Investing in high-quality machinery with innovative features helps your shop produce quality parts efficiently. From shears and folders to brakes and rollers, there are many different machines that will help you create precision products. Knowing which tools work best for your application can make a big difference in the performance of your end product. Learn more about the essential tools you need to manufacture sheet metal parts.

Getting Started

A small metal fabrication business may start with just one or two machines, such as a sheet metal press brake and shear. If the business needs to produce more complex parts, shop owners can consider other tools, such as rollers and punch press machines. Other necessary equipment includes die sets, welding tables, grinders, and sanders.

Big Operations

Large metal fabrication businesses typically feature a variety of machines that can produce parts for industries such as automotive, aerospace, and manufacturing. High-performance machinery allows fabricators to make multiple components with tight tolerances in shorter lead times while also reducing scrap rates.

CNC Machines

Most fabricators use CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machines to help streamline production. CNC machines use computer programming to control the cutting, drilling, and shaping of sheet metal and other materials. They offer greater accuracy and consistency, reducing costs while maintaining quality. Additionally, they can be used with a variety of materials such as aluminum, steel, brass, and more.

Robotic Machines

Metal fabricators also use robotic machines. These robots are designed to be more precise and efficient than humans and can produce parts with minimal scrap. They also offer greater control over the fabrication process as you can program them to adhere to specific parameters. Investing in a robotic metal fabrication system is a great way to stay competitive and maximize product quality.

No matter the size or complexity of your sheet metal fabrication operation, you’ll need these essential tools you need to manufacture sheet metal parts:

  • Sheers and nibblers
  • Folders
  • Press brakes
  • Rollers
  • Punch presses
  • Spot welders
  • Laser cutters
  • Plasma cutters

Shears and Nibblers

Shears and nibblers are the starting points in any sheet metal shop. They enable you to cut the exact shape of a part from the sheet material with minimal distortion. Shears are typically used for straight edges, while nibblers can create complex shapes and curves. Both tools can be powered manually or with an electric motor.

Guillotine shears can cut thick material in a single stroke, while other machines use a blade to cut through multiple layers simultaneously. For more intricate parts, laser cutting machines can deliver superior accuracy and finish.


Folders bend and shape sheet metal into complex profiles. Powered folders are available in different sizes and configurations to suit several applications. For example, the Stefa long metal folding machine can bend long, very thin pieces of metal into the desired shape without surface damage. They can also cut without leaving defects that require deburring.

Press Brakes

Press brakes use mechanical force to bend sheet metal into various shapes. They have adjustable tools that allow you to change the thickness and angle of the material being bent, which helps you achieve precise bends at various angles.

You can use press brakes to form bends of up to 90 degrees and create complex contours with repeatable accuracy. High-end press brakes feature advanced controls and digital readouts that help the operator quickly set up complicated jobs.

Press brakes use powerful hydraulic or electric motors to generate massive force. Electric press brakes require less maintenance, and you can program them for more precise results. Hydraulic presses, on the other hand, offer greater flexibility and increased power for tougher jobs.


Rollers form sheet metal into cylindrical or tubular shapes. This process is called roll forming and is often used for applications such as automotive panels, ducts, and more. Rollers come in a variety of sizes and can be powered by electric motors or hand-cranked. They have adjustable feed speeds, pressure, and other settings for optimal performance.

Punch Presses

Punch presses make precise holes in sheet metal with minimal waste material. The punch press has an adjustable die that is placed over the sheet metal, and a hydraulic piston then punches the hole. This process can create complex shapes with minimal tooling costs.

Punch presses are often used for creating perforated metal staircase treads that allow water to drain through, decorative metal screens, and automotive parts. Electric punch presses offer more accuracy than manual models, while hydraulic punches allow for greater flexibility and power for tougher jobs. Investing in quality punch presses can help businesses save time and money by producing precision parts with high-quality finishes.

Spot Welders

Spot welders use electric arcs to join two pieces of sheet metal together with a strong bond. These tools can join metal components of automotive body panels, kitchen appliances, and other products that require a strong bond. Spot welders also connect pipes in a process called seam welding. Seam welding is a quick and cost-effective way of joining metal pipes together without the need for solvents or adhesives. Investing in quality spot welders can help businesses save time and money and ensures precise results.

Laser Cutters

Laser cutters are versatile tools that use a laser beam to precisely cut and shape metal quickly and accurately. These machines are ideal for creating intricate designs with repeatable accuracy and minimal waste material. They can be used to create detailed parts with a variety of materials, including stainless steel, aluminum, brass, copper, plastics, and more. Investing in quality laser cutters is essential for businesses.

Plasma Cutters

A plasma cutter is a type of machine that uses high-velocity plasma to cut and form sheet metal into various shapes. These tools use an electrical arc which is channeled through a gas to heat and cut the metal. They can make intricate cuts in stainless steel, aluminum, and other materials.

These are just a few of the essential tools you need to manufacture sheet metal parts. With the right tools and equipment, you can create quality parts quickly and efficiently. Let us help you find the right parts for your operation at Mac-Tech.

Essential Tools You Need To Manufacture Sheet Metal Parts

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