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Posted By: royta 1 1/4" bender - floppy power lever or not? - 01/12/05 04:45 PM
I need to buy a 1 1/4" bender for a job I'm doing this weekend. I'll be using it on 1" rigid and am wondering if I should get one with the floppy power lever on it or not. I already have 90's for the job, but if I were to use the bender to form a 90, does the power lever get in the way and hang up on the pipe? Is the power lever necessary for a small 150lb guy like myself to even be able to bend 1" rigid? I'd rather not learn by trial and error, as the tool is too expensive to just have laying around because I don't like the design.

Depending on if I can get 18" of cover above the top of the last 90, I may need to run 1" rigid into the bottom of the panel. This would require an offset to keep things looking nice. Will a bender work fine, or is a hicky much easier? I wouldn't bother asking if it were 3/4" rigid, but since it's 1" and obviously harder to bend, I'm not sure of the best tool.


Posted By: Anonymous Re: 1 1/4" bender - floppy power lever or not? - 01/12/05 05:45 PM
150 lbs? You need a lever. The lever has two "steps". Bend half way on the first step and then move to the second step to complete the bend. I would be happy to let you come over and borrow mine. [Linked Image]
Posted By: royta Re: 1 1/4" bender - floppy power lever or not? - 01/12/05 05:53 PM
If I could make it Colorado again, I'd borrow yours in a heartbeat. [Linked Image]

Well, I'm somewhere between 150 & 155 lbs. Still, that's about 10 to 15 lbs. lighter than I was the day I got married. That's been just over 7 years ago.

Anyway, on to business. Is the end of the lever (part closer to your leg) closer (more parallel) or farther away (more perpindicular) from the handle in the first step?

[This message has been edited by royta (edited 01-12-2005).]
Posted By: hbiss Re: 1 1/4" bender - floppy power lever or not? - 01/12/05 06:02 PM
Any way you look at it an 1-1/4" bender really pushes the limit for hand bending. I have one without a step but I'm pushing 200 pounds and have great difficulty doing 90's in EMT. Never tried 1" ridgid and I suspect it may be even tougher. I would say if you have to do an occasional kick or offset these benders are ok but anything more and you will kill yourself. Another thing, at least with mine, is that the radius of the bend is much larger, more like a sweep.

I would suggest, especially since these are so expensive, that you try to rent or borrow a mechanical bender. Other alternatives might be elbows and LB's.

Posted By: royta Re: 1 1/4" bender - floppy power lever or not? - 01/12/05 06:15 PM
I'm buying 90's, 45's, and LB's for the job. I shouldn't be bending any 90's. I'm hoping I'll be able to run 1" SCH 80 from the last 90 (horizontal to vertical) into the panel, in which case I'll heat the PVC for the offset. The only reason I want a bender for this job, is for the "what if" scenario.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: 1 1/4" bender - floppy power lever or not? - 01/12/05 06:59 PM

1st pic is step one. 2nd is step two.

This is a Benfield.
I agree with hbiss on 1 1/4 benders. I am at about 180 and it will kick my rear.
Posted By: royta Re: 1 1/4" bender - floppy power lever or not? - 01/12/05 07:09 PM
Thanks for the pics.

The bender would come in handy for when I'm running 1 1/4" EMT, but I'd much rather buy 1" 90's and 45's for when I'm playing with rigid. Should I just buy a hickey instead? Do they work fine for making small offsets into the bottoms of panels? I hate spending a bunch of money on a bender that will spend lots of time in the corner of the shop, but I also hate spending money on a hickey if I would see more use out of the bender. Even if the hickey was much cheaper. Has anybody been in my situation before that could lend their opinions?
Posted By: ToHo Re: 1 1/4" bender - floppy power lever or not? - 01/12/05 08:51 PM
I've done plenty of deck work with 1" rigid. Many high rise buildings in Manhattan NYC. If I had to choose between the two benders,I would definitly go with the hickey.In my opinion the hickey allows you to be alot more versatile with your bending. I'm around the same weight as you 155 lbs. 1" rigid is a little tough to bend but you can definitly do it. A 1 1/4" emt bender is a heck of alot harder in my opinion.If you lay the pipe on the floor & Place the back of rigid up against a wall
you can safely really get on the hickey with all your weight..that should make things a little easier for you... ToHo
I have a 11/4" bender with no lever and I wish someone would steal it. I'm limited to offsets with it. Bought it too quickly without looking at what was out there. But I also bought a Greenlee bender set with the hand pump and that has served me very well for twenty years. It can sit there for nine months but then I pull it out and the job is a whizz. For the 1" rigid I think I would use a hickey. Any chance you could rent one for this job?
We have two of the 1 1/4" benders, both with the footpedal. I'm also a small guy, 160 lbs. and anything more than a small kick becomes a two man job.
I have the 1-1/4 bender with the lever. I weigh 150lbs as well. I think the 1" HW is harder to bend than the 1-1/4 TW. Also, if I know I'm bending 1-1/4 TW I buy the other EMT from the supply house. They have Allied, and then either Wheatland or some inch-marked kind. I get the non-Allied because it bends easier.

I rarely bend with it alone. Even if I'm using it with my friend who is 200lbs+ we'll both get on it. I think I've used it enough to justify having it, it has come in very handy.

Between the hickey and the bender, I think the bender will lend more versatility when you go to use it on EMT. Like you said, with the HW, you're better of with pre-bends.

[This message has been edited by Jps1006 (edited 01-12-2005).]
I gave up on using 1 1/4 hand benders a long time ago...especially for rigid!
Cheap solution, which works fine for offsets and such, is the $70 hydraulig bender sold at Harbor Freight. The shoes are designed for thick wall pipe, and the instructions tell you to fill the pipe with sand...but I simply do even EMT 'as is,' by making my bends gentle, and in multiple steps.
Like you, I buy factory-made 90's and such.
I'm 160 and use a hicky for 1" ridgid, as stated before works good for offsets and kicks. Rod
Posted By: e57 Re: 1 1/4" bender - floppy power lever or not? - 01/13/05 03:06 AM
Our Company has an 1 1/4" bender without the power foot lever. I am 210lbs, and I have to find a wall to lean on, and stand on the back with both feet, lean back and balance on it, (using the wall) change position, so I can push down after about 30 degrees, put my head against the wall for balance with both feet on the bender to complete the bend. Just thought I'd whine a little....

Or, two people, one stands, the other pulls. (The heavier of the two stands.)

Another company I worked for in the past had the one with the foot, I could do that myself much easier...

I also worked with a giant of a man who was 6'4" 350+lbs who made it look as if he were bending 1/2"!

Anyway I think any sizable company should have one. (With the power foot) As going without and using factory 22's, and 30's, and 45's gets ugly, and a real pain if you're short that one bend, and have to waste time to go get one.

Either way, I would not atempt 1" rigid with it, not designed for the purpose. A 1" R hickey would do well there. After sometime with it, you'll be doing 90's with it too.

But if you're looking to invest in a versitile bender for the medium stuff look for a Chicago style up to 1 1/2".

I had an idea a while back to build a better bender, but I don't own any machining or forging tools....
I'm 240. I'm also 6'2". I also wish someone would steal my 1-1/4 EMT bender. [Linked Image]

1" Rigid is tougher to bend with it, IMO.

I can bend 90s, but I'd much rather not.
I have used my 1-1/4" bender for both 1-1/4" EMT and 1" rigid. It is a pain but since I am 6'1" and weigh 295 it is not that bad. Very few short or light electricians have the necessary heft to use this tool effectivly. Since I can I do not have to buy all those 90s or 45s. But at the end of a day I am tired and my old body is sore.

When I can I am getting a chigago type bender for the 1" and above conduits. It is easier on your body and allows almost any worker to bend the conduits as necessary.

I have two of the hand benders because I use 1 for the 1' RGS/IMC and the other for 1-1/4" EMT. If I use the one I have used for RGS, some times I wrinkle the EMT when bending a 90 especally if my balance is off a little or the floor is slick.
good luck
Posted By: royta Re: 1 1/4" bender - floppy power lever or not? - 01/17/05 07:28 PM
Well, I was forced to buy what was available. I picked up an Ideal 1 1/4" bender. I only bent a couple 45's and a 2 1/4" offset with it. I'm not sure if I would be able to bend a whole 90.

Thanks for the help.
I don't know how you guys do it..I hate using my 1"EMT/ 3/4"RMC hand bender.

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