How to Bend Sheet Metal Using a Brake Machine

Sheet metal can be used in a variety of applications. It can be formed and bent to a variety of shapes and sizes. It is used in various commercial, industrial, automotive and home improvement applications and projects. The easiest way to bend metal at desired angles is to use a metal bending brake machine. These machines are fairly easy to use and provide a safe and convenient method compared to using a butane torch or bending the metal by hand. This method will also give you cleaner bends with a small uniform bend radius.


  1. 1
    Calculate the Angle: According to your requirements, calculate the angle and exact location of the bend. Mark the location on the metal. This will serve as a guide for when bending the metal.
  2. 2
    Clamp Sheet Metal: Insert the metal under the clamp and adjust the jaws according to the thickness of the metal. Position the metal parallel to the clamp and at the location you marked. Clamp the metal in place. Ensure that the clamp is tight and the metal cannot move.
  3. 3
    Set the Angle: Most breaks are equipped with a stop handle that allows you to adjust the angle for the bend. Adjust the stop according to the bend angle.
  4. 4
    Bend the Metal: Using the handle, slowly raise the bending leaf of the machine. This will bend your metal. Stop at the desired angle and distance. Once completed, bring the handle down.
  5. 5
    Release the Metal: Once the metal is bent, raise the clamping handles and remove the sheet metal.
  6. 6
    Bend Other Sides: Repeat the above steps with the other sides of the metal or with another metal sheet.
  7. 7
    Bend Smaller Sizes of Sheet Metal: If two or three sides of the metal have been bent in forming a box or pan, it might be difficult to fit the last few sides into the machine. You must remove the fingers of the box and pan brake allowing clear space on either side of the box. Now you can bend the remaining sides to form your box.


  • Ensure that the brake you are using is compatible with the gauge of the metal you are using.
  • The adjustments of the metal brake might be affected due to continuous use, transportation, or mishandling. Ensure that all the features are adjusted for proper use.
  • All jaws and leafs of the brake should be tightly screwed in before attempting any work.


  • When inserting the metal into the clamp or jaws, be careful to make sure your body and clothing are clear of the machine before clamping.
  • Ensure that you are equipped with safety gear when working with the machine.
  • Only trained technicians should use sheet-bending brakes.

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Categories: Metalwork and Wire Projects