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#57541 - 10/16/05 08:49 PM Conduit Benders
SolarPowered Offline
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Registered: 07/05/04
Posts: 625
Loc: Palo Alto, CA, USA
Klein/Benfield, Ideal, and Greenlee all make hand conduit benders. Are they all pretty much the same, or is there one brand that's a lot better than the others?
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#57542 - 10/17/05 04:41 AM Re: Conduit Benders
Tiger Offline
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Registered: 05/04/05
Posts: 706
Loc: Crystal Lake, IL USA
I'm sure this won't be the popular reply, but I like GB for the level on it.

Dave
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#57543 - 10/17/05 04:46 AM Re: Conduit Benders
dmattox Offline
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Registered: 10/20/04
Posts: 265
Loc: Anaheim, CA
We have lots of benders, and I have never once looked at who made it before picking it up.

Some guys say that one of the certain metals is more prone to breaking, but I have never broken a bender except when using it for rigid.
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#57544 - 10/17/05 05:41 AM Re: Conduit Benders
e57 Offline
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Registered: 05/27/03
Posts: 2876
Loc: S.F.,CA USA
Those levels are useless on an un-level floor, and its rare to find a surface thats level.

The most accurate method is this.
Although due for a re-design so you can read it from the side....

And, I have only one complaint about the Greenlee 1/2", the foot stop is too small, you can't get a steel toe in there for proper foot pressure.

Person favorite is Ideal cast iron.
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Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
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#57545 - 10/17/05 06:27 AM Re: Conduit Benders
Cow Offline
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Registered: 07/01/05
Posts: 33
Loc: Hermiston, OR
I personally like Greenlee. It has the degree of bend marked on one side and the multiplier on the other. A seasoned veteran can remember the multipliers but it is very handy for a newer apprentice who is new to bending. Also, it seems like the Greenlee grips the pipe better. One of the guys has an older 3/4 emt Ideal iron hand bender that doesn't hold the pipe very well, the pipe has a lot of side to side movement making it hard not to dog leg it. Maybe the newer Ideals are better. e57, I have never used a magnetic angle finder, are you bending angles that aren't marked on the bender? Or just looking for more accuracy?
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#57546 - 10/17/05 09:06 AM Re: Conduit Benders
Bill39 Offline
Member
Registered: 11/28/01
Posts: 75
Loc: Indianapolis, IN, USA
To "COW": A protractor is usually not needed whle bending EMT with a hand bender, but it is the only way to go if bending pipe on a "Chicago" bender or hydraulic.

As far as my preferences on hand benders, I always liked the Greenlee "site-rite" style that allows you to eyeball the angle of the bend with the pipe on the floor. This allowed me to use the offset multipliers without the need for a protractor. I never really figured out how to utilize the angle markers on the Ideal benders.
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#57547 - 10/17/05 06:54 PM Re: Conduit Benders
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member
Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5316
Loc: Blue Collar Country
The one thing I find critical about benders is that you MUST know what bend you've made when the handle is vertical. On Ideal it is 30 degrees, on GB 45....

While I have NOT used it, the new black finish on the Ideal benders suggests that they might hold on to the pipe better.

My favorite bender tip: put a crutch tip on the end of the handle.
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#57548 - 10/17/05 07:30 PM Re: Conduit Benders
e57 Offline
Member
Registered: 05/27/03
Posts: 2876
Loc: S.F.,CA USA
Cow, I was actauly saying... if you're gonna use levels while bending, that one is more accurate than, those two on a GB bender. However, I do use mine often for off-ests where it counts, and for larger pipe where hydraulics are involved.

Reno... whats the crutch tip for????
_________________________
Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
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#57549 - 10/18/05 03:14 AM Re: Conduit Benders
iwire Offline
Moderator
Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 4391
Loc: North Attleboro, MA USA
I do not care if the bender is made from aluminum or iron, I do not care who makes it.

All I care about is that a straight up handle results in a 30 degree bend.

30 degrees is the most common number I use for offsets, occasionally if it will be out of sight I go 15 degrees for easer pulling.
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Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Massachusetts
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#57550 - 10/18/05 07:08 AM Re: Conduit Benders
lamplighter Offline
Member
Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 101
Loc: Clawson,Michigan,USA
The only place I've ever used a magnetic angle finder is when bending pipe too big to easily remove a little bit of over bend or when trying to match existing bends from the previous electrician.
You never know if his bender was off by a degree or two and mine seem to almost always be a little off.
I think that after a bit of use, the jaw, if you want to call it that, will spread a little which leads to a slightly lesser angle of bend than the marks are telling you.
That angle finder does come in handy when bending 4" though.
couple that with a "no-dog" and you're good to go.
As for personal taste, I like Benfield for hand bending
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