A Comprehensive Guide to Metal Stamping: What It Is and How It Works

Table of Contents

Metal stamping is a fascinating process that has been used for centuries to create a wide range of products, from simple everyday items to complex machinery parts.As a metal stamping company employee, it’s essential to understand the basics of metal stamping. In this comprehensive guide, we will cover what metal stamping is and how it works

No matter if you are a seasoned professional or a newcomer to the field, this guide will provide valuable insights and tips for your metal stamping projects. So, let’s dive in and explore the world of metal stamping together.

sheet metal stamping

The basics of metal stamping

Metal stamping is a versatile and cost-effective manufacturing process used to create a wide variety of metal parts. From small precision components to large structural parts, metal stamping is an essential part of many industries.

Metal stamping history

Metal stamping history

The Lydians, who cast coins without any markings, are responsible for the earliest known instance of metal stamping, which dates back to the 7th century BC. made the coins by placing a piece of gold or gold alloy between a mold with an image and a stamp with another image. Once the metal was in place, they would strike the entire tool and mold assembly with a hammer.

And then, in 1550, Markus Schwab invented a metal press to work in tandem with molds;during the Industrial Revolution,metal stamping was used to produce bicycle parts.

By the turn of the 20th century, Henry Ford had turned to metal stamping to produce T shape metal parts.

What is Metal Stamping?

Metal stamping ,also named sheet metal stamping,is a manufacturing process that involves blanking,cutting,bending, and piercing metal sheets or coils into specific shapes or parts using a stamping press or machine.The stamping process can produce complex parts quickly and efficiently, making it a popular choice for large-scale production runs.

Advantages of metal stamping

  • Metal stamping is a cost-effective method for creating metal parts compared to other manufacturing processes, such as casting or forging.Then it could allow for high-volume production at a low cost per unit.
  • Metal stamping can create complex shapes and designs with high accuracy and consistency, making it ideal for applications where precision is important.
  • Metal stamping offers quick turnaround times and fast production speeds, allowing manufacturers to respond quickly to changing market demands.

Disadvantage for metal stamping

As for the disadvantages of metal stamping, there are a few to consider. 

  • First, there is a higher initial cost for the tooling required to create the stamping. 
  • Additionally, if design changes are needed, modifying or replacing the tooling can be expensive. 
  • Another potential drawback is that the stamping process can cause deformation or warping of the metal if not done correctly, impacting the final product’s accuracy and quality. 
  • Finally, stamping may not be suitable for very thin or delicate materials, as they may not be able to withstand the pressure and force required for the stamping process.

Metal stamping working process

Metal stamping is a complex process that involves multiple stages; I would like to introduce each step,from which you can learn more about this process. Of course, not all stamping processes require these steps; I just share the steps that may be involved in this process.


A punch and die set removes the desired shape from the larger material. The remaining material called the slug, is discarded



Piercing is the opposite of blanking, which involves creating holes or openings in the workpiece. During the process, a punch and die are used to remove a portion of the material, leaving a hole or opening in the desired shape and size.


Drawing is a metal stamping process that involves shaping a flat piece of sheet metal into a cup-shaped form using a punch and die. As the punch is pressed into the metal, the sheet metal is positioned over the die and held in place, deforming it to take on the shape of the die.


Forming process involves using a punch and die to reshape the metal into a desired form without breaking it. This can include techniques like bending, stretching, and twisting the metal to create the desired shape,such as U shape.


Embossing creates raised or sunken designs or patterns on a metal sheet or strip.


Curling is a process to remove the sharp edge with the help of tools, including rollers, mandrels, and bending machines.


Bending applies force to the sheet or strip at specific points along its length, using a bending tool or die,normally for making L, U, and V-shape.



Coining refers to the compression of the material between two dies to create a specific shape or design.The dies are engraved with the desired design, and when the metal blank is pressed between them, it takes on the shape of the engraved design.

Types of metal stamping

There are 5 major types of metal stamping: progressive die stamping, four-slide stamping, deep drawing stamping, short-run stamping, and long-run stamping, transfer stamping. 

Progressive die stamping

progressive die stamping

Progressive stamping uses a series of interconnected dies to perform multiple operations (such as punching,cutting,forming) on a single metal strip without stopping the feeding process, resulting in a finished part with all features in one pass. 

Progressive stamping is commonly used when large quantities of complex parts need to be produced quickly and efficiently. The process is ideal for high-volume production runs because it is highly automated and can produce parts at a very rapid rate.Especially there are holes, slots, and bends that must be done in one machine with one process.

Fourslide stamping

fourslide die stamping

Fourslide stamping,also named multi-slide stamping, involves the use of a four-slide machine to create intricate stamped parts. The four-slide machine uses four moving slides or rams that can be positioned and synchronized to create a range of bends, angles, and curve operations.

Fourslide stamping has several advantages, such as the four-slide stamping machine can handle multiple operations at once, reducing production time and increasing efficiency. Meanwhile, it can result in lower production costs compared to other stamping methods. Fourslide stamping is suitable for making the more complex parts.

Deep drawn stamping

deep drawn stamping

Deep drawing stamping, also known as deep drawn stamping, is a metal stamping process used to create complex shapes with depth greater than the part’s diameter.The process involves a blank of sheet metal being pulled through a series of dies that stretch and reshape the metal into the desired shape.

Deep-drawn stamping is often used when a part requires a significant depth or when it is necessary to create a seamless shape without welds or joints. It is a cost-effective process that can produce large quantities of parts quickly and with high precision. It is commonly used in the manufacturing of items such as cans, containers, cups, and other cylindrical or rounded objects.

Short-run stamping

Short-run stamping is used to produce low to medium volumes of parts.l. It is ideal for prototypes, small production runs, and parts with complex shapes or sizes. Short-run stamping involves the use of a manual or semi-automatic press to form the part from a flat sheet or strip of metal.

Short-run stamping has several benefits, including lower tooling costs and faster setup times compared to other stamping methods.

Long-run Stamping

Compared with short-run stamping, long-run stamping is suitable for making a very large quantity, and this project is repeated and will be ordered in years,typically over 100,000 parts. 

This method involves using a high-speed stamping press with a specialized progressive die. The die is designed to produce highly precise and consistent parts while minimizing material waste.

The advantages of long-run stamping include lower cost per part, consistent quality, and faster production times.

Transfer press stamping

transfer die stamping

Transfer press stamping, similar to progressive die stamping, is used for large-scale production runs, typically for parts that are too complex or too large to be produced using progressive stamping.

Transfer stamping is a metal stamping process where the material is transferred from one station to another using a mechanical transport system, typically a conveyor or a robotic arm.

Automated transfer systems make it possible to produce high volumes of parts at a relatively low cost per unit.

Die & Tooling design for metal stamping

A stamping die, also known as a tool and die or simply a die, is a specialized manufacturing tool used in the stamping process to cut, shape, and form metal into a specific shape or design.

In the precision metal stamping process, die design is the key factor that determines the final shape and size of the product and also affects the efficiency and cost of the stamping process. Below we would like to write something. 

Determine dies type

Our designers will determine what kind of dies to make based on the precision level of the dimensions on the drawing, the size of the product, the quantity needed, and other factors. Stamping can be divided into the following categories:

Single punch die

A single punch die, also known as a single station die or a single hit die, is a type of tool used in metal stamping to create a single operation in a single stroke.It is a simple die design that consists of a single punch and a single die and is used to create simple shapes such as holes, notches, or simple forms in a metal workpiece.

Sometimes if the design is simple and the ordered quantity is small, we could consider making the single punch die which is often used for smaller runs or prototyping due to its lower cost and ease of use. 

Progress die

progressive die

In contrast to a single punch die, a progressive die consists of multiple stations where work is carried out, and the final product is created in a series of steps as it moves through the die.The metal strip moves through the die as the punch presses down, with each station performing a specific cutting, bending, or forming operation.

Progress die is more efficient in making the big complex shape parts. 

Compound Dies

Compound die, also named hybrid die, performs multiple cutting and forming operations on a metal sheet in one press stroke. A compound die is often used when the part has simple shapes and requires only a few procedures, and it is a cost-effective alternative to progressive dies for small-volume production runs.

Transfer Dies

Transfer die consists of a series of stations arranged in a circular or linear path, which transfer the part from one station to the next. Each station performs a different operation on the piece until it reaches its final shape.

Transfer dies are more expensive and require more setup time than other types of dies, so they are only cost-effective for large production runs

Develop the Preliminary Design Plan

In this stage, a designer must design the mold structure (mold shape,mold components), cavity (the space where the metal material is pressed into the product during stamping), guidance, positioning, and other elements.

Fix the material used for the die

We work with various grades of materials used for making the dies and toolings, including powder steels, carbides, and high-speed steels.

Making the tooling

The more precision for the tooling ,the more precision for the stamped parts. Then in order to have the perfect tooling, we will hire equipment of 5-axis CNC machining and Wire EDM to make the toolings.

Unlike traditional 3-axis CNC machines, which can move along the X, Y, and Z axes, 5-axis machines also have the ability to rotate around the X and Y axes; this could make more complex toolings. 

Wire EDM (Electrical Discharge Machining) uses a thin wire to cut through electrically conductive materials.It is capable of making small angles and contours.

Metal stamping materials selection

In fact, stamping could not only stamp metal materials but also could handle non-metal materials, such as wood,leather, paper, rubber, and plastic. Here, we mainly discuss the types of metal materials.


  • Aluminum is a lightweight,ductile, and soft metal known for its high strength-to-weight ratio.It is very popular used for the stamped parts. 
  • Malleability: Aluminum is a highly malleable metal, which means it can be easily formed and stamped into a variety of shapes and sizes without cracking or breaking.
  • Attractive finish:With the silvery-white color, aluminum is very easy to clean and maintain.
  • Corrosion resistance: Aluminum is highly resistant to corrosion, making it suitable for use in a wide range of applications where exposure to moisture or other corrosive elements is a concern.
  • Common used brands :alu1060,alu1100,alu2024,alu3003,alu5052,alu5093,alu6061,alu7075.


Copper is a highly ductile and malleable metal known for its exceptional thermal and electrical conductivity, making it a favored material for a wide range of metal stamping applications.

  • In metal stamping, copper is valued for its excellent formability, which allows it to be easily shaped and formed into complex parts with precise details. 
  • Its high thermal conductivity also makes it well-suited for stamping operations that require high-speed production and frequent die changes.
  • Copper also offers good corrosion resistance and antimicrobial properties, making it suitable for applications where these properties are important. 
  • However, copper can be more expensive than other common stamping materials, such as steel and aluminum, which may limit its use in certain applications.
  • Common used brands:C110 and C510

Stainless steel 

Because stainless steel contains at least 10.5% chromium, it has a high level of corrosion and stain resistance. It is a flexible and long-lasting substance that may be utilized in a variety of tasks, including metal stamping.

  • High strength and durability;resistance to corrosion and staining;good formability.
  • Common brands: SS301,SS304,SS316,SS321,SS409,SS420,SS430,17-4PH


Brass is a metal alloy composed primarily of copper and zinc.Because of its bright color, brass is a popular material used for stamping.

  • Excellent formability:Brass has good plasticity and ductility, making it easy to process and shape. This makes brass widely used in the stamping industry, such as for the production of small hardware and electrical terminals.
  • Good weldability: Brass has excellent weldability and can be easily welded to other metal materials, providing greater flexibility in the manufacture of complex stamping components.
  • Strong corrosion resistance: Brass has good corrosion resistance and can work in humid, high-temperature, acidic and alkaline environments. This makes brass a reliable choice for stamping components that require corrosion resistance.
  • Excellent conductivity: Brass is a good conductor and can be widely used in electrical and electronic equipment, such as electrical connectors and plugs.
  • Common brands: C26000


Steel is an alloy made primarily from iron, carbon, and small amounts of other elements such as manganese, silicon, and sulfur.

  • Strength and durability: Steel has a high strength-to-weight ratio, making it ideal for creating components that require strength and durability.
  • Versatility: Steel is a versatile material that can be easily formed into various shapes and sizes using stamping techniques, including deep drawing, coining, and bending.
  • Corrosion resistance: Steel can be coated with various finishes to protect against corrosion, making it ideal for use in harsh environments or outdoor applications.
  • Common brands: Steel 1006,steel1008,steel 1010,steel 1065, steel 1050,steel 4130, Galvanized Steel.


Titanium is a strong, lightweight, and corrosion-resistant metal that has been increasingly used in various industries due to its excellent mechanical and physical properties

  • Biocompatibility: Titanium is a biocompatible metal that is well-tolerated by the human body, making it a suitable material for producing medical implants and prosthetics.
  • Heat resistance: Titanium has excellent heat resistance and can withstand high temperatures without deformation or loss of mechanical properties. This makes it suitable for use in metal stamping applications that involve high-temperature processes, such as forging or hot stamping

Phosphor Bronze

Phosphor Bronze is a type of metal alloy made by combining copper and tin in different proportions, often with the addition of other elements like phosphorus, manganese, aluminum, or silicon. In metal stamping, phosphor bronze is often used for producing electrical contacts, connectors.

Finishes for metal stamping

After metal stamping, additional post-processing steps are often required to achieve the desired final product. These steps may include deburring, drilling, tapping, and other finishing processes.

  • Deburring: This process removes the burrs or sharp edges left on the surface of the stamped parts during the stamping process. This can be achieved through mechanical methods, such as tumbling or sanding, or through chemical methods, such as etching or electropolishing.
  • Drilling: Drilling is the process of creating holes in the stamped part. This can be achieved through manual or automated drilling machines, depending on the volume and complexity of the holes required.
  • Tapping: Tapping is the process of creating threads inside a hole in the stamped part. This is typically achieved using a tapping tool, which cuts into the surface of the material to create the threads.

Applications for metal stamping

Metal stamping is a widely used manufacturing process that produces a diverse range of parts and products for various industries, including 

  • Aerospace
  • Appliances
  • Automotive 
  • Electronics
  • Energy
  • Manufacturing 
  • Medical equipment 
  • Military


In conclusion, metal stamping is a highly versatile and efficient manufacturing process that offers numerous advantages for various industries. With the right design considerations and proper material selection, metal stamping can produce high-quality, cost-effective parts and products that meet or exceed customer expectations.

As technology and techniques continue to advance, the potential applications for metal stamping are expanding. If you are interested in learning more about how metal stamping can benefit your business, contact Chengli Hardware to discuss your specific needs and explore the possibilities

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