When working with sheet metal that needs to be bent, cut, or manipulated in some way or another, one of the first tools people often think of is the sheet metal brake. It is great for use on a wide range of metals in different gauges and can make fairly precise bends to the measure you think. They are great tools to have in your back pocket if you do metal roofing or perform any other projects with large amounts of sheet metal. The issue with them is that they are not the most practical tools to have around. A sheet metal brake is large and difficult to transport, so you might find it frustrating bringing one with you every time. For many projects, brakes are also overkill since you only need to bend smaller, more flexible segments of sheet metal. While they are great to have around if you really need them, you might also want to look at some other tools that are smaller and more convenient to use. Let’s briefly go over a few examples from least to most precise.
PVC or rubberized hammers might be categorized as forming tools, meaning they are not meant to give you precise, defined bends like a sheet metal brake would, but they do help you get your metal to the general shape that you want. The PVC or rubberized head is an important aspect of these hammers because it will help keep your metal from becoming scuffed or scratched, thereby protecting the integrity of the material. These are quite simple to use and mainly rely on the amount of force you choose to use for the given project.
Roller bender tools are great for anyone who has to work with sheet metal regularly for various projects. They are able to handle different types of metal and give you clean, accurate bends. A high-quality roller bending tool should also be able to perform the task without causing any damage to the metal either. This is a good option if you are looking for something that can handle lots of different tasks easily, while still being small and portable.
This is where precision reaches its peak. Hand seamers and pliers are the tools you want to reach for when you want to make small, precise bends like for finishing work on edges. You can create very defined, incremental bends with a hand seamer that you will have a hard time creating on a sheet metal brake.
It is really up to you to determine which are the best tools for you to work with based on how often you work with sheet metal and what you need to do with it. But now that you have an idea of your options, you can make an informed decision of which tools you want in your supply. While you are looking for handheld tools as alternatives to a sheet metal brake, you will want to visit stortz.com. They have a great selection of high-quality tools for working with sheet metal, so you will be able to find what you need there.