hilmor Orbital Flare Tool
Hand tools are the lifeblood of any mechanic. Whether installing HVAC jobs, servicing plumbing or hydronics a solid tool inventory is a must for us contractors. According to their website, hilmor began in 1926 with only a tube bender. In January of 2013 we here at The Hub learned they were in the US market with a complete HVAC/R tool lineup. We’ve had their Orbital Flare Tool for a few months now, taking it on multiple job sites and putting it to the test. Here’s our report:
The warranty of all the hilmor tubing tools states:
“At hilmor we have put the highest priority on thoughtful product design and manufacturing quality.
That is why we guarantee our tube-working tools, including benders, flaring and swaging tools to be free of material and workmanship defects for the lifetime of the tool.”
From the rugged tool body to the sleek and well-machined and thought out “tubing rail” this orbital flaring tool seems to stack-up or pass other tool mainstays in the industry.
A couple features the hilmor flare tool has that I have not seen on others is the spring-loaded “tubing rail” and the spring-loaded alignment system that aligns the tool head perfectly every time. The first couple uses of the tool had me somewhat fumbling to figure it out (tubing placement and tool alignment) but in a short time (4-5 flares) the necessary order of operations seemed intuitive and simple. One simple feature to note is the tubing stop guide that, when slid in place over the tubing in preparation for a flare acts as a depth guide. This tube stop guide will allow for the perfect size flare each time; similar tools on the market have left the tube depth to your best guess and flare size completely random.
Soft-Copper, Steel, Aluminum and Brass tubing can be flared using this tool. Tubing sizes include:(O.D.) 3/16″, 1/4″, 5/16″, 3/8″, 1/2″, 5/8″, 3/4″
For more info about the hilmor Orbital Flare Tool click here.
After dozens, if not over one hundred flares with our tool I would give hilmor a high grade on the Orbital Flaring Tool; if quality and durability with repeatable end results are what you’re looking for I feel this tool is a good investment. Other hilmor tools on our radar are their digital manifolds, service hand tools and electronics. If you have anything to add please leave a comment below.