Bead Roller Buyers Guide

If you’re considering buying a bead roller it’s probably because you’re doing some metal fabrication like making floor pans, wheel tubs, or bomber seats and want to add some strength and style to the metal. 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 want to know the thickness of the metal you will most commonly be using and confirm the depth of the throat. You may also want to think about whether a motorized version would help you. You can also look at the accessories offered with each bead roller and if you will need to upgrade and expand its capabilities with items like a guide fence or forming dies.

We offer four sizes 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 you can easily control the speed with the foot pedal or a dial on the motor.

All Eastwood bead rollers will form up to 18 gauge steel and 16 gauge aluminum which should accommodate all your sheet metal needs if you’re working on automotive projects.

The throat depth of each Eastwood Bead Roller is 8”, 17”, 27” and 24” for the motorized bead roller. When considering throat depth remember the largest panel you can do is double the throat depth. This means you can form down the center of a piece that’s 16” wide using the 8” bead roller. 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 from multiple pieces and then welding them together which typically compromises the quality of the work because there’s a chance for warping when welding them together.

The 8-inch Elite Bead Roller comes with both offset and 3/8” bead rolling dies which allows you to form the two most popular shapes.  If you’re looking to do small projects the small 8-inch elite is great for you, and because you can form into the center of a 16” panel you’re still able to make full panels for many cars. The small throat depth also allows you to easily operate it by yourself. This bead roller brings industrial styling to smaller DIY tools. It comes with two sets of dies; the popular offset dies and a set of 3/8 bead dies which are nice for rolling beads in floor pans which is gives a nice finished appearance and also adds strength.

The Eastwood Bead Roller comes with six sets of dies including three flange mandrels and three bead forming dies. This bead roller is great for fabricating floor pans and wheel tubs. This bead roller has a 17 inch throat that will allow you to form up to a 34 inch wide piece which will cover most floor pans and sheet metal fab on a car plus you can add a guide fence with those long runs and it uses standard shaft size allowing you to upgrade and use forming dies again expanding the capabilities of the bead roller.

The 27-inch Elite Bead Roller comes with our popular offset dies. The large Elite Bead Roller will handle most any standard panel you may need to bead roll and can even handle large panels like pickup bed floors.  The elite bead roller is currently the largest hand crank bead roller on the market with a deep 27 inch 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 . The “tool-less” design allows you to quickly and easily make adjustments to the dies.  All of the common hand crank bead roller dies will fit the 27″ Elite so you can easily expand your dies to step up your bead rolling capabilities. If you’re looking for a quality hand-cranked bead roller that’s going to last 27″ Elite bead roller  probably be the only one you’ll ever need.

The three bead rollers mentioned above all have a standard 22 millimeter shaft size so you can add more dies like forming dies which really expands the ability of your bead roller. It’s also nice because if you already own a bead roller with the standard 22 millimeter shaft and you’re looking to upgrade you can use your existing dies which will save you money.

If you work alone the Motorized Bead Roller may be the one for you. It comes with a half inch bead roller die set as standard and it uses a 3/4 inch shaft. We have numerous dies available like spoiler dies, step flange dies, and other sizes of bead rolling dies. This machine allows you work a panel alone and control the speed on the fly so you can concentrate on following your pattern on the panel. This motorized bead roller has a rigid boxed frame design with a 24 inch throat which will allow you to roll beads in a panel up to 48″. It’s easy to operate by yourself with a variable speed control foot pedal and a forward and reverse switch right on the frame. Add the optional pedestal kit and you will have a free-standing professional bead roller that will last you a lifetime.

We hope this clears up some confusion on which bead roller may be for you and helps you narrow down your decision. Make sure you view all of the Eastwood Metal Fab Tools Here:


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