Sheet Metal Brake Press & Folding: What Does it Mean?

Blog | June 17th, 2019

The world of sheet metal fabrication is as varied as it is intricate. There are many tools that you will need in order to properly shape your material into the right formation. With that being said, brake press and folding machines are essential when it comes to fabricating unique pieces of metal. This intricate tool is essential to our work here at McKean’s Sheetmetal. If you desire to know more about the process, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we are going to outline the background and benefits of the sheet metal press brake.

Sheet Metal Brake Press & Folding: How It Works


Let us start our discussion by focusing on the press brake. A press brake is a phenomenal tool that is essential to the metalworking professional. The press brake, or brake press, is a special machine pressing utility that is used to bend plate and sheet material. Most commonly linked to sheet metal, this machine works via mechanical or hydraulic power. Press brake operators can turn to a variety of different dies in order to accomplish different tasks. A few common brake press dies include the following.

1) V-Dies – Probably the most common brake press die. The V-die is used in order to accommodate multiple sizes of sheet metal being bent in a variety of different ways.

2) Rotary Bending Dies – Cylindrical in shape, this specialty die uses a notch in order to seat the punching motion.

While a brake press and a metal folding machine have many overlapping traits, they are, in fact, two different machines. Essentially, a metal folding machine operates by gauging the core material before turning the flange upward. A metal folding machine is ideal for working on larger pieces of metal. Metal folding machines can handle larger orders where a brake press would need multiple passes in order to be effective. With that being said, both machines can operate on the same level of thickness. The benefits of a metal folding machine are as follows.

1) Metal Size – As discussed above, a metal folding machine can handle larger, though not thicker, pieces of metal. This is particularly useful when you need a large piece of sheet metal fabrication performed.

2) Reduced Damage – The folding machine works with limited movement, thereby assuring you that there will be limited surface damage to the material. You’ll be able to easily accomplish your folding without worrying about the integrity of the sheet metal.

3) Simple Rig – Metal folding machines are incredibly simple to set up, and they are also limited in terms of their tools.

Whether you need to work with a brake press or a metal folding machine, we are here to help. At McKean’s Sheetmetal, your metal processing demands are our guarantee.

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