What does a rebar bender do?
A rebar bending machine simply does what no mortal human can do: it bends steel. And not just any steel, rebar steel and there is a difference.
Rebar steel, unlike standard steel, is manufactured to last for a hundred years without corroding and losing its molecular integrity. That’s why rebar is the essential spine of any concrete foundation.
What types of rebar bender are there?
Rebar benders vary in bending capacity and come in four categories.
- Manual. Small rebar benders designed for low-end commercial and DIY projects
- Hydraulic. Large rebar benders designed for large industrial projects and bars over 2.5cm in diameter.
- Portable. A general rule of thumb: the more portable a rebar bender is the thinner the rebar it’s capable of bending.
- Stationary. As in very stationary, these are hulking machines capable of bending the thickest reinforced steel.
Does rebar bending require three-phase power?
Rebar bending can involve very high torque industrial machinery working with high force to bend seemingly unbendable metal bars with apparent ease. So you may expect that to go hand in hand with a three-phase power supply generating 415 volts.
The good news is that while top-end, heavy-duty reinforced steel work will require a reliable three-phase power supply, a lot of very good rebar bending machines will work perfectly well with stock standard, single phase 240V AC power.
What must be considered when choosing a rebar bender?
We humans are hard pressed to bend much at all without muscles and the muscles you need your rebar machine to have will come down to the single thickest bar it’s required to bend.
So here are some important considerations to help narrow down the options and find a rebar bender that meets both your power output and rebar-bending capacity.
- What’s your budget?
- Do you have access to three-phase power? If not, your rebar bender options have already been narrowed down to machines operating efficiently on standard single-phase 240 volt AC power.
- What volume of work is there?
- Do you need a portable rebar machine?
- Do you need an industrial rebar machine?
- Do you need a rebar bending machine with cutting capabilities?
- What service and spare parts are available? A dead machine is unbendable downtime so make sure all service backup is fast and furious.
- Do you need extras for your rebar bender? Such handy extras as controllers, linear length stops stirrup bending attachments and Bluetooth antenna modules.
- Does the rebar bender come with a decent warranty? 24 months is great, 12 months is acceptable.
How much does a rebar bender cost?
There are rebar bending machines available for as low as $500, however, they are unlikely to bend anything you can’t do with two arms and a knee. Like all Industracom products, you get what you pay for and a little over $7,000 is the mean price for a mid-range rebar bender. A heavy-duty industrial model will be closer to $17,000.
What are common problems with a rebar bender?
- Lack of portability. Unfortunately, rebar bending machines tend to be large, clunky and extremely heavy things with a distinct lack of mobility. However, there is still a wide range of portable rebar machines for less industrial work involving thinner bars.
- The sheer size of industrial units. High-end rebar benders take up considerable space which can compromise an industrial operation’s ability to accommodate important equipment elsewhere.
What type of maintenance or cleaning does a rebar bending machine require?
As with any machine with a mass of moving parts, regular lubrication is essential. And that means all holes on the turntable and all bolts should also be regularly tightened.
Also, check gearbox oil levels and transmission often to avoid major machine malfunctions.
If your rebar machine is exposed to the elements, keep it covered in thick canvas cloth when not in use.
What kind of training or certifications do I need to operate a rebar bender?
Anyone operating heavy machinery must undergo all appropriate training and complete an authorized workplace health and safety course.