No matter whether it’s a manual, hydraulic or CNC brake, a press brake always relies on top tools and bottom tools – Punches and dies. Press brakes are used for bending sheet metal into specific shapes using matching punch and dies and applying significant force. Here is a closer look at the different varieties of tools and how to determine which one is right for your application.
Press Brake Tooling Chart
Commonly Used Press Brake Dies
Dies are the bottom toolings of the press brake and some of the most commonly used varieties are:
- Single Vee Dies
- Multi-Vee Dies
- Two-Way Self-Centring Vee Dies
- Flattening & Hemming Dies
Single Vee Dies
Quite self-explanatory, single vee dies consist of a single ‘V’ shape groove. They come in a variety of angles and allow the minimum joggle available without crushing the tool, which is why they are the most commonly used die.
Also quite self-explanatory, multi-vee dies consist of multiple different vees that are spread across their four sides. Although not always suitable for short flange bending, there is large variety and versatility when it comes to using multi-vee dies in terms of radii and material thickness.
Two-Way Self-Centring Vee Dies
Two-way self-centring vee dies have two successive grooves that are close to the edges of the die which allow shorter flange bending. Each groove is usually a different angle and/or width to the other one which aids in more efficient and productive operations, as there will be no need for retooling for different bends.
Flattening & Hemming Dies
Best suited for acute angle bends and flattening, flattening and hemming dies are an essential solution for finishing.
Commonly Used Press Brake Punches
Punches are the top toolings of the press brake and some of the most commonly used varieties are:
- The Standard Punch
- The Narrow Punch
- The Acute Angle Punch
- The Swan Neck Punch
The Standard Punch
The most essential piece of kit is the standard punch, which can be used for nearly all everyday tasks and sheet metal fabrication operations. Versatile, strong and sturdy, standard punches are ideal for thick materials, long bending lines and mass production.
The Narrow Punch
Even though it isn’t used as often as the standard punch, the narrow punch is still crucial for finishing and final bends. It is narrow along its entire length meaning it can be used in limited spaces amongst material with multiple bends.
The Acute Angle Punch
Quite self-explanatory, the acute angle punch is best suited to bend angles between 25° to 60°. More pointed at the tip compared to standard punches, they are solid and can handle large forces when paired with the correct die.
The Swan Neck Punch
Mainly used for U-bend shaped brackets, the swan neck punch is shaped like a swan neck; unfortunately, this means that it is not as sturdy as some of the other punches. The structure of the punch is in order to avoid a collision between the leg and the tool.
How to Choose Press Brake Tools
Some major considerations you have to make when it comes to choosing press brake tools include:
- What products you are manufacturing
- Using the strongest tooling profile
- The load limit of the tool and of the press brake at centre line; they should coincide
From all of the information above, we hope we have helped you decipher between the different press brake tools there are, and which one is most suited for your application.