In countless industrial settings, shop presses are used to perform a variety of physical tasks. Capable of applying anywhere between one and thirty tons of pressure, shop presses can be extremely useful throughout several settings.

Two of the most commonly used shop presses are the hydraulic press and the pneumatic press. Undoubtedly, hydraulic and pneumatic presses are two of the most common machine tools and are in fact made to accomplish similar, if not the same, jobs. While hybrid models like pneumatic hydraulic presses exist, these two types of shop presses function differently and do have separate considerations to keep in mind. In today’s post, we’ll discuss some of the main differences between the two as well as how they can be a vital addition to your business.

Pneumatic Presses
First, let’s talk about what the word “pneumatic” means. It is defined as either containing or being operated by gas or air that is put under pressure. It’s no wonder that these tools are also referred to as air press machines, as they are controlled by manipulating pressurized air. This tool performs its duties by having air be forced into a tube; when pressure is applied to that contained air, the press then moves downwards and goes onto perform the task (i.e., squeezing, forming, pressing, etc.). After that, the air is released through the press’s valves and its springs move the pump back up. The action is then be repeated if necessary.

With keeping the pneumatic press in mind, it is important to think of why so many businesses utilize the pneumatic toggle press and other types of pneumatic tools. For one thing, they’re speedy. They can perform functions much faster than hydraulic presses can and are very easy to use. In addition, it’s action can be halted at any time. The press is low-maintenance, versatile, and durable. Overall, the pneumatic press is considered to be dependable and comes with few risks.

Hydraulic Presses
Unlike pneumatic presses that use air or gas to operate, hydraulic presses are machine tools that are operated through utlizing a liquid that moves under pressure. It’s a similar idea in that putting pressure on an element forces the press itself to perform its intended function. Hydraulic presses contain a piston which presses into a chamber that’s typically filled with oil. The pressure causes the oil to move and puts pressure on either a baseplate or another piston that is pressed in a downward motion.

Hydraulic presses are considered to be both dependable and strong. They’re also well-suited for very specific types of jobs, particularly with tougher materials or when large amounts of products need to be pressed. The main difference of the hydraulic press compared to the pneumatic press is that they perform their task at a much slower rate, which at points is an advantage, and the Hydraulic press does require quite a bit of maintenance. If you use this type of press, you’ll have to use other devices to monitor the oil pressure and the press’s efficiency.

In conclusion, both pneumatic and hydraulic presses come with their own sets of advantages. Either press may actually be preferable over the basic mechanical presses. Though these two presses can be used for many of the same jobs, the choice between the two will really depend on the industry and the specific task-at-hand. Any business may even end up requiring both types of presses used at different times. To find out more about how our pneumatic press products can help your organization succeed, please contact us today at or (401)232-1710.