Mandrel Tube Bender

It is widely recognised when bending tubing that the normal minimum bend radius is 4 times tube diameter. Attempting to bend on a smaller radius introduces a number of problems, namely rippling on the inside of the bend, cracking or splitting on the outside and extreme distortion of the tube

For those who need a tighter bend radius we have designed the Useful-Tools hand operated mandrel tube bender. These machines will allow tubes to be bent with an impressive 2 times tube diameter bend radius with no rippling or cracking of the tube and the absolute minimum of distortion.

We have 4 machines that all operate on the same principle, namely the pipe or tube to be bent is located between a formed mandrel and back plate with another formed internal mandrel (bullet) held at a carefully controlled position inside the tube.

The tube is secured firmly to the main mandrel and when the mandrel is turned the tube is pulled over the internal mandrel as it wraps around the main mandrel.

(This internal "Bullet" holds the tube open and helps reduce distortion to a minimum.)

MK 3 Hand Bender MK 5 Hand Bender Stretched Hand Bender Hydraulic Bender


MK3 Hand Bender

The MK 3 Bender will bend up to 3/4" diameter 16 swg mild steel, and up to 1" diameter 16swg aluminium and copper.

We carry a large range of mandrel sizes and can cater for millimetre and special sizes.

Check out the attached video showing how easy the machine is to use:

Mild Steel 3/4" diameter x
1" Centre Line Radius 16 swg

1" 16 swg Copper tube bend

12mm solid stainless steel rod bend on a very tight 18mm Centre Line Radius with the MK 3

MK 5 Hand Bender (5-1)

Because of the sheer physical effort involved in bending 1.0" x 16 swg steel we designed the MK 5 Hand Bending machine.

This machine has a five to one reduction ratio between the operating spindle and the main mandrel spindle, which means we can now bend stronger and larger tube than on the Mk 3.

This machine retains all the standard features of the Mk 3 machine and is the most versatile machine in the range, able to bend pipes up to 1" 16 swg stainless steel, and up to 1.5" 16 swg in aluminium and copper.

There are a few differences from the Mk 3:

* Mandrel is now driven by two 8mm dowels instead of a 5mm key

* The base plate is larger to allow the use of larger size mandrels

* There is an additional support roller for the back plate to stop flexing

* 5-1 built-in reduction ratio

* Can handle a mandrel up to 4" Centre Line Radius (8" diameter)

(The MK 4 bender has now been superceeded by the MK 5 - which can do all the MK 4 could and so much more - and so is no longer available.)

Stretched MK 5 Hand Bender

We also do a larger version of the Mk 5 bender for larger Centre Line Radius mandrel bends - up to 6" CLR (12" diameter)

Hydraulic Hand Bender

Based on the solid build principle of the MK 5 hand bender, but strengthened and upgraded with a hydraulic motor.

Features include:

  • Increased diameter main shaft - to support larger bend formers.
  • Heavy duty hydraulic motor providing power - enabling 180° bends to be formed in one continuous bend operation.
  • Increased bending capacity - will handle up to 1.5" diameter x 16 swg 316 seamless stainless steel on a 3" CLR comfortably.
  • Faster bending - takes just 10 seconds to bend the above material 180°.
  • Twin bending - Can bend two pipes up to 1" x 12 swg stainless steel on a 50mm CLR at the same time in one operation.
  • Hydraulic power pack - operating at 12 volts to eliminate health and safety concerns when using mains voltage.
  • Adjustable degree disk - controls auto stop positioning enabling accurate, easily repeatable bends up to 180°.
  • Very compact unit - will free stand on a bench top or can be bolted down if required.

Will bend tubes ranging in size from:

  • 3/8" / 10mm diamaeter up to 1.5" / 38.1mm x 16 swg, in mild and stainless steel.
  • and up to 1.5" / 38.1mm x 5-6 swg (5mm / 0.2") wall aluminium.

Wide range of metric and imperial mandrel sizes available. We are happy to produce custom sizes on request.

The hydraulic bender comes complete with:

  • 12V, 200 bar hydraulic power pack.
  • All hoses and electrical connections.

Just fit a mandrel, connect a 12V battery (a standard car battery will be sufficient) and start bending.

In most cases, a thinner wall tube can be bent very satisfactorily and we can provide internal 'bullet'-type mandrels to suit your tube wall thickness requirements.

Also, we can bend other special materials including square tube.

Some examples:

1" square steel 16 swg 1" titanium x 0.9mm wall
2.5" Centre Line Radius bend

3/4" titanium x 1mm wall
2" Centre Line Radius bend


Due to the unique design, the Useful Tools Tube Benders will allow amazingly tight bends to be formed with the minimum of tube distortion (a nominal 3-4%).

The Tube Benders come with an easy-to-read degree dial to allow precise angles of bend to be achieved and repeated.

The machines are extremely easy to use and allow for multiple bends in the same piece of tube at alternate angles on different planes. Once the machines are set for a particular size of tube it will be found that multiple bends are rapidly achieved.

Check out the sample pictures of the 5/8" and 3/4" od tubing bent on a 1.5" CLR, and the 1.0" steel and stainless steel tube bent on a 2.0" CLR.

Please remember to select the mandrel(s) you require when ordering.

Click on the following videos below to see how easy it is to produce really tight bends:

Annealing Aluminium Tube ready for bending
1/2" x 1" clr
3/4" x 1" clr
1" x 1.5" clr

The mandrel price includes:

Basic mandrel
Internal mandrel

Formed backing plate
Tube clamping plate


If you have any special requirements, please email us:

Mk 3 Bender: £395

Mk 5 Bender: £595

Stretched MK 5 Bender: £645

Hydraulic Bender: POA

+ VAT @ 20% where appropriate

To allow us to provide the correct internal mandrel, please specify the
internal diameter (ID) of the tube to be bent in the box below.

Basic machine price (no mandrel)
Imperial Mandrel Size Required
Metric Mandrel Size Required
Please specify the ID of the tube(s) to be bent
Please specify any custom mandrel sizes required