ROTARY HOLE PUNCH?

Discussion in 'Self-made Gear' started by 6gun, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. 6gun

    6gun Tracker

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    I bought the cheapie at Tandy when I first started doing leather work and it has been one of my favorite/most used tools. So much so that I have worn it out.

    Before I go off and buy another, I thought I'd come here and ask if anyone had any recommendations. I don't mind spending money if I'm getting quality and better usage. I'm a technician by trade so spending money on tools is nothing new. :-(
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  2. beacon

    beacon Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Skilled Crafter rotary hole punch ... I have two: One for myself, and a second I purchased for the junior leather worker in the house because it was that nice.

    Their customer service is outstanding too. The first one I purchased wasn't sharpened properly, and they quickly sent me a second one at no additional cost to me; I didn't even have to send the defective one back. The replacement and the one for my son have been excellent.
  3. 6gun

    6gun Tracker

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    Thanks! I like the looks of that one, and my arthritic hands like the look of that compound leverage!
  4. Mikewood

    Mikewood Guide

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    Like you I started off with the entry level punch from Tandy.
    Then I got their high end forged punch. It's a really great punch but I have learned it's for light leather. To cut thru thick leather their hand punch and a hammer really work better. Drilling out heavy leather also helps. Stropping the punch edge makes the tools last longer. The cutters break and wear out. Just replace them and the tools will last longer. As you likely know don't just squeeze and shear thru. Twist the leather while you punch. That gives a slicing action that helps the tool cut and it will last longer.

    Good luck!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
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  5. Cheapeats

    Cheapeats Scout

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    This is the one I use Craftool Pro Rotary Leather Punch, the copper anvil and the punch tubes are replaceable. The only leather I have had trouble punching with it is chrome tanned and some thin deerskin (I don't know what tanning method was used it was a gift from a friend)
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  6. Bob_Spr

    Bob_Spr Scout

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    +1 on the punch and hammer. With surgeries and osteoarthritis, I don't have the hand strength to squeeze the rotary punch through anything thicker than 4 ounces. If it is 6 or more, out comes the hand punch and hammer. Plus it is easier to replace the punch portion on a hand held than on a rotary.

    Bob
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  7. Muleman77

    Muleman77 Scout

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    I agree on the punch and hammer as well, or a drill works great. But the rotary has its place too. I have a forged one, pretty good but it's still my 3rd choice. Seems like all the cheaper ones the tube are soft, they ding, dull bend or whatever and the punch ends up useless.
    Get one where they can be replaced easily for sure.
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  8. hunter63

    hunter63 Bushmaster

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    I have one old rotary punch....is solid, but worn.
    2 news punches are POS....
    Most of my punching is with the single punches.....

    If I could find a good solid new one I would buy it.....
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  9. Spork

    Spork Supporter Supporter

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  10. NCLivingBrit

    NCLivingBrit Scout

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    I have much better luck with my cheap punches and a hammer than I ever did with the rotary punches.
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  11. DarrylM

    DarrylM Scout

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    I'm sick of the chinesium special I bought from harbor freight. The little tab that indexes the punches bends. So I get a couple good holes, and then I have to disassemble that portion of the punch, bend the tab with 2 pair of pliers, reassemble the punch nd check that the punches rotate properly and land on the anvil. Punch a few more holes and repeat the dadgum adjustment process alll over again. I wish I had a hole punch on a little tabletop arbor press type machine.
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  12. Tor Helge

    Tor Helge Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    I`ve used several cheap hole punches trought the time, and everyone of them have bent/broke.
    Currently I use this:
    [​IMG]
    So far it has worked well.
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  13. The Woodsrunner

    The Woodsrunner Hobbyist Hobbyist

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    I can vouch for the Knipex brand! Best needle nose pliers and sidecutters on the market, in my opinion.
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  14. Portage_Monster

    Portage_Monster Scout

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    I've got an old rusty one from a flea market. No pictures, but it's got a certain beauty of patina and functions perfectly.
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  15. arleigh

    arleigh Guide

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    I would have thought that some of you bush/leather crafters might have already set up a foot operated apparatus .
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  16. DarrylM

    DarrylM Scout

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    This is even better than where I was going with the little arbor press.
  17. Cheapeats

    Cheapeats Scout

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    While we are on the cheap rotary punches I have several that the handles are bent beyond normal use they are are now used as hammer punches put the size you want up close the jaws and hit the bottom jaw with a hammer I always put my work on an end grain piece of wood when the end becomes to battered cut an inch or so off. The one thing is always put the finished side up unless you want wood grained leather.
  18. Myr1ad

    Myr1ad Scout

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    CS Osborne Rotary Punch - The important thing on a rotary punch is replaceable cutting tubes that screw in (not press fit). Solid, not folded handles, all folded handles will collapse over time.

    C.S. Osborne Leather Tools

    [​IMG]
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  19. Stone

    Stone Supporter, Twirler of Embers

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  20. tennecedar

    tennecedar Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    I switched to an 1/8" Ceiling grid punch and never looked back. I had 4 or 5 rotary ones and wore out the 1/8" cutter on them all long before the tool messed up.
  21. Stone

    Stone Supporter, Twirler of Embers

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    That said, punches come with different purposes and specialties. Most will perform reasonably well for what they were designed. The problem comes when you expect more out of the tool than it is capable of. Some rotary punches are probably only good for light leather, like deer skin, and will last for years of moderate use on that leather. Others are able to do heavier jobs. I like the Osborne tools because they do what I need them to do. But even the Osborne has it's limitations. Sometimes you just need a drive punch and a two pound rawhide maul!

    The ceiling grid punches look like a decent option.
  22. Verkstad

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    That forged Osborne tool is great. I dont punch alot, I bought a much cheaper stamped version. Its punched thousands of holes in leather & birchbark. Works great.

    When punching something like plastics, If a guy can only understand "squeeze harder", its gonna break the tool. But a simple rocking the tool under pressure smartly punches just about any resilliant material.

    A Whithey Punch works too, obviously a step of overkill & lacks quick change rotary dies.
  23. 6gun

    6gun Tracker

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    Thanks everyone for your generous input! I am going to order one of the Skilled Crafter ones (love the thought of that compound leverage), and may order the Knipex one also just because I am a Knipex plier whore. They really do make great stuff!
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