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Hydraulic vs. Mechanical Presses, What You Need To Know.

Hydraulic vs. Mechanical Presses

There is much to discuss when it comes to understanding the principles behind hydraulic and mechanical presses and their various purposes and benefits. For a business to make a fulsome and carefully considered decision on what might work best for their industry, you’ll need to specifically address whether your needs are simple or complex, if speed is critical or more versatility is important and of course, to consider the costs associated with installing either style. Here’s what you need to know when it comes to considering the purchase and installation of a hydraulic vs. mechanical press.


What’s What? The Definition.

Mechanical Press

The essential design principle behind a mechanical press is that it has many moving parts. There’s the flywheel, the clutch, gears, the crankshaft and connecting rods, to name just some of its components. Often, a mechanical press requires a very specific and customized fabrication and with so many moving parts, its complexity could lead to expensive maintenance and repairs.


Hydraulic Press

Relies principally on pressurized hydraulic fluid (oil) as its “medium of motion” and a hydraulic pump as the power source. What this means to your production line is a more predictive and preventative maintenance schedule and a better, and more consistent source of full press force at any given point during a stroke.


Are Your Needs Simple or Complex?

Behind your purchase and install decision will be the evaluation of the purpose behind your purchase. What will your press be doing? What performance measures are most important to you and your business?



A mechanical press is best suited to a production line where both speed and high volume are critical considerations. Set up is simple and your operator’s ability to control speed is easy to maintain. Generally speaking mechanical presses will offer consistently high accuracy and your initial set up costs can be lower.



A hydraulic press will better serve your purposes if you require versatility. A hydraulic press offers more flexibility in design and comes in a variety of sizes to suit many different production requirements. It offers technological accuracy on the most complex of parts and this is one of the key differences between the two press types – a hydraulic press allows for the creation of intricate shapes including “deep bowl” applications, as just one example. In fact, deep and complex forms rely on a hydraulic press to be able to address the need for a more consistent full press force at any point during a stroke.


Speed vs. Versatility – Which is More Important?

As implied above but clarified here, a mechanical press will play a more useful role in high production runs where parts might be simple or flat and will require only minimal set up. In such situations where speed and volume outweigh the occasional need for flexibility – you may wish to consider a mechanical press. They offer lower initial set up costs and a high degree of accuracy.


A hydraulic press on the other hand is more economical to maintain over the longer term with fewer moving parts resulting in less maintenance and repairs than its mechanical counterpart. The hydraulic press is by no means slow but its main advantage, as stated earlier, lies in the ability to create intricate shapes for unique production line purposes.


Before you consider the installation of either a mechanical or hydraulic press you’ll need to undertake a complete business case evaluation. Knowing your product design features, the industry you serve and the end user requirements will each help to clearly identify whether you are best served by installing a mechanical press – perhaps in an automotive manufacturing setting, or a hydraulic press – often used in appliance manufacturing for example. Macrodyne offers a variety of hydraulic press types that can be completely customized to your exacting specifications, addressing your need for both innovative design and ease of automation – even on the most complex of parts.


One Last Point!

Despite everything we’ve said here today, there’s an important caveat: a hydraulic press CAN offer both versatility and speed, even in a high production line / automotive environment! Macrodyne manufactures hydraulic presses that work in a variety of automotive manufacturing settings including; molds and trim, electric vehicle battery components, body panels and more. You might want to schedule an appointment with a member of the Macrodyne team to ask how a hydraulic press offers cost-effective applications across a wide range of industries around the world. Let us help you make a carefully considered decision on what will work best for your business.

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Custom Designed Presses

Macrodyne has designed and built many other presses not shown on the website.

80% of our presses are custom designed to meet the specific specification of each client.

Custom Designed Presses

Macrodyne has designed and built many other presses not shown on the website.

80% of our presses are custom designed to meet the specific specification of each client.