The brake consists of a flat surface onto which the material is placed, and a clamping bar which will come down and hold the material firmly during the bend. This clamping action may be manual, automatic or operated using a foot pedal. The front, gate-like, plate of the machine is hinged and may be lifted, forcing the material extended over a straight edge to bend to follow the plate. The bends can be to any angle up to a practical limit of about 120 degrees, somewhat more in the case of a bar folder. If the area to be bent is narrow enough, a sharper bend (e.g., for a hem) can be made by inserting the bend under the clamping bar and lowering it.