34 machines found

Strong press machines for metalworking

Pressing machines in metalworking


  1. Presses - The standard tool for cold-forming
    1. Bending versus deep-drawing
  2. Press machine development
  3. Press categories
    1. Hydraulic presses
    2. Mechanical presses
    3. Special types of press
  4. What should I be aware of when buying a press?

Presses - The standard tool for cold-forming

Cold-forming is the process by which metal products are formed at high speed and pressure into a new shape at near room temperatures. The process is very widespread both in one-off and serial production. The standard tool for reforming metal items is the press machine, with each industrial sector favouring its own metal press type. The most technically simple presses are known as bending machines and the most powerful: deep-drawing presses.

Bending versus deep-drawing

Bending and deep-drawing are two of many processes used in the bending/formation of metal. It involves changing the size/shape of a workpiece without altering its mass, i.e. through the removal/addition of material. If a workpiece is reformed along an axis, the process is called ‘bending’, whereas if the workpiece has been fully reshaped, deep-drawing is the process of choice. Relatively simple, tool-less machines are adequate for bending, but deep-drawing processes require far more powerful machines (depending on the extent of reshaping).

Press machine development

The first presses to be produced were lever- and spindle presses, used to squeeze grapes for wine and manufacture bricks. These presses were original purely mechanical but have since developed into complex, high-performance machines operating using electrical motors, spindles, toggle levers, or eccentrics. Hydraulically-operated presses are a particularly powerful type of press.

Press categories

On a basic level, presses can be categorised as either mechanical or hydraulic press machines. The difference does not have to do with the power they can produce, but rather their working speed.

Hydraulic presses

Hydraulic presses feature a considerably lower stroke than electromechanical presses, which enables them to generate greater forces. The hydraulic press is the most popular for one-off production series, but in serial production, both variants come into play.

Hydraulische Pressen werden ansonsten für sehr dicke und widerstandsfähige Werkstoffe verwendet.

Hydraulic presses are also used for very thick, resilient materials, as well as in the field of recycling: the famous car crusher is a type of press and is generally powered by hydraulic pressure. Pneumatic presses work in a similar way to the hydraulic variant but use compressed air instead of liquid for power. Well-known manufacturers of hydraulic presses are DUNKES, EXNER, HIDRALMAC, KNUTH and SCHULER.

Hydraulic-type presses include:

Trimming presses

Trimming presses are used in mould foundries and forges to prepare moulds for finishing on a CNC milling machine. Some of the machines are also capable of other applications beyond trimming, including blanking, piercing, embossing and forming, but the name ‘trimming press’ has become established.

Well-known manufacturers of trimming presses include DIEFENBACHER, DENNY or NICC.

Mechanical presses

The most widely used presses in serial production are mechanical/electromechanical presses, which provide sufficient pressing force for the majority of applications. Electromechanical presses can switch between serial- and single stroke mode for added versatility. This does reduce the pace somewhat, but the press stroke is doubled, which lets operators process a wide range of challenging workpieces.

Mechanical presses are designed as either single-frame presses or double-frame presses. Single-frame version, or ‘C-presses’, are especially easy to load with tools and material, but they do not offer the same durability and precision as double-frame, or ‘U-presses’.

Eccentric presses

This type of press works using a rotating eccentric shaft and can achieve particularly short cycle rates and high levels of productivity.

Well-known manufacturers of eccentric presses include BERRENBERG, EBU, GALLI IMS and ZANI.

Toggle lever presses

These machines are powered by mechanics controlled by a toggle lever and were once the machine of choice before the eccentric press arrived on the market.

Well-known manufacturers of toggle presses include GECHTER, GRÄBNER and MAYPRESS.

Spindle presses

This type of press operates fairly slowly but the spindle mechanics within are capable of producing high pressing forces. Compared against other mechanical presses, spindle presses generate the highest force. Hand-operated spindle presses are also a popular choice thanks to their simple, manual controls. It just takes a small amount of elbow grease to create sufficiently high pressing forces. Simple deep-drawing or embossing work can also be performed but the operator cannot rely on any electrical motors or hydraulic support.

The best-known manufacturers of spindle presses are LASCO, NIEFERN, PAGUS, REISMANN and SPM.

Special types of press

Arbor presses

Arbor presses are small, hand-operated machines used to place/press-in rivets and bolts. They are frequently manual, or manual-hydraulic, and used for assembling and dismantling riveted or bolted constructions.

Producers of arbor presses include AGEO, DDP, OPTIMUM and SPENGER.

Deep-drawing presses

Deep-drawing presses are used on solid materials and metallic blanks. They work at such high pressure that the metal, mostly aluminium, liquefies in a cool state during the pressing process. A typical application for these presses is the manufacture of aluminium tubes. To achieve the desired rate of productivity in serial deep-drawing, multiple-punch deep-drawing presses are a frequent choice. Although they feature a very slow stroke per punch, the combination of several processing stations results in a similar level of output as would be achieved by an electromechanical eccentric press.

Die spotting presses

Die spotting presses are hydraulic presses which are equipped with a tool or ‘die’. They can test the pressing tools under ideal conditions and notify the operator whether they are working at the desired precision.

Popular manufacturers of die spotting presses include AMINO, DIEFFENBACHER, HIDRALMAC and REIS.

Straightening presses

Straightening presses are tool-less machines that are mostly hydraulic-manual. They are used for precisely aligning welded constructions and can often be found in repair shops and steel welding workshops. These metal press machines are used on small metal components to straighten them out for inclusion into a larger, overall product.

Those looking for a straightening press for sale are advised to look at the machines produced by AGEO, DUNKES, EITEL, GALBADI and HOLZMANN, which count amongst the best.


Tube-bending machines and profile bending machines are useful tools for bending long materials at the desired angle.

Straighteners/decoilers perform the same task but on belt material. They are used for reshaping thick sheets without creating any kinks. When it comes to edges, the appropriately named edge press, or folding press, is the ideal choice. While characterised as presses, a better term for straighteners/decoilers would be ‘roll bending machines’.

The best-known manufacturers of this type of machine are DURMA, FOMP, HAEUSLER and SCHÄFER.

What should I be aware of when buying a press?

Technical specifications

When buying a second-hand press, you must be absolutely certain about what you need the press for and thus which type is most ideal for your purposes. Presses feature a range of typical technical specifications, which are:

  • Cycle rates
  • Pressing force
  • Workpiece size
  • Pressing depth
  • Energy consumption
  • Operating hours

Serial- or one-off production?

Hydraulic presses are the most rigid, but they work very slowly – one stroke can take as long as a minute, which precludes their use in most serial production. C-presses with eccentric-type mechanisms, by contrast, feature cycle rates of a second and can be equipped with tools/workpieces from three sides.

Second-hand purchase information

Single-frame C-presses feature a very robust design, however the base frame is still prone to losing its shape after many years of continually heavy loads. If the upper- and lower part of the tool no longer align exactly, the press is no longer fit for purpose and is only useful as a source of spare parts.

On the other hand, many of the other press components are relatively easy to repair: leaking hydraulic lines, damage to electronics, or knocked-out levers and bearings are not pretty, but can be brought back into order. As long as the press achieves the desired performance, minor damage is nothing more than a handy bargaining chip and should not dissuade a prospective buyer.

In the case of used, hydraulic, tool-less presses, however, a sample workpiece should be processed in the machine to provide information on its precision and functionality. These types of machine are high-performers but are no longer used to the same extent as serial presses. This is why even very old hydraulic presses are still a contender for modern-day use. Even critical components – i.e. hydraulic cylinders – are easy to source on the spare parts markets and install. As long as the base frame is not bent out of shape, a used hydraulic press for sale is always worth considering and overhauling.

New versus used machines

Presses are standard tools in industry – be they industrial presses for serial production and pressing metal, or straightening machines for in repair shops. They are very widespread which makes the trade in used presses a true buyer’s market. When new, presses are generally very expensive. This also keeps prices for used machines high, despite the wide selection on offer. In technical terms, it will take a long time for presses to become obsolete, which means their future resale potential is ensured.


If you are having difficulty find the right press for your needs, electromechanical punching machines are very similar to presses when it comes to serial production. They also provide more than four times as much pressing force and used punch ‘presses’ can generally still be used as a press with excellent results. Another advantage is that these punch devices use a much lower operating pressure, which makes them very long-lasting.