A shop press is a tool that presses an object between two plates. Shop presses are most often pneumatic, which means they derive their power from compressed air. Shop presses are also rated based on how much pressure they can exert in tons. There are a number of uses these tools can be put to, however.

Straightening and Flattening

One of the most basic and obvious uses for a shop press is to flatten metal tools and sheets. This is particularly helpful for straightening out bent tools such as screwdrivers, knives, saws and others. The pressure from the press forces the metal straight again as it's pressed between the opposing plates. It's a very good idea to increase the pressure gradually, so the bent tool is straightened but not flattened out all at once. If you want to flatten out pieces of metal, all you need to do is increase the pressure being exerted on the metal. The force of the plates can flatten out most common metals used in a shop.

Ammunition

A shop press might be useful for people who reload their own firearm ammunition. A hand-powered press could get the job done, but if you have a shop press that can exert a smaller amount of pressure, it can be a great aid to reloading shells. The outer, brass casing is filled with the necessary amount of gunpowder, and a bullet is then wedged into the end by hand. The shell is put on the shop press and the force from the plates pushes the bullet in hard enough that the shell is now ready to be fired. There are special attachments needed for a shop press to be able to complete this operation as well, and they should be purchased from a licensed dealer.

Automotive Uses

According to ytmag.com, drill presses are extremely useful for those who repair and rebuild automobiles. A medium-sized drill press (one that exerts 12 to 20 tons of force) can be extremely useful for pressing together wheel bearings, piston wrist pins and even valve guides. Due to the heavy-duty nature of some automotive parts, it pays to have a shop press around to squeeze them into the proper shapes. Of course, the bigger and more resistant the part is, the larger the shop press you need to use will be.