The 6 Best Arbor Presses

Updated January 30, 2017 by Steven John

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We spent 24 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Amateur jewelers, professional guitar builders, experienced gunsmiths and DIY furniture repairers will find one of the compact, but powerful, tools on this list handy, if not invaluable. Using the basic principles of the lever and materials like solid steel and cast iron, these arbor presses are ready to create maximum force with minimal effort. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best arbor press on Amazon.

6. Palmgren Half Ton

The Palmgren Half Ton is a great little press for anyone who needs more precision and pressure than they can muster with a hammer but is not looking to shape or punch through thick sheets of solid metal. It secures tools or bits in place with a magnetic insert.
  • trapezoidal-thread lead screw
  • steel cam locking mechanism
  • punches often fall out of place
Brand Palmgren
Model AP05 (AmazonUs/ERCT9)
Weight 19 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

5. Arbor Press 1 Ton

This basic Arbor Press 1 Ton costs less than most similar devices, and it might last for less time than some units, as well, if used heavily. But for the artisan making original jewelry or the craftsman working with smaller machined components, it works well.
  • easy anvil adjustments
  • prone to rust if not cleaned well
  • small operating height
Brand Arbor Press
Model pending
Weight 48 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. Jet AP-1

The Jet AP-1 has an extra long handle attached to its ram, so you can enjoy the impressive force delivered by the classic simple machine we call the lever. Its precision-machined four-position bottom plate ensures accurate applications of force every time.
  • relatively lightweight
  • backed by 2-year warranty
  • lower working height than others
Brand Jet
Model AP-1
Weight 26 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

3. Central Machinery

This press from Central Machinery costs only half as much as some ostensibly similar devices, yet can still deliver up to 2,000 pounds of concentrated pressure. Despite its small price tag, many units last for many years of regular use.
  • maximum five-and-a-half-inch height
  • lever locks in place securely
  • strong machine grease odor
Brand Central Machinery
Model pending
Weight 34.6 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Pro Series HHIP

This Pro Series HHIP tool can be used for multiple applications, from riveting to punching to bending, and it works with multiple materials, from steel to aluminum to thick rawhide and more. Its precision-machined steel anvil can be removed as needed.
  • base pre-drilled for mounting
  • solid steel ram
  • several ram tips
Brand Pro Series HHIP
Model 8600-0131
Weight 31.5 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. Palmgren 1 Ton

The Palmgren 1 Ton can be used for all sorts of projects, from installing fret wires in the neck of a guitar to repairing or upgrading firearm components. It features both a hand wheel for lighter-duty work and a lever that allows for maximum torque.
  • fine grain cast-iron construction
  • replaceable jaw plates
  • precision-ground guide bars
Brand Palmgren
Model AP10 (AmazonUs/ERCT9)
Weight 34.9 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

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Last updated on January 30, 2017 by Steven John

When not writing or spending time with his family, Steven tries to squeeze in some mountain climbing. In addition to writing for several websites and journals, Steven has published multiple novels.

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