Finding the best bead roller from dozens of products is quite challenging for a novice metalworker. One simple mistake can cost hundreds of dollars and leave you with expensive junk.
With that in mind, we present to you our ultimate bead roller reviews after spending hours in research and compilation. Besides, we have come up with a solid buyer’s guide reflecting on expert opinions, which you will love. So, without further ado, let’s get started.
Top 11 Bead Roller Machines for Metal Works
- Best Overall: Woodward-Fab Manual
- Runner Up: Eastwood 32044
- Best Value: Baileigh BR-22
- Best for Beginners: Eastwood 21487
- Best for Intercooler Piping: JEGS 80083
- Best Power 36″: Baileigh BR-18E-36
- Made in USA: Furick K2
- Best Value 18″: Woodward-Fab WFBR6
- Best Power 24″: Mittler Bros 202-24NV-K
- Also Great for Piping: Vibrant Performance 2990
- Also Great: KAKA Industrial RM-18
Best Bead Roller Reviews – (2021)
1. Woodward-Fab Manual Metal Bead Roller – Best Overall
Deep Throat: When working with a bead roller, short throat length limits many possibilities. That’s why this Woodward-Fab 18 inch deep throat configuration will come in very handy.
High Gauge Capacity: Although the machine is not that big but still manages to chew through 18 gauge of steel sheet easily.
Thick Frame: This amazing bead roller features .625 inch steel frame for all that metal stiffening work with consistency.
Standard Spindle: The standard 1-inch diameter spindle works with most available die such as shearing die1/2, 3/8, 1/4, 1/8, and, 1/16 inch round beads.
2. Eastwood 32044 Manual Metal Bead Roller – Runner Up
Wide Working Scope: With Eastwood 32044 you can easily produce various panels for replacement floor pans, ergonomic trunk floors, sturdy firewalls and inner fenders, etc.
Extensive Gauge Support: This tool is capable of bending 16 gauge Aluminum along with 18 gauge steel and 20 gauge stainless steel. You won’t get into any issue with your fabrication.
Generous Throat Depth: One great thing about this bead forming tool is you can even operate on a 38-inch panel. All praise to the 19-inch generous deep throat profile.
Various Die Inclusions: Apart from the standard Die selection, the package also has offset dies to help you with creating channels and flanges.
3. Baileigh BR-22 Manual Bead Roller – Best for the Money
22 Gauge Operation: Unlike other sheet metal bead roller the Baileigh BR-22 can form up to 22 gauge mild metal sheets without a problem.
Six Forming Dies: Whether you are making floor pans, truck bed floor, or fender flare, included six dies are all you need to make the shape come true.
Handheld Crank: The unique design of this hand crank mechanism effortlessly pulls your metal sheet as you roll the crank.
Adjustable Depth Stop: For precise bending and forming operation this steel tube bead roller has two adjustable stops on both sides for repeatable results.
4. Eastwood 21487 Elite Manual Bead Roller – Best for Beginners
Unique Crank: Right off the bat you will see Eastwood 21487 with its unique 4-spoke crank design. Perfectly capable of handling by a single operator.
Popular die selection: For all your fabrication needs, the toolset comes with 3/8” dies along with an off-set die. That should cover any DIY projects or intercooler piping work.
Wall Range: Despite its small dimension, the tool is proficient enough to operate between 0.8mm-1.3mm metal thickness without issue.
Throat Length: The throat length is only 7 inch but if you are not aiming to feed massive steel panels, you can still do a lot with this.
5. JEGS 80083 Tubing Bead Roller – Best for Intercooler Piping
Tubing Range: One distinct feature of JEGS 80083 is a minimum 5/8 inch diameter pipe intake. Other than that you can always go over any size as you see fit.
Small Dimension: The whole tool is only 10.4 by 9.2 inch and Weight is around 4 pounds. You won’t see many bead rollers this compact.
User Friendly: Being a tubing bead roller it only focuses on bead exhaust pipe, intercooler pipe and radiator pipe. With other complex operations out of the way, it’s pretty user friendly.
Steel Construction: The tool body and die both components are relatively strong. Thanks to its various steel construction.
6. Baileigh BR-18E-36 Motorized Bead Roller – Best Power 36″ Bead Roller
Powerful Motor: The Baileigh BR-18E comes with 110V an industrial-grade motor attachment. Your productivity will jump sky high without needing your extra struggle.
Variable speed: For consistent results, steady speed is the key. The inclusion of a reverse pedal and variable speed on pressure makes the rolling task much easier.
Adjustable depth: Place a stop at any point between 0-36 inch throat configurations and repeat the same task precisely on your power bead roller.
Massive Throat: Got large panels to work on? Fear not, with this particular bead roller model you can feed up to a 64-inch panel any bead lining work.
7. Furick K2 Manual Tubing Bead Roller – Made in USA
Hardened Components: In Furick K2, Components starting from gears to die, all are extra durable that will last a lifetime due to 4140 US Steel construction.
Versatile usage: The tool has essential die selection to work as an exhaust bead roller. On top of that, the bead roller tipping dies are also great in edge forming.
Nickel-Plated: For added protection, they plated each part with nickel so rust can’t damage any important parts.
Gauge Rating: Like any other bead roller, this is well built for handling the same as 1.6mm steel components.
8. Woodward-Fab WFBR6 Bead Roller – Best 18 inch for the Money
18 Inch Throat: Regardless of how small the Woodward-Fab WFBR6 is, this tool is very much proficient at chewing sheet metal with an 18-inch long throat.
Six Pair Dies: Speaking of sheet metal, you will find 6 pairs of standard dies to meet your metal sheet designing.
Longhand crank: The tool has a long hand crank to roll the die at whatever paces youwant to achieve that delicate shape.
Compact design: Although this is a medium-size bead roller, you still find all the important dies and operation profile in one tool.
9. Mittler Bros 202-24NV-K Jamey Jordan Bead Roller – Best Power 24” Bead Roller
Unique Table design: You won’t find the Mittler Bros 202-24NV table design in other electric bead rollers which provides a unique solution to your metal fabrication.
Caster wheel: It’s a relatively big toolset. If you need to move the tool in your shop, you can do that easily as it has reliable three caster wheels.
Variable motor Function: To make your big project more comfortable it has adjustable knobs on the back to control the speed of the motor.
Large industrial Throat: This is not your typical bead roller rather its 24” large industrial throat indicates it excels in massive projects.
10. Vibrant Performance 2990 Bead Roller – Also Great for Piping
Steel and Aluminum Build: Considering long-lasting service time and quality results, Vibrant Performance 2990 will not disappoint with their steel and aluminum build.
Exceptional bead size: The bead print of this tool is 2mm in height and width is around 6.5mm. That’s a great example of a bead roller for tubing.
Professional bead operation: Whether you are looking fora radiator pipe bead roller or intercooler pipe bead roller, this tool can give you professional-looking results.
High-Quality Handle: Along with all the great features, it wouldn’t be fair to skip on the quality handle which simplifies a lot of struggle.
11. KAKA Industrial RM-18 Manual Bead Roller – Also Great
Manual Operation: The KAKA Industrial RM-1 has one great advantage over other bead rollers. That is gentle crank handling for complex detailing.
HVAC Dies: To perform HVAC-related work, it provides popular forming dies so you don’t get stuck in the middle of an operation.
Professional Panel Forming: All the dies that come in the package are great for fabricating professional-looking vehicle roofs, hoods, decks and so on.
Wide Die selection: You will find six different die that are pretty common in the bead rolling community. Such as 0.0625″, 0.125″, 0.25″ step dies and 0.25″, 0.375″, 0.5″ bead dies.
Bead Roller Machine Buying Guide
Bead roller is an industrial tool for molding metal components. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy to find the best bead roller for your specific task if you don’t know what’s best for you.
Manual vs. Motorized Bead Roller
Manual bead roller uses a hand crank to roll the die. These are easy to use and often come in small sizes. One downside is sometimes it’s a lot harder to crank and feed materials at the same time especially if you have a one-man shop.
On the other hand, motorized bead rollers are usually big and easy to handle by paddle. You can do long hours of bead making work effectively and efficiently. The only drawback is these are expensive.
Tubing Bead Roller
You can do tubing with a bead roller as long as it matches the minimum 0.62-inch I.D. Nonetheless, if piping and tubing are all you do, then you can get a special bead roller just for tubing.
The maximum throat depth of the bead roller can be 36 inches or so. If you work with a large metal sheet you can reach up to 36 inches deep. You can also go with the less deep throat as it all depends on your work. So, choose carefully.
Maximum Wall Thickness
Like any other tool the bead roller accepts a maximum 1.3mm thickness. Although the standard thickness is around 0.8mm, you still pick any number in between or an adjustable one for more versatility.
Bead Rolling Dies
Dies are important in creating specific shapes. Depending on the work there are different types of dies available such as forming, stepping and art dies, etc. While a few common dies come in tool packages but there are aftermarket die on the market.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Bead Roller
What is a bead roller?
The bead roller is a simple piece of machinery for shaping metal components. These components mainly include steel sheet, aluminum sheet, various vehicle body parts and pipes. You will either see these bead rollers with electric motors or manual hand crank.
What is a bead roller used for?
In general, the bead roller is for adding a curve to edges or lines to the metal sheet. But that’s not all; with the help of various Die attachments, you can also curve pipes and do metal artwork. By doing this you are adding rigidity to the parts from warping or deforming in the future.
How does a bead roller work?
A bead roller works just like any rolling machine. In one end the two spindles on top of another roll nylon or steel die. On the other end, the gears aligning with the spindle are set with either a motor or a hand crank.
Once a metal sheet goes through between those dies, steady pressure leaves a line or shape.
How to use a bead roller?
- First of all, set up your bead roller firmly on a vise or stand.
- Next, choose what rolling die you will use for your operation.
- Then feed your metal sheet between the dies.
- Make sure you have proper throat depth and gauge support for that metal sheet.
How do you motorize a bead roller?
There are many aftermarket motor kits available for the bead roller. Just make sure your particular bead roller model is on their support list. You can also make your motor kit with the proper motor and some skills.
What type of motor is for the bead roller?
You cannot use a general-purpose motor in a bead roller. There are special motors that revolve in constant speed regardless of the resistance. These types of motor come with an internal gear system to keep a steady pace.
How do you roll beads on tubing?
Forming beads of tubing is easy as long as you have the right dies. For this operation, you will need around bead dies. Place the dies on the spindle and feed your tube through the dies. Slowly apply pressure and roll the dies until the bead line is in level with your satisfaction.
What is the standard bead roller shaft size?
22 millimeter is the standard bead roller shaft size for most bead dies. If your bead roller has a 22 mm shaft diameter chances are you can find any type of die you want and you don’t have to worry about changing the shaft.
What are the most common bead roller dies?
Flat, round, and step die are the most common dies in the bead rolling industry. Mainly because with these bead-rollers dies it’s possible to form any shape you like for repairing parts or a metal artwork.
What does a step die to do in a bead roller?
Step die is a unique attachment for forming step rolls on a sheet which can later overlay on another sheet to increase overall strength. The roll forming orientation of a step die is normally 45 degrees.
Can you do tubing on a bead roller?
Of course, just make sure what type of shape you want to implement and if you have the right die for that operation. Most aluminum tubing work is easy but steel tubing not so much.
You’ve made it! We strongly hope you’ve learned a few things along the way and have got clear understanding to choose the best bead roller for you. If you still feel a bit overwhelmed, let us recap once again some of the best products on the list.
The Woodward-Fab 18 is hands down the best product of the bunch. If you are looking for the best value for your money go for Baileigh BR-22. The JEGS 80083 is a great option for those who are more into piping. Lastly, Baileigh BR-18E is an option that promises a lot and does not compromise anything.
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