I had a couple people ask me what tubing bender and dies I use when I posted a some images of the rollcage I was working on for my Jeep. That got me to thinking about the questions I had when I bought my first tubing bender and dies. I decided on a JD Squared Model 3 manual bender. Most of us not working in a professional shop don’t make enough bends to justify the cost or complexity of a hydraulic bender. I can easily disassemble my tubing bender and stuff the pieces under a workbench when I’m not using it. A lot of people don’t realize that you have to purchase the correct die for the tubing diameter you are working with. This can get really expensive if you simply pick diameters at random. So I created this video explaining why I chose the JD Squared Model 3 tubing bender, and more importantly, what size dies I use regularly.
You can generally get by with three to four dies, depending on the type of vehicles you are working with. If you are installing a rollcage on a full size truck or open-top Jeep, 1.75- or 2-inch tubing works well. For smaller and lighter 4x4s you can get by with 1.5-inch tubing. One-inch tubing is great for seat mounts, roof racks, corner guards on bumpers, and other small projects. Check out the video for more info.