A forming press, commonly shortened to press, is a machine tool that changes the shape of a workpiece by the application of pressure. Presses can be classified according to
- their mechanism: hydraulic, mechanical, pneumatic;
- their function: forging presses, stamping presses, press brakes, punch press, etc.
- their structure, e.g. Knuckle-joint press, screw press
- their control-ability: conventional vs. servo-presses
Typically consisting of a simple rectangular frame, often fabricated from C-channel or tubing, containing a bottle jack or hydraulic cylinder to apply pressure via a ram to a work-piece. Often used for general-purpose forming work in the auto mechanic shop, machine shop, garage or basement shops, etc. Typical shop presses are capable of applying between 1 to 30 tons pressure, depending on size and construction. Lighter-duty versions are often called arbor presses.
A shop press is commonly used to press interference fit parts together, such as gears onto shafts or bearings into housings.