Types of Press Brakes and Precautions for Use

Press brakes, or bending machines, are used in various industries. It is no exaggeration to say that Press brakes have driven the development of many industries, such as doors, windows, stairs, and various other manufacturing industries. Whether you are new to the industry or want to replace your machine, you can come here to learn something new. After all, times are changing fast, and it is only by keeping up to date with the latest changes that you can better choose and use press brakes.

The origins of press brakes

The earliest inspiration for press brakes came from blacksmiths who used hammers to bend metal at an angle. Later, people found this way of bending metal laborious and time-consuming. Then people began to investigate how to use tools to simplify the bending process.
The first press brake machines used the gravity of the tool to bend the metal.
However, this method of operation was a safety hazard.
Then came the hydraulic system, which could bend more quickly.
Until now, bending technology has also become more sophisticated. Even the advent of robotic control systems means the press brake machine is now achieve fully automatic.

What is a press brake?

A press brake machine is a machine that uses a die to bend sheet metal into a desired shape or angle. It is used in various applications, including almost all metal-related manufacturing industries. The main components of a bending machine are the X-axis, the Y-axis, the Z-axis, the R-axis, and the V-axis. Let's find out more about them together!


The X-axis acts mainly through the X1 and X2 axis to the left and right of the backstop, which can effectively control the backstop to move back and forth. . The machine can determine an exact bending point when the sheet metal is in contact with the backstop. This then allows for precise bending of the sheet.


Like the X-axis, the Y-axis is divided into Y1 and Y2 axis, and all bending machines have a Y-axis. The press brake's Y-axis is mainly located at the top of the machine and facilitates a smoother and more stable press head descent.
The main function of the Y-axis is to control the cylinders on both sides, preventing them from moving up and down. It can also be adjusted independently, ensuring complete control of the beam height.


The R-axis in the press brake serves the same purpose as the X-axis, to control the up and down movement of the backstop. It is advantageous for bending at customised angles and for bending inclined workpieces.
The R-axis is particularly important for turned workpieces or workpieces with inconsistent heights.


Z-axis is used to control the left and right movement of the backstop. And Z-axis is particularly useful for machining small workpieces.


V-axis is particularly critical for machining high precision workpieces. And use it to reduce the risk of convexity compensation during bending for overweight workpieces.

Meaning of the number of axis in a press brake machine

What do we commonly see in bending machines with 3+1, 4+1, 6+1, 8+1 ... What do these stand for?

  1. 3+1 axis: Y1, Y2, X, +V.
  2. 4+1 axis: Y1, Y2, X, R, +V.
  3. 6+1 axis: Y1, Y2, X, R, Z1, Z2, +V.
  4. 8+1 axis: Y1, Y2, X1, X2, R1, R2, Z1, Z2, +V.

The 4+1 axis is the standard press brake configuration. Bending machines with more than 4+1 axis are suitable for heavy workpieces or workpieces requiring high precision. 3+1 is suitable for light and thin workpieces.

How to choose the number of axis of the press brake

The more axis a press brake has, the more expensive it is and the more complex the workpieces it can process. The number of axis is a very important feature of a press brake, as it determines the machine's capacity. However, the more axis you have, the better. We must choose the most suitable machine configuration according to our budget and needs.


  1. 3+1 and 4+1 are suitable for the average user's requirements for 4+1 axis upwards for heavy plant production.
  2. We recommend a press brake with R-axis if you are producing parts with multiple bends and high precision. 8+1 axis are the basic choice for bending machines, even 10+ axis.

If you are working with small plates and variable widths, it is advisable to have a press brake with Z1 and Z2 axis. You should also buy a machine with 6+1 axis and above.

How press brakes work

Different types of bending machines work differently, but the principles are similar. The press brake is an important component of the press brake, which uses the punch to press the sheet into the die and obtain the corresponding angle.
A generator and a hydraulic system power the hydraulic press brake. The punch and die are then used to produce the required workpiece.

CNC press brakes are mainly connected to the power generator using a servo pump. CNC press brakes produce bent plates using servo motors and clamps interacting with the plates and punches. The process involves placing the sheet on the table and fixing it using fixtures. The parameters are then set to produce the required shapes and angles using the punches and dies.
You should note that the CNC press brake has an upward CNC control that supports the movement of the die and the fixation of the punch. The downward CNC supports a fixed die and a moving punch.

How to use a press brake machine

The press brake machine uses a punch to bend the sheet metal several times on a die to achieve the desired shape.

Types of press brakes

Manual press brakes

Also known as sheet metal press brakes. A manual bending machine is a good option for small workshops or personal production. You set the angle, and it is ready for mass production, and the angle setting is flexible and versatile.
Although it needs to be set up intelligently enough and has low productivity, the cost of buying this type of machine is low, and the production environment is not too demanding.

Hydraulic press brakes

The metal is bending through a system of hydraulic cylinders, and you can choose machines of different cargoes to achieve different thicknesses of sheet metal. Can still be found hydraulic bending machines on the front line of production in many companies. These machines can only work continuously and require electricity even when idle. And not being bulky, you need to find a special place to put it.

CNC press brakes

CNC bending machines are the most advanced and productive machines available. All the operator has to do is enter various data into the computer and run the machine to complete production. And you only need to employ one person to operate multiple machines simultaneously.
The disadvantage of a CNC bending machine is that it is expensive, but the price is worth it compared to its productivity and accuracy.

Types of tooling for press brake

  1. Rocker tooling: Uses the tooling to act on the sheet metal and bends the metal by moving the tooling.
  2. Gooseneck tooling: Also known as flanges, these are mainly used to remove protruding edges from the workpiece.
  3. V-shaped tooling: This is the most common type of bending tooling used to produce the desired angle by applying different pressures.
  4. Sharp angle die: This die is used for bending at simple angles, such as creating sharp, obtuse, and right angles.
  5. Seam tooling: Commonly used in hydraulic bending machines, the main purpose of this tooling is to create seams in plates and tubes.
  6. Multiple bending tooling: Customised tooling on demand, mainly used in CNC bending machines where one tooling achieves multiple bending angles.
  7. Rolled edge tooling: Use to roll the edges of sealed edges
  8. Offset tooling: Created two angles with a "Z" shape.

What to consider before using a press brake

The first thing we need to consider before using the machine is the type of metal. It is important to fully understand the metal, which varies in flexibility, hardness, etc., during the bending process. Usually, specific parameters are set according to the type of metal.
Before use, you must adjust the upper and lower dies to your desired shape and size.

Application for press brakes

  1. Door frames, window frames
  2. Parts for cars, aircraft, etc.
  3. Furniture industry
  4. Metal containers
  5. Construction piping
  6. Medical equipment

Common faults in press brake machines

1. Low lubrication

Lack of oil lubrication is one of the most common faults in bending machines. Regardless of the type of bending machine, we need to lubricate the machine regularly. Good lubrication ensures extremely smooth operation and low friction, increasing efficiency and the machine's life. If there is no lubrication for a long time, the press brake may suffer from stoppages, vibrations, and other mechanical problems.

2. Poor sealing

This problem does not normally occur in CNC press brakes. However, in a hydraulic press, brake fluid leakage may occur and affect the use of the machine.

3. High table temperature

The bending process generates heat, and if the machine has a poor cooling system, it can lead to inefficient machine operation. We should check the ventilation regularly to cool the machine components sufficiently. Proper insulation should also ensure that vibrations do not affect the machine's performance.

4. Component wear and tear

The process of bending metal generally generates small amounts of dust and contaminants. There may be some debris stuck inside the machine components. If these contaminants are not cleaned up in time, they can cause wear and tear on the machine. This is why it is essential to maintain the machine regularly.

  1. Can detect problems in time to prolong the machine's life
  2. To identify problematic parts that can replace in time.

The future of press brakes

bending machine

From 2013 to date, the press brake has been slowly growing in popularity. According to Google trends, bending machines are expected to continue to grow. The development of press brakes is expected to focus more on automation and robotic control, moving towards more cost-efficiency.

CNC press brake recommendations

GKS-BC3015 - Automatic Panel Bending Machine

Automatic Panel Bending Machine

Sheet length 1600MM
Sheet width 1250MM
Maximum thickness of metal plate/ sheet Carbon steel1.5MM/stainless steel 1mm/aluminum 2mm
Up and down tool distance 175mm
Bending angle 0-180°
Bend height 170mm
Cnc system NLKER
Minimum forming size on all four sides 320*200
Operating system LINUX
Maximum continuous bending speed 0.2/Bend time
Machine weight 8T
Sucktion cup size 190*130mm
Minimum arc radius 1.2MM


  1. Straight guideways for faster bending speeds
  2. Multi-pattern bending of sheets possible
  3. Suction cup lift for lifting material for processing
  4. Standard 10 axis, upgradeable to 11/12 axis

G. Weike: the best choice for all press brake manufacturers

If you want to buy a professional sheet metal bending machine, G. Weike is trusted in the market for competitive prices and quality. If you wish to buy a CNC press brake or a pipe bending machine, our team of experts will give you the best recommendation. Please tell us what you need, and we'll send you a machine recommendation and a quote!
Let's start our first cooperation now!