Press brake tools are available in several standard heights. The choice of height depends not only on the bending freedom you need, but also on the characteristics of the press brake. What should you consider when determining the desired tool height?
At WILA, by tool height we mean the distance from the Tool Holder to the end of the clamped tool. This is the total height, excluding the height of the tool holder.
By choosing a higher tool height, you are choosing more flexibility toward the future. Taller tools require a larger investment, but they also offer more bending freedom. With a limited set of tools, you can bend a larger variety of products. If you choose a lower working height, it is more likely that you will still need to purchase a taller tool for future projects.
The amount of bending freedom also depends on the shape of the tool. Read more here about the options regarding tool shape.
Furthermore, it is worth considering not only the maximum working height, but also the related weight. Top tools weighing up to and including 12.5 kg are equipped as standard with Safety-Clicks and can be changed quickly vertically. Heavier tools can only be changed horizontally.
Example: A 200mm high BIU-031 of 515mm length has Safety-Clicks and must be changed horizontally. A 163mm high BIU-021 of 515mm length is less tall, but equipped with Safety-Clicks as standard. This makes changing easier and saves valuable changeover time.
The choice of tool height is limited by the press brake in which the tool will be used. Here the open height is important, the stroke the upper beam, also called ‘ram’, can make and the height of the Tool Holders.
The combined height and stroke of the machine must be large enough to allow the punch to lower into the bottom of the die.
But if the combined height becomes too large, there will be too little space left between the tools to handle the sheet product or they will not even fit. A rough guideline is to leave at least 100mm of clearance between top and bottom tools.
Bend simulation software and the WILA Tool Advisor take into account the specifications of your press brake in their tool recommendations. You can also use our stack-up calculator to choose appropriate tool heights.
Below is an overview of the standard tool heights of our New Standard Premium and Pro tools and our American Style tools. American Style tools have a different tang type than New Standard tools and are intended for the American market.
Are you not satisfied with the standard heights offered by WILA? Or are you looking for tools with a different height? With the WILA Tool Advisor you can change the height of a standard tool and order it directly online.
Another possibility is to combine the tool with a tool raiser, or extender. This is widely used when bending large boxes. WILA tools have a high dimensional accuracy that allows you to bend accurately even in combination with extenders. There are extenders for top tools and for bottom tools available.
An additional consideration when selecting the die height is the size of the shoulder radius. With WILA New Standard Premium tools, this is linked to the working height. A larger shoulder radius leads to less marking on the sheet product.
Tools 55mm high have a shoulder radius of about 10% of the V-opening. Tools 100mm high have a shoulder radius of about 20% of the V-opening.
A larger tool height offers more bending freedom and also gives you the most flexibility in the future. When choosing the height, do take into account the stroke and installation height of the press brake. Bend simulation software or the WILA Tool Advisor will help you with this. Looking for a different tool height? With the WILA Tool Advisor, you can easily adjust the height of a standard tool. Or you can use a tool extender.