What’s the Difference Between a Fab Shop & a Sheet Metal Shop?

In one of our previous blogs, we posed the question, “What’s the difference between a fab shop and a welding shop“? Well, that led to a couple of folks asking us, “What’s the difference between a fab shop and a sheet metal shop? So here’s a real quick study!

A fabrication shop and a sheet metal shop both operate within the realm of metalworking, but they have distinct focuses and specialties:

Fabrication Shop:

    • A fabrication shop, like PMM, is a versatile workshop that handles the creation of various metal structures or components from raw materials.
    • Fabrication shops typically work with a wide range of metals, including steel, aluminum, stainless steel, and sometimes other materials like plastics or composite materials.
    • The processes in a fabrication shop include cutting, bending, shaping, welding, and assembling metal pieces to fabricate the desired final product.
    • Fabrication shops often work on diverse projects, ranging from small-scale products to large structural components for industries such as construction, automotive, aerospace, and more.
    • Skilled fabricators in a fabrication shop are proficient in reading blueprints, interpreting engineering drawings, and utilizing a variety of fabrication techniques and equipment.

Sheet Metal Shop:

    • A sheet metal shop specializes specifically in working with sheet metal, which is metal in the form of thin, flat sheets or coils.
    • Sheet metal shops typically focus on cutting, forming, and shaping sheet metal to create various products or components.
    • Common equipment in a sheet metal shop includes shears, press brakes, rollers, and stamping machines, which are used to cut, bend, shape, and form sheet metal into desired shapes and sizes.
    • Sheet metal shops often work on projects such as HVAC ductwork, metal enclosures, roofing components, automotive body parts, and more.
    • Skilled workers in a sheet metal shop have expertise in manipulating sheet metal efficiently and accurately, often using specialized techniques like forming, punching, laser cutting, and welding.

While both fabrication shops and sheet metal shops are involved in metalworking, fabrication shops like Precision Metal Manufacturing handle a broader range of metalworking tasks and materials, whereas sheet metal shops specialize specifically in working with sheet metal to create a variety of products and components. So while we can 100% handle sheet metal work, we can also do so much more as a fully fledged custom metal fabrication shop.


We would love the opportunity to earn your business! Come visit our Mesa fab shop to see how our customers enjoy a better experience. Contact us today. Call 480-987-2466 or email info@azpmm.com to schedule.

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