Bending Sheet Metal: A Helpful Guide

Okay, so we have a lot of metal products to choose from in stock. We are constantly being asked to give advice about applications, lifespans etc. We are always happy to help in any way that we can so please contact us if you do require any guidance at all.

To help assist our customers, we have also started an epic project to create helpful guides for all things metal. Hopefully this will help to inform on what is possible, and exactly what is needed for every requirements. This guide aims to answer one of the most commonly asked questions that we get: can I bend metal?

Let’s get into it….

What Is The Tool Called That Bends Sheet Metal?

The tool that is specifically designed for bending sheet metal is called a metal brake or sheet metal brake. It is a machine that allows you to bend sheet metal to a specific angle. They come in different sizes, so you can choose one that is appropriate for the size of the sheet metal you are working with.

A metal brake consists of a bed and a clamping bar, with a beam that can be adjusted to different angles. The sheet metal is placed on the bed, and the clamping bar holds it in place while the beam is lowered to bend the metal to the desired angle. Some metal brakes are manual and are operated by a lever, while others are powered by electricity or air pressure.

Where Can I Buy A Bending Machine In The UK?

Yes, but we do not supply them. There are several places where you can buy a bending machine in the UK, some of them include:

  1. Online retailers: Websites like Amazon and eBay sell a variety of machines at different prices and sizes.
  2. Machinery suppliers: Some companies specialize in selling machinery and equipment, such as sheet metal benders, and have a wide range of options. Some examples are Mactech Europe, Cidan Machinery, and AM Machinery Sales.
  3. Industrial equipment suppliers: These companies sell a wide range of industrial equipment and machinery, including bending machines. Some examples are RS Components and Grainger.
  4. Online marketplaces: Websites like MachineSpot and Machine Hub are online marketplaces where you can find used and new machinery from different sellers.
  5. Manufacturing equipment suppliers: Some companies specialize in supplying equipment for metalworking and manufacturing, including these machines. Some examples are Pro-tools and Baileigh Industrial.

It is important to research different options and compare prices, features and quality of the machines before purchasing one. It is also a good idea to get in touch with the supplier and ask for a demonstration or to see the machine in action before buying it. 

Can You Bend Sheet Metal Without A Bending Tool?

Yes, it is possible to bend sheet metal without a specific tool, but it can be more challenging and may require more physical effort

How Do I Bend Sheet Metal At Home?

There are several ways to bend sheet metal at home, but some of the most common methods include:

  1. Using a vice and hammer: Clamp the sheet metal in a vice, then use a hammer to gently bend the metal to the desired angle.
  2. Using a metal brake: A metal brake is a tool that allows you to bend sheet metal to a specific angle. They come in different sizes, so you can choose one that’s appropriate for the size of the sheet metal you’re working with.
  3. Using a sheet metal bender: These are specially designed tools that can bend sheet metal to a precise angle.
  4. Using a form block and hammer: This method uses a wooden or metal form block, which is a block of wood or metal with a curved surface. You place the sheet metal over the form block and use a hammer to bend the metal over the form block.
  5. Using a jigsaw or circular saw: This method is for cutting and shaping sheet metal, but the saw blade can also be used to make a crease in the sheet metal, which will allow you to bend it more easily.


It is important to note that the thickness and type of sheet metal will play a role in determining the best method for bending it. And also wear protective gear like gloves, goggles, etc.

What’s The Deal With Bent Metal? Is It Stronger?

Bending sheet metal will generally make it stiffer in the direction of the bend, but it may also make it less stiff in the perpendicular direction. When a sheet metal is bent, the fibers in the metal become more densely packed and re-oriented in the direction of the bend, which increases the material’s resistance to bending in that direction. This makes the sheet metal stiffer along the bend direction.

However, when a sheet metal is bent, it also causes the metal to stretch on the outer surface of the bend and compress on the inner surface. This stretching and compressing can cause the sheet metal to become thinner and weaker in the perpendicular direction to the bend, making it less stiff in that direction.

Therefore, it’s a misconception that a bent piece of sheet metal is always stiffer overall. Depending on the degree of the bend, the thickness of the sheet metal, the material properties and the location of the bend on the sheet metal, it can be stiffer or weaker than before.

What Is Shear Stress?

Shear stress is a type of stress that occurs when two parallel planes of a material are pushed or pulled in opposite directions. This type of stress is often encountered in the process of bending metal, as the top and bottom layers of the metal are being pulled in opposite directions. The amount of shear stress that a material can withstand before it fails is known as its shear strength.

Cab You Do It For Me?

Yes, we can do this for you. Our fulfilment process is designed to maximise dispatch speed as we are used to operating on Amazon and eBay where fulfilment speed expectations are very, very fast. So if you want us to do anything bespoke please do contact us immediately, or ideally in advance of placing your order. Otherwise it’ll likely be with our couriers before we have a chance to make any changes.

As always, thank you for checking out our blog. We hope that this helps you with your project. 

Please also check out the other articles in our helpful guide series. We have written about aluminium sheeting and checker plate recently to name but two of our articles.

We are also proud to sell this product on our highly popular eBay store, check us out there too.

If you have any further questions, feel free to contact us.

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