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Technical Which Bead Roller to Buy?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by smith541, Jun 22, 2016.

  1. smith541
    Joined: Feb 24, 2016
    Posts: 3


    Hey All,
    I want to buy a Bead Roller, but I’m not looking for something expensive. I searched for some manufacturers online, and came up with these 3 - Woodward Fab, Mittler Bros. and Eastwood. But I still can’t decide on one. Can you guys suggest which bead roller I should buy and from which brand?:)
  2. oj
    Joined: Jul 27, 2008
    Posts: 6,393


    I bought the ProTools electric about 20yrs ago and never regretted it, I used that Mittler Bros electric at a buddys shop and it didn't compare well at all to the ProTools. I was disappointed really.
  3. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 12,159

    from Missouri

    I have one of the Pro Tools that I bought as a kit. Saved some money.
  4. i have an Eastwood that i bought 20+ years ago , so i can't really comment on what they are offering now. i will say that once i beefed it up it works just fine for me

  5. I also bought a Eastwood and I too had to reinforce it,it was inexpensive but I wouldn't purchase another from them.

    Baileigh Industrial offers a reasonably priced bead roller on a stand and it's a quality built product. HRP

    Bead Roller
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2016
  6. aaggie
    Joined: Nov 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,530


    I bought a cheap HF unit and was really disappointed with the performance but there was a thread on here about modifying them and after a weekend of welding and beating it came out pretty good. I replaced the hand crank with an old steering wheel and welded a piece of 2" square tubeing to the upper and lower jaws to keep them from bending. Also made a stand out of the same 2" tubeing and replaced the cheap bolts with good grade eight stuff and welded a row of bolts pointing up from the upper jaw to store the extra dies. I don't use it often but I have to admit it works fine for my projects.
  7. If you are working by yourself save up some money and buy a powered one it makes a world of difference. I have the mittler bros aluminium bodied one after owning one of the hand cranked ones and it is night and day difference in ease of use. The cheap ones can be modified but I have so little time to work on my projects as it is spending time modifying a tool because it doesn't work well wasn't in the cards.
    Hnstray and tobias1954 like this.
  8. bobby831
    Joined: Feb 24, 2016
    Posts: 5


    I bought Woodward Fab and have used it on light stuff only so far. It works good for that. If you are not looking to buy costly Bead Rollers, then I would suggest to go with Woodward Fab, as it is very cheap as compared to Pro-Tools, Mittler Bros, Eastwood or other Bead Rollers.
    If you want more information on different brands check this out:
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2016
    Woodward-Fab - Phil likes this.
  9. brady1929
    Joined: Sep 30, 2006
    Posts: 9,129


    Mittler Brothers. They have a lot of dies.
  10. Bearing Burner
    Joined: Mar 2, 2009
    Posts: 1,092

    Bearing Burner
    from W. MA

    I have used a Woodward with success on 1/8 3003 aluminum . annealed it first. Made a guide for edge. Goes better with two people. One cranking, one guiding/feeding.
    Woodward-Fab - Phil likes this.
  11. chopolds
    Joined: Oct 22, 2001
    Posts: 6,176

    from howell, nj
    1. Kustom Painters

    Got my mine from Baleigh's, a powered 24" one. Great selection of dies, and as K13 said, it's great if you are alone working. Really speeds up fabrication!
  12. I went with the cheaper route with a Woodward Fab w/their stand because I was buying other equipment at the same time... and of all of the eq. the bead roller as been the only disappointing purchase. It gets the job done with mostly 18/20/22 gauge, although I've had to rebuild the tensioner (twice) after the threads stripped out. I wish I had held off and saved to buy a power unit instead cause as Bearing Burner mention it is a two person operation to do a good job.

    I like Woodward products, I have their 8" bench shear that's been great, but their bead roller was a cheaper option, and if I was purchasing again I would go with a better bead roller.
  13. 40ragtopdown
    Joined: Jan 13, 2015
    Posts: 22,097


    20140329_124735.jpg 20140630_193639.jpg Mine is a cheap harbor freight machine I bought years ago I beefed it up with 2 inch square tubing . Didn't work well in stock form but works great now all I need to do is motorize it I got a small winch motor for it thats the next project. if you have more time than money this is one route to take. 20140329_124814.jpg

    Attached Files:

    turboroadster likes this.
  14. I did something similar with the Harbor Freight bead roller. Works awesome for the price!
    Joined: Jul 19, 2013
    Posts: 72


    I bought mine at Bailiegh........LOVE IT! 36" powered
  16. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 19,755


    I have an old Eastwood with a cast iron frame. Seems they don't sell them like this anymore. I've never seen mine bend or twist too much.
  17. Thank you for mentioning Woodward-Fab. We sell many bead roller models starting with a great entry level machine for under 160 bucks and go up to a power 43" throat machine. We can also make custom dies if you need something special. Call us at 1-800-391-5419 and we can talk bead rollers and comparisons to other sellers.

    Attached Files:

  18. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 11,425

    Blue One
    from Alberta

  19. doliak
    Joined: Nov 14, 2007
    Posts: 166


  20. Wish I coiuld afford something nice but my reinforced HF cheepo is working fine for me.

  21. I seen a YouTube video were a guy used a
    Harbour power hand held threader for the power and they have a foot pedal for them also. Looked to work pretty well.

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