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What is an Ironworker Machine?

An ironworker is a fabrication unit used in metal workshops to process metal in various ways. A typical ironworker can guillotine, punch, notch or bend metal products without requiring extensive setup times or complicated jig setups.

There are several different ironworkers on the market, ranging from manual home hobbyist machines to large, hydraulic production units; they all allow for more detailed fabrication of metal products.

How does an ironworker work?

An ironworker machine is comprised of a fixed frame, motor, safety shields, the metal working pieces as well as a control panel/foot pedal. Most machines are electronically and/or hydraulically controlled, and some typical working principles include:

  • A sliding plate with a cutting edge to guillotine metal materials against a fixed edge.
  • A movable punch to produce customisable holes in a variety of metal materials.
  • A ram or sliding arm to force metal products around a fixed point or into a die.

A single operator can complete most actions using a foot pedal or button, with many actions often repeated in quick succession for a steady production flow.

Due to the high forces required to bend and cut metal, hydraulic transmissions are common on ironworkers.

Using an ironworker machine

Since ironworkers are equipable with a wide range of punches, dies and cutters, you can use them for many different fabricating purposes. The most common applications are cutting and punching metal; however, these machines can also:

  • Punch of pipes, flat bars, angles and H-beams
  • Cut angle bars, square bars, round bars, flat bars, channels, and I-beams
  • Notch (square and vee)
  • Bend angles

Because of their versatility, any industry that uses metal will have a need for an ironworker.

General capabilities of an ironworker

An ironworker machine can come in many different sizes, with the exact specifications of each one varying accordingly. For example, the weight of an ironworker machine can vary from 1,500kg to over 12,000kg, with the corresponding cutting force ranging from 600kN to 2500kN respectively.

Ironworkers can cut plate of varying thicknesses, and can punch through metal as well.

Depending on the size of the actual ironworker machine, you can feed metal products of different lengths – it is possible to guillotine flat plates up to 750mm in length. This makes these machines incredibly versatile and a useful addition to any metal workshop.

Metal Supermarkets


Metal Supermarkets is the world’s largest small-quantity metal supplier with 125 brick-and-mortar stores across the US, Canada, and United Kingdom. We are metal experts and have been providing quality customer service and products since 1985.

At Metal Supermarkets, we supply a wide range of metals for a variety of applications. Our stock includes: mild steel, stainless steel, aluminium, tool steel, engineering steel, brass, bronze and copper.

We carry a wide range of shapes including: bars, tubes, sheets and plates. We can cut metal to your exact specifications.

Visit one of our 8 locations in the United Kingdom today.

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