Press Brake vs Finger Brake: What Are the Differences

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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.

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