Bending stainless steel pipe - the best method

Sometimes it may be necessary to bend a stainless steel pipe at a certain angle or rounding. In some cases this can also be done by hand. But you have to proceed correctly.

What matters

  • Die for bending diameter
  • filling
  • heating up

Die for bending diameter

In order to achieve a clean bend, as far as possible a so-called matrix should be used. This is an article with an outer diameter that exactly matches the inner diameter of the desired bend.

Matrices are not always at hand. But they allow a clean bending without subsequent dents.


To avoid material damage during bending, the pipe should be filled. The filling must be strongly compressed inside the tube. This avoids kinks.

The filling is fine sand, but it must be completely dry. The resulting steam during subsequent heating could otherwise be problematic. Corundum is even more suitable for filling because there can be no vapor development here.


How far a pipe has to be heated at the bend always depends on the material. Most iron types and steels are based on red heat.

The heating of the bending point can usually be handled well with a blowtorch at low temperatures, otherwise with a welding torch.

By heating, the material structure becomes flexible and the tube can be bent without damage. In some cases this works at lower temperatures or cold, but this can not be predicted in general. It is best to try it on a tube with a sample bend.

Turn stainless steel pipes by hand - this is how it works

  • fine sand or corundum
  • Wooden wedge to close
  • ev. suitable wire spiral
  • vice
  • Blowtorch or welding torch for heating

1. Fill stainless steel pipe

Close the pipe with the wedge at one end and fill in sand or corundum. Then compress the filling. Fill and compact again until no filling material is left in the pipe.

Then close the upper end of the pipe with a wooden wedge. The filling must not move inside the pipe.

2. heating the pipe

Evenly heat the pipe with a blowtorch or welding torch at the previously marked bends. The material must be flexible and yielding at the bending point.

Do not heat outside the bends, as otherwise the pipe may be damaged. The temperature is a matter of feeling and must be found out by tasting.

3. Bending

Apply even pressure when bending. A suitable bending die is advantageous, since this ensures that the desired bend diameter and angle are achieved uniformly.

Tips & Tricks

Anodized materials are usually difficult or even impossible to bend by hand because they break. Here you should always seek advice from the expert. This can be, for example, a small locksmith. Such workshops usually also have bending machines.

Video Board: RIDGID - How To Bend Stainless Steel Pipe