Hydraulic press brakes are a versatile and useful tool for bending metals of all shapes and sizes. But due to their large size, power, and specialized designs, they’re often incredibly expensive.

Top of the line press brakes can often cost tens of thousands of dollars – and even climb into the six-digit range! For a smaller machine shop or manufacturer, that can make it difficult to replace an aging, outdated press brake with a brand-new model.

But there is an alternative to purchasing new press brakes. Used press brakes are typically in great condition, and can be bought for significant discounts, compared to new hydraulic press brake machinery.

However, it can be difficult to understand what to look for in a used press brake. So today, we’ll discuss a few different things you should be aware of when shopping around for a used hydraulic press brake.

1. Beware Of Fresh Paint

A fresh coat of new paint on a press brake may seem like a good thing, right? Well, not quite. Unfortunately, fresh paint is usually only applied to press brakes in order to cover up tell-tale repairs.

Both cast-iron and stainless steel frames can be damaged by improper/excessive use, and crack or bend. If this happens, most companies will attempt to simply weld the cracked frames back together.

To cover up the indicators of welding, they will often apply a coat of fresh paint. Now, there is nothing wrong with a repaired used hydraulic press brake if it works correctly. But if you see fresh paint, you should be extra careful when examining the tool, and ask for a comprehensive demonstration of its functionality.

2. Always Ask To Do Some Test Bends

If you are shopping for a used brake locally, it’s a good idea to bring a stack of test blanks with you, to ensure that the brake works properly and consistently. 

You should try a variety of different lengths, bending angles, and widths to ensure that the machine is, in fact, consistent across different types of bends. 

This is the best way to make sure that the press brake works properly, and will be able to handle complex, multi-bend projects.

If you ask to do test bends, or for an examination of the press brake and the seller refuses, walk away. You should never purchase a press brake that you can’t test out yourself.

3. Check For Leaks And Oily Patches

Older, poorly maintained press brakes may have oil or fluid leaks in the equipment itself. Check around the cylinder, pump, and filter for leaky hydraulics and potential oil leaks.

If you do detect any kind of leakage, you should probably reconsider your purchase. Leaks are indicators of misuse and poor maintenance, and there is no way to tell how long a used press brake will continue to function with these major issues.

4. Make Sure You Have A Compatible Backgauge 

Ideally, you’ll want to buy a press brake that is compatible with your existing backgauge. CNC backgauge can cost in excess of $10,000 – without the purchase of a controller. So if you end up buying a hydraulic press brake that cannot be used with your existing backgauge, you may end up having to spend quite a bit more money.

If you don’t have a backgauge, you may want to invest in a used hydraulic press brake that comes with a backgauage. Backgauges allow machinists to bend metal at a much higher speed, decreasing lead and manufacturing times and increasing profits. Even if a backgauge costs you quite a bit of money, it’s usually worth it in the long run, and offers a fantastic ROI.

Follow These Tips – Find The RIght Hydraulic Press Brake Machinery For Your Business! 

Press brakes are expensive – but by shopping around for a great deal on a used hydraulic press brake, you can save quite a bit of money. In addition, you’ll be able to expand your manufacturing capacity and provide better results for your clients – boosting your profits and helping your business grow.

So shop with confidence for a used hydraulic press brake – and see the difference it can make in your business.