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Arbor Presses 101: Compound Leverage, Ratchet Leverage, Single Leverage- What's the Difference?

Arbor presses have been around for a long time (we have been manufacturing them since the 1940's!). They are versatile machines that you can rely on to get the job done. Many choose to use an arbor press over a high-tech machine because they work better for the job. There are three different types of arbor presses- single leverage, ratchet leverage, and compound leverage- and you may be asking yourself "what's the difference?". Our team is here to break it down for you.   

Single Leverage Arbor Presses

Single leverage arbors have a grand total of 4 moving parts (some only 3) making them simple to use and efficient. From 1 ton to 3 tons these work horses do what you expect them to do. They are great for pressing small bushings, bearings and the like. Some single leverage models are small enough to be used for leather working or jewelry making. The leverage ratio varies from model to model at different tons but all have adjustable handles that slide through the spindle for a comfortable operating position.  

Ratchet Leverage Arbor Presses

The most popular type of arbor presses are the ratchet leverage models. Due to the ratcheting function the handle is always in the optimum position making it easier to put on the pressure. Another great feature is the handwheel for rapid ram to work or rapid return. Ratchet lever arbors are great for broaching as some models have extra daylight for long broaches and maintain pressure on the work even when ratcheting the handle. Other models have deeper throats for larger diameter pressing such as wheels or large work pieces. 

Compound Leverage Arbor Presses

Compound leverage arbor presses are some serious pieces of cast iron with tonnages from 6 – 15 tons. The compound mechanism allows for greater pressure with minimum effort. This means that it won't take much more effort that the other models to operate. A sliding pin easily converts this arbor press from compound leverage to single leverage. There is also a hand-operated brake. The compound leverage arbor presses are great machines for larger gear boxes, electrical generator work, and any application that requires “feel” when using.

Want to learn more? Check out the basic theory of arbor presses

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