Press Brake vs Finger Brake: What Are the Differences

In the modern sheet metal industry, metal bending machine is widely used, such as hydraulic press brake, servo electro press brake and CNC press brake.

However, some bending machines with special functions are still popular in the sheet metal industry, such as finger brakes.

The functions of the press brake are similar to those of the finger brake, but their working principles and bending types are very different.

What Is Finger Brake?

Box and pan brakes are used for bending thin metal plates, such as stainless steel, aluminum and other alloys with high tensile strength.

It can also be called finger brake. In the process of bending, the finger brake needs a clamping rod to fix the metal plate. The clamping rod is equipped with a removable finger.

These steel fingers with different widths can be used to bend objects such as boxes, pans and so on.

Finger brake is mainly used for forming boxes, pans and other similar objects. These fingers can be used to bend and make these specially shaped workpieces.

The thumbscrews are used to secure the fingers and have not been removed before bending.

Therefore, it is necessary to tighten all thumbscrews and secure fingers before using box and disc brakes.

Unwanted fingers can be removed, and only the fingers needed for bending can be used.

What Is Press Brake?

A press brake is a machine widely used in the sheet metal industry, mainly used for bending metal sheets.

Bending machine has a long history, from the past simple cornice brake, and mechanical press brake gradually developed into hydraulic press brake, CNC press brake, etc.

CNC press brake can repeat accurate bending through programming, which ensures the efficiency and quality of bending.

CNC press brake can bend various complex workpieces and is widely used in automobile, construction, aviation and other fields.

The press brake has different bending forces and can bend plates with different lengths and thicknesses.

What Are the Differences: Press Brake vs Finger Brake


Finger Brake

The finger brake is mainly used to make various depths and sizes of boxes, pans, channels, angles and other similar objects.

The finger brake can also be used to make hemming, which can process open and closed hemmings and can complete light gauge hems.

The finger brake can also be used to make the hem.

The machine can first bend the metal to more than 130 degrees, and then flatten the hem with the apron and press it tightly against the top of the clamping rod.

Finger brake is mainly used for bending simple workpieces or prototype design and production.

The finger brake can also be used for one-time sheet metal material forming the automobile body.

It can also be used to make workpieces for HVAC because it can quickly perform small bending at complex angles.

Press Brake

However, the function of the press brake is more advanced than that of the finger brake.

There are different kinds of press brakes, but they are basically composed of the frame, the workbench, the ram, the toolings and the driving device.

The drive device of the press brake is divided into manual drive, mechanical drive, hydraulic drive, servo motor drive and pneumatic drive.

Because of these driving devices, the press brake can exert different bending forces on the workpiece. That is, the tonnage of the press brake generally ranges from 40 tons to 1000 tons.

This allows the press brake to effectively bend plates of different thicknesses without damaging the machine.

The length of the worktable of the press brake determines the length of the sheet that can be bent.

The small press brake can bend shorter plates, and the tandem press brake can effectively bend large workpieces.

The tooling of the press brake is a group of dies with different angles and shapes, which are divided into the punch and die.

For example, the punch can be a right angle, acute angle, obtuse angle and gooseneck punch, while the lower die can be U-shape, V-shape, single mode and double mode.

CNC press brakes are equipped with controllers, which can accurately control the bending angle and times in real-time.

The backgauge system of the press brake includes different axes, which can also accurately control the bending accuracy.

The complex functions of the press brake enable it to produce more complex and different shaped workpieces.

Structures and Working Principles

Finger Brake

The finger brake is mainly composed of a frame, a forming rod and a clamping mechanism. It is a manually operated machine.

The body is made of heavy steel, and the steel plate structure ensures that the bending angle will not be affected even under full load.

It also includes super-heavy truss rods and supports for minimal deflection and powerful operation.

The finger brake is also equipped with an extended handle and an apron stop for repeated bending, and a replaceable bushing for wear.

The biggest difference between the finger brake and the press brake is that its clamping rod is equipped with removable fingers.

These fingers can be disassembled or rearranged to bend a metal plate or part of the formed workpiece that needs to be modified.

By clamping the workpiece between the clamping rod and the finger, the finger brake can bend the workpiece vertically or perform other complex bends.

The finger brake is manually operated by the operator and can be operated by one or two operators according to the size of the workpiece.

After bending, you can use screws, rivets, welding and other fixing processes to complete the forming of boxes, pans and other objects.

When bending, the clamping rod can be opened by pushing the clamp handle to the back of the machine.

Place the sheet metal in the opening between the clamp finger and the work table.

Pull forward and pull the grip handle forward to fix the material in place, pull up the baffle, and bend the metal sheet to the required angle.

Press Brake

Although there are many kinds of press brakes, their structures are generally similar.

Basically, it is composed of a frame, workbench, ram, toolings, electrical box and power system.

The CNC press brake is equipped with a controller, backgauge, light curtain protection and crowning device.

When bending, it is necessary to place the sheet on the workbench and fix it, and then start the machine.

The upper die will press the metal plate into the lower die driven by the ram, and then return, which completes a stroke.

The press brake performs repeated bending under the joint action of the controller and the operator.

The press brake has a wide variety of toolings, which can be replaced to produce workpieces of different shapes.


This paper introduces the differences between the press brake and the finger brake and their respective advantages and disadvantages.

Although the press brake technology is constantly upgrading, metal bending tools similar to finger brakes are still widely used in the sheet metal industry.

If your business needs a more advanced press brake to improve efficiency, you can choose ADH press brake.

ADH is committed to manufacturing machines in the sheet metal industry. You can contact our sales for the most detailed information.


What Is Box and Pan Brake?

Box and pan brakes are also called finger brakes and belong to one kind of leaf brake. It is mainly used for forming boxes, pans and other objects.

This is a manual brake, which is mainly composed of a frame, clamping rod and clamp (steel finger).

The brake includes three different removable finger parts -- Upper, Bed, & Apron Angle fingers.

The clamp of this kind of brake, namely the finger, has various angles, lengths and radii, and can be replaced and disassembled on the clamping rod.

The brake can be adjusted according to the thickness of materials, the position of the rear gauge and the replacement of tools.

When the metal sheet is fixed, move the finger to adjust the material specification and inner radius.

Finally, the metal sheet can be bent with a lever until the required bending angle is reached.

Which Is Better? Press Brake or Finger Brake?

First of all, the technology of the press brake is more advanced than that of the finger brake.

The finger brake is mainly used for forming boxes, pans and similar objects.

The press brake has many functions and can perform various complex bending.

However, the cost of the press brake is much higher than that of the finger brake.

If you just need to do simple bending, you don't need to spend too much budget to buy the press brake.

If you need to perform complex multi-functional batch bending, the press brake is the most suitable machine.

The operation of the finger brake is simpler than that of the press brake because it has fewer components and a simple design.

However, its safety is lower than that of the press brake, so pay special attention to safety issues when using it.

An Overview of Press Brake

The press brake is used to bend metal plates to obtain profiles with different angles and shapes.

These profiles can be used for secondary processing of equipment and products in construction, aviation, automobile, metallurgy, chemical industry and other industries.

The types of press brakes include mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic and servo-electric press brakes.

The ram of the press brake drives the punch to press the workpiece into the lower die, and the punch can bend the workpiece repeatedly.

In the CNC press brake, the back gauge and controller can accurately control the bending stroke and angle.

An Overview of Shearing Machine

Definition of Shearing Machine

Shearing is a sheet metal manufacturing process that can be used to cut materials. The machine using this process is the shearing machine.

A shearing machine is a machine with blades or rotating discs, which is used to cut plates, pipes, or bars and rods.

The most common materials used for shearing are metal, paper, fabric, and plastic.

First, the squaring arm can be used to fix the metal plate between the molds and the blades.

When shearing, the upper blade clamps the workpiece and moves the workpiece downward through the fixed blade for shearing.

The blade is generally straight. In order to reduce the force required for cutting large materials, the blade can be set at a certain angle.

Straight blade shearing is generally used to cut rectangular and square sheets and strips.

The upper blade and lower blade of the shearing machine are not completely parallel, and the tilt range of the upper blade is 0.5 ° to 2.5 °.

A certain clearance is required between two blades, and the distance is generally determined according to the material thickness.

It will also affect the smoothness of the cutting surface of the workpiece. If the shear stress is too large, it will also lead to material fracture.

Types of Shearing Machines

According to different classification standards, the shearing machine can also be divided into different categories.

Shearing machines can be divided into guillotine shearing machines, bench shearing machines, swing beam shearing machines, hydraulic shearing machines, mechanical shearing machines, and power shearing machines.

The mechanical shearing machine can provide more strokes per minute, but the noise of the mechanical shearing machine is too loud.

The clearance of the blade cannot be adjusted, and it cannot bear the heavy metal plate. Now, few people use it.

The hydraulic shearing machine is driven by the hydraulic cylinder to move the ram and drive the upper blade to shear the plate.

The hydraulic shearing machine has a strong load capacity and can perform a long shearing stroke.

The guillotine shearing machine can be driven mechanically or hydraulically. This shearing machine has high speed and low cost.

However, the cutting surface of the workpiece will have burrs, so this machine is suitable for mass production.

The bench shearing machine has more functions, which can cut 90 degrees, round and square steel bars, and T-shaped sections.

The cutting efficiency of the bench shearing machine is very high, and the cutting surface of the workpiece is clean without burrs.

Power shears include electric shears and pneumatic shears, which are suitable for cutting large metal plates with straight lines or large radius curves.

The power shear is very flexible, high efficiency, and high precision, and the cutting surface of the workpiece is free of burrs, with high quality.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Press Brake vs Shearing Machine

Advantages of Press Brake

Disadvantages of Press Brake

Advantages of Shearing Machine

Disadvantages of Shearing Machine

Press Brake vs Shear: What Are Their Differences?


The shearing machine and press brake are used for metal processing in the sheet metal industry.

The profiles produced by shears and press brakes can be used in construction, machinery, aviation, shipbuilding, automobile, electric power and other industries.

Only the press brake can make profiles of various angles and shapes by bending.

The plate shears are mainly used to cut metal plates, rods, bars, etc. The processed profiles are mainly simple profiles such as sheets and strips.


The structure of the press brake mainly includes a frame, a workbench, a ram, a power device and upper and lower dies.

The structure of the shearing machine mainly includes the frame, shear table, squaring arm, power device and upper and lower blades.

The upper die of the press brake generally has a right angle, acute angle and obtuse angle punches, as well as gooseneck punches.

The lower die generally has V-shaped and U-shaped, single die and double die, while the die of the shear is not a knife, but a square blade.

Working Principle

Working principle of the press brake

Before bending, the workpiece needs to be placed between the upper die and the lower die.

The press brake drives the ram and the upper die through the power device and presses the workpiece into the lower die.

The types of press brakes include mechanical type, hydraulic type, pneumatic type and servo-electric type.

Working principle of shearing

The shearing machine is a machine that can separate metal plates at the cutting position by exerting strong shearing force in the way of linear cutting.

The structure of the shear generally includes a shear table with squaring arms, upper and lower blades, stoppers, guide rails and back gauges for fixing plates.

A certain gap is required between the upper and lower blades, and the workpiece is between the upper and lower blades so that the upper blade can quickly cut the metal plate downward.

The upper blade moves downward and the lower blade does not move. The upper blade and the lower blade generally deviate from the plate thickness by about 5%.

The upper blade is cut from one end to the other, which can reduce the shear force.

The shearing blade is not a knife but a square die. The low alloy steel blade is used for low-yield materials, and the high alloy steel is used for high-yield materials.


Which is better? press brake or shearing machine

Both the press brake and the shearing machine are used in the sheet metal industry, but their functions are different.

Shearing machines are used to cut sheets, and press brakes are used to bend metal sheets and make complex parts.

It's hard to say which machine is better, it depends on your production demand and budget.

The functions of the press brake are more complex, and the plate shearing machine is more suitable for the mass production of simple parts.

Can you shear with a press brake?

The press brake is used for metal bending, not for metal shearing.

Generally speaking, metal cutting machines include shearing machines, presses, flame-cutting, fiber laser cutting, plasma cutting, and high-pressure water cutting.

Some press brakes have a certain stamping capacity after replacing the punches.


If your production needs strips and sheets, then the shearing machine is worth choosing. If you want to make boxes, pans, lids, and other items, the press brake is the right choice.

The shearing machine is used for shearing, and the press brake is used for bending.

The appropriate machine can be selected according to the needs of production and maintenance.

Our press brakes and shearing machines have high-cost performance, multi-function, and low maintenance cost.

You can contact our product experts to compare the advantages, disadvantages, and features of different machines, which will help you choose the right machine.

Press machine is a series of machines used in the sheet metal processing industry, with different types and functions.

The press machine is mainly used to change the shape and size of metal plates through pressure, so as to obtain the final workpiece.

Among them, press brake and punch press are two kinds of machines used for sheet metal manufacturing.

They have similar functions and can perform a variety of processing processes to produce final profiles.

But each has its own advantages and disadvantages and different working mechanisms.

This blog post will analyze the differences, advantages, and disadvantages of these two sheet metal manufacturing processes for you.

What Is Press Brake?

Press brake is a common metal processing machine in the sheet metal industry.

Generally, the basic configuration of the press brake is the driving device, the ram, the workbench, and the punch, and the die.

Driven by the ram, the upper die presses the metal plate into the lower die, thus completing a bending.

The press brake can bend repeatedly to adjust the bending angle, and can also change the angle by changing the punch and lower die.

There are also many types of press brakes, which can be divided into four types according to the driving mode of the machine.

The mechanical press brake is a commonly used press brake in the past, which converts circular motion into linear motion through a flywheel.

The pneumatic press brake drives the ram to move by air pressure.

The hydraulic press brake converts the force of the hydraulic oil and the hydraulic pump into the driving force through the hydraulic device.

The servo-electric press brake drives the ram to move by the kinetic energy generated by the servo motor.

The press brake applies pressure on the metal plate in the tonnage unit. The thicker the plate, the larger the tonnage required.


The press brake has many punches and dies, so the press brake can be applied to the processing of a variety of workpieces and sheet metals.

The press brake is good at manufacturing different kinds of workpieces in small batches.

For example, the production of S-shaped, U-shaped, polygonal, and other shaped workpieces.

Using the press brake toolings storage box can extend the service life of the toolings.

The manufacturing cost of the toolings is relatively low because the toolings are strong enough not to wear too much.

The press brake also has the crowning function, and can automatically compensate the machine.

If the length of the workpiece is too long, it can also ensure that the angle of the workpiece is consistent to keep the bending in a straight line.


The tonnage of the press brake has a certain range. The larger the tonnage, the thicker the plate can be bent.

Therefore, too thick plates cannot be bent. Generally, the plate thickness is within 50mm.

There will be some oxide layer after the plate is cut, and the press brake will cause cracks or fractures of these plates during bending.

If the bent plate does not match the toolings, some creases will occur after bending, which requires rework or direct waste.

If the stroke speed of the press brake is too fast, the operator will not be able to place the plate properly.

This will cause the workpiece to have defects or inaccurate accuracy, or even completely scrap.

Moreover, the press brake cannot perform punching and other processes, and it is only a preliminary workpiece manufacturing.

The press brake needs at least one operator, and its bending process is relatively slow, which will increase time and labor costs in the long run.

Moreover, the tolerance of the press brake is not so strict, so the precision of the manufactured products is smaller than that of other metal manufacturing machines.

What Is Punch Press?

Punching is a metal forming process, and the punch press is a machine that processes metal plates using the punching process.

The important parts of the punch press include a C-shaped or door-shaped frame, turret, toolings, hydraulic cylinder, etc.

The punch press is used to punch or cut holes through the workpiece by driving the punch. There are manual punches and automatic punches in general.

When the punch press is cutting, the upper die and the lower die are driven by the ram to cut and punch the metal plate.

The shape and size of the die determine the shape and size of the workpiece to a certain extent.

The materials that can be processed by the punch press include cold-rolled steel, aluminum, copper, and spring steel.

Common punch presses include CNC punch press, pneumatic punch press, hydraulic punch press, and mechanical punch press.

The workpieces produced by the punch press are generally used for electrical appliances, sockets, kitchen supplies, and other products.


The punch press can adjust the die or stroke to create a perfect round hole or square.

In addition to punching, the punch press can also be cut, which can replace the laser cutting machine.

The stability and accuracy of the punch press are also relatively high, and the operation is also very safe. Emergency brakes and light curtain equipment are installed.

The parts of the punch press, including punch and gear, are made of high-strength alloy, which is durable.

When punching, the punch press only needs to complete the forming operation in sequence, without a secondary forming operation.


The noise generated by the punch press when processing parts is relatively loud, which may also harm the operator.

The price of the punch press is high, the energy consumption is high, the time cost is high, and the machine cannot penetrate too thick plates.

The toolings of the punch press are generally of standard size and shape, and customized toolings are expensive.

As time goes on, the toolings of the punch press will be worn and need to be replaced in time.

The punch press leaves a large gap between the parts required for punching, which will waste space.

What’s the Difference Between Press Brake and Punch Press?

The punch press is mainly used for metal punching, marking, cutting, slitting, rolling, deburring, forming, tapping, and countersinking.

The function of the punch press is versatile, because of the various types of punching toolings.

A punch press can make all kinds of parts because it has a variety of functions.

The punch press has the ability of overall shearing and punching, and some are equipped with laser cutting and material feeding devices.

Some punch toolings can rotate, and the shape of the workpiece depends on the shape of the toolings.

After the metal sheet is processed by the punch press, there will be no burr and no damage to the shape of the workpiece.

But the punch press cannot turn the workpiece, which is not conducive to the workpiece with positive bending and negative bending.

The bending angle of the punch press is relatively small, and generally, the maximum angle is 90 degrees.

The tonnage range of the punch press is also tiny, and the plate that can be processed is relatively thin.

The punch press needs a certain clearance during processing, which makes the length of the workpiece not too long.

The press brake is mainly used for bending metal plates, and its function is relatively single.

The press brake is divided into two groups of matching toolings. The upper die presses the plate into the lower die under pressure.

The toolings of the press brake can be disassembled, but they cannot be moved during bending.

The backgauge of the press brake has multiple axes, which can move the plate and carry out accurate positioning.

The bending angle of the press brake depends on the toolings and the backgauge, and the bending angle range is large.

The tonnage range of the press brake is range from 40T to 1000T, so the thickness of the plate that can be processed is relatively large.

The length of the sheet that can be processed by the press brake depends on the length of the workbench.


Different sheet metal manufacturing machines are suitable for different parts manufacturing.

Understanding the characteristics and differences of press brakes and punch presses can help you make the best choice.

You need to consider the efficiency, cost, operation difficulty, and maintenance cost of the machine.

Before choosing a machine, you can first understand the company's products and services.

ADH produces a variety of machines for sheet metal manufacturing, such as press brakes, shearing machines, laser cutting machines, etc.

You can browse our press bake, panel bender, and other product pages or contact the sales manager for details.

FAQs About Press Brake and Punch Press

Which one is better the press brake or the punch press?

Although the press brake and punch press are important machines in the sheet metal industry, their functions are still quite different.

Therefore, you need to choose different machines according to your processing needs.

If you need a workpiece with many holes, you can choose a punch press to cut and punch.

If you only need to bend plates or make boxes, pipes, and so on, you can choose a press brake.

Relatively speaking, the punch press has more functions, but a press brake is also an indispensable machine for metal processing.

What is the difference between punching and stamping?

Many people confuse metal punching with metal stamping. Punch press uses a punch and lower die to punch or shear metal plate.

The punch press will pass through the metal plate, and the lower die will protect the metal plate from damage.

Stamping is to process the metal plate to obtain the desired profile. Stamping needs to cooperate with other processes.

If you need to realize a specific shape on the workpiece, you can choose the punching process. If you want to process the whole workpiece, you can choose the stamping process.

Punching is suitable for manufacturing samples, while stamping is suitable for mass production.

In the sheet metal bending industry, most people have used press brakes, but panel benders are also a good workpiece-forming solution.

There are also some other presses, including stamping machines, folding machines, punching machines,s and so on.

Adding a panel bender to the production line can allow operators to reduce simple operations and improve bending efficiency and accuracy.

What Is a Press Brake?

The press brake is a bending machine used for metal fabrication. The working area is composed of a ram and a workbench.

There is a group of punches on the ram and a group of corresponding V-shaped dies on the workbench.

Driven by the pressure system, the ram drives the punch to press the workpiece down to the die. The cost of the press brake is much lower than that of the panel bender.

The press brake has different tonnage, ranging from 40 tons to more than 1000 tons.

When the press brake is bending, the operator needs to adjust the plate after a bending cycle. The press brake with a manipulator has a high degree of automation, but the cost is also high.

What Is a Panel Bender?

The panel bender was invented by Mr. Guido Salvagnini and has a history of more than 100 years.

The appearance and function of the panel bender are very similar to that of the press brake, except that the panel bender is more suitable for producing complex workpieces.

The panel bender can bend up and down, and can also bend horizontally. The bending of each side of the plate is basically realized.

The most important parts of the panel bender are the upper and lower blades, the counterblades, and the automatic manipulator.

These tools are all general-purpose tools, which can automatically adapt to the changes of the plate, without additional setting time.

The blankholder can accurately, quickly and automatically clamp and rotate the plate, improving the accuracy and quality of the workpiece.

After the panel bender locates the plate, it is fixed in a proper position. The upper and lower blades bend the plate upward or downward.

What’s the Difference Between a Press Brake and a Panel Bender?


The number of workpieces produced by the panel bender per hour is more than that produced by the press brake.

And the bending of each workpiece processed by the panel bender is also more than that of the press brake.

The panel bender can quickly and conveniently produce small batches or complete sets of precision workpieces.

At least one or two operators are required for each press brake to work. The semi-automatic panel bender needs at least one operator, while the full-automatic panel bender can bend without personnel.

The panel bender has no higher requirements for operators than the press brake and only needs to feed or take out the workpiece.

When the press brake is bending, the operator must operate the workpiece several times to improve the accuracy of the workpiece and reduce errors.

The panel bender is applicable to a complete set of production lines, and usually, only one to three operators are required to complete the batch production of workpieces.

The press brake may need a robot to assist the operator, and in addition, it needs multiple operators to produce the rest of the machine.

The automation of the panel bender is higher than that of the press brake. The press brake needs to be adjusted manually after completing a bending stroke.

The panel bender has manual and automatic blankholder, and the automatic manipulator can significantly improve the bending efficiency.


The pressure range of the press brake is from 40 tons to thousands of tons. The degree of automation of the press brake is not high.

It can be used for angle correction, automatic tool change, deflection compensation, etc.

The bending accuracy of the press brake depends on the accuracy of the backgauge, the angle adjustment and the accuracy of the blank.

The setting time of the press brake is longer than that of the panel machine.

The press brake can more flexibly modify the workpiece according to the design drawing until a satisfactory price is produced

The bending of sheet metal by panel bender is not based on tonnage, but on the thickness of sheet metal.

The panel bender needs to bend the whole workpiece after positioning the workpiece on the centerline of the workpiece.

It needs to bend each side of the workpiece after positioning from the four sides of the workpiece.

The bending tolerance of the panel bender can reach 0.008 inches, which can produce more precise workpieces.

It can produce workpieces that are easier to assemble, such as workpieces that can slide or snap together.

The setting time of the panel bender is basically negligible, and it can automatically adapt to the shape of sheet metal.

Working Principle

The difference between the panel bender and the press brake in the bending process is obvious.

The press brake has a set of upper dies and a set of matching V-shaped lower dies. Driven by pressure, the upper die presses the metal plate into the lower die, which is one complete bending stroke.

According to the thickness, bending radius, and angle of the plate, the opening size of the V-shaped dies is also different. The toolings of the press brake will wear after a period of use, and it needs to be replaced.

The panel bender processes the sheet metal through upper and lower blades and blankholder. The counterblade of the panel bender is able to clamp the metal plate during bending.

The most prominent feature of the panel bender is that the blankholder can assist the blade to clamp the plate for flexible and accurate bending.

The upper and lower blades, counterblades and blankholder of the panel bender do not need to be stopped or manually set.

They can be automatically controlled according to the thickness and shape of the sheet during the whole bending process.

Bending Quality

Bending the plate with a press brake will cause wrinkles or kinks. The press brake will have some problems when bending backward.

The press brake presses the plate to the lower die by pressing the punch. This will lead to scratches on the outside of the plate, especially on some coated plates.

Moreover, long-term wear will lead to mold wear, and the mold needs to be replaced regularly. When bending large plates, the operator's speed cannot keep up with the bending speed, which will lead to waste of materials.

The panel bender has a higher degree of automation when bending, and its accuracy and repeatability are higher than those of the press brake.

The sensor of the panel bender can automatically adjust the bending force and angle according to the change in temperature and material thickness.


The panel bender and the press brake have their own advantages and disadvantages. You need to choose the most suitable machine according to your production needs.

The cost of the press brake is lower than that of the panel bender, but the production efficiency of the panel bender is higher.

If you need to know about the two machines, you can consult our service personnel.

FAQs About Press Brake and Panel Bender

Which one is better the press brake or the panel bender?

These two types of machines have their own unique advantages, mainly depending on your needs.

Compared with the panel bender, the press brake is better at bending large workpieces, and its operation area is larger.

The press brake is also more suitable for processing the production of internal flanges.

The panel bender is more suitable for bending complex and precise parts. The panel bender has higher accuracy, repeatability and automation.

Therefore, the panel bender is more suitable for mass production, which can save manpower and time and improve production efficiency.

But the cost of the panel bender is also higher, and the cost of the press brake is lower.

Press Brake vs Folding Machine – Which Is Right For You?

The press brake and folding machine are both used for sheet metal manufacturing, with high accuracy.

The press brake has a larger tonnage range, so it can handle larger and thicker metal plates.

However, the punch of the press brake may leave scratches on the workpiece.

Compared with the folding machine, the press brake can bend in large quantities.

The bending force of the folding machine is much smaller than that of the press brake, which is more suitable for bending thin metal plates.

The folding machine can produce workpieces with complex shapes and can bend in small batches.

Press brake is widely used in the sheet metal industry and manufacturing industry. However, every year, the use of the press brake causes an endless number of accidents.

Many employers or users do not pay attention to the safety training of the press brake. Many press brake manufacturers also lack enough safety protection devices.

The main danger of using the press brake is that the operator will bypass the safety guards and enter the bending area of the machine.

In addition, the clamp and the rapid movement of the backgauge may also cause danger to the operators.

When installing a new press brake, upgrading the machine, and renovating the machine, the risk factors of the press brake must be evaluated again.

The dwell time of mechanical and flywheel press brake is relatively long, which cannot be achieved if modern light curtain protection technology is used.

The stop time of the hydraulic press brake is shorter, and more protection measures can be adapted.

The Potential Danger of Press Brake

When using the press brake, the common injuries are crushing injury and contact with the operating point of the machine.

For example, set and adjust the machine, press brake bending, clean the machine blockage, lubricate the machine, and maintain it.

Common hazards include touching the foot switch during operation, being pressed during bending, and hurting caused by failing to close the relevant parts.

It may also be pinched by the backgauge and may be injured when changing the punch and die.

Basic Protection Operation

First of all, employees need to receive relevant training before taking up their posts to operate the bending machine.

Train operators on safe operation procedures, equipment knowledge, and functions of protective devices of the press brake.

How to identify hazards and emergency control the machine. Strictly supervise the employees to follow the operation rules.

Before bending operation, it is necessary to wear personal protective equipment, such as gloves and goggles.

The surrounding of the machine shall be kept clean and will not affect the operation of the bending machine.

The machine should be commissioned to prevent malfunctions and contamination. When bending, pay attention and do not leave the bending machine unattended.

Light Curtain Protection

The common protection device of the press brake is infrared light curtain protection. The light curtain is actually a product testing equipment, which was later used for machine protection.

The light curtain is a kind of photoelectric induction equipment, which is used to prevent the human body from contacting dangerous areas.

The light curtain can be installed near the toolings of the hydraulic press brake. The light curtain system is composed of a light curtain emitter and a receiver.

The light curtain system is part of the machine control circuit because it needs to be connected to the safety monitoring relay and the magneto starter.

The light curtain creates a sealed protective area near the toolings through an infrared beam.

If the operator's hand passes through the work area, the press brake will stop bending after receiving the signal, or will not continue working until the operator's hand is removed.

The light curtain can not only protect people in the working area but also protect people near the operating area.

After the LED emitter and receiver of the light curtain sense the object, the interruption of the light plane will start the output signal.

The bending will stop whether it senses the worker or other objects, or the next cycle will be carried out after removing the objects.

The installation, type and emergency braking function of the light curtain make the safe distance between the light curtain and the press brake uncertain.

When the press brake bends the workpiece, the light curtain may receive an incorrect signal.

Therefore, the light curtain also has a function of automatically closing the light curtain system just before the punch bends the workpiece.

The light curtain also has a floating blank function. The bending stroke does not need to be stopped. The light curtain system works during the whole bending stroke and the light curtain cycle.

Moreover, when the operator moves the workpiece outside, he will not put his hand into the working area of the light curtain, so the light curtain can work normally.

On both sides of the press brake, the infrared beams emitted by the light curtain system in front of the working area are synchronous and parallel.

The light curtain is divided into programmable and non-programmable. For the programmable light curtain system, the flange of the workpiece can be input into the program.

This can cancel the light beam blocked by the workpiece, and the ram can reach the up dead point without stopping.

The non-programmable light curtain cannot cancel the interference light beam, which will cause the operator to close the light curtain, thus bringing danger to the operator.

In addition, when bending very small workpieces, the operator needs to manually adjust the workpieces, so the light curtain does not work when the operator stands in front of the working area.

Two-Handed Control Device

This is an effective device to protect hands from injury. Vertical control device with two manual control buttons.

The operator must press both control buttons at the same time to start the press brake. If the button is not pressed, the machine will stop working.

After manually pressing and holding the button, it stops when the mold falls to a certain position.

Then the operator can feed the workpiece and use the foot switch instead of the manual control button to bend the workpiece.

The two-hand control device enables the operator to feed the workpiece at a distance from the operating point between the punch and the die.

This will protect the operator's hand from the hurt of the punch and die.

The function of this device is to prevent the operator's hand from approaching the operating point when the machine is bent.

Barrier Guards

The side guards are movable guards on both sides of the machine. The side guards prevent the operator from reaching into the work area or rear gauge from both sides of the machine.

This will prevent the operator's hands from being injured

The rear guard prevents access to the machine from the rear. The operator can be prevented from being collided by the rear gauge.

The shell of the press brake and the interlocking press barrier can also be set at a certain safety distance.

This can avoid damage to the press brake by personnel and objects, and also avoid injury to the operator.

Installation Tools

There are also some factors harmful to the operator during the installation of the tools. The tools may suddenly fall and hit the operator's hand. Or the sudden movement of the machine ram.

Before installing the toolings or other tools, the ram needs to be locked at the closed height position and the ram needs to be raised to the highest position.

The installation of other tools also needs to adjust the position before turning off the corresponding switch.


The press brake needs regular maintenance and personal protective equipment should be worn during operation.

The press brake must be equipped with corresponding protective devices and some obvious warning signs.

The manufacturer of the bending machine needs to provide the bending machine operation training materials for the customer.

The employer needs to provide professional pre-job operation training for operators and formulate strict press brake operation rules for operators.

A press brake is a complex machine, and the use of the press brake requires special attention to safety issues.


What are the safety rules about press brake tonnage?

The tonnage of the press brake must be determined according to the thickness of the metal plate and the shape and size of the bending.

The tonnage can be determined by referring to the press brake tonnage table on the machine. Excessive tonnage can bring danger to the operator and damage the workpiece and machine.

When the tonnage reaches the maximum, the length of the workpiece shall not be too short, and at least one-third of the length of the workbench shall be reached.

What safety method can best protect a press brake operator?

There are many methods to protect the operator of the press brake. Different methods are used in different situations.

For modern NCN press brake, it can be equipped with light curtain protection and other induction devices.

Many old mechanical press brakes cannot use this method. In this case, pullbacks and restraints can be used. The purpose is to prevent the operator's hand from entering the operating point.

This method requires the wrist strap to be fixed on the operator's wrist. When the machine is started, the operator's remote hand is pulled away from the operating point.

After the operator replaces a new mold, it is necessary to visually check and adjust the pull-back device before bending. Then the mold will not interfere with the pull-back device.

The restraint is to prevent the operator's hand from reaching the operating point through the anchoring device and the rope wrist strap.

The press brake is commonly used in sheet metal manufacturing. There are many tips and safety guidelines to be noted.

For example, reduce the physical setup time of the press machine. Provide well-organized tool components.

Quickly place the sheet metal on the workbench. Programming the bending procedures, adjusting the workpiece parameters, and accurately positioning the workpiece. These measures can improve the working efficiency of the press brake.

Marking and Storage of Tools

When the workpiece is bent, the required tools and information can be quickly found to improve the work efficiency. This requires that the information required should be apparently marked on the machine or the tools. For example, the number, length, bending angle, radius, height and maximum load, etc.

Provide toolings support, and place the dies and tools on the support orderly. The tool cabinet can be customized to store different sizes and numbers of toolsets.

The tool cabinet shall be located as close as possible to the press brake for easy access during operation. The tool cabinet can prevent toolings damage and facilitate toolings replacement. The tool cabinet can also be moved to other processing sites by means of a fork truck.

Remove Die Marks

Sometimes, the dies will leave traces after bending the workpiece. A press brake dies film can be used to remove traces of the dies. Polyurethane non-destructive films are most commonly used for bending aluminum and stainless steel.

It is only necessary to tape and clamp the stain-free film on the top of the die for bending. This prevents the die from leaving traces on the workpiece. The main material of the non-fouling film is polyurethane film, which can be reused.

Select Appropriate Materials

The properties, tensile strength, and ductility of materials vary. These changes in material properties will affect the entire bending process.

The plates are formed into thick plates or thin plates by hot rolling or cold rolling. These materials differ in composition and rolling conditions.

During bending, the change of material characteristics changes the bending angle. The greater the hardness of the material, the greater the rebound on both sides of the bending.

Die and Workpiece Wear

After bending, the wear of the die or workpiece is related to the bending radius of the bottom die. This kind of wear will damage the surface of the V die and cause scratches on the surface of the workpiece.

When selecting the V-shaped die, compare the opening size and bending radius of the V die. Surface hardened dies can also be selected to reduce the possibility to wear.

Large Tonnage Bending

Before selecting the toolings, it is necessary to determine whether the bending tonnage is within the load range of the punch and die.

If the rated range of the die is 20 tons per foot and the workpiece to be bent is 3 feet long, the force exerted by the press brake on the workpiece shall not exceed 60 tons.

If this force is exceeded, it will cause damage to the press brake, toolings and workpiece, and even endanger the safety of the operator.

The clamp system of the press brake is also a powerful limitation. Exceeding the force range of the clamp will damage the clamping tools.

If you want to bend thick plates, you can also reduce the required tonnage by selecting a V die with a wider opening.

The V die shoulder with a hardened positioning rod can roll when the metal plate is bent, thus reducing the friction between the workpiece and the die. This reduces the bending force required for bending compared to a solid die.

However, the bending radius and flange length of the workpiece cannot be changed.

A large amount of lubricating oil can also be applied to the shoulder of the V die to reduce the friction generated during bending.

This method has the same effect as using rolling tools and can reduce the tonnage required for bending. It can be used occasionally, but the press brake needs to be cleaned after use.

Correct Abnormal Bending Angle

If the bending angle of the workpiece is inconsistent with the programmed angle, the tonnage may be insufficient.

Secondly, the bending stroke needs to be maintained for a certain time to form the bending angle.

In addition, the bending speed is too slow to quickly generate enough pressure on the plate. Different materials have different ductility and tensile strength, and the rebound degree is different after bending.

The opening width of the V-shaped mold also affects the final bending effect. If the bending angle is inconsistent with the programmed angle, you can try to increase the tonnage, improve the bending speed, and properly extend the action time on the workpiece during bending. Select a metal sheet with less rebound. Select the V-shaped mold with a large opening.

Adjustment of Back Gauge

The accuracy of the rear gauge can be adjusted by moving the stop finger of the rear gauge. Use the depth gauge to measure the error so that the distance between the stop finger and the center of the lower die is consistent.

The error of the x-axis is also measured. If there is an error, it is necessary to correct the x-axis reference point value, and then bend after correcting the error.

The X axis needs to be adjusted to be parallel to the mold. It is necessary to adjust the timing belt and move the screw on the x-axis forward or backward.

Measure whether there is an error at both ends of the x-axis beam. If not, tighten the screws on the timing belt and then conduct a bending measurement.

If there is an error in the y-axis, the position of the y-axis reference point needs to be corrected. Fix the slider below the bending transition point.

After adjusting the parameters of the Y1 and Y2 axes, carry out bending measurements and confirm that there is no error.


We introduced some precautions and tips when using the press brake. The use of the press brake covers many aspects of knowledge and experience. ADH has many years of rich experience in the field of bending machine manufacturing. For more information, please contact us to discuss more experiences.

We are a professional sheet metal machine manufacturer and service provider, including CNC press brake, fiber laser cutting machine, shearing machine, and slotting machine. If you have any ideas and requirements for the bending machine, you can contact our team members.


What is the compensation of the bending machine?

The press brake will deflect under excessive load. Especially the center position of the ram and the worktable. The angle of the bent workpiece at the center and the angle at both ends are inconsistent. In order to compensate for the deflection, the press brake needs to be equipped with a crowning device that can generate the opposite force. This can counteract the deflection of the ram and the base.

How to tighten the timing belt?

Open the machine housing after stopping the press brake. Loosen the screws for fastening at the x-axis motor connecting plate. Tighten the screws after adjusting the position of the tensioner. Then install the machine shell.

How to change the filter of the press brake?

Turn off the power supply of the machine oil pump motor and the press brake. Open the machine housing. Remove the filter, replace it with a new one, and install the machine housing. Then start the power supply of the machine, pump the motor, filter the hydraulic oil for a period of time, and then operate the machine normally.

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