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There are four types of press brakes that you can choose from. There are mechanical, pneumatic, hydraulic and electric press brakes.  But let’s focus in on the two most popular types:  Mechanical and Hydraulic.

What is a mechanical press brake?  A Mechanical press brake dates back to the early 1920’s!  It is a fairly simple machine where the flywheel (weighted wheel that is spun to store energy) is connected to a clutch system that moves the ram vertically.  Mechanical press brakes are limited to what they can do as opposed to the Hydraulic press brake

What is a Hydraulic press brake?  A Hydraulic press brake operates with synchronized hydraulic cylinders on the C-frame that move the ram.  It is able to have full control while in the process of bending and can even reverse a stroke at any time. 

So which one should you pick when shopping for a used press brake?  Take a look at this pros and cons list of both!




  • Upfront costs are less expensive-Companies are evolving and so is machinery!  Mechanical press brakes are outdated and therefore cheaper to purchase.
  • Minimum wear and tear
  • Great for simple jobs


  • Doesn’t enable operator to adjust the stroke level while the process is in continuation
  • Cannot perform more complex jobs
  • Can post more safety risks/in most situations they are NOT compliant with OSHA standards



  • More precision bends (i.e. bend angle control)
  • Variable speed control (much faster)
  • Quick retraction
  • Capability to reverse the stroke at ANY time


  • Upfront costs are more expensive- These machines are very much in demand and therefore can be pricier.  But if you buy used you can save thousands.


Still can’t make up your mind on which type of Press Brake is better for your company?

We can help you decide!