Different Types of Pipe Bending Methods

Pipe Bending Machine

Pipe bending and tube bending are great ways to shape pipes into specific shapes and is a critical part of many manufacturing processes. However, there are different types of bending pipes, and not all of them are perfect for all applications.

For example, while all bending types are designed for bending tubing, the right machine for plumbing piping will likely be different than one used in the automotive industry.

In general, there are 4 main methods for bending tubes including compression bending, rotary draw bending, roll bending, and mandrel tube bending. Keep reading to learn about these types and the types of bends they create.

Pipe Bending Machine

Compression Bending

Compression bending creates a curved pipe by using extreme force to make the pipe malleable. This method is often for different types of conduit bends and is excellent for simple pipe bends.

This option is also called press pipe bending and typically consists of a bend die, clamp die, pressure die, wiper die, and mandrel. The bend die is the part that applies pressure to the bending pipe while the clamp holds it in place. The wipe die will ensure optimal and uniform bends during the process.

Here are some of the advantages of Compression Bending:

  • Simple DIY bending pipe approach with minimal training
  • Can easily and accurately bend pipe
  • Cost-effective for simple bends with little complexity

However, there are also disadvantages including the slow lead time, making it impractical for high-volume operations. Plus, it’s not great for complex curved metal pipe bends.

Rotary Draw Bending

Rotary draw bending is a method that ensures uniform pipe or tubing diameter throughout the entire process. This is essential if the metal pipe will connect to PVC bends or hold a consistent flow of fluid.

The method is very precise, even with sharp curves like an elbow bend while bending steel pipe. This makes it an exceptional choice for tubing parts used in structural frameworks for automatic and construction industries including roll cages, railings, and other parts.

Some advantages of rotary draw bending include:

  • Precise and uniform diameter while bending steel tubing
  • Can create sharp curves
  • More efficient than simpler options

One of the main downsides of this type of bending method is the fact that the machine is more expensive than compression bending machines. That being said, if you need accuracy, sharp bends, and efficiency, it’s an excellent choice.

Pipe Bending Machine

Roll Bending

Roll bending machines use a roller to move piping as well as sheet metal through the machine. The angle roll is capable of making accurate bends and doing so quickly. They are generally used for stainless steel, aluminum, and other machinable parts.

This makes them a great choice for furniture, bicycle parts, motorcycle parts, vehicle rims, and construction materials. While the capacity and output might be more limited than some other options, there are great benefits of roll bending including:

  • Efficiency for low to mid-volume operations
  • Can bend both piping and sheet metal
  • Cost-effective options available
  • Heavily customizable for your specific needs

Mandrel Tube Bending

Compared with all types of benders for pipe and rubbing, the mandrel tube bending machine is great for ensuring little to no damage to the materials. The mandrel is a rod that is inserted into the tubing during the bending process and allows it to keep an exact shape without destroying the piping itself.

While this pipe bend machine is one of the most expensive types, it’s a fantastic option for industries that require sturdy, uniform interior diameters. Not only that, but other benefits include:

  • Very efficient with a short load time
  • Creates high-quality bends, fast
  • Good for high-volume operations


As you can see, not all types of bending are created equal. Some are more efficient while others might be more affordable for low-volume operations. Choosing the right tube bending machine is critical to your long-term operations and success. If you need help selecting the best pipe-bending machine, click here to contact Accurl today!


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