You probably already know what a sheet metal brake is used for if you have spent any amount of time in fields like roofing and construction. A sheet metal brake is a somewhat large device used to bend sheets of metal for various projects. While a bending brake is great for certain purposes like dealing with higher gauges of metal, it also comes with its fair share of drawbacks as well. Bending brakes are stationary, take up a great deal of space and generally lack flexibility for the user.
You may have become familiar with the name and simply accepted it as the main tool you would want to use for bending metal. However, you should know that it is not the only option in metal bending tools, and it is certainly not the best choice in many circumstances. You should keep in mind that there are plenty of other metal benders on the market that are much more practical to use than just a sheet metal brake. You will likely find that using any of these metal bending tools will actually be the better call.
This is what you will probably want to choose if you need to bend metal ever so carefully in small increments at a time. Hand seamers are very small, handheld tools that largely resemble pliers. The difference is in the metal tips. Hand seamers give you a great amount of manual control, so they are good for doing detailed precision work with metal. They come in handy especially if you have to work in a tight, confined space or on a small surface. As an added incentive, hand seamers are less expensive than many other devices you could use including metal brakes.
This type of metal bender is more versatile than the previous one mentioned. Handheld roller benders give you a great amount of control over the bend of many different types of metal. A good one will allow you to bend metal, quickly and easily without leaving any scratches or scuff marks on the material. This is a real workhorse of benders because they are so useful and can be easily brought onsite with you to a job. This is the bender you want to bring with you to work on a roof.
Take a good look over these bending tools to see if there is anyone that will fill an empty space in your work supplies. Of course, there will still be times when a sheet metal brake is the best metalworking tool to use, but not all the time and probably not for most of the time you will need to bend metal. For all of the many other occasions, one of these alternatives will work just fine. You really do not need to weigh yourself down with a large, cumbersome piece of machinery in your work vehicle, when a small, handheld tool will do the trick. You can take your pick of any of these alternatives over at John Stortz & Son, where they have plenty of options for each type of product mentioned here.