

unknown

Warranty

No

There isn’t a lot of information regarding this steel tube bender, but that doesn’t mean it should be overlooked. The price alone is enough reason why you want to investigate this roll cage tubing bender further. It effectively bends up to 2.0” diameter tubing without putting forth too much effort.

With this tube and pipe bender, you can create the roll cages you always wanted right in your home garage. Create metal frames and protect yourself on the track. This roller features CNC machined components for complete precision. It contains bending applications for both round and square tubing.

It also comes with a 36-inch handle and engraved degree ring. You can purchase this bender with an optional stand if you require additional stability. Furthermore, it only weighs 55 pounds, so you can take it to your buddy’s house to fabricate another roll cage.

Because of the low price, you won’t get any dies with your purchase of this best cheap tube bender. You also don’t get a warranty, but the reviews add confidence to the durability. With the ability to bend up to two-inch round tubing, there is no limit to what you can do with this pipe and tube bender. It’s the perfect addition to any race car or off-road vehicle shop.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Low cost
  • Precise bends
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • No Dies Included

6. Baileigh RDB-050

Best Roll Cage Tubing Bender

Max Bending Angle

200 degrees

Max Pressure

unknown

Min & Max CLR

0.120” to 7.0”

Bending Speeds

3 speeds

OD Capacity

2.5”

Warranty

No

First off, we have the Baileigh RDB-050. This manual rotary draw tube bender comes equipped with a stand, handle, and the capacity to handle up to 2-½ inch tube capacity.

With an emphasis on safety and versatility, the Baileigh RDB-050 is definitely a bender to note!

As you can see, the Baileigh RD8-050 is built to maximize function and capacity. The entire machine can actively bend up to 200° without requiring a stop and reset. This removal combats the excess lag that can occur with less efficient tubing benders. Thus, by promoting uninterrupted bending, you are empowered to procure the most precise bend possible!

With an emphasis on expediency, the Baileigh RD8-050 makes certain that every step of your project can be performed efficiently and quickly. This is why Baleigh included the quick-release hook arm inserts. These inserts will actively assist you as you switch the machine to a different size of tubing.

This ease of changeover greatly lessens the time consumption that can occur during the bending process. In fact, customers boast that they are able to perform a changeover in one minute or less!

To operate the machine, simply place your tubing in the hook insert. After that, all that’s left to do is bend. Once you’re done, you are free to return the tool to its neutral position and take out your work. That’s it! The process is painless, requiring no major assembly or disassembly. With the options of three different speeds, the Baileigh RDB-050 offers a myriad of possibilities for handling different materials.

  • You can use Speed 1, which produces 4 degrees per pull. With the most torque, this speed is the best option for bending 2.5” OD mild steel and 2” chromalloy.
  • Speed 2 increases the strength of the previous speed up to 8 degrees. This is definitely a middling speed, used for intermediate materials.
  • Speed 3 will be the least powerful setting. This will produce 12 degrees per pull. This setting is designated for the lightest of the gauge materials.

It’s important to note that this tube bender is not only efficient but also incredibly durable. The metal frame is nearly impervious to wear and tear. To ensure longevity, every pivot point is infused with aluminum bronze bushings and thrust washers. These precautions ensure that the Baileigh will remain a solid and long-lasting investment for years to come.

Pros

  • Efficient and quick changeover
  • Versatile speed options
  • Expedient bending process
  • Handles Many Material

Cons

  • On the pricier side

7. Allstar Performance ALL10300

Best Portable Round Tubing Bender

Max Bending Angle

90 degree

Max Pressure

8-ton

Min & Max CLR

1.0” to 1-3/4”

Bending Speeds

unknown

OD Capacity

0.120”

Warranty

No

When you’re searching for quality tube benders, sometimes you just have to reach for the stars! Specifically, reach for the Allstar Performance ALL10300. This tube roller is notable for its ability to bend the dense tubing required for roll cages. It has thusly earned its placement on this list by being a potent, powerful, and portable tube bender.

There is something that is so classic about Allstar Performance’s round tubing bender. The bared down structure is paired with a sleek black design, giving the entire apparatus an air of refinement. This refined packaging gives way to some powerful works. The entirety of the bender’s framing is comprised of strong welded steel. This steel-based foundation creates a fortifiable conduit for durable tube bending. This is how the bender is able to effectively tackle the tubing needed for creating cage rolls.

Truly, what makes the Allstar Performance tube bender so notable is how effectively it can be transported. Weighing less than 50 pounds, the entire machine can easily be relocated to any personal home shop. Its height is less than three feet, meaning it can comfortably fit in any suburban car. This allows for flexibility of placement and prolonged usage, should you need to relocate.

The Allstar Performance tube bender comes with a complimentary die set. This set can be decided on purchase, and the options include 1 ¾”, 1 ⅝”, 1 ½”, 1 ¼”, and 1”. If you want to invest in more sets, excess dies can be purchased for an added fee.

If you’re going to purchase the Allstar Performance, there are some things to keep in mind. The bender relies on a hand-operated hydraulic jack to operate. This is not included with purchase and is sold separately. Luckily, Allstar designed the corresponding jack, and this product is very easy to locate and purchase.

Also, if you’re going to use a tubing of .095 inches or less, Allstar Performance recommends lubricating your die shoe. This oiling down makes certain that no ‘kinking’ or structural problems will occur during the bending process. They also add the disclaimer that this machine cannot handle any tubing of more than .134” wall thickness.

Pros

  • Portable for convenient usage
  • Powerful
  • Complimentary die set included
  • Easy To Use

Cons

  • Might Require More Dies

Roll cages in accordance with tubing benders

When it comes to finding effective tubing benders for roll cages, quality is key. You need a bender that will create precise and sturdy rolls. These bends need to be accurately created so the finished cage can snuggly adhere to your car’s chassis.

If the bender is ineffective, then the cage becomes less likely to protect your car’s internal framework.  Thus, a subpar tubing bender will yield a subpar roll cage. There is nothing more dangerous than this outcome. Should a car be involved in a race and take part in a rollout, you can do irreparable harm to your car and yourself.

Thus, to preserve all-around longevity, you need to make certain that the quality of tubing bender is up to standard. Make certain that the material you’re working with is in compliance with your local racing organization. If you cannot find these rules, you can always check the FIA standards; many organizations tend to adhere to the FIA’s regulations as the accepted standard.


Tube bender Formulas to Keep in Mind

If you’re using a tubing bender to create a roll cage, you’re going to be doing a lot of math. Cages require bends, and bends require the calculations of angles. This can seem daunting, but this calculation doesn’t need to be difficult. All you need to do is calculate your tube stretch length and then manipulate this data based on your desired angle.

To help you with this, you’ll need to use the following formulas:

Tube Stretch Length

To find the tube stretch length, you first need to find the radius of your bend. This equation is pi times twice the centerline of the radius. If you divide this by four, you’ll get the tube stretch length. The equation looks like this.

π x (2 x centerline of radius) = (radius of the bend)

(radius of bend) / 4 = tube stretch length

For 90° Angles

If you are creating a perfect squared angle, then you need to divide your bend degree by 90. This will yield your bend percentage. This equation is notated like this:

(Bend Degree) / 90 = Bend Percentage

For Less Than 90° Angles

If your bend is going to be less than 90°, you’ll need to take your calculated tube stretch length and multiply that by your bend percentage. This formula is notated as this:

(Tube Stretch Length) x (Bend Percentage) = Y

If you follow these formulas, you can save yourself some time, energy, and possible mental exhaustion!


How to Use Tube Benders

Once you purchase the best hydraulic tubing bender, you want to know how to use it. The steps are simple. Start by setting up the tube bender. You will have to make the proper adjustments to ensure the desired results. If you are making multiple bends, you need to mark your tube as a reference.

Then, align and insert the tube into your hydraulic tubing bender. Lower the second arm to hold the tubing in place. Grip the roll support arm and bring it down until you reach the mark on the bending die. Once you are finished, simply disengage the tube and remove it.

You will also want to brush up on how to calculate and measure the bend radius of a tube before you get started.


Welding a Roll Cage

You can use your hydraulic tube bender during the welding process to make fabrication easier than ever. Since the main hoop is bent into a ‘U’ shape and welded into the rear base plates, it makes sense to do the entire operation at once. When you bend it and cut it, make sure it’s a little longer than what you think you will need. You can always trim it back later.

The metal tube bender is invaluable as you learn to weld a roll cage.



People Also Ask (FAQs)

What are some other important accessories needed for this job?

As you learn how to use a tube bender, you will find that some accessories make the job easier. Consider having a vice, magnetic angle gauge, stand, extension handle, and tube bending lube on hand for simple operation.

What kind of tubing do you use for a roll cage?

You will want to reference the rule book to find the appropriate answer for your race. All street and sports racing roll bars are built with 1.75"x .120" DOM.

What size pipe should I use for a roll cage?

On 8.50 roll cages, the tubing size is 1-5/8" x 0.118" gentle steel or 0.83" Chromoly. You can also use the bending wall thickness capacity chart.

Tubing rollers vs. tubing benders. What’s the difference?

The tubing roller makes low-degree, large-radius bends. The benders are designed for tighter work, including bumpers or roll cages. The rollers also tend to have a lower price, making them more affordable.

Why do race cars have roll cages?

The roll cage ensures that the occupants remain inside the vehicle if it should flip over. They are required in most races and are a vital safety component.


Conclusion

Now that you’ve read the reviews and learned the basics of how to use a tubing bender, it’s time to purchase one for your shop. When working on a roll cage, we recommend the KAKA Industrial HB-8. It provides an exceptional value for anyone in need of a professional machine. It makes the work easy so you can spend more time racing.