Arbor presses are invaluable tools that can be used by virtually any person in any profession. Jewelers, mechanics, metalworkers, and clothes-makers can all benefit from having a handy arbor press in their shop or store. There are many types of arbor presses which vary depending on their fuel source, but the all-around best type of arbor – which is coincidentally the most cost-efficient type – is the manual arbor press. Though they offer limited amounts of force in tons, they still perform extremely well in all sorts of pressing applications.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at two of HHIP’s most valued manual arbor press models – the 8600-0031 and 8600-0032. From their model names, we can already determine that they are not going to be too different from one another. However, where they do differ could be the determinant of which model best suits your particular needs. Without further ado, let’s jump straight into our comparison.
We mentioned earlier that the force of a manual arbor press is going to be limited. This, however, doesn’t mean that they won’t work well for a number of different applications. The 0031 model has a maximum force capacity of 0.5 tons so that it can be classified as an entry-level, light-duty press for very specific jobs.
As for the 0032, it has a maximum force-delivery of 1 ton. Though this is by no means anywhere near as powerful as large, floor arbor press models, this is more than enough for a wide variety of applications. Delivering up to a ton of force means it can be categorized as an all-purpose press for both light- and heavy-duty jobs.
Construction: The arbor press you need for your particular set of jobs depends entirely on how much force you need to complete those tasks. Without going overboard, small press-jobs like leatherwork could be done with the 0031 model. The 0032 would suit mechanics a lot better than the 0031.
The working height determines how far the stamp bit or press bit needs to travel before making contact with the anvil or the object you need to be pressed. The 0031 model has a working height of 7 3/4 inches so you’ll have plenty of travel space and clearance for pressing large objects together.
As for the 0032, it has a slightly larger clearance, measuring in at 13 inches. Though the 3-inch difference may seem insignificant, some people, especially guitar makers who need lots of space to fit frets into their guitars’ fretboards, would appreciate a larger clearance.
Construction: Like with any tool, there’s no point investing more money on unused potential, so if you’re using your arbor press exclusively for small, light-duty projects, then the 0031 model will work fine. If you need a larger space to work with, the 0032 or a larger arbor press might be the tool for you.
The rotating anvil is designed to allow better performance when pressing a wide range of objects. However, applying an even amount of force throughout the pressing process requires a large enough anvil that can bear the weight and size of both the object and stamp. The 0031 accepts objects that are at most 6.5 inches wide which is larger than what most hobbyist metalworkers need.
The 0032 has a maximum diameter of 8 inches. The anvil can bear more weight and larger-size items, so it’s definitely a model that’ll suit a wide range of applications.
Construction: When it comes to arbor presses, going larger is almost always better since they can perform light-duty tasks just as well as smaller models. Once again, whichever model you go with should be big and powerful enough to meet your demands now and future demands as you become more experienced. That being said, we highly recommend the 0032 over the 0031 because of its size.
Although the base size might be an insignificant indicator of performance, it’s important to note how much table space the arbor press needs. The base of the 0031 measures in at 9 x 4 inches. Mounting the unit to you workbench requires only two screws in the back portion of the base.
The 0032 takes up 11 x 5 inches of workspace. It’s not much larger than the 0031, but it delivers twice as much power. Like the 0031, it only needs two screws to mount it to your work surface.
Construction: Because you get twice the power without dedicating twice the space, we feel that the 0032 is, in terms of size, the better model to go with. You don’t need to mount either of these models to your workbench for them to function, though, for safety reasons, it’s highly recommended.
The material used to construct an arbor press is important for several reasons, mainly being the ability to bear the tremendous amount of pressure when pressing or stamping. Both of these models are made of cast iron which will last you for many, many years if taken care of well. However, cast iron is prone to rust, so be sure that you use these arbor presses in dry areas in your workshop or home.
You can probably guess which of these two models we feel is the better option. Although the amount of force and size of the arbor press should suit your needs and not the other way around, we feel that between the 8600-0031 and 8600-0032, you can’t go wrong with the larger, more powerful 0032. Its maximum force capacity is still rather limited, though for most home and professional applications it’ll work just fine.
If you plan on using an arbor press regularly for your business or hobbies, you should definitely go slightly larger than your actual needs since large models will accommodate your growing experience and comfort levels of working with bigger objects. We’re not saying that the 8600-0031 is a bad unit – in fact, these two models have identical performances when pressing the same-size objects – but having a minimum force-delivery of 1 ton means you can use the arbor press for virtually pressing application around the home.