The ultimate aim of applied research is the generation of knowledge relevant to production processes. A vital first step in acquiring such knowledge is the choice of experimental methodology. There are innumerable test methods developed specially for exploring the tribology of sheet metalworking; the purpose of this paper is to examine the major classes of test methods for their applicability to the most important sheet metalworking processes. A distinction is made between simulation and bench tests. When viewed critically, many so-called simulation tests are, in fact, bench tests. They may well be suitable for generating basic information but, for transfer of results to applications, require a knowledge of the lubrication mechanisms active in both test and process.