4 Options to Consider when Choosing a Factory Press

There are lots of options to consider for your factory press. To get a factory press that is efficient and cost-effective, it’s important to find the right type of press, the right amount of force, and the best additional features to make the job as fast, easy, and safe as possible.

Things to Consider for Your Factory Press

As you consider which factory press is right for you, it’s helpful to write down some information first. This will help you hone in on the press you need and help you avoid overpaying for a press that is more powerful than you need, or one that is too large for your shop. Here are a few things to write down that will help you in your search.

  • What are your primary applications for the press? What materials or components are you primarily working with?
  • What range of force is required for your application? (min/max)
  • Where will your press be placed in your shop? How much space is available?
  • Do you need your press to be mobile, or will it sit in a fixed location?
  • Do you have access to a high-voltage power supply?
  • Do you have access to compressed air?
  • What is your shop press budget?
  • How much time do you have to maintain your press?

Once you have answers to these questions in mind, consider the following key options for an industrial press:

1. Type of Press

The four primary types of presses are manual presses, also known as Arbor presses, hydraulic presses, pneumatic presses, and hydropneumatic presses (also known as air over oil). Within these different press types, there are also different subtypes. Each press has different advantages and disadvantages. For example, pneumatic presses and hydropneumatic presses are generally safer than hydraulic presses and manual presses, since they have safety mechanisms that manual presses lack, and they do not pose the high voltage hazards or hearing damage risks that hydraulic presses do.

The different types of presses also provide different levels of force. Though there is extensive overlap between the different types of presses, hydraulic presses generally provide maximum power. Pneumatic presses generally provide less force, while hydropneumatic presses provide a medium level of force. We’ll discuss this more in the next section, but the level of force provided by each type of press is an important consideration when you choose the type of press you need.

The way that each type of press functions is another important consideration. A manual press can provide a great deal of force, but it requires more strength to use. This can result in repetitive stress injuries over longer periods and inconsistent repeatability. A hydraulic press requires a high-voltage power source to power the hydraulic pump motor. A pneumatic press will require compressed air. These requirements and safety precautions are all important considerations when choosing which type of press is best for your shop.

2. Force

How much force you need for your shop press is one of the most important considerations. Too much force can actually break the parts that you’re working with. Too little force and it will be difficult to complete the job. When considering how much force you need, it’s important to consider the types of jobs you’ll be doing, as well as the materials that you’re working with. Different metals have different levels of strength and flexibility. Knowing which materials  you work with the most can help you find the right level of force and power for your press.

Different applications will also require different levels of force. Consider the table below when choosing the amount of force that is best for your shop press.


Application Industries Recommended Press
Assembly, Riveting, Punching, Marking, Staking, Crimping, Forming, Swaging Fabrication, Assembly, Medical HVAC, Electronics Adjustable air press, 1200 lbs to 2.5 tons
Bushing/Bearing Insertion, Stud Insertion, Swaging, Trimming, Marking or Character Stamping, Assembly, Notching, Joining, Forming, and Fastening Automotive ,  Aerospace, Agriculture, Electric Vehicle, Battery Manufacturing, Defense Industry Pneumatic or hydropneumatic press, 2.5 to 15 tons
Bushing/Bearing Insertion, Stud Insertion, Broaching, Swaging, Trimming, Assembly, Notching, Joining, Forming, and Fastening Heavy equipment, Automotive, Agriculture, Metalworking, Manufacturing, Battery Manufacturing, Defense Industry Hydraulic press, 20 to 50 tons

3. Footprint and Frame

There are many different types of frames between the different types of presses. You can move some of these presses around, while others are anchored to a set point. The frame and configuration also plays a role in the size of the press, as well as its footprint in the shop. Generally, stationary presses and presses with more power will take up more space. This is another reason to find the right sized press for your needs.

Different frame types can allow or constrict how you move materials/components in and around the press. This is another reason to carefully consider the dimensions of the parts or components you’re working with, and how you plan to move materials around to complete the job at hand, i.e. workflow.

Consider the following types of press frames:

  • An H-frame/Post Frame press allows you to move materials front to back or left or right around the press, but could also require additional barrier guarding.
  • A C-frame press makes it easy to load and unload materials from the front or the side and integrates well into conveyor systems. Typically used with horizontal workflow, C-frame presses are available in both benchtop and floor model styles.

4. Maintenance needs

Different types of presses require different levels of maintenance. Pneumatic presses and hydropneumatic presses require less maintenance than complete hydraulic presses. The maintenance schedule for hydraulic presses is more involved; it’s important to check the oil quality, oil temperature, pump and motor, and more. Setting aside time for preventative maintenance is essential to keeping the hydraulic press in full working order. Pneumatic presses require a bit less preventative maintenance, including checking air lines, checking lubrication levels, and replacing air filters.

There are many different factors to consider when choosing a factory press. Considering power, size, type, and maintenance with each press will help you get the right fit for your shop. If you have questions about the different types of presses and considerations for each, contact us. Our experts can help you find the ideal press for your needs.