About used press brakes

Used CNC press brakes installed in the workshop

We are planning to make publish on lapiegatrice.it about used press brakes in IT and DE languages. We would like to present this article also in English, probably will be helpful for somebody:

Today we will speak about used press brake. Please note that it is only our private opinion and also should be a little bit different between various European countries. Italian fabricators love, use and well know some brands of press brakes which are completely unknown in other countries. So in Italy such machines have additional “national” value to be sold.

The idea to purchase the used press brake is only one—to get the professional tool with some money savings against the new machine.

Or it could be the idea to purchase a more special machine (for example, with a bigger opening). A simple story of why you can see in production or sale, for example, the machine of 300 tons, which is 40–50 years old. Because the cost of an old such machine could be 20% of the cost of a new one. And the old one could be installed tomorrow, and for the new one, you should wait 6–8 months.

For sure, the idea of purchasing a used industrial machine tool is the same as that of purchasing a car. You want to drive and look for any economic possibility (for example, purchasing a very old machine to enter the process of sheet metal bending) or you want a good and cost-saving offer.

Advantages to purchase the used press brake

  1. Investment savings — you are planning to pay much lower price than the new machine.
  2. Machine tomorrow — you do not need to wait several months for production of new machine. You can find available machine which you need and ship it tomorrow.
  3. Press brake tools for free — in lot of offers tools that are together with the machine cost small price or zero. In fact, if the seller do not want to take the existing tools for his other machine and to use it in other way.
  4. The big market for old press brakes. You can browse and find the machine according to your needs and requirements. If you are lucky you can fill all your requirements including the type of control the back gauge possible movements.
  5. Chance to get for a small price the valuable software. It could happen for example if the seller will not continue the bending activity and does not need anymore the software he used with the press brake. In this case, probably there is a chance to get the expensive bending software.

Disadvantages of used machines

  1. No guarantee — yes is possible to find the machine with guarantee but it is rear option. Normally the machine goes without guarantee, as it is. When you will pay for it and ship it, no any other responsibility from seller.
  2. No support for old machine — we will explain it better in text
  3. Machine as it is — no possibility to order something as option or to change in construction. You need to accept the machine possibilities and configuration as presented.
  4. No investment programs — investment programs, state programs for purchase of new machinery and support for it, leasing and credit — mainly programs are not active for used machinery
  5. No history — if you are not professional you could not know what is happen with the press brake during the years, what were problems, defects, troubleshooting.
  6. Find your specialist yourself — for new machine installation will be done by manufacturer. For old machine you can request assistance of manufacturer but if he doesn’t have a staff for this model or control system probably you will be only yourself to install the machine.

Old machines are old machines

Old machines could cost a little but have two main problems — they are old and any day something could happen. There is the third problem with old press brake customers usually do not care about and then get the surprise.

Their old tooling clamping system is not supported by anybody as standard by tool suppliers. This leads to the fact, that, for example, you bought the machine for 5 thousand EUR and now you should buy even the simple set for full length for half of price if the machine. And sometimes in could be even more worse, set of tooling could have the price more than the machine itself!

Any machine could be old but you should note that machine tool industry is not the car industry with millions of units. Standard support time for the machine from the manufacturer is usually 10–15 years. After this time even if the manufacturer is active he can raise the prices for replacement parts a lot. And there is no other choices. So for customer is very important to know before the investment what he will do tomorrow if he needs something to replace.

Value of the press brake machine

Next question you should count — the value.

The owner of the boat is happy two times in his life — firs time when he purchases the boat. And second time when he sells the boat.

Nobody wants to buy the machine for any price if this machine is impossible to sell after. Tomorrow could be anything and you should be prepared. Could be replacement of production necessities as well as the wishes to replace the machinery to purchase other one (more modern, other length, whatever…). And if he cannot sell the machine for good price it is not reasonable for him to purchase.

For this it is very important to study markets, not from the side of the buyer but also in general. It helps to understand how crowded us the market of used press brakes. You can verify what brands and trademarks are popular in different countries, availability of offers for different models, what could be the price if you decide to sell the purchased machine after couple of years. Important to study the brands, as we told some local brands are completely unknown outside. So it will be “black cat” for foreign customer and he will never pay good price for your press brake.

Who will support your old press brake

We also warn to all people that it is correct to think that purchase of used machine tool is similar to purchase of car in lot of details. During purchasing of car you believe that it is not a problem to find service station if you have troubles with something. And if we are talking about world known brands every service station could know this car, there are spare parts from original manufacturer and OEM replacements. So you can be sure that finally your car will be repaired or any problem will be solved.

And it is not the same in machine tool business. Here you usually completely tied with the manufacturer and service from him. For lots of brands it is absolutely impossible (even for new machine tool) to buy the replacement part not from the manufacturer.

Even if you will find the part by the first manufacture he can just decline your request. Parts manufacturers are tied with machines manufacturers with contract. And they cannot sell the parts directly.

We would like to raise the question: Does the manufacturer has the interest in dealing with you? Today, a lot of manufacturers of old press brakes marked them as “outdated”—no service team for old machines, no spare parts for old machines. The manufacturer concentrates with only new machines and new lines of tools. Machines 20–30 years old are completely marked as outdated and non-supported officially.

So it means that the owner will search eBay for used spare parts and doesn’t have other choices. Some manufacturers are already closed (there are several big Italian manufacturers).

Even restoring the manual for an old press brake will be a big problem!


We prefer not to give any recommendations. Any customer should decide himself all the “pro” and “against” to make the right choice. The main reason of this article is only to give more details what to study and what to expect. One thing is good to note — your all studies should be with confident technician and probably you should request service book.

We like to study the full history when we purchase the used car and to get all the service station lists with repairs and check-up by official dealer about services made according to the general recommendations. The same service book for the used press brake. It saves to you a lot of time and will make you more confident with the machine you want to purchase.

Your decision is always your decision. If you are looking forward for the latest generation used CNC press brake try also to contact us about new machine. Compare the prices and possibilities and make your final decision more solid and reasonable!

This post is also published on @Medium