Best Arbor Press – Reviews and Buying Guide 2018

PreviewNameAwardsPurchase

Dake 00

High End

Palmgren AP10

Medium Priced

HHIP 8600-0031

Affordable

Assume you are replacing bearings on one of your machines. If you are pressed for time, you might use a hammer and sockets. To install the bearings correctly, you need a better approach. An arbor press is the ideal tool for handling bearings, motor shafts and so on.

Presses come in many sizes and forms. Some are hydraulic, while others are mechanical. The arbor press is a mechanical press, probably the most popular one.  

Would an arbor press be a valuable addition to your toolbox? This tool is perfect for tasks that demand fine detail, for instance bearing installation. You may also want to use it in projects where you need to do a lot of metal pressing. Users like arbor presses for their compactness and portability.

If you work in a machine shop or construction site where you are installing metal components, you need to consider one of the best arbor presses we have reviewed. Hand-operated, the arbor press uses the operator’s mechanical force. There are several questions to ask to determine the best arbor press for your application:

  • How big is the largest work piece I need to press?
  • How often do I need to use the arbor press?
  • What is the force or pressure required?

We are about to look at some amazing options for you. You can count on these arbor presses. Please go through the entire list so you can make an informed choice in the end.


Arbor Press Reviews


Best Arbor Presses

1. Dake 00 Model Single Leverage Arbor Press with Base Opening and Slotted Table Plate

Dake 00

Adjustable handle can be positioned for a comfortable grip or to attain maximum leverage

We are yet to meet a manufacturer that offers such a broad range of arbor press sizes and tonnage as Dake Corp. The manufacturing giant has been a leader in the industry for over a century now. It is not surprising that the brand has almost become synonymous with arbor presses. Interesting fact: Some of the press designs that existed back then are still visible in today’s products.

When you need a rich mix of comfortable operation, high load capacity and long-term use, you will not come across so many press options. Our first product to review, the Dake 00 Model Single Leverage Arbor Press, pleased us with its overall quality.

The arbor press is proof that the 1887 founded manufacturer has perfected its game over all this time and is now producing world-beating products. This device is one of the best options in the market that support different pressing applications.

Weighing in at 25 pounds, the press is strong enough to provide stable operation, but also light enough for ease of transportation. If you need more stability, you can fix the base to the bench. It comes with two 0.39″-diameter holes to allow for mounting.

The frame of this arbor press is cast iron for durability and strength. For even higher strength, this product has flanged spline design that makes the press body rigid. The cast iron is carefully balanced to ensure the perfect combination of machinability and stiffness. When it comes to machining the frame, Dake observed accuracy to the last detail. Like all Dake arbor presses, the Dake 00 Model Single Leverage Arbor Press features a finely flat table, proving that the manufacturer observed close tolerances.

The ram is rectangular. It is made of tough material that features close tolerances. A close observation shows that the rack teeth are ground close to the centerline. This design ensures that the vertical force is as close as possible to the ram centerline. The ram also comes with an adjustable cap for wear compensation.

It does not matter if you are a novice in as far as arbor presses are concerned. The Dake 00 Model Single Leverage Arbor Press is easy to use. The setup should not worry you either. The press does not even come with mounting hardware because the assembly is intact from the shelves. You also have a very straightforward manual.

The capacity of this product is quite exciting. With a top pressing force of 1 ton, this arbor press should find it easy to handle majority of small and medium jobs. We also believe it can do some heavy jobs. We love the handle because its adjustability and comfortable grip make it possible to perform a wide of tasks with high ease.

 


2.JET AP-3 3 Ton Arbor Press

JET AP-3

Tables and slotted table-plates are flat and parallel to provide accurate support

Buyers will often find themselves at crossroads, unable to choose between JET and Dake arbor presses. Like Dake, JET products are time-tested and popular in the market. For their predictable rigidity and strength, JET arbor presses easily make lists of the best arbor presses in the market. The JET AP-3 3 ton arbor is also one of our favorites.  

Is a 1 ton or 2 ton press a bit light for the tasks you want to handle? Perhaps you need to have a look at this 3-ton machine. This single lever arbor press promises excellent performance if you look at the tonnage and other features.

Such a loaded product needs an equally strong construction. Like most JET products, the JET AP-3 3 ton arbor comes in a heavy ductile iron casting construction that promises longevity no matter what you throw at it.

The AP-3 / 333630 arbor press is designed for all assembly and production applications. It weighs in at 108 pounds and rises to 21-1/2 inches. Only the AP-5 5-Ton Arbor Press does better than this strong machine. It features a sizeable and heavy base, which measures 8-1/2 x 18 inches. This weight and size ensures a firm support for applications.

Obviously, the press will need some mounting when handling heavy stuff. It therefore comes with pre-drilled mounting holes.  

The AP-3 / 333630 arbor press is a step above the AP-2 2-Ton Arbor Press (here the machine is giving 3 tons of pressure).  However, the thing that excites the most is that this product is capable of handling a wide range of jobs. You can use it for all manner of assembly and production applications with pleasant results.

The JET manufacturing expertise is all over this machine. You are assured of consistent precision operations, coupled with safety and efficiency. If you ever doubted your confidence in this arbor press, JET does not have any doubt this is a quality product. The 2-Year Warranty offered says it all.

Users will love the high-level accuracy of the AP-3 / 333630 Arbor Press. This is attributed to flatness and parallelism of the slotted table plates. Precision cut pinions and rams add to the renowned accuracy of this 97-pound heavy equipment.

If there is one thing that should give you confidence as you consider buying this arbor press, then it is the 2-year warranty. While the product is of the highest quality, the manufacturer is ready to service and routine maintenance. Users can also get expert guidance when acquiring parts.

The bottom line is that the AP-3 / 333630 arbor press is compact, reliable and affordable. If 3 tons of pressure is what you need, we suggest you consider this press.

When you need a less powerful machine with the same characteristics, JET has an option for you. Like the 3-ton arbor press, the JET AP-1 1 Ton Arbor Press is very reliable in assembly and production applications. The only difference between the two is capacity, with this product being smaller. You will see the quality design and production that defines every Jet product in this arbor press. The near perfect tolerance standards synonymous with JET products are evident in this arbor press. Operations are precise and quality is consistent. An even smaller version of this model is the JET AP-0 1/2 Ton Arbor Press.

 


3. Palmgren AP10 1 Ton Arbor Press

Palmgren AP10

Includes three piece bit set - 1 pointed, 1 round, and 1 square end bit, and a removable steel anvil

We have met many fans of this American based manufacturer of metal working tools that is almost clocking one century since inception. Even before testing the products, we know how fine they are after such a long journey. Today we present to you the amazing Palmgren AP10 1 Ton Arbor Press, which is selling out fast.

The basic function of an arbor press is to exert enough downward force on the die. This is not particularly a challenging call. Then, why are the best arbor presses better than others are?  The hallmarks of a good press are high quality design and consistent smooth operation. This 1-ton arbor press has earned some good marks in all aspects.

The design of the handle is very convenient, helping the user to operate the arbor press with minimal jostling.  

Palmgren has invested in this kind of press to serve the needs of users who handle fine detailed jobs, such as joint replacements. Use magnetic inserts to add bits or punch tools to the ram. Since the ram is reversible, you can use it as either a magnetic end or solid end.

As the capacity suggests, the Palmgren AP10 1 Ton Arbor Press will probably fail if subjected to heavy-duty applications. The good thing is that this arbor press with base opening and slotted table will complete countless tasks over the years, if you observe the loading limit. It features a very efficient trapezoidal-thread lead screw. A sturdy cast iron body holds this screw and the other components steadily. This material has been stress relieved to make it as solid as possible.

With a base length of 14 inches and height of 14 inches, the Palmgren AP10 1 Ton Arbor Press offers very stable operation despite its small capacity. At 33.4 pounds, the tool gives good grip for its applications, but it is also light enough for effortless mobility.

Probably you want to remain at Palmgren, but use a smaller capacity arbor press. Our forays into the company’s catalogue took us to the Palmgren Arbor press, 0.5 ton. It bears the same qualities as the 1-ton arbor press, so you will enjoy the same features.

 


4. HHIP 8600-0131 Pro-Series Cast Iron Arbor Press, 1 Ton Capacity, 14″ Height

HHIP 8600-0131

Rugged steel ram is driven by machined pinion

If you were looking for top arbor press recommendations from HHIP, then we would suggest that the HHIP 8600-0131 tops the list. Numerous good reviews are already proving the quality of this product that belongs to the HHIP pro-series category, as it comes with some irresistible features.

Nothing defines the functionality of the best arbor press than the force it applies. This product can exert up to 1 tons force. Ok, this is nowhere near what the AP-5 arbor press and other heavy-duty arbor presses offer, but it is enough to do a wide range of pressing applications including squeezing, bending and riveting. Its sturdy and strong cast iron construction coupled with a strong steel ram creates the ideal tonnage for these applications.

As we have seen in other products of this range, this 1-ton arbor press comes with a drilled base that makes mounting easy. Alongside that feature is a removable machined anvil. This steel component gives the product its unmatched accuracy.

The accuracy of an arbor press also depends on the quality of the pinion. HHIP 8600-0131 is made of very high quality pinion, which is also machined using latest technology. With the expertise involved, the pinion and ram combination provides strong and quiet performance.

If you have ever used HHIP tools, then you know that the 21 years old company does not hold back when it comes to quality of their products. Manufacture of HHIP arbor presses is done under strict scrutiny. Rigorous quality inspection by an experienced team completes the process. This 1-ton press guarantees 100% satisfaction as long as you use it for the right applications. It is the second tool we are reviewing under this model. It suits a wide range of small-scale pressing applications including punching, squeezing and riveting.

We could say the same for the other capacities under this model. These are:

These four precision centered arbor presses are perfect for construction projects and home-based products. Made of cast iron and machined to the last detail, these products allow for applications in tough and rough environments. Their compact size is preferable for contractors that need a tool that is easy to carry from site to site.

 

 

 


5. HHIP 8600-0031 Heavy Duty Arbor Press, .5 Ton Capacity, 10″ Height (Pack of 1)

HHIP 8600-0031 Heavy Duty Arbor Press

Base measures 9-inches length by 4-inches width

The HHIP 8600-0031 heavy-duty arbor press is your best bet for numerous pressing applications such as squeezing and punching. It weighs in at 21.6 pounds, a feature that gives it leverage for many applications.

HHIP has put a lot of effort in designing this quality arbor press.  It is constructed from cast iron that is sure to meet your expectations of strength and durability. This tool has a high tensile strength. The hand wheel feature makes presswork simple and fast.

Ram control and general operation of the press is important. We found this arbor press smooth operating and accurate, thanks to its precision cut pinions and steel rams. The arbor gears do not “mushroom” as is the case in low quality models. Still on control, the HHIP 8600-0031 comes with an adjustable handle for user convenience.

We also noted that the HHIP 8600-0031 is a versatile tool. First, it features a heavy frame that can handle a variety of projects. To add to that, the device comes with a 4-position steel anvil that supports different types of work pieces.

At a weight of 21.6 pounds, this arbor press light enough to allow for mobility, but not so light that it cannot provide the required leverage. Use the pre-drilled holes to secure the press to the bench. 

All these qualities make this arbor press ideal for repetitive jobs around the home or workshop.

Do you want to step up? You are probably looking for the firepower of the HHIP 8600-0032 Heavy Duty Arbor Press, 1 Ton Capacity, 13″ Height (Pack of 1). It has the same characteristics as the 8600-0031, although it has a slightly bigger base area-11-inches length by 5-inches width. You can expect that from a tool with double the tonnage. If you want even more firepower, the HHIP 8600-0033 Heavy Duty Arbor Press, 2 Ton Capacity, 18″ Height (Pack of 1) is there for you. You will note that the dimensions and weights of these products increase with tonnage.

Whether you are a professional or DIYer, the HHIP 8600-0031 Heavy Duty Arbor Press, .5 Ton Capacity, 10″ Height (Pack of 1) is a model you can trust.

 


How to Choose the Best Arbor Press – Buying Guide

Have you ever used in-line skates or cruised on a skateboard? If so you must have noticed, these devices have an axle and a wheel. In between the two, a bearing allows the wheel to rotate smoothly on the axle. Wheel bearings remain intact in the wheel because of friction. To get in that position, a force must be applied.

An arbor press is a tool used to either force such components together or separate them. It has many applications such as press alignment pins, press bearings into pulleys and press gears into shafts.

Are you looking to add the best arbor press for the occasional automotive and bearing jobs? Do you need an arbor press for routine applications? We are here to help you with a few tips.

Before we even proceed, please note that there are several categories of presses. If we base our classification on source of power, we get four categories namely:

  • Manual Presses
  • Mechanical Presses
  • Hydraulic Presses
  • Pneumatic Presses

Arbor press is easily the most popular manual press.

Operation

It is simple to understand the working principle of arbor press if you remember that it is just a devise for transforming a small force into a larger force. This emanates from the mechanical advantages introduced by gears and levers within the device.

The handle of the arbor press is the long lever that moves the spindle. The spindle or pinion is a gear that moves the rack. It is also referred to as the short lever. Then we have the frame, which supports the work piece and spindle. It also guides the ram. The ram or rack is a gear that creates straight-line motion from the rotary motion, as it engages with the pinion. This component has infinite radius.

The two most important components of the device-lever and pressing arm- combine to create a large downward force that does the pressing task. Once you apply the force on the lever, it is transferred to a gear, which then uses a rack-and-pinion gearing to drive the arm.

The most basic arbor press has a large and a smaller gear. The large gear attaches to lever arm. The larger the lever arm, the larger the gear.  This also applies to the force created by the mechanism i.e. a larger gear generates more force.

A heavy-duty arbor press is slightly different. For example, it may come with reduction gears for further force amplification. Such are the presses capable of generating several tons of pressing force.

Working with the Arbor Press

The operator places item below the press bar in readiness for pressing. This item could be a bearing or any other machinery component.  The operator adjusts the ram so that it just touches the item. Upon application of pressure to the lever arm, the larger gear is engaged and the force is amplified. The center axle of the arbor press rotates the smaller gear, which then engages with press ram teeth. This way, the amplified force is transferred to the item through a straight line.

Steps for Choosing Best Arbor Press

One of the most important aspects of an arbor press is tonnage. Do not worry about tooling. The best arbor presses allow for interchangeability of tools. Selecting the appropriate tonnage of the arbor press is usually no more than guesswork.

Once you have settled the tonnage, you now have to determine how the stroke will affect the work.

The next step is to find out the type of arbor press you need. What is the level of rigidity needed? Are you concerned about pressure distribution? One thing you must remember: the more important the work, the higher the reserve tonnage should be. Once you have the basics settled, you can now move to the options available.

For arbor presses, quality of construction can vary a lot. Light duty products are perfect for simple pressing works, while heavy duty ones are suitable for general-purpose applications.

On construction, look at a few points to make sure you are getting something good. Dimensional capacity, rigidity and thickness all determine the overall quality of arbor press. For a major tool purchase such as this, doing your homework is important.

Customization

Would you be interested in a customized arbor press? You can talk to the manufacturer or supplier to have the product customized to suit your needs and requirements for the following:

  1. Mechanical counter
  2. Ergonomic/ comfortable handle
  3. Fine adjustment
  4. Micrometer fine adjustment
  5. Throat extension block
  6. Nickel plated body

And so on.

Must-Have Features

A good arbor presses should have some features. One it should be flexible to allow for rapid changeover. The table and ram design should be precisely aligned to allow for repeatable and accuracy of set ups. This results in short set-up times.

When it comes to the handle, an ergonomic handle comes in handy.  For the best experience, insist on an arbor press whose handle can have a 360 degrees movement.  It is also important to consider products that are available for both right-handed and left-handed users.

Other crucial considerations are:

  • Distance between base and ram – working height/ clearance
  • Distance between ram and back of working space – throat

These are some facts and features for your new arbor press. We believe you now have headway in your search for a good arbor press.


Conclusion

Are you starting to wonder how you survived without an arbor press? This equipment is designed to handle numerous pressing tasks and stands the test of time. As you can see from the list, there is a wide selection of arbor presses to choose from as you invest your money.

These compact machines suit different work environments and so appeal to a wide range of users. Users from beginners to professionals have made the tool part of their collections.  There is no reason you should not be part of the movement. Of the arbor presses listed here, a few will stand out in your perspective. It could be because of ease of use, construction quality, appearance or affordability. For us, we give the winner’s medal to the Palmgren AP10 1 Ton Arbor Press after consideration of all aspects, including affordability. What is your best arbor press and why? Let us know in the comments section.

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