How to Bend 316 Stainless

(Image: Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Bending 316 stainless steel generally requires pressure applied to the metal with a sheet metal brake or hydraulic press brake. The brakes overcome the tendency of the stainless steel to work harden at the bend area, but they are expensive and require a lot of room. Another method for bending 316 stainless steel requires no large tools and eliminates the problems associated with work hardening.

Things You'll Need

  • Awl
  • Straight edge
  • Two pair of self-locking C-grips
  • .040 slicing blade
  • Angle grinder

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Mark the location of the bend on a piece of 316 stainless steel with an awl. Make two marks to ensure a straight bend.

Align one side of a straight edge with the two bend location marks. Drag the awl along the aligned edge to make a score line.

Set the marked piece of stainless steel on a firm surface. Secure the piece to the work surface by aligning one pair of self-locking C-grips to the area the piece crosses the edge of the work surface.

Secure a .040 slicing blade to an angle grinder. Align the slicing blade with the marked line on the stainless steel. Pull the trigger of the angle grinder. Move the angle grinder along the score line. Stop cutting when you have ground 1/2 of the way through the 316 stainless. Allow the metal to cool for one hour.

Pull up on the end of the stainless steel to bend the metal on the score line.

Release the self-locking C-grips to remove the bent stainless steel from the work surface.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear proper eye and hand protection when using an angle grinder to score a bend line on stainless steel.
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