Welcome to our 5-minute review of the best copper pipe benders for plumbing pros, and DIY junkies.
Let’s be honest. There’s a tonne of rubbish on the market right now. Where there’s a top brand offering premium products, there’s a “copy” flogging absolute junk for half the price.
We’ll explain why we use the Hilmor copper pipe benders, and what the other options are.
The Best Copper Pipe Bender Brands
Over the years, we’ve used a few different pipe benders from:
But when it comes to buying new ones, I guess it’s Silverline that stands out as the biggest contender to Hilmor.
The price differential between Hilmor compared with Stanley and Rothenberger is just too small, and Hilmor offer so much more in terms of quality.
But for Silverline, the reviews online are reasonable. And to be fair, they’re around half the price of the Hilmor benders.
The Best Copper Pipe Benders
Hilmor GLM Tube Benders
So, why do we use the Hilmore GLM tube benders, when there’s quite obviously others around the same price, and even more on offer for much less.
Well, it’s pretty-simple…
Usually, a lightweight product is a good thing. Take a cordless impact driver for instance. The lighter, the better.
If you’re a plumber looking for pipe benders, the total opposite is true. When comparing any manual benders, you want to be looking at something that has some bulk to it. That bulk comes from weight.
- They’ll provide more power, and that’s effort you don’t have to put in when bending copper pipe
- They’ll last longer. Important, given they’re quite expensive to replace
Here’s a quick comparison that gives you an idea of the quality difference:
- Silverline weigh just over 2kg
- The Hilmor equivalents, weigh just over 4kg – now that’s heavy duty!
Simply because they’re a well known brand in the plumbing industry, a tonne of engineers go for Rothenberger.
But go and check out the weight, even their benders are only 3kg. We’d not class those as heavy-duty. Instead, they’re in a middle ground.
15mm & 22m Guides
For most your day, you’re bending up 15mm & 22mm copper pipe.
There are some benders specifically suited to smaller pipe (8mm/10mm for instance), and we’ll cover those later.
Typically, you’ll see guides are included separately (that’s the case with Silverline’s).
If you’re installing a whole run of heating/gas pipe, swapping out the guides is going to turn into a real bug-bear.
And let’s face it, two separate guides just mean you have two more things to lose, and two more things you’ve got to find in your van every morning.
The 15mm/22mm guides on the Hilmor copper pipe benders are integrated. No swapping out when you change the size pipe you’re bending, and nothing to lose.
For each size, you’ve got markings for bends at:
- 30 degree
- 45 degree
- 90 degree
If you’ve not used copper pipe benders before, you’ve probably never creased a pipe. It goes without saying creasing affecting the integrity of the pipe long term, and that’s a big no-no.
Problem? We’ve creased pipes (and had to junk that section) using cheap pipe benders multiple times.
Copper isn’t cheap so that’s money right there, going to waste. More importantly, it’s wasting time.
And time is money too!
Put simply, Hilmor GLM benders give you a clean bend, with no creases.
It’s worth jumping on a few online retailers and checking out customer reviews. You’ll find with a few of the cheap pipe benders (and some that are not so cheap), there are big problems with:
- Releasing and bending copper pipe cleanly
- Pipe creasing
- Pinches at the end of the pipe
Basically, that adds up to a lot of ruined copper, and a new bender needed.
Buy a decent set, like the Hilmor GLM – first time round.
The Best 6mm, 8mm & 10mm Copper Pipe Benders
If you’re working with microbore, unfortunately there isn’t a set from Hilmore currently available in the UK.
However, as microbore is notoriously weak, it’s not like you need anything heavy duty.
Monument Mini Pipe Benders
Our local plumbing merchant stocks a tonne of products from Monument Tools.
We’ve picked up the odd pipe slice and soldering mat, and been impressed with the quality.
More importantly, they offer decent quality for a ridiculously low price.
Prices on all their tools are low when compared with the likes of Rothenberger.
With the mini Monument pipe benders, you’ll have the ability to bend:
They weigh under 500g, and that’s pretty-lightweight, but they certainly provide more than enough power to get the job done.
Ours are around 6 months old, and no problems so far.
So, we’d recommend them and certainly would buy them again if we need an additional set.
Thanks for reading our 5-minute review of the best copper pipe benders for plumbers and heating engineers.
Got questions? Drop a comment below and we’ll get back to you.
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