Using & Maintaining your craft punches

Paper (or craft) punches are considered by many crafters as a tool kit essential. The best performing punches are clean, sharp and smooth to punch – these will be easier to use and give a neat edge to the punched out material.  

Don’t be disheartened if your new punch isn’t right just yet, they sometimes take a little time to loosen and settle. With good care and maintenance, it should give you years of service.

Craft Punch Usage & MaintenanceTips

  • New punches can sometimes have residue of lubricant on the inner mechanism so it’s always a good idea to make some test punches first, especially before working on a project or with expensive materials.
  • The more intricate a punch, the more force that will be required to punch a clean shape. Sometimes a bit of extra force is what it takes so standing up to gain more leverage often helps and always punch down against a hard surface.
  • Use the right paper for the punch. It seems obvious but using the wrong material can break the punch. Some require thick card, some will tolerate only paper. There will usually be manufacturer’s advice on what is appropriate.
  • Using the punch upside down (where there’s usually a “window”) allows for better and more accurate positioning
  • If your punch sticks, try tapping it on a hard surface to release the mechanism. Failing that, place in the freezer for a while so that cold shrinks the metal.
  • To keep it sharp, punch through some kitchen foil several times - the smoother the better (those foil serving platters are great and you can use them with alcohol inks to make great toppers or embellishments). 
  • To lubricate, punch through some wax paper – this keeps the punch from sticking and the punching action smooth. The more intricate the shape of the punch, the more often you should do this. 
  • Store them in a dry place to avoid rusting. If you can, keep them upright to reduce the risk of them falling or moving in such a way to dislodge the mechanism.

Thanks to our lovely Facebook followers for their extra hints and tips.  If you have something to add, send us a message.  Or if you're in the mood to add to your collection, take a look at our great range of punches here.