Bead rollers are equipment used in a fabrication facility to shape metals. In essence, it is a simple gear and crank driven device with female and male rolling dies. Today, there are numerous brands that provide bead rollers with different prices, features, and advantages.
With such a variety, the selection may get difficult. This post helps you by providing a comparison between three major brands of bead rollers: Woodwardfab, Eastwood, and Harbor Freight.
The descriptions of each branded product provide information about the following:
1. Woodward Fab: WFBR6 Bead Rolling Kit
Woodward Fab is a manufacturer and supplier of industry-leading bead rollers with over 49 years of industrial experience. Woodward Fab’s rollers are used for HVAC applications or strengthening metal for floor pans.
Woodward Fab WFBR6 is one of the best-selling manual bead rollers available for purchase. This roller is regularly used in metal fabrication units to roll metals. Aluminum and mild steel can be rolled using this product. WFBR6 is used in truck pans, floor pans, and firewall applications.
This kit has a gauge capacity of 18 gauge mild steel and 16 gauge aluminum (1/16ʺ). This roller kit is designed to strengthen parts of a machine or create steps in materials. It can be used to shape fragile metal pieces into unyielding parts.
This bead roller can be easily clamped with a bench wise stand or can be used with an optional stand. This bead roller kit is provided with 6 dies – 3 step dies, and 3 round base dies.
Along with the bead roller, Woodward Fab allows its customers to select from the following types of products to support their bead rolling process.
- WFBR6-POWER: This is a bolt-on kit, which doesn’t need any modification. This power conversion kit helps convert the manual machine into a power bead roller.
- WFBR6-FENCE: The fence guide ensures straight alignment of the bead roller during the beading process.
- WFBR6STAND: This is an optional stand with small racks that allow easy storage of dies.
The manual bead roller has a throat depth of 18ʺ and weighs 55lbs. The 3 step dies are available in three sizes - 1/16ʺ, 1/8ʺ, and ¼ʺ. The three-round bead dies are available in sizes – ¼ʺ, 3/8ʺ, and ½ʺ.
2. Harbor Freight Tool: 18-Inch Sheet Metal Fabrication Kit
Founded in 1977, Harbor Freight Tools is a manufacturer and exporter of a large variety of material handling and welding tools. Harbor Freight has 7000 tools to its credit.
Harbor Freight Tool’s 18-inch sheet metal fabrication kit is a manual roller designed for auto body workers. This roller is used to cut, roll beads, form, and create flanges. This roller is used to make sheet metal parts and accessories.
This kit has a gauge capacity of 18 gauge steel. The bead roller can be used for making floor pans, battery trays, and dashboards.
This tabletop bead roller is usually clamped with a bench wise stand. This bead roller kit features bead, shearing, and flange mandrels.
The Harbor Freight Tool kit features the following accessories.
- 1/4ʺ, 3/8 ʺ, and 1/2 ʺ. bead mandrels
- 1/16 ʺ, 1/8 ʺ, and 1/4 ʺ flange mandrels
- 18-1/4 ʺ. shearing mandrel
The manual bead roller has a throat depth of 18 1/4ʺ and weighs 49.75 lbs.
3. Eastwood Bead Roller Kit With Mandrels
Eastwood manufactures industry-grade bead roller kits, and a large variety of other auto body repair tools and supplies, welding tools, and plasma cutters. With over 38 years of industrial experience, Eastwood has 4000+ products to its credit.
Eastwood’s bead roller kit is an industry-leading manual bead roller, which is generally preferred for startup metal fabrication projects. This roller is used for strengthening firewalls and metal floor panels.
This kit has the capability of rolling 18 gauge mild steel, and 18 gauge aluminum. This roller kit is designed to improve the strength of metal sheets.
This bead roller is mounted on a bench wise stand. This bead roller kit is provided with nine steel dies, and one polyurethane lower wheel.
Along with the bead roller, the kit features 10 dies that can be used for various applications. In the kit, you will find:
- 180 degree lower die
- Inset offset die
- Outside offset die
- Knife-edge tipping die
- Lower edge forming die
- 3/8 in tipping die
- 1/2 in tipping die
- Round tipping die
- Lower forming die
This manual bead roller has a throat depth of 17ʺ and weighs 59 lbs. It is provided with six mandrels.
A thorough look at the details will help you understand the benefits of these three types of bead rollers.
The Harbor Freight kit is quite expensive than Eastwood and Woodward kits. This cost factor may cost the brand a valuable customer.
Although Eastwood’s bead roller kit is affordable in terms of price, Woodward Fab offers more benefits in terms of productivity. It can be used for 18 gauge aluminum and 16 gauge steel.
Also, the kit features three-step dies and three round base dies in various lengths, which can support various manufacturing operations. Also, customers can select from a vast variety of specialty dies and step dies at an additional fee.
Customers have the choice to convert their manual roller into an electrical one using the power equipment.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.