There are people who do try drilling a hole on a metal sheet without indicating their starting point. The process can be a bit exhausting since the drill will slid off the point of drilling making you end up with holes that are not accurate.
The device can be dangerous when the drill does wander off. Several people do find the machine difficult to mark a starting dimple using chisels and nails that are not sturdy or accurate.
This explains why people are always in need of the best automatic center punch in the market. Investing in a top automatic center punch enables you to avoid several shortcomings.
How Does an Automatic Center Punch work?
To use the automatic center punch, you will need a hammer that you will use in punching it to make small dimples. However, there is a much simpler model that was created substituting the hammer force. With this, when you push the button, the mechanism does take place, and the spring will after that, release the power to the pin creating a hole.
How To Use a Center Punch
First, mark the spot where you want to drill by use of a pencil. Make adjustments to the spring tension cap depending on the type of material you will be punching into.
Thereafter, do place the center punch point onto the material you will be drilling into. Ensure you do line it with the mark you made using a pencil. You can then apply pressure downwards making the indentation.
What is a Center Punch Used for
A center punch is normally used in marking the center of a point. You can also use the machine in characterizing the center whenever you are drilling the hole.
The drill does have the tendency of wandering whenever the gadget does not start in recess. The center punch will create a huge dimple that will act as the tip guide of the drill.
Best Automatic Center Punches
1. Starrett 18C Automatic Center Punch
Are you shopping for the best automatic center punch in the market? Then you need to for one that is reliable when it comes to punching a hard surface. There is no better one that the Starrett 18C Automatic Center Punch.
The Starrett 18C Automatic Center Punch is considered to be one of the most massive automatic center punch currently available in the market. Despite having a length of only 5-1/4”, the thickness of the body is huge measuring 111/6”.
The automatic punches are also made using tempered and hardened steel. The bit size is the same as that of your finger. Very versatile, which makes the device suitable for aluminum and wood? Its adjustable impact force does enable on to use the device for anything. One has to unscrew the knurled grip and screw the machine again to maximize the level of force.
Just like any other top quality product brand, the Starrett brand makes the spare part available for sale. In case the bit is dull or anything else, you can always buy the bit separately and replace. With this, you are in a position to save money without having to purchase a new one.
- Very accurate
- Has been made to last
- Has a replaceable bit available in the market
- Can be used on stainless steel together with other hard surfaces
- Has a more profound and more prominent dimple
- Has a huge dimple for use on a small drill bit
- Can rust after some time
2. Neiko 02638A Automatic Center Punch
The Neiko 02638A Automatic Center Punch comprises of a punching bit which is made using S2 steel. The S2 steel does consist of extra manages and vanadium. They will help add the wear and hardness and minimize brittleness.
One can use the machine on metals like mild steel although a good number of people do prefer using on wood. However, when you keep using the device, there is a time when you will find the gadget to be less sturdy and can quickly end up repeating a couple of punches to create a more profound and more prominent dimple.
In case there are lots of dimples that you will be punching, and then it would be more decent to us this center punch. It does have a red ball handle that is very ergonomic when in your palms hand. The center punch can allow one to create lots of dimples without feeling hurt on their palms.
This spring loaded center punch 5” in body length, making the machine neither small nor big. Its body shank is coated using chrome that helps in countering corrosion.
- Available in excellent quality
- Perfect for use on wood
- Very comfortable on users palm
- Capable of supporting several punches in a day
- A very affordable center punch
- Replacement bit is not available for sale
- One requires more than a single blow to make a dimple on steel
3. Rennsteig Adjustable Automatic Center Punch
Does suit anyone limited on budget. According to our research findings, we did find out that the highest force the Rennsteig Adjustable Automatic Center Punch can offer is 250N, with the lowest being 180N. With this range, it is capable of creating a pretty substantial mark on the steel. It can also work on mild steel, aluminum, stainless steel.
Have a pretty lovely handle that offers one with a comfortable push at their hand’s palm. It makes it possible for one to make repeatable punches within a day without feeling any pain on their palm.
This best automatic center punch is the largest model in our list and can be used on handling anything. One can make changes to the striking power by removing the rd end screw grip with the aim of getting the appropriate plastic or wood sets.
- Can punch steel
- Is very affordable
- Comes with a very comfortable push knob
- One can make several punches in a day without feeling pain
- One can make changes on the striking power
- Cannot be used in all steel types
- Has a shank diameter of only 0.67.”
4. 6580 Automatic Center Punch
Are you in need of an automatic center punch that is lightweight? Then you have to go for the 6580 Automatic Center Punch. This spring-loaded center punch is capable of resisting corrosion during extreme conditions.
One does not have to hesitate to carry the brass automatic center punch around because of its lightweight nature.
You should never worry about its capability of destroying the window of the vehicle. The majority of the automatic center punches do offer enough force to have it done. With a rating on 4.9 out of 5, you can use this center punch to help you prevent screws and drills from wandering in the plastic, wood, or metal.
One can use the gadget to assist him or her in creating the starting point of the dimple. The machine is effortless to use and quick. When you use this gadget, you will be in a position of producing driven spring when you have it pressed on the surface.
The center punch comprises an adjustable cap that enables on to regulate the striking force.
- Comes with an adjustable cap that helps in regulating the striking force
- Brass body has been knurled for nonslip control
- Does deliver an automatic spring-driven strike
- Is very affordable
- Is lightweight
- Not suitable to use on metal
- Can easily catch rust
5. Fowler 52-500-290 Automatic Center Punch
The Fowler 52-500-290 Automatic Center Punch is also a heavy duty center punch that cannot fail to appear in our top 10 list. It does have an overall length of 6 inches making it the longest in our list of products. Its diameter shank measures 10/16 inches.
The Fowler 52-500-290 comes with a piercing bit, a small internal hammer that is made using hardened steel and two springs inside the body. Its outer part is made up of steel. With all the construction, you will, for sure, feel solid whenever it is in your hand.
Just like any other top quality center punch, one can always replace the bit hence; do not have to worry about buying a new one.
Fowler 52-500-290 Automatic Center Punch comes loaded; hence can suffice all your punching requirements. It always leaves your left hand free since it can easily be operated using one hand. It is also mid-priced and does offer quality work.
- A very affordable center punch
- Perfect for wood and mild metal
- Leaves one hand free since it can be operated using one hand
- Made using hardened steel which makes it durable
- Comes with a replaceable bit
- Not perfect for super hard metals
- Can easily get rust
6. Lisle 30280 Automatic Center Punch
The Lisle 30280 Automatic Center Punch is well known for its pencil like slim and lightweight nature. It comes with an inbuilt pocket clip. It does come with a sharp punching bit that is great at making dimple marks accurately. Lisle 30280 has also been made for sturdy steel meaning one can use it for a number of applications.
The Lisle 30280 Automatic Center Punch is a pretty lightweight that works well whenever one is tempting to mark on the hard metals, only ending up firing on the small dimples. You can be interested in hammering or center punching once again to help in increasing the dimple width. You should not use it too frequently.
One of the downsides that come with the Lisle 30280 Automatic Center Punch is its production quality. Most of its internal parts have not been made well. There are times when it does not automatically reset.
Although it might not fail, there are times when it can be very annoying. Most experts do recommend that you always disassemble and lubricate the springs before you consider using it.
- Is made using lightweight materials
- Is very slim and pencils like hence easy to carry around
- Made of sturdy steel which makes it durable
- Is quite affordable
- Can be used on several applications
- There are times when it refuses to reset automatically
- Has a low production quality
7. HORUSDY Super Strong Automatic Centre Punch
The HORUSDY Super Strong Automatic Centre Punch is well known for its durability thanks to the super-strong steel used in making it and its extreme build quality.
It does come with a spring-loaded, which is adjustable while its design does allow one to vary the impact of the force from it. Its tip is very suitable for any surface type, and it does have a hardened suggestion that helps in ensuring it can easily survive for any force type.
This spring center punch, which is one-handed, is very comfortable to use and handy thanks to its lightweight nature that makes it easy to use for remote tasks
The one-handed operation of this automatic center punch does make it precise and accurate to ensure one gets the marks at exact points where they need. HORUSDY is not a must on requires a hammer for these tasks. The knurled body is of great shape, which makes it operate well.
HORUSDY comes in two colors; there are the black color and the chrome finish. All these colors are attractive. It does have a perfect grip on the body, which ensures you are in a position of holding the tool well for a longer time.
- Very comfortable
- Has great durability
- Comes with a loaded and adjustable spring
- Very precise and accurate
- Colors are beautiful
- Internal finish is very rough and bad
- A bit expensive
8. General Tools 89 Automatic Center Punch
The General Tools 89 Automatic Center Punch is another top center punch that you can never fail to consider in any list of top best automatic center punch in the market.
One feature that makes it great is its healthy steel bit that is well and can confidently hit metals that are difficult like the steel. Its solid stainless steel that is on the body does help in protecting the equipment from any form of rusting.
It works very well and is more attractive when compared to the older methods that entailed the use of a hammer and a center punch. However, the mark it does produce on metals like stainless steel is not that great.
One will still require a center punch and a hammer to help him in enlarging the dimple so that they can create enough diameters for drilling. It does work well for wood and soft metal.
This best center punch for steel measures 9.16” in thickness and 5.25” in length. You can always estimate if the dimple it creates will be in a position of fitting your drill bit. The dimple does measure 1.8mm. One can create an impact by turning the grip end that is knurled.
- Can work well on both soft metals and wood
- Comes with sturdy steel that makes it durable
- Does not catch rust easily
- Very attractive
- light hence can easily be moved around
- Does not have a replaceable bit
- A bit expensive
9. Automatic Spring Loaded Center Hole Punch
Are you in need of an automatic center punch that will make it easy for you to drill?? Then the Automatic Spring Loaded Center Hole Punch is the best choice for you. This is one center punch that works pretty well and does make a very solid mark on copper, steel, wood, aluminum, and metal materials. When you invest in this center punch, you will be in a position of giving your center punch a starting point and you will find it easier to use since it does not slip even in tight spots.
This center punch tool is made using a well machined body brass and does have a surface that is deeply knurled ensuring there is no slip and does provide precise control and handling. The adjustable tension screw makes it possible to use one hand during operation.
Despite being a center punch for wood and metal, the automatic Spring Loaded Center Hole Punch is also capable of shattering glass car windows.
- Made using high-quality materials
- Comes with a 100% money-back guarantee
- One can use one hand to operate
- Made using a well-machined body brass
- Comes with an adjustable tension
- Slightly costly for some to maintain
- Can easily catch rust if not well maintained
10. Forge Industry Center Punch
In case you need an automatic center punch that uses a mechanism that is loaded with spring making dimples at the high impact on the material you are working on? Then the Forge Industry Center Punch is the best option for you.
The body is made using brass, which has been hardened and capable of withstanding punches of high impact. The tip and the spring mechanism are made using steel that makes it durable and robust. Its tip is well plated with chrome that increases the durability making it corrosion resistant.
The Forge handle is knurled well to offer a great no slippery grip that ensures perfect dimples are made. Measuring 5” long, this Forge Industry Center Punch is straightforward to grasp.
- Made using hardened brass that makes it durable
- Resistant to corrosion
- Very affordable
- Very easy to grasp
- Only suitable for light tasks
- Jams more frequently
11. QTEATAK 5” Spring Loaded Adjustable Impact Automatic Center Hole Punch
The QTEATAK center punch closes our top 10 list of the best automatic center hole punches currently available in the market. The machine is suitable for a number of tasks like making marks on materials like metal, wood, glass, car emergency tools, plastics, leather and protecting the bit together with the screw from wandering.
The device comes with an ergonomic palm handle which is very comfortable in shape and levers easily whenever you are making a hole. Made using hardened chrome vanadium makes the device to be rustproof, resistant to wear, impact resistant.
The machine is also known to have a long service life. One can easily adjust the lid of QTEATAK center punch changing the impact and allowing a single hand punching.
The tip and the spring mechanism are made using steel that makes it durable and robust. Its tip is well plated with chrome that increases the durability making it corrosion resistant.
- Resistant to wear
- Has a long service life
- Suitable for a number of tasks
- Very affordable
- Impact resistant
- Only suitable for light tasks
- Jams more frequently
12. Starrett 18A Automatic Center Punch
The Starrett 18A Automatic Center Punch is quite similar to the Starrett 18C but that does not surprise at all since they are all from the same manufacturer. It however does have some unique features that make it appear in our top 10 list.
It is slightly longer than the 18C. It means that when you have to handle lots of loads or from a much higher position, then it is the best center punch for you. It can also be a great blessing for you when you have to make a dimple on tight spaces.
It does come with up to four different graduation levels which mean one will have to make holes of different sizes using a single tool. This center punch is capable of doing everything precisely making it a much more generalized tool when compared to the others.
The center punch tool is also a very comfortable and lightweight tool that comes with rubber grips on its sides, making it very easy to hold in case you are using it for a longer time.
Its point can also be removed for regrinding. It is an essential feature for people who are interested in changing how they want to punch.
- It is very comfortable to use
- It is lightweight
- Can be used to punch on tight spaces
- Comes with four graduation levels
- One can remove its points
- Its tip is not that strong
- It is slightly expensive
Guide To Buying Automatic Center Punch
The wide variety of best center punch in the market has made it a bit difficult for people to identify which is the best in the market. However, this should no longer be of great concern with the list of factors below.
We do have automatic center punches that do have a knob. The knob does make it possible for one to create several marks easily. It is advisable that one goes for a knob which is very comfortable and will not cause any pain on the hand.
When the best center punch for steel does have a narrow bit, there are high chances that the does point accurately. When it does have a dull pinch bit, it can always move whenever you press it. However, after some period of time, the bit can be a bit dull. When dull, you can always sharpen it or have it replaced.
In case the bit becomes dull, there are people who might be interested in purchasing a replacement or sharpening it. However, it is advisable that one just purchases a replacement bit instead of having to get a new center bunch. You can consider spending some more money up front and avoid spending lots of money after a few days.
The bit material used in the center punch will help in convincing on how capable it is for one to mark the surface which is made using hard materials. Any great material will always help in ensuring it does last longer and is always resistant to wear. The price of the automatic center punch does increase when its quality increases.
The force an automatic center punch produces should be considered a lot whenever you are shopping for this equipment. However, lots of customers never speak about it in their reviews. A particular center punch may come with an empty notification that says it is in a position of giving a specific amount of force X.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is center punch use?
It does have a number of uses. In most cases, it is used in making dimples at the spot center which you are interested in drilling. One can also use it in breaking tempered glass.
Q. What is the difference between a manual and automatic center punch?
You will have to use a hammer in tapping the knob in order to create a mark on the material when using a manual center punch. On the automatic center punch, you can use spring tension to enable you to produce the force which you will need in making a mark without having to use a hammer.
Q. Is it possible for one to sharpen the center punch tip?
Yes, this is very possible. You can always sharpen the center punch whenever it becomes blunt. However, you need to sharpen it without compromising its accuracy.
Q How can I best maintain a center punch?
You can always do the following:
- Replace the tip
- Ensure you store it in a dry place
- Oil all the internal mechanics
- Ensure you clean it after every use
List of 10 Best Center Punches
There is a wide variety of best automatic center punch in the market. However, you can always narrow your options to Renssteig, Neiko or Starrett. There are people who do prefer Starret 18C since it is great for professionals. The cost of this device might however not be that effective.
For a much more economical option, you can consider going for the Neiko while if you are in need of reliability and comfort, then the Renssteig is the best option.
Table of Contents
- How Does an Automatic Center Punch work?
- How To Use a Center Punch
- What is a Center Punch Used for
- Best Automatic Center Punches
- 1. Starrett 18C Automatic Center Punch
- 2. Neiko 02638A Automatic Center Punch
- 3. Rennsteig Adjustable Automatic Center Punch
- 4. 6580 Automatic Center Punch
- 5. Fowler 52-500-290 Automatic Center Punch
- 6. Lisle 30280 Automatic Center Punch
- 7. HORUSDY Super Strong Automatic Centre Punch
- 8. General Tools 89 Automatic Center Punch
- 9. Automatic Spring Loaded Center Hole Punch
- 10. Forge Industry Center Punch
- 11. QTEATAK 5” Spring Loaded Adjustable Impact Automatic Center Hole Punch
- 12. Starrett 18A Automatic Center Punch
- Guide To Buying Automatic Center Punch
- Frequently Asked Questions
- List of 10 Best Center Punches