The Best Rebar Bending Machines and Rebar Cutters

If your company or crew does a lot of concrete work – particularly that which involves a lot of rebar work – you know how nerve-racking it can be when you have concrete deliveries coming in and you’re not ready for them. Rebar is not easy to work with, and you can’t rush the process.

How do you fix this problem? Electric rebar benders. They save time and money by helping workers get the job done quicker. They also save workers by sparing them a lot of stooping and repetitive manual labor. Labor-saving tools like rebar benders are a must. They can make a huge difference in the overall success of a project.

Heavy Duty Rebar Bender or Portable Bender?

First we’re going to be looking at heavy duty rebar benders. Not the lightweight, easy-to-tote, bendy toys some guys like to pack around, but the bad boys – the beasts of the business. Having a heavy duty rebar bender, or rebar bender cutter, is like having a rebar factory at the job site.  

But these monsters are not for everyone, so we’ll also review some quality hand-held devices that are definitely worth their asking price. But basically it all comes down to volume. If you are bogged down by rebar bending work, go with a heavy duty rebar bending machine. If you’re on the fence or unsure, you can most likely get away with a portable rebar bender instead.

Depending on what you decide, here are the best rebar bending machines, portable rebar benders and rebar cutters. Some are even rebar bender/cutter combos.

The Best Rebar Bending Machines and Rebar Cutting Machines

1. DBM Electric Rebar Bending Machine

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Best Feature: Foot pedals for hands-free operation

It’s not likely that you would need to bend a length of #7 rebar into the shape of a paper clip, but you could almost do that with the DBM RB32. With the ability to bend rebar at angles up to 180 degrees in two places, this machine can handle any odd angles your project calls for.

The best thing about this unit is the dual foot pedals – one for each bend point – that allow hands-free operation, saving time, ensuring accuracy and reducing worker fatigue. Usage is simple, and consistent – the same settings will produce the same results every time. This is not always the case with lesser or manually operated devices.

The RB-32 can handle rebar up to 1.25 inches in diameter (#10 grade 60) and is powered by a 3700-watt, 26-amp motor than can master the metal like a boss. The motor runs on command, not perpetually, so when you’re not using it, the unit sits quietly in the corner. It runs on standard house current.

Two easy-to-use, slide-type angle selectors can be set to accurately bend any angle, and if you’re stuck bending the same angle all day long, never fear – the unit has preset angle locks for precise, predictable bends, time after time, bend after bend. It’s not exciting, but it beats having to redo a piece of rebar.

Start and stop buttons are large, clearly marked and mounted right up front, where they’ll be easy to reach. An emergency stop button is mounted on the back side for quick access in case of a problem.

The unit ships with a variety of rollers and collars to accommodate any thickness of rebar.

Key Features:

  • Maximum rebar diameter: 1.25 inches (#10)
  • Motor wattage: 3700 watts
  • Dimensions: 24 inches across, 20 inches deep, 19 inches tall
  • Bending angles: 0 – 180 degrees

2. CCTI RB-258A Heavy Duty Rebar Bending Machine

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Best Features: Fast bending, easy transport

If you have the need for speed, the CCTI electric rebar bender can do the deed. Its product literature says this can bend a length of rebar at a 180-degree angle in seven seconds. If a worker was looking for a break while waiting for the rebar bender to do its job, he wouldn’t have a very long break.

The thing is, the speed isn’t all that important. Even if the bend used to take twice as long on other devices, you’re only saving seven seconds – hardly worth popping the cork on the champagne to celebrate. The important thing is the ease with which the machine bends a heavy piece of steel.  If it can accomplish the job in only seven seconds, then the rebar was no challenge to it.

Here is where the really impressive stuff starts with the RB-258A. The electric motor on this muscular machine is 1700 watts, drawing 15 amps.  That’s not an overwhelmingly huge motor. Yet, thanks to tight tolerances and quality materials, this unit can handle rebar as easily as some larger machines. It maxes out at #8 rebar. Most of your rebar jobs won’t go that high, but if they do, you’re covered.

The machine weighs 225 pounds, one of the lightest units on our list. Now, 225 pounds is still nothing to trifle with, but it beats machines that top out at over 400 pounds. Two men can set it on a pallet and let a forklift transport it to wherever it needs to be on the job site. Or, if the terrain is flat, a two-wheeler with air tires could be employed to move it about.

It can bend angles up to 180 degrees and has adapters for various rebar dimensions. Easy-to-use controls are located up front. While it doesn’t come with foot pedals as does the previous listing, the RB258A sets up high, with a shelf unit underneath. The worker doesn’t have to bend over as far to reach the controls. (Once the unit is in “repeat” mode, making the same bend over and over, it won’t be necessary to adjust the controls anyway.)

The warranty is nothing to write Momma about (60 days for parts only), but that is the only downer against so many gold stars for this impressive tool.

Key Features:

  • Maximum rebar diameter: 1.25 inches (#10)
  • Motor wattage: 1700 watts
  • Dimensions: 20 inches across, 22 inches deep, 34 inches tall
  • Bending angles: 0 – 180 degrees

3. CCTI RBC-258A Electric Rebar Bender/Cutter with Foot Pedals

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Best Features: Performs both bending and cutting operations; foot pedals

If you need to bend AND cut rebar, this is the machine for you!  The RBC-258 starts out as a copycat of the RB258, but it goes a step or two further, offering pro-grade cutting capabilities, plus foot pedals for hands-free operation.

It bends and cuts up to one-inch  (#8) grade 60 rebar. Preset angle locks are used for repeating the same angle bend and with the foot pedals, repetitive work becomes less taxing on the user. The cutter is electric/hydraulic, with an easily-replaced four-inch rotary blade. The three foot pedals can be used with both the cutting and bending functions.

Key Features:

  • Maximum rebar diameter: Bending: one inch (#8) – Cutting: one inch
  • Motor wattage: 1700 watts
  • Dimensions: 20 inches across, 22 inches deep, 34 inches tall
  • Bending angles: 0 – 180 degrees

The Best Portable Rebar Benders and Rebar Cutters

1. Metabo HPT Portable Rebar Bender/Cutter

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Best Feature: Variable speed trigger

It’s not Hitachi anymore. It’s Metabo – pronounced meh-tah-bow. If you liked Hitachi power tools, you’ll like metabo, especially this powerful yet portable rebar bender. Powered by a 530-watt dynamo of a motor, this hand-guided bender can handle rebar up to ⅜” in diameter without groaning.

The user is in control of the bending speed, thanks to a variable-speed trigger, similar to what you might find on a power drill. If you’re going to go with hand-held rather than a big, stationary bender, controlling the bend speed is important for safety. If you’re after full speed bending, how does 5.1 seconds for a 180-degree bend sound?

This can also bend multiple rebars at the same time, like three #3 rebars and two #4s. You can’t combine sizes, however. The operator can use the well-marked dial to set the bender for 45°, 90°, 130° and 180° as well as custom angles.

This machine also cuts, with the same maximum size as the bending operation. Instead of a rotary blade, this machine uses opposing anvils that chop the steel, rather than grind it away. The anvils can be reversed and replaced in the field.  According to product information, the anvils are good for 5,000 cuts before they have to be replaced.

For stable operation, the machine can be bolted to a solid surface via four pre-drilled mounting holes.

Key Features:

  • Maximum rebar diameter: Bending: ⅜” – Cutting: ⅜”
  • Motor wattage: 750 watts
  • Bending angles: 0 – 180 degrees
  • Weight: 39.7 pounds

2. Huanyu Electric Rebar Bender

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Best Feature: Foot pedals for hands-free operation

Hand-carry, but with foot pedals for hands-free operation, the Huanyu turns this seeming contradiction in terms into an amazingly versatile job site tool. This quiet, polite, unassuming device turns mean when it comes to bending rebar. It can bend rebar, steel rods and steel bars up to ⅝” in diameter.

As it currently ships in the US, it’s set for 110V operation, but if you want to use it with 220V current, you can special-order the 220-volt model. The motor is an 800-watt dynamo, and the whole shebang only weighs 36 pounds, so it’s easy to bring the power to the spot where it’s needed.

There’s a bit to do out of the box, but it’s not bad. It involves injecting oil (not supplied, so get some #32 anti-wear hydraulic oil while you’re waiting for your order to arrive) into the hydraulic pump; connecting the pump to the tubing and tighten firmly; running the motor at idle to rout air out of the system.

You can’t go 180° with the bend – it’s got a 130° maximum, but will you have the need to bend rebar at extreme angles like that? The machine can be used flat on the ground or bolted to a workbench or board for stability.

When bending consecutive pieces at the same angle, the foot switches will come in handy.

Key Features:

  • Maximum rebar diameter:  Bending: ⅝” #60 rebar
  • Motor wattage: 800 watts
  • Bending angles: 0 – 130 degrees
  • Weight: 36 pounds

3. CCTI Portable Rebar Cutter

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Best Feature: Fast cutting

We’re including a few rebar cutters as companion tools to rebar benders. While some of the products on our list are combo machines that have both bending and cutting capabilities, there is an advantage to having separate machines in that one person could cut rebar to the designated length while another bends them.

The CCTI rebar cutter is a beast when it comes to cutting heavy metal. It’s portable, thanks to all-aluminum housing. Total weight, including the steel carrying case (included) is 70 pounds. So yes, it’s portable, but you wouldn’t want to tote it here and there all day long.

It’s also powerful, thanks to a 1700-watt hydraulic pump motor that runs on regular house current. It will cut 60-grade rebar up to one inch in diameter. That’s a might hefty chunk of metal there.  Not only will it cut that size of rebar, but it will complete the cut in about five seconds.

This unit ships with a steel carrying case, and a service kit, which includes two crescent wrenches, two hex wrenches and a dispenser of hydraulic oil.

Key Features:

  • Maximum rebar diameter:  One inch (#8 Grade 60)
  • Motor wattage: 1700 watts
  • Weight: 70 pounds with carrying case

4. Happybuy Electric Rebar Bender

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Best Feature: A lot of power in a small package

OK, this name: Happybuy. It doesn’t ring with the same aplomb as Makita, DeWalt or Milwaukee, and indeed, this company’s venture into the larger, stationary rebar bending machines hasn’t been a runaway success either, but they absolutely got it right on this portable unit.

With an 800-watt electric motor, this portable tool can power through a day’s worth of rebar bends without breaking a sweat or calling in sick the next day. It can bend a ⅝-inch #60 rebar into a 130° angle in a matter of seconds, and do it all day long. In fact, it has preset angle locks for doing the same angle repeatedly, and when finished, you won’t be able to tell one piece of rebar from another. That’s how consistently the device operates.

The  bolt that sets the angle is not locked in to just a few popular angles. It can be set for any angle between 0 and 130°. 

Like other portable machines on our list, the Happybuy can be bolted down to a solid surface for stability. A work bench or platform of the same height would be ideal to reduce bending over to operate the device. It weighs in at 45 pounds, which makes it a bit of a bear to tote around, but it does ship with a reasonably durable carrying case.

Key Features:

  • Maximum rebar diameter:  Bending: ⅝” #60 rebar
  • Motor wattage: 800 watts
  • Bending angles: 0 – 130 degrees
  • Weight: 45 pounds

5. CCTI Portable Rebar Bender

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Best Feature: 900-watt motor

At 33 pounds, this is the lightest portable rebar bender in our group, yet at 900 watts, the motor is the most powerful. Go figure that one out.

This baby will bend ⅝” #60 rebar into a 130° angle in five seconds and ask for the next one. At this dependable cadence, the worker can get into a rhythm when he has multiple rebar pieces to bend at the same angle and his productivity goes up without a whole lot of drama.

Like most of the other portable rebar benders on our list, it maxes out at ⅝” diameter rebar, but it can also be used for low carbon steel rods up to that same diameter. CCTI recommends that buyers also purchase the optional larger radius bending shoe, which minimizes rebar breakage dramatically.

Durability is a key benefit to this product. While it’s size and light weight might suggest a short lifespan, this model has been shown to maintain its performance level for many years of everyday use on construction sites.

Key Features:

  • Maximum rebar diameter: Bending: ⅝” #60 rebar
  • Motor wattage: 900 watts
  • Bending angles: 0 – 130 degrees
  • Weight: 33 pounds

What to Look for in a Rebar Bender

A good rebar bender can save your workers’ backs, and help keep you on time and on budget. But a cheap rebar bender – one that breaks the rebar (yes, that does happen), or gets slow and sluggish can be more trouble than it’s worth.

If you’re a multi-faceted contractor whose concrete/rebar work represents less than 20 percent of your business, you might get by with a manual or lightweight portable electric bender. You might even want to rent one.

But if concrete work is a substantial part of your work, an investment in a quality rebar bender can pay for itself within months of its purchase. Bending rebar is hard work, even with a little hydraulic help, so anything you can do to ease the burden is going to be worthwhile.

If you’re looking for the best rebar benders for light, medium and heavy duty work, our comprehensive review of the best portable and manual rebar benders can be found here.

The Big Boys: Rebar Bending Machines

If you do major work, government contract work – anything that mandates large (one inch or larger in diameter) rebar and heavy rebar, you really should consider a full-size, stationary bender. They come with a price tag, certainly, but think of it as an investment rather than an expense.

Another consideration is the quantity of rebar sections being laid down. Structural applications are going to require close spacing of rebar, which means more rebar, and more rebar that will need bending. Now, the product information on a lot of these units brags about being able to turn 180° angles, but that’s not all that common on the job. Essentially, there’s no difference between a rebar bender that can go 180 degrees and one that only goes to 130° unless you have a weird project full of 180s!

The most commonly used rebar sizes are #4 (one half inch) and #5 (5/8s inch). Every product on our list can accommodate those sizes – by design. Having a machine that can go above that is certainly beneficial, but shouldn’t be considered a “must-have” unless the contracts you commonly work with specify the larger sizes.

Foot Pedals for Rebar Bending

Some of the units come with foot pedals for hands-free operation. This is a great advantage, in that it saves, squatting and lifting over and over again. As you probably know, you may have dozens of bends to do that are the same angle, same rebar diameter. This is where the foot pedals really make a difference. With a little bit of preplanning, a worker could set up in a low-traffic area on the job site, get his rebar pieces lined up and ready to go, and feed piece after piece into the bender, knowing that each one is going to get bent in exactly the same manner, at exactly the same angle as all the others.

Again, this is an area where one of the freestanding rebar benders is going to be a great help, but you can accomplish this with one of the portable benders, especially if you can bolt it to a workbench or some sort of elevated platform that would save the worker from a lot of stooping. Safety first, however.

Rebar Bender/Cutter Combos

Some of these units are rebar bender/cutter combos. That is a great feature – being able to use the same machine to cut the rebar prior to bending it (or after) – but there are other ways to perform the cutting job. Rebar cutters, of course, are one option, but you can also use cutoff saws and bolt cutters to get the job done.

Brand Names and User Reviews

None of the rebar benders on our “Best-Of” list have a familiar brand name. That doesn’t mean they’re not high quality. They are. But as rebar benders are not as in demand as, say, drills, compressors, saws, etc., some of the better-known tool brands have decided not to get into the rebar bender market, leaving it to brands that are not household names.

Tool marketers – not necessarily tool manufacturers – are constantly reinventing themselves in a marketplace that is now dominated by online sales. Acquisitions, name changes and rebranding effort sometimes create confusion and it’s hard to tell who is who anymore.

For example, Sears, one of the most iconic brands ever in American history, is now a thing of the past. But Craftsman, the tool brand associated with Sears, lives on. Craftsmen tools are still as good as they ever were, and the lifetime guarantee that defines them lives on as well.

One of our top rebar benders is a Metabo, a name brand that hardly anyone outside of the inner circle would know. But Metabo is the new name for Hitachi, a name that has a little bit of history – mostly good history – in the power tool trade. Actually, Metabo is only applicable in North America. Elsewhere around the world, Hitachi goes by HiKoki now.

It’s pretty confusing, but here’s the thing. On any product you are considering ordering online, check the user reviews and the number of stars the product gets from people who have actually bought and used the product. You’re almost certain to find a review from someone whose situation is similar to yours. Use his or her experience as a guide to what you can expect if you order the same product.

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