Drilling right on woods and metals start by making an accurate indentation, and there’s no better way to do that than to use the best automatic center punch.
Once you use a center punch to make a dimple, it becomes easy to drill hole at the same spot without slipping.
It’s important to note that different materials require different striking force for indentation. As such, an ideal automatic center punch should feature adjustable impact. This will go a long way to make sure you make the right indentation without messing the whole effort.
With an unlimited number of automated center punches in the market, your choices are undeniably unlimited. And there’s nothing wrong with that. The only challenge may be to identify an option that can work best for you. So in this guide, we’ll have a look at some of the top-rated options that you should consider for the money.
Let’s get to it.
4 Best Automatic Center Punch Reviews
1. Neiko 02638A 5" Automatic Center Hole Punch
The Neiko 02638A is no doubt one of the well-made and rigorously tested automatic center punches in the market. It’s well known for its S2 steel construction, which is simply pure steel with an addition of manganese and vanadium.
The finish is a chrome coating, which offers maximum protection from elements, so it doesn’t corrode as you use it. Generally, what you get for the price point is a high quality center punch that’ll last even through the extremist conditions.
From what we understand so far, every surface requires a certain amount of force to make a dimple. And that’s why the Neiko 5-inch center punch allows you to adjust the force of the impact by turning the cap in either direction. Plus, this center punch is very easy to use; push the cap downwards and the tool will automatically apply pressure on the surface.
This model’s handle feels somewhat ergonomic, providing you a solid grip so that you can create marks with ease. The knurled texture not only gives you an extended grip of the tool so you can work without your hand slipping, it also offers resistance to corrosion and dirt.
- Offers maximum protection from impact
- Makes a fine dimple with as much accuracy as possible
- This automatic center punch is made of steel for strength and durability
- Good for making dimples on wood
- The striking force is easy to adjust
- Very easy to use; press it downwards and the tool will do the rest of the work for you
- We wish the model’s spare parts were readily available
- Can’t easily make a dimple on steel. Therefore, you’ll need to make more than one punch to make this work, even on mild steel.
2. Rennsteig Adjustable Automatic Center Punch
Rennsteig came out as a fine German craftsmanship and has maintained its top position as one of the best automatic center punches. It’s smooth, strong, performance optimized, and better than a Sterratt. With a punching accuracy of around 95%, the Rennsteig is no doubt the center punch to use if you want precision and the value for your money.
To begin with, Rennsteig is made of premium grade steel, which gives it a tough and robust feel. On top of that, it has a nickel-plated finish, which offers maximum protection from elements. As such, it’s a strong, rust and moist resistant tool that you can use in any environment and any condition.
The round knob at the top of the Rennsteig center punch gives you the most comfortable grip possible. And the shock absorbent plastic pad added to the handle offers maximum protection against impact. As such, you don’t have to worry about hand pain, no matter how many strikes you make within a day.
With a striking force between 180N and 250N, the punch gives you enough power to make the right mark on a material. Remember, the striking force to use depends on the material. And that’s why Rennsteig allows you to adjust its impact strength by rotating the knurl clockwise or anticlockwise depending on your needs.
You’ll love Rennsteig automatic center punch because it features a hardened tip. This is important because it makes every punch as precise as possible, and everything else comes easy after that. Thanks to the kind of precision Rennsteig offers you, it’s easy to make accurate dents even on hard and heavy materials like industrial steel.
- Shock absorbent handle lowers impact from the tool
- You’ll love this center punch because its precision
- Reliable striking force, which you can easily adjust
- The nickel-plated finish offers protection against elements
- The shank diameter is small
3. Sandor Super Strong Automatic Center Punch
Sandor is about power and precision. It’s the right tool to choose if you need an inexpensive center punch that makes holes easier to drill. This punch’s spring loaded mechanism is powerful enough to leave solid marks on different objects, including copper, wood, metal, and steel. So if you’re interested in a more versatile automatic center punch, go with Sandor.
In terms of design, this model features a machined brass body with knurled handle. The construction offers a slip-resistant working experience, not to mention precise control and handling so that every simple is just as accurate as you’d want it to be.
Remember, different surfaces require different pressure to dimple. And that’s why Sandor has an adjustable tension. Simply adjust the screw to get the right striking force. Then use a one-hand press to create a dimple for easier drilling.
You’ll love this center punch because its tip is metal hardened and then chrome plated. While this construction doesn’t make the tip last for a last time, it at least makes it last for hundreds of strikes.
- One-hand operation and it needs no hammering
- This automatic center punch is versatile, so you can use it to create a dimple on any object
- The deep knurls give you a non-slip punching experience
- Inexpensive, but the tip is made of steel so the punch doesn’t feel cheap
- The tension lever is easy to adjust
- Requires a lot of pressure to make a punch on some surfaces
- Sometimes pressing the punch down fails to engage the auto spring
4. Starrett 18A Automatic Center Punch
Built by L.S Starrett, a company that has been in the testing equipment business for over 100 years, the Starrett 18A automatic center punch is one of the top models at its price point. For starter, this tool is made of hardened steel, a material that makes it strong, durable, and wear and tear resistant.
In addition to the robust construction, the punch features a knurled finger grip design for easy handling. This allows you to point the conical tip correctly and control the punching force so that you can make a dimple without slipping.
Starrett 18A is a better version of the 117C model because it doesn’t need a hammer to make an indentation on an object. In other words, if you need a center punch that can easily create a dimple on an object, then this is the best tool to use.
The punching force of the Starrett 18A is easy to adjust. Simply turn the cap upwards if you need lighter marks and downward if you need a more striking force.
At 4 inches in length, the shank of Starrett 117C isn’t too long or too short for its job. Rather, it’s enough to make a dimple on any surface, with the tapered end able to make a dimple 3mm in diameter.
- Made of hardened steel for strength and wear and tear resistance
- Hardened steel construction ensures wear and tear resistance
- The best alternative to the 117C model because it doesn’t need a hammer
- Works well on glass because it doesn’t need a hammer
- You can remove the point for regrinding
- Knurled handle gives you a solid grip, allowing you to work without worrying about hand slips
- You must wear goggles to use this tool
- The diameter of the shank is somewhat limited
How to Choose the Best Automatic Center Punch
When it comes to choosing a center punch, you have to overlook the cost and focus on the features that matter. So the following are the most important factors to consider:
If an automatic center punch doesn’t have the power to make an indentation on an object like steel or glass, then it’s probably something you shouldn’t buy. Unfortunately, many manufacturers don’t disclose how much force their center punches can deliver. This leaves you with a lot of guesswork to do. Fortunately, you can get around this by checking the review section of a particular punch to know what customers think.
These tools are called automatic center punch because they’re spring loaded. That means they don’t require hammering to do their job. Make sure you choose a punch that has a powerful spring load. The load should be strong enough to exert pressure on the material on which you’d like to create a dimple. And it should also have enough tension to spring back to position after firing.
Also, check to make sure that the center punch has an adjustable knob for controlling the tension of the spring. This is important because it will help you to apply the right amount of impact on an object without ruining the quality of the object itself.
If the quality of the tip of an automatic center punch is not up to the accepted standard, then you shouldn’t waste your money on it. More often than not, the strength of the tip will help you to determine the quality of the punch.
We do recommend choosing a center punch that has a tip made of hardened steel. Also, make sure the tip is the right size and that it’s sharp enough to get the job done.