Press Brake vs Punch Press: The Ultimate Difference Analysis

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Publish Date: September 8, 2022

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.

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