How to Use Swaging and Flaring Tools for the Copper Pipe and Tubes

When it comes to widening the end of the copper pipe or tube, flaring and swaging processes are used. The main intention to widen the copper pipe is to allow a new connection. Therefore, for people who are involved with joining the copper pipe and tubing, it is important for them to learn how to use a flaring tool or a swaging tool perfectly.

  1. What are flaring tools? Flaring tools mainly use pressure to make a fabricated mechanical joint for joining or sealing copper tubing with a flare connection. Flaring allows to easily connect the copper tubes to each other.
  • Flared ends tend to have an approximately conical shape.
  • The bar-type tool is known as the most popular flaring tool for copper tubing. This tool includes different type of bits to properly accommodate different type of pipe and tube sizes.
  • One thing is to keep in mind that, tubing and piping flares are not interchangeable. Tubing flares have a 45-degree angle and piping flares have a 37-degree angle.
  1. What are Swaging Tools?
  • Swaging tools mainly use pressure to expand or widen the end of the copper tubing. In this way, it can easily fit with another tube with a similar diameter. This will make a permanent brazed connection. Tube swaging seeks to increase the inside diameter of the tubing, eliminate the requirement of the additional fittings. In this way, it will save money and reduce any possibility of leaks.
  • Swaged ends tend to have a cylindrical shape.
  • There is a different type of swaging tools for the copper pipes are available. These are including spike-shaped punch tools, manual tube expanders and feed screw tools comparable to the flaring bars.
  • The flaring tool kit always comes with swaging bits or die blocks to convert the flaring bar into a swaging bar.
  1. Preparing the Copper Tubing
    Before going to use the flaring and swaging tools, it is important to prepare the length of copper pipe or tubing to be shaped.
  • Now measure the copper tubing and cut to the desired length with the help of a tubing cutter.
  • Thoroughly clean the end of the tubing or burrs with a deburring tool, pope reamer or sharp knife.
  1. Place the Tubing in the Flaring Tool 
  • During the time of flaring, choose the tool accessories that match the diameter of the tube to be flared.
  • Place the tubing inside the die block or clamp of the flaring tool. The end of the tube to extend to 1/8 inch (about the height of a nickel) from the flaring tool.
  • Now, tighten the wing nuts to secure the tubing in the tool.

 Tip: Put a drop of oil on the flaring cone to smooth the process.

  1. Flaring the Tube   
  • Centre the flaring cone over the tubing.
  • Tighten the flaring tool to lower the press into the tubing till it forms a flare. You shouldn’t over-tighten otherwise; it may come with risks of splitting the copper.
  • Loosen and remove the flared tubing.

Tip: If you have a kit with swaging accessories and want to swage a tube, follow the same steps, replacing swaging bits for the flaring bits.

  1. Swaging With a Punch Tool 

A punch swage is known as the most simple and least expensive tools available for swaging.

  • Secure the tube in a vise or you can hold that by hand with a firm grip.
  • Matching the diameter of the tube to the appropriately sized punch put the narrow end inside the tube. Make sure that, it is aligned perfectly straight.
  • Thoroughly strike the end of the punch with a hammer till the tube meets the stop.
    Swagging punch tool
  1. Spin Flaring Tools

Using innovative technology, Swaging and Flaring SPINs are a new concept in HVAC tools, ready to quickly flare/expand any copper or aluminium tube, in just a few seconds. Using heat caused by friction they can flare or swage in seconds.

  • Heat by friction
  • Fits into any drill
  • 10 times faster

The SPIN Tools use high temperature (through friction) to expand the tubing, completely avoiding the hardening.

  1. Swaging with the help of a Tube Expander

A tube expander makes it easy to swage tubing of different sizes.

  • Attach an expander head that matches the diameter of the tube to the end of the tool.
  • Properly fit the head into the end of the tube and gradually squeeze the handles.
  • Release when the end of the tube is fully swaged.

If you learn how to use a swaging tool or a flaring tool, it will help you for shaping a relatively soft metal such as copper and can give you more control over your home plumbing and other projects.
Swagging tool kit




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