My 'off the shelf' flare tool needs about 1" of straight tube, and I've never had one leak or fail, and I've done 8 years worth of brake work with it. That makes it just as good as your shop's 'flair' tool.Lets face it their flair tool makes the same flair EVERY time and beats any off the shelft flair tool I have ever used.
Get the mastercool flaring tool. Same as the mac that was posted, but look around and you can find it for about 250. Best tool I have ever bought.