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Swag Offroad 40" Press Brake Review

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Swag Offroad 40" Press Brake Review

Postby KIDTech » Fri May 20, 2016 2:14 pm

So I said I would and I am finally getting around to it, the review....

I have always wanted a press brake but as most know they are expensive pieces of equipment especially if you won't use them very much. I ended up finding the Swag Offroad 40" press brake DIY kit with the adjustable/removable fingers and figured the money invested in it would let me know if I could justify purchasing a larger machine or if it was just the "wants" getting in the way of the "needs" to grow my business. It was by far one of the best investments I have made for the shop and continues to impress me every time I use it.

When I ordered the brake I decided to go ahead and build the frame it would sit in and use for leverage. I found a tutorial online using I beams including dimensions and that is what I used. This was roughly late September fyi.... I welded the I beam frame up, added some additional gussets and awaited the brake. I would estimate roughly 2 hours in fabbing the frame. Also during the wait I purchased a 20 ton air/pneumatic jack from HF.

The day the brake kit arrived it came in a standard box as I would expect it to. The box was heavy as well which to me was a little reassuring since for the money I wasn't sure what I was in for in the matter of it being cheap and cheap or cheap and useful. I followed the directions for mounting/fabbing the brake together and would estimate 20 minutes total. I did not weld the base/v plate to the I beam, instead I clamped the brake to the I beam. Installing the knives was pretty painless as well, I use a cordless impact to tighten/loosen the bolts for clamping them in. I have it down pretty quick now, I can remove all of them, set up for different bends or install them all in minutes.

The first bend I made on the brake was a set of gate hinges I cut out of 3/8". I would call them a "C" channel bend and I was already in for a learning curve. The bends were too tight so the hinge would hit the brake before bending a complete 90 degrees. I would roughly get 80 degrees before hitting. Not a big deal I just made them a little longer and now the hinges clear. I also found that if the rods the brake is sleeved over on the ends are not exact the brake will not go down evenly which only creates an issue if you are not looking for 90 degrees. I have since fixed the rods as well but learned again that if the part is not centered to the jack which also has to the centered to the brake then you will struggle with anything but 90 degree bends. The issue is that one half of the material will bend before the other so you would have say 70 degrees on one half and 75 on the other. The addition of another jack was the biggest help with correcting this issue. evenly spaced jacks applying pressure at the same rate allows the user a little more freedom from center. Another issue I ran into would be the jacks themselves. They do not like to be stored upside down, I had originally made brackets to slide the base plate for the jack upside down so the cylinder would be pushing down on the brake and not the base plate pushing down on the brake. It's not a huge issue beside when not in use I have to remove the jacks.

As far as the handiness now that I have worked out my bugs, this thing is great. I would highly recommend it to anyone unsure of buying a press brake or for anyone who just needs one every month or so for a few parts. I really don't think you can go wrong with this tool in your shop. I have bent 3/8" thick brackets I would say 8" wide with not issues. I have not experimented with bending anything wide in it over 1/8" or 11 ga thick so I really can't comment on that. I would guess I could bend 20" wide .25" with the brake just from comparing it to other jobs I've done with it. I use it to bend the fire pit file I got from this forum though, same shape as the collapsible but welded pit.

In conclusion, this thing has helped me a lot and is a justifiable purchase. It has allowed me to buy other equipment that I needed instead of spending the money for a brake that I would only use one or twice a month with a small footprint so it doesn't take up a whole lot of shop space. I hope this helps anyone on the fence looking at these brakes. Go get you one and expand your capabilities.

Press Brake Kit: ... _p_96.html

Press Brake Frame Build: ... stand.html



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Re: Swag Offroad 40" Press Brake Review

Postby gsi » Sun May 22, 2016 11:09 am

I have SWAG's finger brake kit for a regular shop press. I think it's 19" wide. I kinda like it but I want to do something else as I keep wanting to bend stuff that is just a bit wider. It would be nice if the fingers were longer as it would give more clearance for boxes and stuff. We tried to bend a 11 inch piece of 1/4" the other day with it. It didn't end well. It wouldn't bend it with a 20T jack. My press frame is rated for 30T so I put my non air 30 ton in to bend these parts. Unfortunately the press frame started to yield. The holes egged out where the pins go through and the pins bent. Note, I'm bend stuff that is listed as being in capacity for this setup. Another issue with mine is the bottom isn't flat(this way since new) so it's very frustrating trying to make precise bends with it using an angle cube to measure the plate. It rolls some depending on how much load is on it and where the load is front to back. The back gauge is a pain to adjust. I use my shop press for other things frequently so it's kinda annoying to have to constantly take the press brake on and off. I'm either going to buy a press brake, buy the swag 40" kit, or build my own.

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Re: Swag Offroad 40" Press Brake Review

Postby Chrissi » Thu Aug 04, 2016 11:32 am

gsi wrote:I have SWAG's finger brake kit for a regular shop press. I think it's 19" wide.

Is that the regular or the HD version of the finger brake kit?
Thanks, Chrissi

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Re: Swag Offroad 40" Press Brake Review

Postby gsi » Thu Aug 04, 2016 2:12 pm

It's the regular version. Best I can tell the only difference is a 4" wide lower die on the heavier duty version.

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Re: Swag Offroad 40" Press Brake Review

Postby nalin400m » Thu Dec 15, 2016 10:32 am

Had you considered cutting your own? They're not exactly rocket science. This is mine before i drilled and tapped all of the pierced holes to hold the upper dies. Works great. I can cut/laminate all the custom dies I want with scrap or use commercially available dies.

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Re: Swag Offroad 40" Press Brake Review

Postby kbenz » Sun Dec 18, 2016 5:28 pm

I want to build the new 48" brake they came out with
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