Press tooling

Press tool design and manufacture is where it all started for Aldermans, back in 1969, when precision toolmaker Bill Alderman founded the company.

Our press tool expertise is still one of the things that sets us apart today (and you’ll often still find Bill in the toolroom, too!)

Why is accurate press tooling important?

Press tooling is placed within a power press, and this determines how the metal is cut or bent. Getting the tooling right is vital, because if the press tooling is accurate and created to a high standard, the product will be too.

Custom press tool design and manufacture

If you have a component part with complex shapes, folds or grooves in it, then a customised press tool is the way to go. You will benefit from greater accuracy, and each component can be produced for a fraction of the cost – so for high volumes the payback in the press tool is easily justified.

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Types of press tooling: blanking, forming and progression tools

The type of press tool designed will be governed by the part you need to be made. We can help you produce your product by creating blanking, forming or progression tooling. But what’s the difference?


Blanking uses a blanking tool which cuts out a shape from flat sheet metal using a single cut. The useable metal is the part that’s cut out, known as a blank. Piercing is similar to blanking – but with piercing the cut-out piece is discarded, leaving sheet metal with a hole in it.  We can create press tooling that does both, and simultaneously.


Forming simply means changing the shape of the metal. The blank is placed into a press brake or power press, and the machine applies a force to add an angle or curve, or sometimes a design. The forming tool we create determines the shape.


Progression tooling is a complex press tool which is used when the blanking and forming processes are automated. Sheet metal from a coil is fed into the press, and the metal is ‘progressed’ automatically through various stages of cutting and bending to produce a finished piece.

Why choose Aldermans for your press tooling design and manufacturing work?

  1. Press tooling is our heartland, and we pour a huge amount of pride and skill into it. Our skills have been developed and refined over forty years, and we believe it’s as much an art as a science. We have the right expertise to do an exceptional job.
  2. Our toolroom team works to incredibly tight tolerances – so your products are made with outstanding accuracy.
  3. Because we combine our toolmaking skills with the expertise of our CAD designers, you can benefit from our expert, comprehensive product development service.

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