The Best Brake Line Flaring Tool (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021
Anyone who works on their car needs a brake line flaring tool
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BY Hank O'Hop / LAST UPDATED ON December 18, 2020
You snag your first project car and soon realize there’s a little more to be done than a simple clean up. Most components are serviceable, but those brake lines are shot. You can spend hundreds of dollars on pre-bent lines, or you can make your own. Okay, not everyone will face a situation like this, but you’ll undoubtedly need a brake line flaring tool if you’re going to perform your own repairs.
Whether you are maintaining your daily driver, working in the field, or fixing up a project car, you will eventually need to flare some brake lines. Luckily, it’s a straightforward process, but you’re going to need the right tool. While many options appear very similar, not everyone will get the same mileage out of them. This is especially true when you consider what types of projects an individual is going to take on.
While it is always wise to invest your money in premium tools, it isn’t always necessary. But with brake lines you don’t want something that won’t provide you with excellent results. That’s why we’ve taken the time to help you find the best flaring tool.
Traditional flaring tool that meets the demands of any handy-person. This tool is capable of creating double flares that are necessary for most vehicles.
- Quality construction promises performance
- Affordable price
- Does not require additional hand tools
- Lacks the overall quality necessary for use in a professional setting
An affordable flaring tool with a traditional design. Despite the low price, it is constructed of high-quality materials you can rely on.
- Lists at an exceptionally low price
- Does not require the use of additional tools
- Includes a storage case
- Not ideal for frequent use
- After a few projects, it is likely to fail
Professional-grade hydraulic flaring tool. This is designed to perform tasks as quickly as possible while providing the best results.
- Features a range of adapters to create a variety of flares
- Features simple operation; can even be used in one hand
- Included pipe cutter is of subpar quality despite the premium price point
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Benefits of Brake Line Flaring Tool
- Perform your own repairs. Owning a brake line tool will save you money and time. You will not need to call a professional to replace rotted or broken brake lines, nor will you need to invest in costly premade lines.
- Can be used for other projects. A flaring tool can be used for flaring other tubing on the vehicle or elsewhere. If you intend to do so, you will need to select a kit that can be used with the proper materials and tubing diameters.
- Easy to use. Flaring tools are very simple to use and only require a little practice. Even the most intricate designs only require a basic understanding of mechanical systems and a review of the instructions.
Types of Brake Line Flaring Tools
These flare tools use a bar and yoke to flare lines. The bar clamps the brake line in place, and the yoke is used to drive the flare adapter into the line to create a flare. Most of those on the market do not require additional tools for the operation, but there are exceptions.
These flare tools use hydraulic power to drive the flare adapter into the line instead of a fastening design. These are ideal for professionals because they provide unmatched performance and can even be operated in a single hand. However, they are far more expensive than traditional offerings.
Traditional and hydraulic designs are often too large to use for flaring lines on a vehicle. These tools feature a single opening for lines and an interchangeable adapter. They may only be compatible with a single diameter of tubing, but it will make quick work of flaring tools that are already on the vehicle.
It may be a Chinese-owned company, but Neiko is a go-to brand for many individuals. It has a focus on producing quality tools at affordable prices. Items such as the Neiko Auto Double Flaring Tool Kit are sure to provide optimal performance.
For more than 35 years, Mastercool has been supplying the HVAC and Auto industries with professional-grade equipment. It is family-owned and operates out of Randolph, N.J. Being a renowned supplier in the HVAC trade, it's no surprise that a flaring tool such as the Mastercool Universal Hydraulic Flaring Tool Set makes our list.
Brake Line Flaring Tool Pricing
- Under $20: Kits that list for less than $20 are basic and intended only to flare lines. Many subpar options are present, but some offer great performance.
- $20-$50: A variety of flaring tools exist in this price range. However, it is mostly dominated by traditional kits of decent quality.
- $50-$100: Compact and professional-grade tools begin to appear in this price range. While many are similar to cheaper options, better materials and construction are typical.
- $100 and up: Any kit that lists for over $100 is intended for professional use. One should note that hydraulic flaring tools are exclusive to this price range.
Use of cheap or flimsy materials and poor designs are the first things to watch out for. You must use a tool that is capable of producing a quality flare each time you use it because your life can depend on it. Poorly designed tools and bad castings can cause deviations that prevent the line from sealing properly or failing prematurely.
A simple operation is always ideal. You never want to invest in a tool that’s clumsy or hard to use. A complicated process can result in poor quality results. Most flare tools follow a simple design, but others depend on additional tools and procedures you may not be familiar with. If you’re into tools that make life easier, you should check out our review of The Best Electric Car Jacks.
Useful Flaring Styles
Not all flare tools produce the same flares. For example, some only make a single flare type that you may not be able to use. Always be sure to select a tool that can produce the flares your application requires. Otherwise, you might not create a good seal, or the flare simply may not be useable.
- Storage Case. A storage case is always something to look for. Some kits come with a simple plastic tray to hold the components of a flare tool. While it works great initially, it will eventually fail. Therefore, when purchasing one of these tools, it’s wise to consider those that at least come with a blow-molded case.
- Inclusion of Necessary Tools. A flaring tool can only flare the lines. It will not file or deburr lines, nor will it cut them. You will need additional tools to perform these tasks. That’s why it’s always a good idea to invest your money in an inclusive kit. If they don’t, you will need to make additional investments.
- Compatibility with Larger Tubing. Most brake lines are small in diameter, but a flare tool is necessary for larger lines found in other plumbing systems. If you work on fuel lines, plumbing systems, or HVAC components, you may want to invest in a kit that can be used to flare wider tubing.
Best Brake Line Flaring Tool Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- As you flare a line, you need to be careful not to apply too much pressure. Otherwise, the flare is likely to crack and fail prematurely.
- Before flaring a line, you must be sure to ensure the end is cut as straight as possible and free of any burs. If you don't, it will fail to seal correctly.
- Take your time to make sure you are producing the best flare possible, even if it means taking a few shots at it. Rushing to a finish will likely lead to failure of the line if details are overlooked.
Q: What is the best brake line flaring tool?
Our favorite option is the Neiko Auto Double Flaring Tool Kit because it is simple and affordable but will also provide quality results. However, what works best for you comes down to personal preference balanced with the intended use.
Q: Do brake lines need to be double flared?
In rare cases, a single flare is acceptable. But it is always better to use a double flare because they are stronger and create a better seal.
Q: What is flaring related to brake fluid lines?
Flaring is the process of adding a flare to the end of the brake line. This seals the line to the fitting to ensure proper operation of the brake system.
In conclusion, our favorite flaring tool is the Neiko Auto Double Flaring Tool Kit because it serves the weekend warrior well. And the Wostore Auto Double Flaring Tool Kit is worth considering if you’re on a tight budget.
But which got your attention? Let us know which flare tool you are considering adding to your collection!