How to Bend EMT Metal Conduit

Bending metal tubing or conduit is pretty easy if you use the right tools. A tubing bending tool must constrain the inside shape of the tube throughout the entire bend radius and the bend radius must not be too small (this will depend on the wall thickness of the tubing). For typical 1/2" metal conduit this is about 5". Using a hand bender is the most economical way to make a bend and it is what we will discuss here.


  1. 1
    Determine the proper size of bender.
  2. 2
    Measure the distance from the end of the conduit to outside edge of where you want the conduit run after the bend.
  3. 3
    Add 5" and place a mark on the conduit.
  4. 4
    Find the start arrow on the bender (usually just behind the opening of the hook of the bender).
  5. 5
    Align the arrow with the mark.
  6. 6
    Place the conduit on a firm flat surface (the floor is preferable) and step on the foot pedal of the bender while using the handle to keep the bender perpendicular to the floor (the handle should be at about 45 degrees to the floor over the hook of the bender and the foot pedal should be sticking straight up).
  7. 7
    Apply firm, steady pressure to the foot pedal to start the bend.
  8. 8
    To make a 90 degree bend, keep pressing on the foot pedal until the handle is a little less than 45 degrees from the floor over the foot pedal. You may want the apply a little bit of pressure to the handle in last 20 degrees of the bend since the pedal looses leverage as you approach 90 degrees but be careful to keep it straight.
  9. 9
    Remove the bender from the pipe by rotating it back up toward the ceiling.


  • Quality hand benders really aren't that expensive and will make a much better looking bend than the cheap ones. Greenlee and Klein are among the better brands.

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Categories: Electrical Maintenance