If you are fond of doing projects linked with different surfaces like plastic, metal, wood, stone, ceramic, and leather, you know how important it is to create a dimple. This does not only function as a mark, but it serves as a guide to the bit.
That is the reason why you should look for the best automatic center punch to help you create beautiful works. In doing so, you should consider various factors such as ease-of-use, material, strength, and more.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Automatic Center Punch
You can’t just buy any center punch that claims to be the best. Instead, you should consider the following before purchasing:
If you opt for a product, you should give utmost consideration to its force. Although the powerful center punch is not appropriate for the many, it is suggested to first identify where you will need the tool.
You can identify the force of the products with its label, usually indicated with the “force of an X Newton.” Aside from that, you can also look for reviews from experts and users. This will enable you to know if the tool can provide the force that you will need.
The capacity to mark any surface may depend upon the material of the bit. A high-quality bit is capable of making dimples on various surfaces like metal and wood.
In choosing one, you should also consider its durability so it can be used for various extreme conditions. Look for a tool that is resistant to wear as well as ensures longevity. But then, it is common that as quality increases, so does the price.
The accuracy of the tool may depend upon how narrow the bit is. That being said, if it is narrow, it comes that it has better accuracy. On the other hand, a dull bit is at risk of moving, especially when you press it.
Although it is inevitable for the bit to get dull as time goes by, some products allow for replacement or sharpening, so you won’t immediately replace it, saving you more costs and time.
As mentioned earlier, you may need to purchase a bit if you need to replace a dull one. Look for an item that features a replaceable bit, so you don’t have to buy another center punch. Even if it means that you have to pay more for this feature, this can help you save money in the long run.
Find a center punch that features a comfortable knob so you can easily grip it. Having a good ergonomics can help you generate several marks and dimples with ease. It will also lessen the pain in your hand as well as prevent too much fatigue. That said, you can accomplish many tasks in a shorter period.
5 Best Automatic Center Punch Reviews
In this guide, we will find out each coming with unique features, so depending upon your needs and preference, you can eventually select the tool that fits you best.
1. Starrett 18C Automatic Center Punch
If you are looking for high-quality precision tools, Starrett is a trusted choice, especially when it comes to automatic center punch like the 18C. This comes with many valuable features that can be useful in a variety of works.
This can generate a blow that can create dents on your desired spot. With its internal mechanism that is composed of two springs, enough tension is produced to make dents in any material. And because it is made of tempered and hardened steel parts, this can withstand durable use.
Much more, it is safe for various working conditions that it can bear even extreme environments due to its rust-resistant feature. With a length of 5-1/4 inches, it has a good handle so you can easily grip the punch. Moreover, it is rugged so it will not be at risk of slipping, especially when you strike this to a surface.
The 11/16 inches punch diameter makes it an accurate tool. With an 80 degrees angle and a tempered top, the dents can be expanded so you will have an ideal surface area for the tip of the drill. Anyway, the knurled cap above the handle helps in regulating the force of the blow.
Anyway, you will have a constant spring tension as it depends upon the set force. This warrants constant size and depth of dimples. The only concern most users complain about is its price.
- Results to a heavier blow
- Stroke impact can be regulated
- Constant spring tension
- Made of tempered and hardened steel components
- Quite costly
2. Rennsteig Adjustable Automatic Center Punch
If your main concern is durability as well as a good punch, this product may be a good idea!
With a German steel construction and a nickel finish, this punch is undoubtedly heavy-duty and sturdy enough to bear different kinds of work. It is corrosion-resistant, so it won’t wear and tear easily. You also don’t have to worry about it getting rust because it is coated with protection.
This makes it a perfect choice for industrial use — from easy to hard. And since it is automatic, all you have to do is to exert a downward pressure for activating the spring mechanism. When you compare this with a manual center punch, you will most likely have a hard time finishing your job.
Precision is a must in every work too. That is why this tool is made with a hardened tip. So even if you have to create dents in hard materials or industrial-grade steel, you don’t have something to worry about. Plus, it comes with a round knob to give you a good grip.
Not to mention, the handle comes with a plastic pad making it shock absorbent so you will be protected against impact. This makes it safe and easy for you to make dimples too.
- Self-striking mechanism equipped with spring
- No need of a hammer
- Comes with a replaceable pin
- Designed with precision
- Made in Germany
- Quite costly
3. Fowler 52-500-290 Automatic Center Punch
This center punch may be an ideal choice if you are looking for a heavy-duty tool that is appropriate for wood and mild metal.
With its 6 inches overall length, the Fowler 52-500-290 is not only one of the best automatic center punches but also the longest that you can find in this article. Aside from that, it has a fairly thick diameter shank at 10/16 inches. Being made of hardened steel makes it durable enough to withstand extreme conditions.
The internal hammer, the piercing bit, and the two springs found within the body are made of heavy-duty construction. Its extremities are made of steel too. And that is an added feature to ensure optimum durability. These features also allow you to have a good grip.
Much more, you can replace the bit when needed so it is not necessary to buy a new one. This is a practical way to get the most out of the product. Its spring-loaded punch and one-hand operation make it a good choice for both pros and cons. Given its features, this is worth the price.
- Good quality tool
- Allows for one-hand operation
- Made of steel construction
- Can stand extreme conditions
- Only good for wood and mild metal
4. Spring Tools 28R45-1 Single-Ended Center Punch
With its single-ended punch, this tool is made with a simple concept- to generate optimum force without getting tired.
Being made of high-quality carbon steel, this ensures that the center punch itself is corrosion-resistant and durable enough to withstand extreme construction sites. Unlike the most automatic center punch, this product does not depend on the spring mechanism found in the body.
Instead, pressure is no longer necessary although it applies the same spring making the mechanism simpler than ever. All you have to do is to pull up the spring then release it immediately. From the moment it comes back to its original position, there is already a force to punch the surface of any material.
This is because potential energy is created from the time when the spring is extended. Expect a striking force of about 3500 pounds when using this product. You are also guaranteed of precision and accuracy. So if you make this tool handy, you can make more accurate, fun, and easy dimples.
Anyway, this automatic center punch is specially made for extremely solid surfaces. You can sharpen the tip without compromising its hardness too.
- Made for extremely hard materials
- Can sharpen the tip
- Hammerless action ensures precision and accuracy
- Impact striking force up to 3500 pounds
- Made in the USA
- Operation requires two hands
5. Starrett 18AA Automatic Center Punch
This is another center punch from Starrett that is not only of high-quality, but it is the smallest in the list.
With a thickness of 7/16 inches and a length of 4 inches, this cute-sized center punch does not want to be left behind. Regardless of its size, it is a reliable tool that can result in a beautiful finish, especially those works that need tiny indentation and high-precision.
This also produces small dimples making it ideal for jewelry stones and the like. You won’t worry about its application to any surface because the probe bit is made with a tempered and hardened steel. The bit is replaceable too, so you no longer need to buy a new center punch in case the former wears out.
Plus, it can be sharpened so it can fit smaller dimples. This merely requires less power to depress especially that it acts softy to surfaces. The benefit of using this tool is that it will not damage the evenness of the surface as it also works vest with thin metal sheets.
You can’t underestimate the smallest center punch because it can deal with the toughest jobs.
- Ideal for making dents for jewelry
- Smallest center punch
- Can be used by kids
- Replaceable bits
- Good for tiny indentations
- May not be ideal for some heavy-duty works
What Is the Difference Between Dot Punch and Centre Punch?
The thinner and lighter version of the center punch is the dot punch. In general, both of the tools have the same function. But the dot punch is superior in terms of accuracy especially that it literally generates smaller dots.
On the other hand, a center punch is normally constructed with mild steel with a tempered and hardened point. This makes the tool bear impact with the surface it is marking. It is typically used for creating a mark in the center of a hole that is ready for drilling.
Since these tools have the same function, they are also employed in the same manner. Usually, a hammer is required to tap their heads to provide enough force for creating a small indentation on the surface.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Who makes the best automatic center punch?
It depends. However, some of the prominent brands that manufacture some of the best heavy-duty automatic center punches include the Starret, Rennsteig, Fowler, and Spring Tools.
- What is a center punch tool used for?
This tool is multi-functional. But it is commonly used to create dimples between spots where you will be drilling.
- Can a center punch break a window?
Yes. If your window is made of tempered glass, it can be broken down by a center punch, especially in case of emergency.
- How do you sharpen a center punch?
Make sure that the tip of the tool is around 60 degrees. You can use a grinder wheel to sharpen it. The operation of the equipment may depend upon the instruction.
- How do automatic center punches work?
As you press the tool against the surface, energy is stored in the spring. A punch is generated when you eventually release it. That is when dimples are produced.
In doing a project, you need to be equipped with appropriate tools. Since you will need something that can create marks on different surfaces, you need to buy the best automatic center punch in the market. Finding one is not an easy task. But hopefully, you already have one in mind after you have read the entire pages.