LAST UPDATED: December 18, 2020
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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PUBLISHED 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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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
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
Simplicity, quality, and an easily attainable price make this our favorite option. You may be wondering why we would select this over those proven to be better for use by professionals. Well, because not everyone is a professional. Most readers are hobbyists or handy folks who just need a useful tool without going broke, and this is precisely that. It is constructed of heat-treated steel to improve reliability and can be used with copper, brass, aluminum, magnesium, and soft steel. It has a traditional design as well, but it's effortless to use. Furthermore, it comes with a blow-molded case to help keep things organized. That's something you might not get with cheaper kits.
This tool is best suited for infrequent users or those who don't mind taking a little more time than usual to create a good flare. It's not a precision entry by any means and isn't cut out for frequent use it would see in a professional setting.
There might not be too much room for budget tools in a detail-oriented setting like this, but this tool is an exception. This kit is very affordable but provides the infrequent user with everything he or she will need to create flares on a range of different tubing. It can be used on all the most common sizes and materials you would expect to find on almost any vehicle. It also doesn't require any additional hand tools for operation, which is ideal for vehicles where space may be limited. It is also constructed of heat-treated steel to promote reliability and function.
This isn't the tool you want to use for more than a few projects. The fit and finish prevent it from standing up to frequent use. Still, it is an excellent option if you just need a flare tool for a single job or so.
Now it's time we talk about a professional-grade tool. A few things really make this tool stand out. The most notable being its hydraulic operation. Unlike the typical mechanical style, this uses hydraulic power to make quick work of any tubing. This also prevents the need to crank on the tool to apply pressure. This prevents the risk of twisting or bending the line while making flares. It also features a wide range of adapters and dies that allow it to perform a range of different flare styles on various tubing diameters. To help keep operation simple, a magnetic adapter holder is built into the flaring tool to keep them in place.
This tool is excellent but very expensive. For the money, one would expect everything that is included to be of exceptional quality. However, the pipe cutter leaves a lot to be desired.
This flaring tool brings a lot to the table, despite being so small. If you are a weekend warrior, chances are you will only be working with a single diameter of tubing, so why invest in a kit you won't use in its entirety? This handy tool is designed to allow you to do just that. But you can remove the handle if you need to use it in a bench vise. Its simple but effective design will create the perfect 45-degree double flare to copper or soft steel lines every time. This particular model is designed to work only with 3/16-inch tubing, but other models are also available for use with different tubing diameters.
This flaring tool would be our favorite if it could be used for more than a single tubing size. However, this is far from a flaw in its design or a real drawback because it is part of what makes it such a great option.
All of the flaring tools on our list emphasize ease of use, but we think this takes the cake. Two things contribute to our thought process when making this conclusion. First, it is based on the traditional flaring tool design most of us are familiar with. That means there is no learning curve. Second, you only need to use two fasteners during operation, and they don't rely on additional hand tools either. To further boost simplicity, both feature wide knobs to help reduce the effort you will exert while using them. You also don't need to mess around with swapping dies because it is designed to only create a single flare. It is excellent for flaring brake lines, but it is compatible with a range of different tubing diameters, which allows you to use it elsewhere.
In any case, this is a great tool, but it's limited in the types of projects it can be used for. It does cost as much as other kits that can create a range of different flares as well, so it's only worth purchasing if you know you'll only be creating single flares.
There's nothing wrong with a classic design, especially when it's paired with the quality construction that this one is. It may not be as fancy as some of the other high-dollar options, but it's certainly a high-quality tool that's worth the investment. It comes with a traditional flaring tool and a range of dies that allow you to double flare the most popular line sizes. It also features a cutting tool, tubing bender, and deburr tool to help you create the best possible brake line for any application. The deburr tool is an excellent feature of this kit as most leave it out. All components are constructed from durable top tier materials you can count on for years to come. Additionally, everything fits into a premium storage case to help you keep track of them.
Reviews do indicate poor castings are a fairly common issue. It's great that good customer service and a solid warranty are in place to help with this.
If you're only interested in creating a bubble flare, this is the tool for you. This is specially designed to create the perfect, crack-free bubble flare every time. It comes with four dies to create flares on the most popular tubing sizes. Neither the flaring bar nor the yoke relies on additional clamping tools to promote a simple operation. However, the dies must be set in place with a spanner wrench, which is something you should be aware of. But, the necessary tool to do so is included, so you will only need what is included in this kit for setting up. Everything is kept neatly in the dedicated storage case. The case is blow-molded but sturdy enough to be held in any bag or box.
This tool will only create bubble flares, which means you shouldn't purchase it if you prefer to make other flare types. This is a considerable drawback when other similarly priced kits can create various flares.
Here we have an all-inclusive kit that's not going to cost you an arm and a leg. Despite the price, it is built with precision in mind. This set includes everything you need to cut and flare lines of a variety of sizes. The adapters and flaring cone are constructed of tough steel and are coated with a chrome finish. This does improve looks but is intended to provide maximum protection of the tool and aid in its operation. Because it can flare lines ranging from 1/4-inch to 5/8-inch lines, you can use it for flaring brake lines and other types of tubing. The kit also includes a high-quality cutting tool, so you don't need to make any further investments. It can only produce single flares, but it will still be useful for a range of projects.
The only concerning thing about this flaring kit is the finish of the product. It's not the best and is susceptible to chipping, but for use on infrequent projects, this isn't much of a concern.
Here we have another very easy to use brake line flaring tool anyone will appreciate. This model features a single flaring cone that is fixed to the yoke to keep things simple. That does mean it will only produce single flares, but you won't have to worry about losing adapters. Furthermore, the yoke remains fixed to the flaring bar and works to both clamp the line in place and drive the flaring cone. And there are only two fastening mechanisms you will need to use for operation. They also feature broad gripping areas and do not require additional tools. This flaring tool is perfect for a handyman because it can be used for brake, refrigerant, and gas lines. It's also very affordable when you consider all it can be used for.
This model is enormous and is challenging to use in tight spaces. This can be a bit of an issue in many instances. However, its ease of use more than makes up for this issue.
Our final entry is yet another to consider if you are on a budget. This brake line single flare tool kit is more affordable and more inclusive than many of the others on our list. It can even be used to flare lines ranging from 1/4-inch to 3/4-inch —something unheard of in this price range. All items are constructed from high-strength steel with a chrome finish. This will help preserve the life of the components and improve overall performance. The kit comes with the bar and yoke, along with a total of six adapters for flaring lines. It also features a pipe cutter to help you create lines from start to finish. Everything is kept neatly in the blow-molded storage case you can throw in any drawer or tool bag.
Overall, this tool is excellent for the money. However, it is a low-dollar option, and overall quality prevents it from being something to write home about. That does not mean it won't get the job done, though.
- 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!