Hydraulic v electric press brakes five differentiations to consider in 2020

In the sheet metal industry, press bending is a key part of the process used to create exact folds. These machines are either manual or driven by one of two methods, hydraulic or electric.

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Press brake machines are serious pieces of kit and should only be operated by employees with the appropriate training and qualifications and the National Occupational Standards Agency provides information on the competencies an operator should have.

If your workforce has been used to using traditional hydraulic press brakes you may be loathed to switch to an electric version. You may feel that you will incur training costs, resistance from staff and perhaps decreased productivity. But there are some key benefits to an electric press brake that may make you reconsider. Let’s take a look at five of the key differentiations between electric and hydraulic press brakes.

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A hydraulic press brake wins hands down when it comes to folding capacity as they can handle much larger sheets than their electric counterparts. However, what it makes up for in capacity it loses in operating time. The hydraulic brake takes much more time to maintain and to make adjustments such as changing tools, for example.

If your business requires electric press brakes companies such as https://www.cotswold-machinery-sales.co.uk/euromac/electric-press-brakes/ provide detailed information about their product.

Energy consumption

A hydraulic press brake uses considerably more energy than the electric version. It is a workhorse that can churn out mass quantities of simple bends. But because it works continuously while all the aforementioned adjustments are being made, it consumes a greater amount of energy than an electric press.


If you’re looking to create extremely accurate folds and bends then an electric press is probably more suited to your needs. For example, if the products you manufacture have little room for variance or complex, multiple parts.

Volume of waste

It stands to reason that if the level of accuracy is increased with an electric press then the level of waste is reduced. This can be a key determining factor if you’re working with more expensive sheet metals.


An electric press brake will, without doubt, cost more to purchase than a hydraulic version, however, the benefits to your business in terms of precision, operating and maintenance time seem to outweigh this fact in certain circumstances.


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