Eastwood Bead Roller Buyers Guide

What You Need To Know When Buying A Bead Roller

If you’re considering buying a bead roller it’s probably because you’re doing some metal fab like making floor pans, wheel tubs or bomber seats and want to add some strength and style to the metal, or because you want to get a set of forming dies to go along with your bead roller so you can also make fender flares, dash inserts or trans tunnels. Eastwood offers a few sizes and styles of bead rollers, so let’s check them out and make sure you get the right one for your job.

When selecting a bead roller, you’ll want to know the thickness of metal it can form, the depth of the throat, whether or not it’s motorized, the strength of its construction so it doesn’t flex, as well as the ability to upgrade and expand its capabilities with items like a guide fence or forming dies.

We offer four styles of bead rollers, three of them are hand crank and one is motorized. A motorized bead roller is nice because it allows you to roll beads by yourself and easily control the speed with the foot pedal.

All will form 18 gauge steel and 16 gauge aluminum, which should accommodate all your sheet metal needs if you’re working on a car or truck.

The throat depth of each is 8, 17, 27 and 24 inches for the motorized bead roller. This means you can form down the center of a piece that is 16” wide, 34” wide, 54 and 48 inches. Being able to form a wide area is nice for large floor pans, trunk floors, bomber seats and especially pickup truck bed floors and tailgates. You can still form panels with a smaller bead roller, but it means making the panels in multiple pieces and then welding them together, which typically comprises the quality of the work because there is a chance for warpage when welding them together, plus the need to grind the weld beads.

The 8” elite comes with both offset and 3/8 bead rolling dies, allowing you to form the two most popular shapes and make small floor pans. The economy bead roller comes with 6 sets of mandrels including 3 flanging mandrels and 3 bead forming mandrels, a great combination for fabbing floor pans and wheel tubs. The 27” elite bead roller comes with the popular offset dies. These three all have a standard 22mm shaft size, so you can add more dies, like forming dies, which really expands the abilities of your bead roller. It’s also nice because if you already own a bead roller with the standard 22mm shaft and you’re looking to upgrade, you can use your existing dies, which will save you money. And remember you can adjust the distance and depth of the offset dies, giving you many different appearances and functions.

The motorized bead roller comes with the ½ bead roller die set. It uses a ¾ shaft and numerous dies are available like spoiler dies, step-flange dies and other sizes of bead rolling dies.

If you’re looking to do small projects, this small 8” is great for you, and because you can form into the center of a 16” panel, you are still able to form floor pans for many cars. Plus the size allows you to operate it by yourself. But don’t let the size fool you, just because it’s small doesn’t mean it’s lesser quality. It is part of our elite line of products that brings industrial styling to smaller DIY tools. It comes with two sets of dies – the popular offset dies as well as 3/8 bead rolling dies, which are nice for rolling beads in floor pans, which is a common appearance that also adds strength.

The economy bead roller has a 17” throat will allow you to form up to 34” wide pieces, which will cover most floor pans and sheet metal fab on a car. Plus you can add a guide fence for those long runs, and it uses a standard shaft size, allowing you to upgrade and use forming dies, again, expanding the capabilities of the bead roller.

This Elite bead roller is currently the largest hand crank bead roller on the market with the deep 27’ throat. The thick metal framework and fabricated design prevents flexing, giving you the strength and rigidity to roll consistent beads and flanges of the same depth. If you’re looking for a quality hand crank bead roller that’s going to last, and probably be the only one you’ll ever need, as well as give you the ability to add items like a guide fence for the most accuracy on those long straight runs or forming dies to further expand your abilities, this is the one for you. Or, if you’re looking to upgrade, this is also a great option because you can attach your existing die set that uses the standard 22mm shaft. Another advantage is that the large throat size means you can fabricate metal as large as a truck bed floor in a single piece, which means you don’t have to weld pieces together, and that means your finished work will be much nicer with no warpage or need to grind welds.

Finally, if you want a motorized bead roller with the option to add more dies like different sizes of bead roller dies and flanging dies, you should definitely consider the motorized bead roller from Eastwood. The 24” throat will allow you to form large sheets and it’s easy to operate by yourself with the variable speed control foot pedal.

So to summarize, if you want to try bead rolling without much investment, or you only have small projects, the elite 8” bead roller is a great option. And remember, it uses a standard shaft size and comes with both offset and bead rolling dies.

The economy bead roller will allow you to do most work on a car in a single piece, other than the larger panels, like a trunk floor. It has a standard shaft and comes with 6 sets of bead rolling and flanging dies. If you want to upgrade in the future to the elite bead roller, you’ll be able to use the dies that come with this machine.

If you’re looking to invest in yourself and want one bead roller that you won’t need to upgrade, I highly recommend the elite bead roller. The heavy duty design gives you the quality and precision you want. It’s also a great machine if you’re looking to upgrade from your current unit because it has the standard 22mm shaft. Plus, because of its size you should be able to form every panel you need on a car or truck, in a single piece, giving you the most professional, finished appearance.

Eastwood also offers forming dies that fit all three of these hand-crank units, further expanding the capabilities of these machines, allowing you to fabricate all kinds of other shapes and parts for your car or truck. If you’re in the market for a motorized bead roller, you should consider this unit that has a variable speed-control foot pedal, which operates in forward and reverse, allowing you to fabricate metal yourself while giving you the control you need to move around corners and shapes. The 24” throat allows you to form most panels on a car or truck. It comes with the standard 1/2 bead rolling dies and other dies are available at Eastwood.

I hope this helped you decide which bead roller is best for you. Eastwood – Since 1978.

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Eastwood Elite 8" Heavy Duty Bead Roller
Only $89.99
Add strength and rigidity to your project's sheet metal parts as deep as 27" from a panels edge.
Only $299.99
A quality bead roller for sheet metal work, with electric power and foot pedal control. Economically Ships by Fed Ex in 2 Boxes - No Truck Shipment needed!

Starting at: $899.99

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