Conduit Bending Guide - How to Use an EMT Bender
What is an EMT Conduit Bender Tool?
A conduit bender is a hand-held tool that allows users to easily reshape EMT conduit. Conduit is inserted into the bender's head and, following the
specialized guides, the user will step on the foot pedal or use their hands to bend the metal pipe at whatever angle they need. Additionally,
the bender's long handle can be used to straighten conduit.
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Conduit Bender Diagram
A = Rim notch or teardrop -- Locates the center of a 3-point saddle bend.
B = Arrow -- Used to line up the offset and outer marks for saddle bend.
C = Star -- Indicates back of 90° bend, for back-to-back bends.
D = Marks -- The degree marks indicating the angle of the pipe bent.
How to Bend Conduit with an EMT Conduit Bender
How to Bend Conduit 90 Degrees
How to make a 90° bend with EMT, also called a stub up, or an accurate stub.
Words to know
- Take up: the amount of conduit to be bent
- Height stub up: the distance from the end of the conduit to the bottom of the 90° bend
1. Measure the desired stub height. For this example, the stub height is 11" on a ½" pipe (Figure 1).
2. Subtract take-up from the desired stub height to calculate the starting point for the bend from the end of the pipe.
To make an 11", 90 degree bend with 1/2" tube, allow 5" for take-up. Mark bend starting point on conduit
(a distance of 6" from the end of the pipe for our example).
NOTE: With a ¾" pipe, allow 6". With a 1" pipe, allow 8".
3. Place the bender on the ground with the handle in the air.
4. Slide the pipe into the bender and align the right side of the mark with the bender's arrow (B), as shown
in Figure 2.
5. Step onto the back end of the pipe.
6. Place the other foot on the back of the foot pedal to apply pressure.
7. Pull back on the handle until the end of the pipe rises vertically as shown in (Figure 3).
In a 90° bend, the pipe will be shaped like an "L".
How to Bend a Box Offset with an EMT Bender
A box offset is a small Z-shaped bend and is commonly used on conduit connecting to an outlet box.
- Make a mark 2 ½" from the end of the pipe.
- Make another mark 2" from the first mark.
- Stand the bender on its handle and insert the EMT conduit into the bender. Align the first mark with the bender's arrow (B).
- Use your foot to brace the handle.
- Hold the pipe under your shoulder and push downward to bend the pipe 10°.
- Slide the pipe to align the second mark with the arrow and rotate the pipe 180° before repeating steps 4 and 5.
How to Bend an Offset in Conduit
An offset is a bending technique that turns a straight conduit into a Z-shape, which allows it to avoid obstacles and change elevation.
- Calculate and mark where the conduit will be bent.
- Line up the bender's arrow (B) with the first mark and with the tube on the ground, make a 45° bend.
- Turn the bender upside down. Twist the tube inside the bender 180 degrees.
- Adjust the tube so that X on the pipe (see diagram) is level with the inch mark on the bender corresponding to the
depth of the desired offset. This should line up your calculated guide line with the opposite arrow on the bender.
- With the pipe in the same plane as the handle of the bender, use your foot to brace the handle, and push down on the Y end of the pipe close
to the bender until the bend measures 45 degrees on the bender.
How to Bend EMT Conduit in Back to Back 90 Degree Bends
A back-to-back bend uses two stub bends in the same direction to make a U-shape.
- Calculate and mark the first bend and make a
90 degree bend.
- Measure from X, the outside of the first bend to Y, the desired outside of the pipe
for the second bend and mark the pipe.
- Turn the bender around and align the star (C) on the bender with the mark for the outside of the second bend on the pipe.
- Align the vertical pipe with the plane of the bender handle.
- Step on the pipe to hold it in place, push with your other foot on the foot pedal, and use the bender handle to bend the pipe
until the pipe is bent at the desired angle as indicated on the bender.
How to Bend a 3 Point Saddle with an EMT Conduit Bender
C = Center point for finished saddle bend
X = Double the length of the diameter of C
Y = Double the length of the diameter of C
Example: If the diameter of C is 10", then the length
from C to X should be 20" and the length from C to Y should be 20".
The total length between X and Y will be 40".
1. Calculate and mark where the pipe will be bent.
2. Slide the tube into the bender until the C mark on the tube is centered on the A notch on the bender.
3. Pushing on the pipe close to the bender, bend the Y side of the pipe down to a 45° angle.
NOTE: A 45° bend is reached when the bender handle is at a right angle to the tube.
4. Reverse the tube in the bender and align the X mark on the
tube with the bender arrow at B.
5. Make a backward or return bend of 22 ½°.
6. Repeat step 4 and step 5 on the Y mark.
6. Proper alignment and bending of the C, X, and Y
guidelines will result in the remaining pipe returning to a straight line.
How to Straighten a Conduit Bend
- Slide an end of the pipe inside the bender's handle.
- Brace the pipe and push the bender downward to the floor in one full sweep.
Available Conduit Products
See Our Other Helpful EMT Conduit Guides:
Warning: When using this information to perform electrical work, call a licensed electrician and consult the NEC® for safety.
All licensed electricians have passed examinations covering the National Electric Code®, know state and
local building codes, and may carry insurance to cover damages.