Cheapest photoetch bending tool available on the market?

Hello, I’ve done some research on bending tools and quite a bit aren’t cheap, per example 40€ so I wonder if PE bending tools cheaper than 25€ exist (I’m not sure on how good tamiya tweezers are for parts like normal tank PE).
Thanks for your answers!

As usual, a steel ruler (not too long; 6"), and a single edge razor blade, on a hard surface. That’s really cheap! :grin:
:grin: :canada:


Exactly what I have been using for years. Also use straight nose tweezers and a small needle nose pliers. Seems to work for about 90% on my needs. And yes cheap.


I also have a Mission Models folder, but I prefer the cheaper alternative as it takes less space, and the ruler and blade have multiple functions - measuring, and cutting!
:grin: :canada:

1 Like

Like @Armorsmith, an inexpensive pair of smooth jaw pliers have been my primary photo-etch bending tool for 30+ years.

A few years ago I picked up The-bug-hold-fold from the Small Shop it’s very good for folding smaller parts with razor blade. Holds parts a bit more securely than the pliers in some cases. It was fairly expensive but proved worth the cost in my opinion.


I am a huge fan of The Bug from The Small Shop. Great tool!


in my opinion - when working with photo-etched parts, there is no need to save. buy a good tool for example from DISPAE or MasterTools.


Buy a good one like the bug.
Don’t go cheap and I include Master tools in this as the top plate will invariably bend and will clamp nothing as the material is too soft. Either stick with a steel ruler or pliers or buy a quality tool.


Someone once told me “Buy the best you can afford and you won’t be quite as disappointed.”
I too have had excellent results with The Bug. Is very versatile for multiple bends. If you are only going to bend PE a couple of times for the rest of your modeling career, metal ruler and pliers. IMO, if you are going to build and build and build, spend the extra for a good tool.


It’s for tanks kit like border model tiger I I need one (I know the kit itself has been criticized, but I want a bit of a challenge too) or meng T90.

+1 for the Hold & Fold Bug. Highest quality and speediest usage for the money. Most versatile folding tool on the market. Beware of imitations from Asia with composite parts - they will wear, bend, and fail on you. The Bug is an investment that will last you forever.


As noted, Dspiae is probably the best model tool manufacturer out there right now, at least in my opinion. While I don’t have their PE bending tools (they make both a regular and small size one), I have many of their other tools and all are extremely well made and worth the money spent on them. They have a company store on AliExpress (one of the few things that you can buy on Ali that are not counterfeit or fakes!).

Adding to the Hold & Fold Bug comments, if enjoying the build matters the Bug is an A+ investment.

Personally, I pretty much detested working with a lot of photo-etch parts over the years until I got the Bug. Basically, turned bending a piece of PE with multiple folds from a dreary task with pliers into a fun little exercise with the new tool.


Cheapest PE bending tool:

A flat surface plus a heavy metal straight edge.

Should I take the small trumpeter tool if I’m going to use it for parts like these


I think SSGToms had already addressed that.

As stated above buying a Bug once & done seems most logical to me.