Best press brake and hydraulic ironworker?
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    Default Best press brake and hydraulic ironworker?

    Starting up my fabrication business and would like to hear opinions on press brakes and hydraulic ironworkers before I make a decision and purchase. Thanks.

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    I think you need to narrow fabrication business definition if just starting to tool up. brakes are awesome, and take floor space and a really good operator. If you are doing sheet and light plate it is a must have piece of equipment.
    ironworkers like the klink or geka are nice for a production set up doing one or two operations. The piranha and, to some extent Edwards, are the most versatile and handy tools in the shop. shear, 95 ton press and little nocher are money makers. the punching attachment has saved me on odd shapes with its open design. You are not getting a sheet shop clean punch with the arc stroke, so you have to way that in. I never go a work day without using the piranha, ever.

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    Why BettenBender is the bestest !

    And ! "American Made" too !

    Made right in a cornfield in I-O-W-A !

    Search the archives to see how they treat a customer that just paid over $25k in full.....

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    Peddinghaus is the best hydraulic ironworker

    Trumpf makes the best press brake.

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    Why BettenBender is the bestest !

    And ! "American Made" too !

    Made right in a cornfield in I-O-W-A !

    Search the archives to see how they treat a customer that just paid over $25k in full.....
    ok, I bit, didn't see anything dramatic in search. the website is glorious time machine of the post fuzzy gif on white background era.

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    I have a Peddinghaus peddiworker 1100 hydraulic ironworker. It has a angle shear, notcher, 8" plate shear, bar cutter, and punch. It is a awesome machine and I'm very happy with it. Customer service was a different story though, I emailed the North American location 4 times, I think in Chicago, for a user/setup manual and all I got was a parts book. Finally got pissed with them and emailed the Europe branch and got a pdf manual in a day. Its important when setting up knife clearances, punch settings, notcher clearance. I would recommend either Peddinghaus, Geka, or similar vertical machine. The notcher was a game changer for me, Lots less cutting wheels when making square frames for things.

    I also have a Pearson 175 ton hydraulic press brake. Its a decent machine and uses depth stops instead of precision servo hydraulics like some newer ones. Its no Amada but I don't need .005 precision when making weldments. Mine came local so search local cause shipping a 26,000 lb press brake would have been a killer for me. I live In Iowa and have been by Betenbender and they make a decent machine but its a small operation so I can see where service could be a issue for a production machine. You need to figure out what and how big you need to get a idea of what you need to support it too. Not sure what kind of shop you have, how big it is, or if you have a crane to support it. I wish I had a bridge crane for moving sheets around my press brake but get by with my small forklift for now. I would not get a mechanical press brake at all, too dangerous in my opinion. I would prefer a older Wysong or Pacific hydraulic in the 200 ton range. Press brake tooling is a killer so try to get one with quite a few punches and dies.

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    We bought a Tommy Industrial 55 Ton hydraulic ironworker and 5' press brake two years ago. No complaints, great price. Highly recommend.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ferrretcatcher View Post
    I have a Peddinghaus peddiworker 1100 hydraulic ironworker. It has a angle shear, notcher, 8" plate shear, bar cutter, and punch. It is a awesome machine and I'm very happy with it. Customer service was a different story though, I emailed the North American location 4 times, I think in Chicago, for a user/setup manual and all I got was a parts book. Finally got pissed with them and emailed the Europe branch and got a pdf manual in a day. Its important when setting up knife clearances, punch settings, notcher clearance. I would recommend either Peddinghaus, Geka, or similar vertical machine. The notcher was a game changer for me, Lots less cutting wheels when making square frames for things.

    I also have a Pearson 175 ton hydraulic press brake. Its a decent machine and uses depth stops instead of precision servo hydraulics like some newer ones. Its no Amada but I don't need .005 precision when making weldments. Mine came local so search local cause shipping a 26,000 lb press brake would have been a killer for me. I live In Iowa and have been by Betenbender and they make a decent machine but its a small operation so I can see where service could be a issue for a production machine. You need to figure out what and how big you need to get a idea of what you need to support it too. Not sure what kind of shop you have, how big it is, or if you have a crane to support it. I wish I had a bridge crane for moving sheets around my press brake but get by with my small forklift for now. I would not get a mechanical press brake at all, too dangerous in my opinion. I would prefer a older Wysong or Pacific hydraulic in the 200 ton range. Press brake tooling is a killer so try to get one with quite a few punches and dies.
    thanks for your input!

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    Quote Originally Posted by danberens View Post
    We bought a Tommy Industrial 55 Ton hydraulic ironworker and 5' press brake two years ago. No complaints, great price. Highly recommend.
    my buddy has a mini press from them and loves it. thanks for your input.
    Last edited by jasoncaren; 07-11-2019 at 08:22 AM.

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    "Best" is a pretty wide open description.
    Depends what kind of fabrication you are doing, how accurate, what dimensions of material you work with, and how many guys are going to use it. And, budget, of course.
    New, or Used?

    Its absolutely true that Peddinghaus machines are bulletproof. They last virtually forever. New, they are pretty pricey, but worth it. They are relatively basic, but options are available to do most anything.

    Generally speaking, most people are looking at two different ranges of ironworker- the more or less 50 ton size, which is usually rated to do 3x3 angle, but, in the fine print, usually admits they mean 5 /16" x 3 x 3. Which really means they are a full capacity 2x2 machine.

    or, the 100 ton range, which is a real 4x4 machine, and for lighter weights, up to 6x6.

    If you really need 6x6 x 3/4", you are talking closer to 150 tons, and somewhere near $100k new.

    If you can do what you need with a 50 ton machine, then it depends on what you do.
    Cheap, there are Edwards, and Scotchmans, and lots of chinese imports.

    (the Tommy is a chinese or taiwan machine- curiously, they dont tell- cant be very proud of it if they dont mention its parentage. If I was buying chinese, I think I would go with Baleigh, because they are bigger, more likely to still be in existence in five years when you need parts, and were recently bought out by the deep pocketed venture capitalists who own Jet, Powermatic, and Wilton. But I would not recommend a chinese machine)

    I am not a big scotchman fan- the steel distributor near me has bought and worn out three scotchmans in the time I have owned my Geka, and it hasnt needed anything beyond replacing a few stripped screws on the adjustable stop fence.

    For fancy work, in a small shop, I would go with Geka. Very high quality, machined parts, made in the Basque country of Spain, and comes standard with the best gaging tables and back gaging in the industry. Parts are available next day air from the US distributor. Expensive, but worth it.
    But- if its a 20 man shop full of gorillas who strip off the gaging and stops because "they were in the way", and replace them with scrap angle iron and vice grips, then you would be better off with a used Peddy or Mubea- both are much less likely to be damaged by idiots, Both are better for simpler repeat jobs.
    If you are cutting the 1000 parts a week from 4x4x1/2 angle, and punching two holes, Peddys or even ancient mechanical buffalos will work fine.

    My Geka shines when every single job is different, when you want accurately sheared to length parts with the holes in the exact right place.
    With gaging with built in stainless steel rulers and quick adjust stops, you eliminate wonky tape measures, squiggley sharpie lines, and lots of scrap.
    But a Geka needs a bit more study to learn its capabilities, and it will repay you.

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    "Good Results", in my shop, are measured in 20 year increments. I havent seen one in person, but, from the photos, they are adequate chinese copies of european style machines.
    But when I buy a $10k to $20k machine, I admit, it makes me feel better when the company has been in business for 20 or 40 or 60 years, when I have seen them used in industrial shops all my life, and when there is a longstanding US source of parts and I can call and talk to a guy who has been fixing em for a quarter century.
    But hey- thats just me.
    I am, often, suspicious when I see two models with prices listed, and the rest with "Price on Request"- because, to me, that means they have the cheap ones in stock, but have never ordered or stocked the full line, and they have to call China for the current price.
    Its the sign of a small, not heavily funded distributor- which is not necessarily bad, but certainly something to consider.

    I happen to have a Chinese power hammer- which is mostly cast iron, which is harder to screw up.
    Since I have had it, we are on our third US distributor, which is very different from Peddinghaus or Geka, who have had companies dealing with them in the USA for decades, who really know the machines, and can give you info on them.
    Last edited by Ries; 07-11-2019 at 01:14 PM.

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    I'm going to take Digger Doug's role, and call spam on this whole thread.

    Earlier today, when I read the first Tommy industrial recommendation, I thought it odd. I've owned a fab shop for years, I go to fabtech, I spend a lot of time on fabricating forums, I recently purchased a brand new press brake researching, after researching all the obscure brands, and yet I've never heard of this brand. The chances of an owner of a pop up nobody reseller of low end Chinese machines happening to find this forum just as this question was asked? Slim.

    Then, the OP, who asked a question that was laughably vague, pipes up about a friend who owns that brand, all while ignoring recommendations from reputable brands, and then another poster has 3 of their machines. And, all of these posters signed up this week. And, all of them figuring out the 'like' system, just to give likes to eat other's posts? Get real.

    Guys, come on, it's not that hard to spam a forum in a more clandestine manner. This attempt was pathetic.
    Last edited by Fish On; 07-11-2019 at 08:32 AM.

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    fish on, I smell it, still have not made call. odd that ask for recommendations, and has friend with tommy later in post. I had never heard of them either. I guess they wont be at fabtech selling their ish FABTECH 2019: Exhibitors

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    I got a piece of metal caught in the tommy-lift tailgate on my truck once -- it bent real good.

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    Man, oh man. Why does there have to be so much hostility on these forums…now you can understand a bit why I’d be pursed lip and vague about my business and the question that I asked. Short and sweet. To the point. Or so I thought. I literally asked a question for opinions and who cares if acknowledged someone with a Tommy mini press? I don’t need a mini press…just purely making a connection. I don’t have time to sit and respond to every post or to be an internet troll. Now, Memphisjed, I thought I did respond to your post, because I did make notes based off from your recommendations as well.

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    Even better, he just deleted his third personality's (WeldFab) post, presumably to make the coincidences a little more believable. Too bad Ries already quoted it for posterity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fish On View Post
    Even better, he just deleted his third personality's (WeldFab) post, presumably to make the coincidences a little more believable. Too bad Ries already quoted it for posterity.
    fixed that, with my trusty "edit" hammer.

    Also, for future ironworker shoppers-
    The US branch of Peddinghaus is still owned and run by the Peddinghaus family, who founded the company in germany in 1906 or so, making manual ironworkers.
    The US dealer for Geka, Comeq, has been selling fabrication equipment for 75 years, and Gekas have been made since 1919.
    Most likely they will be around for a few more.


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