Press Brake vs Shear: What Are the Differences

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Publish Date: September 16, 2022

An Overview of Press Brake

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

  • CNC press brake can perform repeated bending, which can improve the efficiency of batch production.
  • The press brake can perform complex bending through different punches and dies and can produce precision tools.
  • The press brake can be used for edging and can manufacture various types of boxes, panels, etc.
  • The angle of the press brake can be adjusted, and the final profile can be obtained through multiple bending strokes.

Disadvantages of Press Brake

  • Complex bending requires the operator to have high analysis and judgment ability.
  • The tonnage of the press brake is not easy to control, so it is easy to overload.
  • It is difficult to transport large workpieces, which require large transportation tools.
  • The center position of the ram and the workbench will protrude.

Advantages of Shearing Machine

  • The cutting speed is very fast, and it can be completed in a few seconds.
  • It can cut workpieces of various diameters.
  • It is suitable for batch production with low cost and high efficiency.
  • Straight cutting will not produce debris and waste.
  • It can cut various metals, including stainless steel, iron, copper, and aluminum.
  • The cut of the workpiece is smooth and clean with little burrs, and there is almost no material loss.
  • Shear does not require the use of heat and does not burn or melt the material.
  • It can cut workpieces of small lengths and simple shapes in large quantities in a short time.

Disadvantages of Shearing Machine

  • It is not suitable for cutting hard metals, such as tungsten. After shearing, the workpiece will break and the mold will be damaged.
  • The sheared workpiece will produce a small amount of burr and end deformation, so it is not suitable for machining that requires cleaning the end face.
  • The distance between the gaps, the distance between the blades, and the stability of the workpiece determine whether deformation and burrs will occur.
  • Briefly describe that shearing is not suitable for small batch production.

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 press brake is worth choosing. If you want to make boxes, pans, lids, and other items, the shearing machine 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 costs.

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

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