Driving on a free, well-built road is fun. There's this urge to move at top speed when the road is smooth.
However, safety comes first. If any incident occurs that needs you to engage your vehicle’s brake, will it come through for you?
The answer to that question depends on how perfect the flare on your brake lines is.
To ensure you always get a quick response from your braking system, you need to have perfect flares on its brake lines.
A way to achieve this is by using a brake line flaring tool. There are tons of brake line flaring tools with different styles of use.
To find the right one for your vehicle and style for you, check out this buying guide of the 10 best brake line flaring tools in 2020.
TGR Professional Brake Line Flaring Tool
Eastwood Professional Brake Line Tubing Flaring Tool
K Tool International Brake Line Flaring Tool
MASTERCOOL 72475-PRC Universal Hydraulic Flaring Tool Set
OTC 6502 Master Brake Flaring Tool Kit
Our 10 Best Brake Line Flaring Tool Picks:
Here is our detailed review on the top 10 brake line flaring tools for the money-
1. TGR Professional Brake Line Flaring Tool
To kick off this list is the brake line flaring tool from Tool Guy Republic (TGR). TGR has been around for over a decade.
They have created an excellent reputation for themselves through their high-quality tools. One characteristic of their tools is its simplicity in using them. This characteristic is vividly seen in their brake line flaring tool.
The TGR brake line flaring tool is straightforward to use. It helps you swiftly make a 45° single, bubble, or double flares in four different size tubings like a professional. However, you'll need to mount it on a vise for it to work effectively and efficiently.
The different sizes of dies for tubing it comes with are ¼", 3/16", 5/16", and ⅜." With these dies, this tool is perfect for creating flares on brake lines, fuel lines, and transmission cooler lines on time.
Furthermore, this TGR brake line flaring tool works well on steel, stainless steel, and any soft metal tubing.
TGR ensures each of these tools is pre-tested from the factory. They even include a sample of the brake flare made with the tool in the package. TGR does this to prove that their tools have been tested and verified to work.
Additionally, this tool and its dies come well-organized in a hard plastic case with 14.4" x 6.65" x 3.54" measurement, weighing 8.31lb. So, with the casing, you can store it at the back of your car and transport it easily without worrying about damaging the tool.
- Very simple to use
- Comes with four dies of different sizes
- It works well on many metal brake lines
- Saves time
- Hard-plastic casing
- Can't be used on cars
2. Eastwood Professional Brake Line Tubing Flaring Tool
The Eastwood brake line flaring tool is very similar in appearance to the TGR's own. People even question if the TGR flaring tool is a rebranded Eastwood flaring tool.
However, both tools are a unique model of themselves regardless of their resemblance. That said, they still function alike, but the Eastwood model has a different mechanism.
The Eastwood brake line flaring tool helps you make a single, bubble, double, or 45° set brake flares in a matter of seconds. Just like the TGR's, it mounts on a bench vise to create these flares.
This tool is excellent to use on OEM steel, stainless steel, and soft metal tubing. It comes with 3/16", ¼", 5/16", ⅜" and 4.75mm diameters forming dies for making these brake lines. Additionally, it works perfectly for transmission cooler lines and fuel lines.
This brake line flaring tool uses a "turret-style" mechanism. This design features a turret indexed head with points of different sizes where the forming dies fit into. It makes creating lines convenient and accurate to the size you want.
All that's needed is to turn the indexed head to the line size you want to make and mount that size die in it. Then bend the line with the lever handle, using the T-handle screw clamp to hold it firmly while you do so.
Furthermore, it comes with instructions and a blow-molded case for carrying it and the dies. To guarantee this brake line flaring tool works, Eastwood inspects and pre-test them before selling. Plus, they include the brake line created from the test as proof of the tool's ability. This assures the buyer that the tool works.
- Easy-to-use mechanism
- Comes with five dies of different sizes
- Carrying case
- Quick-connect T-handle
- Instructional manual
3. K Tool International Brake Line Flaring Tool
Suppose you need a brake line flaring tool that's cheap, heavy-duty, and at the same time effective. Then you should consider this one from K tool international.
This is because it's not as costly as the rest, making brake lines fast & accurate to size. It attaches to a bench vise and effortlessly creates 45°, double, single, and bubble flares in steel, stainless steel, and thin metal tubing.
Thanks to the different dies of 3/16", ¼", 5/16", and ⅜" diameters, you can make brake lines, transmission cooler lines, and fuel lines of these sizes accurately. Also, it uses the turret-style design that reduces the time used in making accurate flares.
It has a T shaped handle screw clamp for holding your line firm during forming. This tool is safe to use and works well. If you use it to render service, it can pay for itself with only your first project.
It has a black carrying case where it's stored alongside the forming dies it comes with. The case has additional rooms for keeping other die sets. Also, there's an instructional manual to help assemble it and guide on how to use it.
Be informed this tool works only with a vise. You can't use it for flaring lines on a car. However, this tool has a one-year limited warranty.
- It has a user-guide for assembling
- Comes with four die sets for versatile use
- One-year limited warranty
- Affordable and offers excellent value for money
- It makes beautiful flares
4. MASTERCOOL 72475-PRC Universal Hydraulic Flaring Tool Set
MASTERCOOL has 35 years + experience in the manufacturing of professional service tools and equipment. They manufacture tools that make HVAC/R and automotive technician's life easier.
Looking at all the features of this flaring tool, we can say; indeed, the MASTERCOOL 72475-PRC universal hydraulic flaring tool makes life easy.
It is one of the most heavy-duty, multi-functional flaring tools on this list. MASTERCOOL made it with industrial-grade materials to deliver the best result and last a long time.
However, it's ridiculously expensive because it’s a hydraulic style flaring tool.
The MASTERCOOL 72475-PRC universal hydraulic flaring tool doesn't require a bench vise to function. Its construction features a tube and die set stabilizing arm that makes tube forming easy.
It has an improved hydraulic with hydra-flare yoke and pump assembly and a magnetic adapter holder for keeping adapters steady during operation. Also, its large die set compression area holds the dies firmly.
All these features make this flaring tool produce accurate and excellent results. It is a complete tool for creating any type of flare you want.
Furthermore, it comes with many dies and adapters for making different sizes of lines and flares. There are ¼" 5/16" and ⅜" adapters for making push connect flares. 5/16" and ⅜" adapters for making GM fuel line, brake lines, and transmission flares. ¼", 3/16", 5/16", ⅜" and ½" adapters for making 45˚ double flares.
And lastly, 4.75mm, 6mm, 8mm, and 10mm adapters to make metric ISO bubble flares. In addition to these accessories, MASTERCOOL included a mini tube cutter for ⅛" to ⅝" O.D. tubing. The durability of the cutter depends on what you use it to cut.
All these adapters and dies come organized with it in a solid black box with a handle for easy carry-along. The box has dimensions of 15 x 10.6 x 3.5, and when filled, it weighs 5.9lb. Not that it works with metals such as "Annealed" or "Dead Soft" type stainless steel.
- Works well for Annealed" or "Dead Soft" type stainless steel
- Ultra-versatile and straightforward to use
- Hydraulic power
- Doesn't need a bench vise
- Heavy-duty case
- Very expensive
5. OTC 6502 Master Brake Flaring Tool Kit
Halfway into our list is this affordable brake flaring tool from OTC. This brake flaring tool is one of the cheap flaring tools on this list. All the brake flaring tools we've talked about so far have a price tag above $100, but this one is below, making it affordable.
OTC makes high-quality automotive products affordable for all without compromising on quality. So, if you are on a tight budget, you should consider this particular brake flaring tool.
The OTC 6502 master brake flaring tool makes perfect single, double, and bubble brake line flares.
It is a universal tool and works well for any brake line. It has a clamping bar with holes for making single, double, and bubble flare standard brake lines of 3/16" to ½", single flare metric brake lines of 4mm to 14mm, double flare metrical brake lines of 4mm to 14mm, and bubble flare metric brake lines of 4.75mm to 10mm.
Additionally, you can make both transmission lines and fuel lines with this tool as long as the material is mild steel.
The OTC 6502 master brake flaring tool comes with other accessories, making it versatile for different automotive use.
These accessories include a debarring tool, a flaring bar, an arbor press, and a tube cutter. They all are arranged in a hard plastic case with it and the adapters. Also, OTC has a 1-year limited warranty on this tool.
- Very cheap
- Works great on flaring brake lines
- Comes with additional accessories
- Sturdy casing
- The tubing clamp is short, which makes it hard to stay on the vise
- May not last long
6. ABN Bubble Flare Tool & Double Flaring Kit
The ABN bubble flare tool & double flaring kit is another cheap one on this list. It works great for creating a bubble and double flares for bending brake and fuel pipes.
ABN made this tool and its adapters with heat-treated alloy steel to be sturdy, coupled with chrome-plating to reduce friction and prevent it from rusting.
Thus, it will last long. You can also use the ABN bubble flare tool & double flaring kit for braking pipe repairs, refrigeration, etc.
This tool has a fixed head with a sharp cone that makes it create clean and accurate flares. Furthermore, it has a yoke type compressor with a T-handle that provides a firm grip.
The hardened flaring bar assembly clamps have holes to fit ten different SAE and metric tubing of various sizes. Also, it comes with 3/16", ¼", 5/16", ⅜", ½", 4mm, 4.75mm, 6mm, 8mm, and 10mm flaring tool adapters.
ABN included a small pipe cutter that cuts perfectly ⅛" to ⅝" aluminum, copper, and steel tubing. Note that this cutter's life span depends on the hardness of the materials you cut with it.
This chrome plated alloy steel made tool has a plastic case that measures 11.9" x 2.8" x 9.2" with locks for security and a handle for an easy carry-on while moving from place to place.
Plus, double flaring and bubble flaring instructions for use are included in the case. There's also a one-year warranty against defects in the materials of this tool that makes it one of the best double flare tool.
- It works great for both double and bubble flares
- Cheap and offers excellent value for money
- Heavy-duty construction with heat treated steel
- Comes with a tubing cutter for cutting ⅛" to ⅝" aluminum, copper, and steel tubing
- It is compatible with ten SAE and metric tubings
- It has a well-organized casing
- Simple to use
- Instructional manual for both double flaring and bubble flaring
- Needs improvement for a double flare
7. 4LIFETIMELINES Flaring Tool
The 4LIFETIMELINES flaring tool is made from industrial-grade durable materials to have a long lifespan. It functions with the "turret-style" mechanism to create 45˚ very accurate single, double, and bubble flares in five sizes of tubings.
These sizes of tubings are 3/16″, ¼", 5/16″, ⅜" and 4.75mm. Furthermore, it works well with nickel, copper, steel, and stainless steel brake lines. It offers solutions to automotive brake lines, fuel lines, and transmission cooling lines.
The 4LIFETIMELINES flaring tool is time-efficient, easy to use, and produces the desired result. It mounts on a vise to make consistent, accurate flare. Plus, its well-thought-out design with an ergonomic quick-release T-handle for holding dies firm during forming provides a friendly user experience.
Also, it comes in a well-organized hardback carrying casing for storage and easy transportation. The container has a size of 15” x 15” x 5” and weighs 8.5lb. There's an instruction manual to guide users on how it's used.
- Extremely simple to use
- Create flares perfectly
- Works with nickel, copper, steel, and stainless steel
8. Titan 51535 3/16-Inch Double Flaring Tool
All the brake line flaring tools we've reviewed so far are either hydraulic or vise mounted. But this Titan 51535 double flaring tool is the first on-car flaring tool on this list. On-car flaring means you can use it to make brake line repair on a vehicle.
That said, this tool gives an advantage to people who own it. That's because it fits tight under-car spaces, allowing users to repair brake lines on cars without going through the stress of removing the automotive brake lines first.
But, the hydraulic and vise mounted flaring tools can't repair brake lines on cars.
The Titan 51535 double flaring tool has a perfect inverted 45˚ SAE 3/16" double-ended OP1/OP2 punch its uses to repair brake lines. This tool makes uniform flaring walls with accurate symmetry.
Also, because 3/16" brake lines are present in most vehicles, it is ultra-versatile for making double flares in various cars. This flaring tool works on steel and nickel-copper tubing. However, it's not suitable for stainless steel tubing.
Furthermore, it has a removable handle that makes it suitable for use on a vise when removed. Also, it comes with a positioning bolt, a container of die lubricant, and a well-written illustrational manual.
- Works well for steel brake lines and nickel-copper tubing
- Easy to use in tight spaces
- Can be used for automotive repairs
- Removable handle for bench vise use
- Well-written illustrational manual
- Works only for double flare
- Not suitable for stainless steel brake lines
9. RIDGID 83037 Model 458R Precision Ratcheting Flaring Tool
The RIDGID brand has built a name for itself by making premium quality tools that are durable, effective, and easy to use. This RIDGID 83037 Model 458R precision ratcheting flaring tool has all these attributes and more.
It effortlessly creates brake line flares in less time than most tools in its category. You can use this tool to flare steel, stainless steel, copper, and brass tubings that have a wall thickness of 0.035". Be informed that it only does a single flare.
Moreover, it comes with a different kind of handle than most standard flaring tools come with. This handle is a ratcheting handle that significantly lessens the effort required to make perfect flares.
When you are done making a flare, the handle clutch then releases to press and smoothen the flare. Thanks to its sturdy eccentrically mounted hardened steel flaring cone, it provides consistent flare walls.
Furthermore, the RIDGID 83037 Model 458R precision ratcheting flaring tool makes perfect 45˚ SAE flares in ⅛" to ¾" diameter tubings. It's cheap and effortless to use, requiring little effort to set up.
This flaring tool doesn't come in a casing. However, it's compact and weighs 3.74lb. If you get it, you should find a safe place to keep it, so you don't lose it. Also, RIDGID offers a lifetime warranty for this tool.
- It gives perfect flares if used well
- Works with steel, stainless steel, brass, and copper tubings
- Ratcheting handle
- Lifetime warranty
- Clutch doesn't last long
- A bit pricey and does only a single flare
10. Neiko 20656A Auto Double Flaring Tool
The final spot on this list is occupied by the Neiko 20656A auto double flaring tool. Neiko designed it to correctly create double or single flares in different materials such as brass, aluminum, copper, magnesium, and soft steel brake line tubing.
This flaring tool was made from heavy-duty steel to guarantee strength and endurance. So, rest assured, it's going to last a long time.
Also, Neiko plated it with chrome to reduce friction and provide a more comfortable operation. It works well when attached to a bench vise.
Moreover, this flaring tool is under $50, which is very cheap and affordable. It comes with five different adaptors with sizes ranging from 3/16", ¼", 5/16", ⅜", and ½" for making double flare in brake lines. However, it can't make bubble flares.
This flaring tool has a blow-molded plastic casing for storage alongside its adapter. The case filled with the equipment and accessories weighs 2.35lb and has an ergonomic handle for comfortable transportation. Also, it has an instructional manual and a one-year warranty, covering manufacturing defects.
- Very cheap
- It creates double flares on brass, aluminum, copper, magnesium, and soft steel brake line tubing
- Carrying casing
- One-year warranty
- Well-built with chrome plated finish
- Doesn't last long
How to Choose the Best Brake Line Flaring Tool?
In case you want to know the process following which we have selected the top 10 best flaring tool for this article, here are the points-
Ease of Use
When choosing a flaring tool for working on your brake line, the ease of operation is a significant factor to consider. From my years of experience, I can tell that a complicated tool is not usually the best for the job.
Your brake line flaring tool must be able to firmly hold the flaring material and cut the lines accurately without unsteady shakes.
The flaring tool can be efficient for double flares or single flares, or bubble flares. Regardless, it should be direct in use, even if it is a multi-purpose tool kit that can make any flare type.
You don’t want to sacrifice the required alignment to anything. If you do, you are at the risk of brake fluid leakage and probably the ultimate risk of brake system failure. The necessary level of efficiency will be easily achieved if the flaring tool is easy to operate.
Quality of Thread
This is a common difference between different brake line flaring tools. Thread quality varies for various flaring tools, and that makes it an essential factor to look out for.
The threading system for the flaring joint should be firm and accurate; it can really make all the difference.
Tube Cutting Efficiency
Most of the flaring tool comes with a professional tubing cutter but not usually the same type. A lot of tube cutter results in rough edges and requires extra effort to slide the rough undulation.
Making the edges and diameter of the brake pipes perfect should not require too many extra efforts. Choose a tool that cuts the required tube material effortlessly. Some tube cutting tools need repeated revolutions of both the material and the cutter while occasionally adjusting the cutter knob.
If this is the case, you don’t want a tool that will make you do the process for too long before being able to cut a brake pipe.
Completeness of Kit
A brake line flaring tool usually comes with some additional tools, apart from the main flaring tool. Your kit should definitely come with a tube cutter, extra joints, the flaring tool, extra leverage handle, die blocks, and others.
The additional parts are significant, and the whole flaring process equally depends on them too. Before buying the brake flaring tool, check the specifications online, and see if it has all the required components.
A professional workshop technician already has many tools that can complement the flaring tool, but if your money can get you the extra, why not?
Sizes and Types of Die Blocks
There are standardized sizes for brake line flares. You should make sure that your tool supports these standards, most of them, if not all.
It is okay if you need a specific size you need. Still, you should also consider the possibility of needing other sizes, especially if the flaring tool is not for personal use alone. Standard sizes include 3/16”, 5/16”, 1/4”, 3/8”, and 4.75mm.
Some flaring tools have a permanent block containing different standards of dies. The dies are fixed, and that provides a level of convenience. On the other hand, some tools have detachable die blocks to be removed and replace at will. This type is more stressful, but it gives you the freedom to easily replace a spoilt die block.
The Versatility of the Flaring Tool
While different brake flaring types require different processes, a lot of flaring tools or kits can be capable of handling any type of brake line flaring you need.
If you don’t have a flaring tool for a specific flaring type before, then you may want to go for a flaring kit that can handle single flaring, double flaring, and bubble flaring.
That way, you will be able to work with any type of brake line flaring required. Most times, the flaring has different hardware options, and that is precisely what you need for versatility.
Firmness of Clamp
Most flaring tool kits come with a separate cutter that doesn’t even require clamping, but the flaring process itself is heavily dependent on clamping.
After clamping, the material must be perfectly aligned with the flaring edge of the tool. Not only must the clamping support perfect alignment, but it must also have a steady grip to avoid inaccuracies.
The grip must be firm and stable but should not alter the flaring material or damage it; that is definitely not your goal. If the clamping component is bad, this a stress verdict that will continue to haunt you as long as you keep manage the tool, therefore, make sure you avoid that.
You surely don’t want to start doing some mathematics or use online converters before you can begin to work. Every time you flare brake line, it requires a unique dimension.
The flaring tool mostly works for a different range of requirements. Go for a tool that denotes flare sizes in inches and millimeters; that way, you will be saving yourself a lot of time and stress.
Mobility of Tool
Most times, the brake line flaring tool comes in a box. This toolbox contains the flaring tool and additional parts that are required for operation.
The toolbox does not need to be big or heavy; that is in no way required. Brake lines themselves are very small in diameter and length. All you need is a portable toolbox to handle your flaring needs.
One that does the job and can be moved around easily. You should be able to use your flaring toolkit at the workshop and at home, too, if needed.
Instructions and Manuals
This factor may look unnecessary, but it can be very handy. Flaring operations are not complicated, but different tools use various approaches. I have seen a couple of flaring toolkits that didn’t come with an operation manual, making it challenging to figure out the operation. This small factor can make all the difference in the world.
Price of Flaring Kit
The process of flaring may be a simple one, but it is obviously essential. Poor flaring leads to leakage and can eventually lead to brake system failure, which is something nobody wants.
The level of importance doesn’t necessarily make it expensive, don’t believe the hype. Before purchasing a flaring kit, do your research on price and efficiency. The research process is nothing serious, just juxtapose a couple of qualitative products and compare the prices.
Estimate the balance of cost and functionality, and you will definitely get what suits your pocket and need simultaneously. You can consider our recommendations to save your time and money.
A brake line flaring tool can save you from a braking system failure. And the best part is, it's elementary to use. You don't need to call a technician to do it for you.
Also, most of them come with well-written, detailed instructions to guide you on their use. However, it may take practice before you become perfect at making flares. But really, they are very simple to use.
In conclusion, each flaring tool that made it to this list, whether double or bubble flares tool kit, has been proven to work great. We have stated their features, style, types of flares they make, and compatibility with materials for you to pick the one that best fits your needs. With all said and done, we hope you make the right choice.
- Brake Line Bender Buying Guide
- Leak Down Testers Reviews
- Parts washer Solvents For the Money
- Continuous Composters Review
- Top Magnetic Pickup Tools For the Money
Frequently Asked Questions
Do brake lines need to be double flared?
Brake lines are typically double flared. This is done to ensure that the brake line does not come apart, which could lead to a potentially serious car accident.
A single flare will work as long as it's one of good quality and properly installed by an expert mechanic who knows how to do this type of job. There are some instances where you might need a custom-flared brake line if your old one has been bent or damaged in any way, but even then you'll want someone with experience installing them for safety's sake.
Brake systems don't last forever and replacement parts can be expensive. This is why they're often double flared when replaced so they will always stay together securely.
How do you make perfect flares?
Flares are pieces of solid metal that fit tightly over the end of a line to make it easier to insert and remove. The piece is "flared" so as not to come off when pulled through tight space or bolted down.
Flaring can be done by hand using two hammers, but this process usually takes more than an hour per flare due to the difficulty involved in making perfect flares with just two hands. Nowadays we use either one-man flaring tools or pneumatically-powered machines for fast production rates.
What is the best material for the brake line?
Most brake lines are made from steel, but copper and brass (and even aluminum) can be used. For the average shop or home mechanic, you really want to use stainless steel because it is strong and won't rust if left exposed for long periods of time.
A well-flared brake line will have a gentle curve at about 30 to 45 degrees with no kinks or sharp bends in it. This is because when you put pressure on the brakes, any little defect like this can create leakage so be sure that your line is properly flared before installation.
Are single flare brake lines OK?
Single flares are good for low-pressure lines like transmission cooling lines, or fuel lines. In high-pressure situations like brake lines, a single flare will have a hard time staying strong.
So, it is risky to use a single flare in brake lines unless the manufacturer of the vehicle specifically mentions to use single flare.
Why is a double flare better?
Brake line flaring is a process of enlarging the end of a thin-walled tube. This allows for an easier installation and use with fittings, as well as greater strength to resist kinking or collapsing under pressure.
When you have brake lines that are too small in diameter, they will be more prone to breaking due to their increased bending radius compared to larger diameters that can handle higher pressures without breaking. So it is better to go with double flare instead of single flare that is good for low-pressure lines only!