Paper Drill (Hole Punch)

This tool is used to punch clean round holes in leather, board, and other such soft materials, as well as in stacks of paper. It includes interchangeable cutter tips for 3, 4, and 6mm holes. It is unfortunate that this don’t come with a 5mm cutter, which would be ideal for use with most binding posts (Chicago screws).

Unlike a standard office hole punch, which uses a shearing action similar to that of scissors to push the chad out the back of the material, this punch acts more like a chisel: a sharp edge cuts downward, and the chad (the “confetti” from the hole) is pushed aside. As there isn’t really much aside to push to, the chad get pushed up into the inside of the hollow cutter, where further punching pushes it along and it eventually emerges into the handle of the punch. To allow for some strength in the cutter, the hole inside tapers to be smaller than the punched hole, so the chads get compressed a bit.

There are other manual hole drills with a similar cutting action, but many of these other cutters have a straight-sided inside hole for easy passage of the chads, and are tapered on the outside. This means that if such drills are used on thick inelastic material, the resulting hole will be stretched. Thus in board you would get a cone-shaped hole, and in a stack of paper, the holes would vary somewhat in size. In contrast, our hole drill gives consistent straight-sided holes.

In order to assist with the cutting action, the cutter should be rotated. There exist power hole drills which rotate their cutter continuously, and some manual paper drills have a mechanism so they twist automatically when you push down, but ours requires manual rotation.

We have a video on YouTube showing how to assemble and use this tool.