Difference Between Rolling  and Bending Machines

Roll bending or forming and press brake bending machines are often confused. That’s because their primary purposes are the same, to bend metal, but there are some distinct differences. It’s critical to know what these differences are so you can pick the best bending process for your operations.

Keep reading to learn what bending machines and rolling machines are, what makes them unique, and the pros and cons of each option. 

What is a Rolling Machine?

Roll bending is a process used to bend steel, aluminum, and other metals. It is often used for bending tube materials, so if you want to know how to bend metal pipe or rods then a rolling machine is one of your options. 

Rolling machines use a set of rollers, usually 3 but sometimes more. These rollers are designed to bend the metal that curves bending tubes. Some of the benefits of this type of machine are the fact that it can create different bend radii on the same tube, work continuously on a longer piece of metal, and create complex geometric shapes. 

What is Tube Bending Process? 

The roll bending process consists of passing the bend metal bar, tube, pipe, or sheet through the assembly parameters. As the materials pass through the rollers, they produce metal bend formations at each step. This allows for lengthy materials to bypass multiple bends to produce a specific shape.

 Pros of Pipe Rolling Machines

●      Works on a continuous coil for greater efficiency

●      No limit to the length of the bend, good for high-volume output

●      Creates uniform bends even with long materials

●      Generates multiple bends in a single process

Cons of Pipe Rolling Machines

●      Bends must all be in the same direction

●      Tooling and materials can be expensive

●      Requires an experienced roll-bending operator

●      Not good for low-volume manufacturing

 What is a Bending Machine?

The term bending machine can technically refer to any type of bending machine, including roll-forming machines. However, in this context, it is generally referring to a press brake bending machine, which has many differences in how to bend bent metal. 

While it’s not the best choice for how to bend steel rod or bending metal tubing, there are some models that can do so with ease. Typically, a press brake bending machine is used for bending sheet metal and plate metal. 

These machines are a great method for how to bend stainless steel, aluminum, and even iron. The result is an easy-to-use, cost-effective method for creating metal bends. 

What is the Bending Machine Process?

A press brake or bending machine is different from a bend roll forming machine because what is used to bend metal is a set of clamps and a matching punch and die to create predetermined bends. The operator inserts the material that is formed and shaped with high pressure, temperature, and efficiency. 

With some press brakes, like the powerful Electrical Press Brake eB Ultra by Accurl, the operator simply has to insert and remove the materials, and the energy-efficient and automated process performs the rest for productive output. 

Pros of Bending Machines

●      Highly efficient method for bending roll bar tubing, sheet metal, and more

●      Cost-effective performance for both low and high-volume operations

●      Metal bent is precise and can create multiple-sided bends like accordion shapes easier than bending nylon tubing with a rolling machine

●      Requires less training for operation while still maintaining safety

●      Easy to set up to create detailed, accurate bends with flexibility

Cons of Bending Machines

●      Restricts the length of material you can bend, so may not be optimal for how to bend metal rods that are very long

●      More difficult to add holes or punch shapes during the process

●      Can leave scrape marks, especially if you don’t get your press brake from a reliable maker like Accurl


As you can see, the main differences between rolling and bending machines are the continuous coil with roll bending, the typical material of sheet metal for press brakes and metal tubes for roll forming, and other features that determine efficiency, volume, and other stats.

 If you are looking for how to bend a metal pipe or how to bend a metal tube that is very long, then a rolling machine might be your best bet. However, if you need to bend sheet metal and want a cost-effective, efficient, and precise process, then a bending machine might be better. 

Want to know how much it will cost? Click here to request a free quote from Accurl for your custom-tailored bending operation!


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