Differences in the Details: Metal Fabricating and Metal Stamping Compared

When you require a new metal part to be manufactured, there are two processes you may want to consider: metal stamping and metal fabrication. Both of these are used by many industries, but they are quite different. Each has certain advantages and disadvantages that can make them more suitable for your product. Here are the key differences between metal fabricating and metal stamping to help you make your decision.

Metal Stamping

Metal stamping is also known as ‘pressing.’ It is a relatively straightforward process where a flat sheet of metal is taken and laid on a stamping or machine press. The metal is then worked using a range of processes that can include bending, folding, pressing, stretching, blanking and punching. With this process, metal parts can be produced in one stage or in multiple stages.

The advantages of metal stamping are that it tends to be fast and economical when it comes to large production runs. The larger the production run, the cheaper the cost for each piece becomes. It is a good option for high-volume runs involving complex and innovative products, and it can be automated to a high degree.

The problem with metal stamping comes when you only need one product. If you are creating a custom product, the cost will increase dramatically for this, often to the point where it is too expensive to be viable. It is also not a particularly flexible option. This means that if you decide you need to make some changes to the design, implementing these can be very expensive.

Metal Fabrication

Metal fabrication is where metal is shaped into parts through a range of processes, including stretching, bending, sawing, shearing, and cutting. Materials are removed during the process, and individual pieces are then joined together, usually by hand. This is used by manufacturers like Midlake, which makes custom spring hinges.

Metal fabrication has many advantages. One of these is that it is very quick, making it an ideal option for a prototype. It is also very versatile and flexible, as lots of production techniques can be used to create highly-customized metal parts. Design changes can also be made very quickly in a way that is not possible with metal stamping.

The downside, however, is that it is more labor intensive usually has a higher cost-per-piece. It is also not as ideal as metal stamping for repeating a process.

Decide on the Most Suitable Option

Deciding between metal fabrication and metal stamping is always an important decision to make when you are producing a new product. It will affect every element including the quality, the cost, the production time, and the design, so make sure you think carefully about the two options before making a decision. Speak to a specialist metal worker and get his or her recommendation. Then use that expert advice to help you make your decision. It could save you time and money in the long run.


Julie Shrum has worked at Midlake since her father decided to retire way back in 1996. She has accumulated a vast knowledge of hinges and metalworking during her time as sales manager. Julie works closely with the sales team to create the best customer experience possible. She continues to learn daily about new applications for sheet metal fabrication.

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11 comments

  1. It’s really interesting how metal fabrication has its advantages for creating projects for clients. Creating prototypes for metal items would be important for clients with business ideas. It’s great that it can be flexible enough to use different techniques for creating an assortment of metal projects. Having metal parts that can be customized seems important for clients who need them, so it’s great that metal fabrication can make customizing products possible.

  2. I hadn’t understood the differences between metal stamping and metal fabrication, but I feel like I understand it pretty well now. The former is good for mass-produced products, while the latter is good for custom, versatile products. Whether you’ll prefer one over the other is all based on what you need, so metal fabrication isn’t necessarily better than stamping and vise-versa. Thanks for the information!

  3. Hey, great share……

    I really loved your post. I agree that it is confusing to understand the difference between the metal stamping and metal fabrication but you have provided quite a clear explanation for this. I am sure it will help people to understand and choose the relevant option for the projects that they are handling.
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  4. Thanks so much for sharing! It’s pretty interesting to me that producing a larger volume of metal products will lower the cost of each piece when you stamp them. I imagine that the stamping process is especially beneficial for people who want metal roofing. You need a lot of material for sheet metal roofs, so stamping would probably be the best option for that.

  5. I have recently become fascinated with metal work and how it is all done. There are so many aspects to it that just amaze me and I love seeing what people can do with it. This helped me see the difference between metal stamping, which is bending the metal, and metal fabrication, which is shaping the metal to do something. I can’t wait to keep learning about these processes and see if I can get into it.

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  7. Wow! Fantastic stuff !
    This is such a WELL EXPLAINED article. I’ve been searching a lot for such a post!\
    Thank you for explaining difference metal fabrication and metal-stamping . I had no idea that sheet metal was used in so many different products. It is really interesting to think that most everything we see has been a product of sheet metal manufacturing. It would be really interesting to be able to learn more about this field.

  8. Great information! I never knew there was such a difference in the two types of metal parts. Cost can be a huge factor in projects so it is good to have all the information before making a decision. Thanks for sharing!

  9. You make an excellent point about speaking to a specialist medal worker. Getting this recommendation can make all the difference.

  10. I had no idea that there are so many things that go into metal fabrication. My brother works for a company that uses a lot of steel, I’ll have to pass this article along to him! I’ve heard that steel fabrication is a more costly process than what goes into fabricating other metals, is that true?

  11. Thank you for sharing these technical terms and all about them. Many do not know the difference at all and what goes into it!

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