Need a hydraulic shop press for your home or business but not quite sure where to turn? Our guide will help you find the best product in no time!

The hydraulic shop press is an important piece of machinery that can be used for a host of metalwork bending and straightening actions while the use of powered pistons removes a lot of the hard work involved in those processes. With so many options on the market, finding the right hydraulic shop press can seem like a difficult task. We’ve shortlisted three of the best, allowing you to make the right purchase at the first attempt.


Preview

Model

Max Capacity

Cylinder Stroke

Ram Travel

Check Price

Black Widow BD-PRESS-20H 20 Ton Hydraulic...

Black Widow

20 Ton

2 - 3

4" - 10"

Titan 12 Ton Hydraulic Shop Floor Press H...

Titan

12 Ton

4 - 1

1/2”

Baileigh HSP-30A Air/Hand Operated H-Frame...

Baileigh HSP-30A

30 Ton

-

5.9”

JET HP-15A 15 Ton Hydraulic Press

JET HP-15A

15 Ton

10 - 3

16”

Dake F-10 Model Manual Utility Hydraulic...

Dake F-10

10 Ton

-

6”

Dake B-10 Model Manual Utility Hydraulic...

Dake B-10

10 Ton

-

6”

Dragway Tools 6-Ton Hydraulic Shop Floor...

Dragway Tools

6 Ton

-

2” - 10”


Selecting a Reliable Hydraulic Press

When you are looking for the best shop press, you need to evaluate the machines based on these criteria.

Tonnage

There is an extensive range of press tonnage available, so you must consider what your needs are. The lowest-priced hydraulic shop press tends to exert about six tons of force. This might work for minor applications, but it won’t handle much.

By doubling that amount, you receive a 12 ton hydraulic press that’s much more useful. Most wheel bearings can be pressed with this size. If you can afford it, you want a 20-ton hydraulic press instead. This gives you enough force to handle most applications. Of course, if you are purchasing for a professional repair shop, you might do best with a 50-ton air hydraulic shop press.

Usage Type

What will you be using the hydraulic bench press for? You need to know this before you pick which one to purchase. Some allow for customization so you can get the right configuration for your job. Look for adjustable tonnage settings, ram speeds, and operating pressures to use in a variety of situations. 

Press Selection Type

When selecting a hydraulic press, you need to consider the three main press selection types for your job. An open-gap press provides quick access from three sides. If you buy a 4-column press, you get more pressure distribution. Furthermore, the straight-side presses provide the rigidity you need for off-center loading with progressive die applications.

Duration, Length & Speed of Pressing Stroke

The duration, length, and speed of the pressing stroke are going to determine the horsepower needed. Make sure you compare all of the horsepower ratings to ensure you get the most powerful hydraulic press you can afford. If it features adjustable tonnage settings, you will also gain more flexibility with your various applications.

Max System Pressure

You must also examine the PSI where the press develops its full tonnage. For an industrial press, this number is typically between 1,000 and 3,000 PSI. Obviously, as a smaller shop, you won’t need power ranging this high, so it’s vital to know what you need before you make a purchase.

Frame Construction-Rigidity

If you require a cheap hydraulic press, you'll likely need to sacrifice on the frame construction. For those that don't have to stick to a strict budget, it makes the most sense to evaluate the frame's rigidity, dimensional capacity, and bolster thickness. This ensures that the frame will hold up to the heavy-duty work you have planned.


7 Best Hydraulic Shop Presses Reviewed

1. Black Widow 

Best 20 Ton Shop Press (Top Pick)

Cylinder Stroke/

Ram Travel

2-3/4"- 

10"

Max Capacity

20 Ton

Material

Powder-coated steel

Extra Features

Eight height adjustments

Working Width & Height

26.75" & 57.25"

Warranty

Yes, 1-year

The 20 ton hydraulic shop press by Black Widow is a serious piece of machinery that’s capable of completing a whole range of metalwork punching, straightening, and bending. With a ram that adjusts between 2.75” and 10”, along with eight different height positions, the level of versatility is truly incredible. Moreover, the load of 20 tons is sure to handle commercial projects as well as home-based activities. Despite being quite tall due to its freestanding capabilities, the Black Widow model is only 27.75” by 26.75”, meaning it can fit into relatively small spaces too.

Two heel blocks hold items in place while the adjustable work table surface is kept in place by metal bolts. The unit is easily assembled and adjusted, ensuring that users can get to work on wheel bearings, U-joints, and other projects right away. Once assembled, the steel unit looks fantastic thanks to the professional black finish.

The hydraulic jack and lever makes it easy to determine how much of the 20 ton load is pressed onto the target material. While getting used to not using a gauge can impact the first few projects, this issue does not last or cause long-term issues. Most importantly, it won’t have any impact on your ability to complete projects with great accuracy. In addition to the accuracy on pressure levels, the ability to adjust the ram and bench table lend themselves to versatility and practicality for a particularly reliable level of quality. Whether you’re familiar with this type of equipment or not, it can be used to achieve truly wonderful results.

The quality of bolts and washers is particularly pleasing too, which helps separate the Black Widow model from many others on the market. Black Widow has produced an attractive hydraulic shop press that’s suited for commercial settings as well as home settings for the modern hobbyist. It is one of the most popular options on the market for good reason.

Pros

  • Extra power suited to larger projects and commercial works.
  • Adjustable at eight heights, starting from close to the floor to chest height.
  • Easily assembly.
  • Little strength or effort needed to punch or press metal items.
  • Built to last for many years.

Cons

  • You will need floor space rather than a worktop station.
  • No pressure can feel alien to those that are used to using one.

Not everybody needs a 20 ton hydraulic press. However, users that do need a powerful piece of equipment that is capable of pressing even the biggest metal products need look no further than the Black Widow model.

It is capable of completing a range of metalwork tasks with great accuracy for many years to come. When added to the exceptional value, it’s a model that even users that feel they may need a more professional solution further down the line should consider.

Summary


2. Titan

Best 12 Ton Shop Press

Cylinder Stroke/

Ram Travel

4 -

1/2”

Max Capacity

12 Ton

Material

Powder-coated steel

Extra Features

Adjustable lower bolster platform

Working Width & Height

24” Working range

Warranty

Yes, 1-year

The 12 ton hydraulic shop floor press by Titan sits somewhere between the two products above in terms of size and maximum load. However, it’s reliability and function is just as good as either. At just 19.75” by 3.25”, the unit takes up minimal floor space despite standing 51.5” tall. The adjustable hole spacing of 3.5” gives you the option to complete a range of jobs in a 24” working range while the platform can be dropped with ease. It is ideal for pressing, straightening, bending & stamping components.

The red color and sleek design are pleasing to the eye, not least because the powder coating is quite durable. The single-acting spring-return hydraulic ram works hard and returns quickly to help you get through projects with extra speed. Removing or installing joints, gears, bearings, pulleys, and bushings has never felt easier. Using the lever means that there is no need for a gauge, but users will soon get used to that while the 12 ton load offers far greater control for the home hobbyist or those working in small-to-medium sized stores.

The inclusion of the jack and solid base plates ensures that this is the full package to help users get started with their projects right away. Meanwhile, it is possible to easily add wheels to the legs for a more portable solution. This isn’t a necessity, though, and the reliability of the press is where the unit truly stands out. Creating good finishes is a particularly easy task while the steel unit is built to guarantee success for a long time to come, irrespective of how frequent you use the item.

Titan is heralded as one of the best names in the field of metalwork equipment, and the 12 tony hydraulic press is the jewel in its crown. As an all-rounder that’s built for the bigger jobs as well as the small ones, it is a fantastic choice.

Pros

  • Great price.
  • Easily assembled and a practical size.
  • Offers great versatility due to the adjustable parts.
  • Looks and performs incredibly well for years.
  • Titan is a name that can be trusted.

Cons

  • The 12 ton load still has some limitations.
  • No pressure gauge can feel strange at first.

The Titan 12 ton hydraulic press is a truly wonderful tool that can be used by commercial and recreational users with immense confidence. It’s easy to use, comfortable, and look fantastic too. The fact that the red design looks fantastic is merely a bonus.

No wonder it is such a popular model among users of various backgrounds and experience levels.

Summary


3. Baileigh HSP-30A

Best Pneumatic Hydraulic Shop Press

Cylinder Stroke/Ram Travel

5.9”

Max Capacity

30 Ton

Material

Steel

Extra Features

Includes vee blocks

Working Width & Height

22.5” width

Warranty

Yes, 1-year

When you want an automotive bench press, it makes sense to look at what Baileigh offers. After all, they are a leader in the industry. This pneumatic shop press has a fully welded, rigid mainframe so you can use the full 30 tons of force with ease. There’s no limit to the tasks you can accomplish with this hydraulic jack press machine.

If you have a delicate or precise job to complete, you can use this manually instead. The cylinder moves from left to right and comes with a 5.9-inch cylinder stroke. With a working width of 22.5-inch, you have plenty of room to get the job done. The machine comes with vee blocks, making it a great value despite the higher price tag.

Furthermore, this machine is quite heavy, but that helps it to remain stable during the hard jobs you have planned. This press isn’t going anywhere in the middle of the operation. In addition, this hydraulic bearing press only comes with a one-year warranty, which is a disappointment considering the cost. On the bright side, the company does provide lifetime technical support over the phone. From what we understand, they are also a great company to deal with and excel at keeping customers happy.

Pros

  • Heavy-duty
  • Air and Hand Operated
  • 30-ton capacity
  • Stable

Cons

  • Price

4. JET HP-15A

Best 15 Ton Hydraulic Press

Cylinder Stroke/

Ram Travel

10 -

3/16”

Max Capacity

15 Ton

Material

Steel

Extra Features

direct pressure readings

Working Width & Height

24-3/4” x 7-1/2”

Warranty

Yes, 2-year

When you need to press, bend, or straighten, you want a good amount of power. This home shop press is enough for the professional shop or your DIY garage. It’s simple to use and doesn’t require a lot of experience. You simply operate it by hand with the pressure gauge to receive direct pressure readings. The tables raise and lower with the simple hand crank. Plus, the side frames on this machine are open to insert longer materials.

Most people don't expect to pay this much for a 15-ton hydraulic press, but this unit is strong and sturdy and worthy of the higher price. It also comes complete with a two-year warranty, which is more than most companies. Jet stands behind all of its products and tends to produce only top of the line machinery. If you walk into an industrial shop, you will likely see these presses hard at work.

This unit also features a spacious work table size for a variety of applications. Whether you are working with wheel bearings or cylinder linings, you will find that this press fits the bill. You can invest a little more today and have a machine that outlasts all of the others.

Pros

  • Strong
  • Easy to use
  • 2-year warranty
  • Durable

Cons

  • Expensive

5. Dake F-10

Best Hydraulic Press Under $1000

Cylinder Stroke/Ram Travel

6”

Max Capacity

10 Ton

Material

Steel

Extra Features

Mounting holes on the base

Working Width & Height

16-3/4” x 3”

Warranty

No

For the best hydraulic press under $1,000,  this option from Dake is a top contender. It features a manual design that uses a single-speed hand pump to lower the ram. The iron H-frame holds both bulky and large items with ease. You can also use the hoist to adjust the height for correct positioning. Move the work-head for off-center pressing.

Also, there is a valve that turns to release the pressure and initiates ram return following the downstroke. If you close the valve, it stops the ram. There are two interchangeable noses included. One is a flat nose for standard pressing jobs, and the other is step-reduced for positioning, supporting, and fitting into the pieces while pressing. The 2.5" display is ideal for reading pressures. The base contains four holes for floor mounting and additional stability.

Of course, you have to give up something when looking for a low-cost hydraulic shop press. With this machine, it appears to be the warranty you forgo. There’s no information about whether or not the company warranties the parts against defects. Thankfully, the reviews suggest that it shouldn’t be a concern for most users as this Dake machine appears to hold up well.

Pros

  • Low-cost
  • Easy operation
  • Off-center pressing
  • Interchangeable noses included

Cons

  • No warranty info

6. Dake B-10

Value For Money Model

Cylinder Stroke/Ram Travel

6”

Max Capacity

10 Ton

Material

Iron

Extra Features

Release valve

Working Width & Height

16-3/4” x 3”

Warranty

No

At just 36 inches by 23 inches, the Dake-B10 is a small but powerful hydraulic bench press that is ideal as a worktop machine for small workshops and home-based mechanics alike. It utilizes a single-speed hydraulic handpump to bring down a huge 10 tons of pressure on the metal material that is to be bent or straightened. A movable workhead facilitates off-center pressing while the release valve initiates and controls ram return after downstroke.

The machine is made primarily from iron, giving it a sturdy feel while the adjustable H-frame is ideal for bigger and bulkier items. The use of a flat ram nose, a reduced-step nose, and two table plates enable precise pressing and support, making this a great manual utility machine for a host of metalwork process. Everything about the B-10 model is built with simplicity in mind. From the easy installation through to the simple processes used to complete the pressing actions, even a novice can get to grips with this machine very quickly. Meanwhile, the easy to read pressure gauge is conveniently positioned to help you monitor the action at all times.

The pressure release knob feels comfortable in your hand while filling the oil tray is also a particularly easy task. The powder coated finish is likely to show signs of wear and tear after a few uses, particularly if you are a messy user. In truth, though, the ongoing appearance of your model probably won’t be a priority. Other popular features are the internal return spring within the ram while the fact that the hose can be disassembled without leaking any air is also a positive note.

In many ways, the B-10 model is a no thrills option manufactured as a budget-friendly option from one of the bigger brands in the industry. Thankfully, this does not transpire in a cheap feel. Instead, it provides an action that you can trust.

Pros

  • Affordable.
  • Easily installed.
  • Doesn’t consume too much room.
  • Adjustable H-frame offers good versatility.
  • Ideal for the home or small repair stores.

Cons

  • Probably not of the quality needed for major commercial ventures.
  • Not the most attractive unit on the market.

7. Dragway Tools 6-Ton

Best Cheap Hydraulic Press

Cylinder Stroke/Ram Travel

2” to 10”

Max Capacity

6 Ton

Material

Steel

Extra Features

Heavy-duty springs

Working Width & Height

10” x 12”

Warranty

Yes, 1-year

When you need to save money and don’t have to accomplish large jobs, you might consider a 6-ton hydraulic shop press. This Dragway Tools model is lightweight and comes with an open construction so you can easily work on longer projects. The bolted, adjustable cross beams lower and raise to create the perfect working distance.

Furthermore, it contains heavy-duty springs that quickly return the ram after pressing. With the press pate bar, you also have the right size to work with bearings and bushings. This machine comes with two press plates for maximum versatility.

The majority of customers that understand this isn’t a heavy-duty press are quite happy with the operation. It’s easy to use and does a great job. Of course, you can’t expect too much out of this machine, because it is a budget-friendly option first and foremost.

That being said, it still comes with a one-year warranty, which provides some additional peace of mind. It’s better than a DIY mini hydraulic press and perfect for your home garage. Whether you have a job to perform or you simply want to fiddle around, you can’t go wrong with this price. Instead of making a shop press, why not give this option a try? We find that it is the best cheap hydraulic press.

Pros

  • Cheap
  • Easy to use
  • Heavy-duty springs
  • Includes warranty

Cons

  • Reviews are questionable

What Is a Hydraulic Shop Press?

A hydraulic shop press is a device that is used to generate a large force to compress or flatten an object by applying a much smaller force by comparison. This tool was invented by a man named Joseph Bramah, so it is not uncommon to also hear it be called a “Bramah Press.”

Most often, the hydraulic shop press is used to flatten, crush, straighten, or mold metallic objects. The press has a large bed or plate onto which the metallic object can be placed, as well as one smaller and one larger cylinder filled with fluids and pistons that are used to create force.


Pascal’s Law: The Theory Behind the Hydraulic Shop Press

Also known as the principle of transmission of fluid pressure, Pascal’s Law states that within an enclosed system, pressure can be applied onto fluids and transmitted through to create the same change somewhere else.

This multiplication of force, that is, the creation of a larger force using a smaller force, is the theory behind the innovation of the hydraulic press.


Hydraulic Press Use In a Garage

Because of the wide variety of uses for this handy tool, it has been modified and customized time and time again to suit the needs of whatever specific job that it is needed for.

For example, a laboratory can use a hydraulic press to compress a sample into a thin film or a pellet to prepare it for analysis. This forces the particles of the sample together and creates an ideal sample for spectroscopic examination.

Mainly, the hydraulic press is used in industrial jobs, such as making thin metal sheets. Other uses include:

  • Crushing cars
  • Forging swords by shaping the raw steel
  • Producing fat-free cocoa by compressing the cocoa beans

Types of Hydraulic Presses

  • Arbor
    This type of hydraulic press is generally used when the work being done does not require any
    heavy-duty work. Like other presses, you can find a variety of sizes and specifications.However,
    the difference with arbor presses is that they do not have the capability to compress larger
    amounts of pressure to create larger outputs. These are usually used to flatten metals, tear,
    pierce holes into metals, and to mark inscriptions.
  • Power
    Unlike the arbor models, power presses are in demand for use on heavy equipment and
    machinery. The clutch can come two different ways, either part revolution or full revolution.
    The clutch with full revolution is unable to be disrupted until the crank has gone through a full
    revolution.A part revolution clutch can be disrupted at any point before or after a complete
    turn. These presses are inherently more dangerous because of the serious jobs that are
    associated with them, so taking the proper precautions and following strict safety measures is
    crucial.
  • C-Frame
    Like the name suggests, these have a frame that is shaped like a ‘C.’ This is designed to
    maximize the open floor space to give employees more freedom to move around the
    workplace. These are often used for assembly work, and they can come in a wide variety of
    weights depending on what it is needed for.
  • Pneumatic
    One of the most basic presses used in the industry, the pneumatic press works to compress air
    to result in movement. These work efficiently. However, it is unable to create higher pressures
    like other shop presses.
  • Manual
    Manual options are quite popular due to their cost efficiency and reliability, and they can be
    used without having to compromise power or consistency in use.

How to Use a Hydraulic Shop Press

Let’s talk now about the hydraulic press, how it works.

  1. 1
    Raise the front safety guard and put the work in a central location before lowering the guard.
  2. 2
    Lower the top bolster pressing face. You do this by rotating the lead screw handle in a clockwise motion.
  3. 3
    Pull and push on the pump handle to build up the pressure.
  4. 4
    Turn the pressure release handle one time, counterclockwise to release the pressure load.
  5. 5
    Turn the lead screw handle counterclockwise. This raises the pressing face. Then, you may open the safety guard and remove your work.

People Also Ask (FAQs)

How long do hydraulic shop presses typically last?

Depending on the quality of the press you purchase, you can expect to get 15 years or more out of the machine. That's why you want to invest in a high-quality pneumatic hydraulic shop press.

Do these hydraulic presses come with warranties?

Not every press comes with a warranty, especially if the price is lower. Make sure you check the shop press reviews to find the ones with a guarantee.

What is the difference between mechanical press and hydraulic press?

Mechanical presses operate at faster speeds than the hydraulic press. This allows for more efficiency and allows you to get your work done quicker.

Are manual machines difficult to work with?

Today’s modern manual machines do require some effort, but they are easier than ever to operate.

How much pressure does a hydraulic press have?

Each machine operates at a different pressure. You will want to check the specifications to make sure you get one with enough force to complete your job.

What are some accessories needed when using a hydraulic shop press?

It depends on what job you plan to do. For most automotive jobs, it helps to have punch and die mounting kits, dies, specialty punches, shear plates, corner punch assemblies, shear tooling assemblies, and bend kits.


Conclusion

All of the shortlisted models are fantastic hydraulic press products. In truth, the final decision is likely to be settled by individual requirements, spatial possibilities, and personal preference. Whether being used for business or home activities, at least one of the three models will have your needs covered.

Nevertheless, the Titan 12 ton hydraulic shop floor press is the one that is probably most suited to a broader range of users and combines the best of the other two options. If you’re looking for a hydraulic shop press that’s built to help you through a range of metalwork tasks for many years to come, this is the perfect solution.

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