A Look At The Three Main Types Of Press Brakes

by norwegianprototypes
Press Brakes

Technological advancements have radically transformed the operational mechanism of press brakes. From the traditional manual to CNC press brakes, there is a differential technological advancement in each type. Each type comes unique features and qualities that make them suitable in a different operational environment. If you are shopping for a press brake or its spare parts, read this article to garner a few useful ideas regarding different types of press brakes.

  • Hydraulic Press Brake
Press Brakes

Hydraulic press brakes rely on two synchronized cylinders as the source of the force that bends metal sheets during fabrication. The bottles are responsible for the movement of the ram, which generates the bending force. However, in some cases, the synchronization occurs on torsion bars, which are used to create the required force. Others also use a hybrid system comprising of both torsion bars or cylinders and electricity. The torsion bars or cylinders can be synchronized to move downward or upward to create the bending force. It uses a computerized system and comes with accuracy levels.  

  • Manual Press Brake

Considered an industry-standard; manual press brake generates bending force through the mechanical movement of the ram. The ram is moved vertically by applying force on the flywheel. The force applied to the wheel will determine the bending force exerted by the ram. The flywheel moves the crank, which in turn causes the ram to move vertically. Manual press brakes are very common due to ease of operation for individuals with technical know-how and relatively low cost. However, it is tedious when producing different batches of fabrication tasks. For each batch, the operator must manually readjust the bending angles and bending sizes with pinpoint accuracy.

Press Brakes
  • Press Brake

This is the most technologically advanced type of press brake. It uses a computer control system to achieve greater and high-performance levels and precision compared to other press brake types. CNC press brakes use a combination of both hydraulic and servo-electric mechanisms to generate bending force.

The computer controls add a touch of operational efficiency and accuracy, especially for repeat positioning. Due to automation, CNC press brakes are also easier to operate compared to other types of press brakes.

All the operator needs is system controller competency and keying in figures for bending sizes and bending angles. Despite the uniformity of final products in any given batch, CNC press brakes are costly. They may set you back several thousands of dollars.


Press brakes can be a great addition to your metal fabrication business. They are highly accurate and produce uniform end products. Their high-performance capability also means that you can complete several fabrication jobs within a short period. However, it is imperative to understand their different types to enjoy maximum benefit from your press brake. Press brakes differ depending on their operational mechanisms and source of bending force. More advanced press brakes such as hydraulic and CNC machines have computer control systems.

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