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What to look for in a hole punch

Number of holes

The most common hole punch is a three-hole punch. It’s used to punch holes in a standard 8.5” x 11” sheet of paper. They fit in standard binders and duotangs found in every office and classroom. Two-hole punches are less common and are mostly found in office environments. Single-hole punches are handheld, and most often used for crafting, or for ticket punching. There are every specialty punches that can be adjusted from 2 to 7 holes, which are mostly found in medical related offices.

Punching capacity

Punching capacity refers to how many sheets you’ll be able to punch at one time. The maximum can vary from just a few pages to a few dozen. Make sure to check carefully when selecting a punch because punching more papers than the punch can handle will result in badly aligned holes and jams.

Manual or electric operation

Electric hole punches tend to be more expensive, but can usually process more sheets at a time than manual punches. However, they are often less durable than their manual counterparts. Manual punches are usually quite durable, and while cheaper, offer a low punch capacity. You’ll need to balance your needs against your budget.

Replaceable dies

If you expect to do a high volume of punching, getting a punch with replaceable dies may be a good investment. As you may expect, the more paper you punch, the more worn the dies will become. Having the ability to replace the dies will save you from having to replace the entire hole punch when they wear down.

Durable construction

While some punches are made of plastic, the best are mainly constructed of metal. Metal punches will last much longer and are less likely to produce uneven holes.

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