Bend steel - is this also possible by hand?

Often the question arises as to whether bending steel is also possible by hand, and which machines are otherwise used for bending. A question on this answer and everything about the bending of steel can therefore be found in this article explained in detail.

Steel sheets, pipes and profiles

Like any other metal, steel can also be formed by bending or folding. Different prerequisites apply to sheet metal as well as pipes and profiles as well as hollow profiles.


The respective steel grade is decisive for the bendability of steel. Depending on the type of steel, the mechanical properties can be very different. Stainless steel can only be bent or bent in the form of sheets or in the form of profiles with a much higher force input.

The type of steel also determines the breaking and bending strength of the steel. This also results in certain limit values ​​up to which layer thickness steel can be bent and how far before it breaks. Higher layer thicknesses generally tear faster than smaller layer thicknesses.

Properties with influence on the bending behavior

  • Springback effect of the respective steel type
  • Bending and breaking strength of the respective steel type
  • Thickness of the material
  • sometimes also certain surface treatments

Turn steel yourself

steel sheets

Steel sheets can only be bent with great force. Even sheet thicknesses of 0.8 mm to 1 mm can only be brought into the right shape with very great effort. Machining is therefore recommended in any case.

steel pipes

Tubes made of steel can be bent even with very small pipe diameters and with small wall thicknesses, but the properties of the respective steel type must be considered.

For bending, the pipes should preferably be filled with dry, highly compacted sand to avoid kinking. Kinks damage the pipe irreparably. Preheating the break edge to red hot facilitates bending. For most steels, temperatures of around 800° C are required.

Processing in a special tube bending machine is recommended.

Hollow sections made of steel

Hollow sections, also called square tubes, make special problems when bending due to their shape. As a rule, they can not be bent themselves.

steel sections

Although steel profiles that are not hollow can theoretically be bent by themselves, if they have a small diameter in order to obtain an exact bend, it is also recommended here to machine.


Certain types of steel must be preheated before bending. This depends on the strength of the bend and varies for each type of steel. Again, the layer thickness of the material plays a role.

90° bend

If steel is bent to 90°, surcharges on the bending radius must be made for some types of steel. The surcharges are often also different depending on the material thickness. In general, however, this only affects machine processing.

Contract bending and locksmithing

Most locksmiths have tube bending machines, bending prices are usually around 10 EUR. The folding of sheets can often do roofing, when it comes to lower sheet thicknesses and the workpieces are not too large.

For all other bending work you have to turn to so-called contract bending shops, which are equipped accordingly.

Tips & Tricks

Even the self bending of pipes should be carried out only after a few test runs on the same material. Damage to the pipes can thus be prevented.

Video Board: Strongman Reveals HOW TO Bend Steel!!!