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#57541 - 10/16/05 11:49 PM Conduit Benders  
SolarPowered  Offline
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 625
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 07:41 AM Re: Conduit Benders  
Tiger  Offline
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 706
Crystal Lake, IL USA
I'm sure this won't be the popular reply, but I like GB for the level on it.


#57543 - 10/17/05 07:46 AM Re: Conduit Benders  
dmattox  Offline
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 265
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.

#57544 - 10/17/05 08:41 AM Re: Conduit Benders  
e57  Offline
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
Those levels are useless on an un-level floor, and its rare to find a surface thats level.

The most accurate method is this.
[Linked Image] 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.

Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason

#57545 - 10/17/05 09:27 AM Re: Conduit Benders  
Cow  Offline
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 33
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?

#57546 - 10/17/05 12:06 PM Re: Conduit Benders  
Bill39  Offline
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 75
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.

#57547 - 10/17/05 09:54 PM Re: Conduit Benders  
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
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.

#57548 - 10/17/05 10:30 PM Re: Conduit Benders  
e57  Offline
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
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

#57549 - 10/18/05 06:14 AM Re: Conduit Benders  
iwire  Offline
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
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. [Linked Image]

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.

Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician

#57550 - 10/18/05 10:08 AM Re: Conduit Benders  
lamplighter  Offline
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 101
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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