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What is a Flange Spreader and How Does it Work?

A flange spreader, or a flange separator as it is sometimes called, is an industrial tool that is designed to help open up or separate flanges. Flanges are commonly found on pipes, used to either connect them together or as a cap to cover or close them up. The gas, oil, and plumbing industries have just some of the many workers that rely upon flanges.

Over time, flanges can rust or corrode. This makes it difficult for technicians to make repairs or conduct any work inside the pipes, as they are unable to open the flanges. The spreader or separator tool helps to expand and separate problem flanges by working into the gaps using a hydraulic-jacking system until they open up.

We, at Torq/Lite, create and manufacture a number of torquing and hydraulic-powered tools, including spreaders and separators for flanges. Visit our website to browse our current inventory of products and find the right tool for your next project.

What is the Price of a Flange Spreader?

When shopping for a spreader or separator that is designed for flanges, you can expect to encounter a variety of prices. Prices depend on a number of factors, such as the system setup and the size.

The biggest influencing factor that determines the price of the tool is the size. Larger spreaders or separators will cost more than smaller units. This is usually because it takes a more powerful system to work the larger tools than it does to work the smaller tools.

Torq/Lite understands that you may have a certain budget for a specific project. That is why we offer a variety of options to help you find the right tool for your project. Contact us today to speak with a representative about our inventory that includes hydraulic torque wrenches and spreaders/separators.

Where Can I Find the Best Flange Spreader?

If you are looking to purchase a flange spreader for an upcoming project, the best place to shop is at Torq/Lite. We are extremely proud of the quality of the tools that we sell. All of our products, from our tensioners to spreaders/separators, are built with pride.

When customers come to us to purchase or rent items, they know they are not only getting the best, most high quality tools, they know they are also getting the best customer service and product support. We pride ourselves on offering all of our customers the best of everything possible. We will personally help assist in finding the right tool for a particular project. Contact us via email or phone to learn more about our products and to experience our superior customer service firsthand.


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"Large water pipes can be difficult to fix without the right tools such as flange spreaders. The professional representatives from Torq/Lite instantly supplied us with the flange spreaders that made the workers' jobs easier and kept operations on schedule."

-Michael H.

Published by  Torq Lite

There are two primary types of flange spreaders: hydraulic and manual. Which one you choose will depend upon how much force you need and how you’d prefer to complete the job.

  • Hydraulic flange spreaders:  Start by inserting the spreader’s jaws between the two flanges. In most situations, you’ll want to use at least two and ideally three flange spreaders for heavy jobs. They should be put in place equidistant from each other. A hydraulic pump that’s connected to each of these flange spreaders can then be used to separate the two flanges in a consistent, safe, and uniform manner until a sufficiently sized gap is made for necessary repairs and replacements.
  • Manual flange spreaders:  The first few steps with a manual flange spreader are roughly the same as with a hydraulic flange spreader. Use multiple units and place the spreaders’ jaws between the flanges equidistant around. But instead of a pump, these units include a ratchet handle that is used to activate and control the spreading speed and force. The handle can be switched to its counter-clockwise setting to retract the jaws and return the flanges to their working setting.

A few features to look for in both types of flange spreaders include anti-gripping jaws for better control during operation, wide opening jaws, and, unique to hydraulic units, a special load-lowering value that acts as a safety backup when closing the flanges.

Published by  Torq Lite

Flange spreaders are the tool of choice when it comes to separating heavy metal equipment that has been bolted together. Flanges are used whenever two pipe sections need to be fitted together, but there are a variety of types and sizes of flanges that can be used. Flange spreaders enable you to separate these parts for necessary repairs such as changing a gasket or putting in spec blind to blank connection sides. But, as with any tool, it’s important to choose the right tool for the job.

When choosing a flange spreader for your application, there are three primary characteristics to shop for:

  • The width of the access gap between the flanges wanting to be separated
  • The minimum required spreading force needed to separate flanges
  • The desired operation type of either manual with hydraulic (most hydraulic spreaders also have a manual option)

To use a flange spreader, begin by inserting the unit’s serrated jaws between the flanges (the serrated jaws are an extra safety measure that prevent accidental slips and shifts while the unit is separating and holding the flanges).. In most industrial scenarios, you’ll want to use at least two and ideally three flange spreaders for any one job, with the units inserted equidistant around the circumference of the flange gap.

Next, either use the tool’s hydraulic pump or turn the ratchet handle (the choice depending on the selected model), and separate the two flanges up to three inches. Use the safety block for extra security to hold the flanges apart while the needed repair or gasket replacement is underway.

Published by  Torq Lite

When choosing a flange spreader, you’ll select a unit primarily for the spreading force needed for the job and desired operation type (hydraulic or manual). With a hydraulic flange spreader, you’ll begin use by placing the unit’s jaws between the desired flanges to be separated. A hand pump is then used to create a gap between flange faces to allow safe and easy access for repairs and replacements. With a manual flange spreader, you’ll also start by placing the jaws between the flanges. But with this model a ratchet handle is engaged to accelerate the spreading force. Turn the lever counter-clockwise to retract. In many cases, operators find it best to utilize more than one spreader for maximum effectiveness. Multiple units allow for greater applied force, and with the ability to connect them to a single hand pump or ratchet, you can equally separate around your flange from a single point at the same time. Other things to look for include anti-gripping jaws to keep the tool in place until pressure is released, the ability for jaws to open to a desired width (most universal handheld units separate faces up to 3 inches), and a load-lowering valve (for hydraulic units) to control closing rates.