Press Brake Machines: Types, Advantages, and Disadvantages

Initially the press breaks were made from custom cast iron, oak and a manually operated leaf that would force a clamped piece of sheet metal to be bent. Fast forwarding to today, the making of press brakes has highly evolved with advanced computer technology and hydraulic systems. That is why press brakes these days can easily, efficiently, and safely bend the sheets.

Press brakes work with a die and punch that are set at a particular angle to bend or cut the metal in various shapes and forms. The total pressure that can be applied during the bend is known as tonnage. The higher the tonnage, the thicker the material can be bent.

So for proper fabrication the material size and thickness, tonnage and bending length are required. These factors will determine the load limit of the press brake and it is calculated in tons per inch.

Now, let us understand the types of press brake machines and later on some advantages and disadvantages of it.

Types of Press Brake Machines

A lot of things have changed in the press brakes mechanism over time. Modern press brakes require less effort and are much safer compared to earlier models. Also, modern brakes have improved speed, efficiency, and quality of bending metals. There are three types of modern brakes namely manual, hydraulic, and CNC press brakes. 

Manual Press Brake

Manual press brake is the most common type of press brake and is also called sheet metal brake. They require manual adjustment of bending dimensions and angles. The manual break consists of a worktable, supporters and a clamping plate. Supporters consist of a base, pressure plate and the worktable is mounted on it.

However, manual press brakes are more complex to operate compared to other press brakes as all the adjustments in it are done manually. So, once the bending size and angles are confirmed then only you can start mass production. And then, after completing the first batch you can do new adjustments and start the production again. 

Hydraulic Press Brake

These brakes utilize two hydraulic cylinders and it provides consistent strokes and more control. 

They can be classified based on the types of movement:

  • Up Acting
  • Down Acting

These are also classified based on synchronization:

  • Electro-Hydraulic Synchro
  • Torsion Synchro
  • Hybrid

CNC Press Brake

These brakes have the highest precision and customization ability. It utilizes computer technology to increase the efficiency and also control the accuracy. The adjustments like bending angle, width, plate thickness, and number of pieces are inserted on a controller by an operator. 

Once the machine starts it does the rest of the things. CNC press brakes generally adopt a hydro-electric servo system and a grating ruler. It consists of a machine frame, workbench, oil cylinder, CNC controller, and hydraulic proportional servo system.

Some parts of the press brakes require replacements after it is worn-out. It is wise to replace such used press brake parts on time or else it will affect the performance of the machine. You can easily find trumpf press brake parts, amada press brake parts, accurpress press brake parts, etc. online.


  • The press brakes are suitable for small batch and multi variety production. One die set is used to complete the production of some parts and materials that possess strong applicability.
  • The shelf life of each set of die is long and the manufacturing cost of bending the die is low.
  • It can do the production of S and U shapes.
  • It is easily adaptable to new products, without increasing cost.
  • It can complete the multibend production of shapes like polygon.
  • It adjusts deflection compensation value so that bent is in a straight line that too without manual adjustments. Thus it is simple to handle even a long workpiece.


  • The thickness of the material required to be formed must not be more than 50 mm.
  • It can fracture or crack material during bending due to the oxide layer formed at the edges and corner during cutting.
  • It can produce large indentation while bending due to inappropriate die and can increase cost.
  • Sometimes the materials slip or do not move as they should while bending resulting in material failing to meet the process standards.


Press brakes serve a wide range of industries like auto, aviation, energy, agriculture, transportation, military and many more. The production needs and material defines the type of brakes required for proper forming. You can choose one that we discussed above as per your needs. Also, you will require to change used press brake parts that need replacement. Ensure to buy those from the respective brands only. You will easily find amada press brake parts, trumpf press brake parts, etc. online.



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