10 Best Center Punches Reviews With Buying Guide

Have you ever experienced drilling through objects where the drill keeps sliding off? It is not only frustrating but also dangerous!

If you are tired of making the drilling point with standard nails and chisels, it is time for a proper tool. The center punches, therefore, prevents you from creating inaccurate holes.

Even a small tool as this can make things worse if not chosen the right kind. The dimple it makes should not just be used as a mark but also stable enough to function as a guide to the drill bit.

So the following list consists of some of the best center punches that can change the working environment more receptive. Let’s read on!

10 Best Center Punches Reviews

Instead of battling an internal debate with yourself, simply trust our assessments for the right item. Below are the ten center punches reviews that can help you guide toward better quality products.

1. Starrett 18C Automatic Center Punch Heavy-Duty With Adjustable Stroke

Starrett 18C Automatic Center Punch Heavy-Duty With Adjustable Stroke

Our first choice is by a company that excels at producing high-end tools. It goes without saying that this automatic center punch is, thereby, one of their best creations.

The Starrett 18C boasts a full steel construction. Its material is further tempered and hardened to make it more durable. So the thing will hardly be in a position to break under heavy pressure.

You will not need to use any hammer since the unit is automated. Thus, the mechanism is powerful enough to strike a hefty blow, which is more dominant than the standard similar products.

It is a welcoming feeling to those who prefer one-handed job convenience.

This center punch is a more suitable application on iron, heavy metals, or walls because the torque is too strong for lighter objects.

However, the spring tension is adjustable. So if you plan on marking on softer metals, this unit is the ideal option.

The premium quality center punch also has one of a kind handle that ensures proper grips. Its rugged texture is highly effective in preventing quick slip off.

If the tool is not comfortable to hold, is the tool even worth owning? This is why the 18C unit by Starrett provides a high-end grip with durable body construction.

Also, the bit is very sharp and narrow, that it increases the accurate performance to a great extent. When the bit seems blunt, it is easily removable for the new replacement.


  • Versatile use on the toughest materials
  • Extremely durable
  • Adjustable power with a knurled cap
  • Replaceable bit
  • Ergonomic handle with slip-resistant feature
  • Super-strong and big dent  
  • Ideal for hard surfaces


  • Dent is too big for small drill bits
  • Expensive

2. Neiko 02638A 5” Automatic Center Hole Punch

Neiko 02638A 5” Automatic Center Hole Punch

This S2 steel constructed center punch has an auto mechanism that is a great option for people who work with wooden projects.

Despite being built for durability, the unit is less suitable for heavy metals. If you have some kind of walls or thick materials in mind, we suggest opting for a different model from our list.

Other than that, it is one of the most cost-efficient products that allows a decent amount of dent on the particular drilling project. The automatic system means that it is operational single-handedly to avoid the usage of a hammer.

Its knurled body provides a very firm and stronghold. You can drill without fearing of misalignment. Plus, the device is associated with an adjustment cap.

Once you adjust the cap, you can modify the striking force by increasing and decreasing the impact pressure.

The impression it leaves can make the drilling straightforward without any restriction or whatsoever. This affordable product comes with a handle like a plastic ball.

It is comfortable to work with, especially if there are loads of dimples in need of punching. And the chrome-plated body with a sharp bit is compatible with glass, mild metal, leather, and wood.   

Conclusively, the device is very light to have control over and capable of marking, staking, punching over the surfaces effectively, save a lot of time and effort.


  • Forms precise dimples
  • Corrosion and rust-resistant
  • Useful to break glass windows of cars in emergency
  • Comfortable to hold
  • Suitable for woodworks
  • Affordable


  • Requires more than one punches to form a dimple on metals
  • Non-replaceable bits

3. HORUSDY 2-Pack Super Strong 6” Automatic Center Hole Punch

HORUSDY 2-Pack Super Strong 6 Automatic Center Hole Punch

Here is another distinguished product that offers two different center punches for extensive ranges of use.

If your job entails dealing with various materials, including hefty and light or soft, this one can give you a hand in allocating diverse utilization.

The small tool, a 5.12-inch center punch, comes with a single spring action. It helps in handling the lighter and softer materials with outstanding accuracy.

As a result, the limited force controls the torque in such a way that it prevents the delicate surfaces from damaging.

The bigger center punch, a 6.1-inch tool, is made to administer sturdier materials. This makes the unit a heavy-duty instrument, thanks to the double spring action it comes with.

So you can apply it on any hard surface, it will still create an impactful dimple to follow through. Say goodbye to the frustrating drilling when the path deviates.

Naturally, both devices have adjustable tension action so that the impact can be controlled by the user. You can set it by the turn of the knurled cap.

Even though HORUSDY has come up with an incredible center punch package tool, we still think it is best used for non-heavy-duty tasks.

Also, this knurled textured package is an incredible advantage during vehicle emergencies. A single indent and the whole car window can be broken for the rescue.


  • Leaves deeper indentations
  • Resistant to rust and corrosion
  • Hardened chrome vanadium bits for durability
  • Adjustable tension
  • Knurled body for easy grip
  • Automated mechanism saves more efforts


  • Build quality is not robust for hefty jobs

4. Stanley FMHT16446 FATMAX Center Punch, 3/8”

Stanley FMHT16446 FATMAX Center Punch

The brand Stanley is a reputable name when it comes to providing supreme tools to the construction industries. Similarly, FATMAX center punch is no exception.

Its unique design is made to deliver the unmistakable result even though you are going to require a hammer for the job.

A lot of the users often prefer manual labor over automated tension to form a dimple. This unit is like a precious gift for them!

Yes, it takes the effort and time to make the markings, but it will all be worth it once applied. Rest assured, this time-consuming effort will bring forth the best and the most accurate dimple you will ever experience.   

And the final result? A perfectly aligned drilling action with no hassle at all! All this can be possible with this one-piece little center punch that measures only five inches.

Nonetheless, it is neither too small to hold. The length itself has the superiority that does not compromise with hammering as well as hand safety.

All you have to do is tapping the device with a hammer for a medium-sized impact on the chosen surface. It is, therefore, a great and ideal tool for all the heavy-duty materials.

The forging quality is, without a doubt, provides longevity and substantial strength. Its tip is made of tempered material to resist wearing.

Finally, the Stanley FATMAX sure knows how to mark a punch!


  • Extremely durable
  • Forged from high-end materials
  • Easy visibility due to powder-coated finish
  • Ideal for heavy-duty tasks
  • Excellent performance
  • Delivers precise dimple


  • Time-consuming

5. Mayhew Tools 62213 4-Piece Knurled Center Punch Kit – Hand Tool Punches

Mayhew Tools 62213 4-Piece Knurled Center Punch Kit

When a particular center punch does not seem to be enough for adapting to various drilling projects, this Meyhew punch set provides the best convenience packed in one.

The set has a total of four center punches in respect of 1/4”, 5/16”, 3/8”, and 1/2”. As you can see, these different punch sizes are pretty handy while dealing with multiple sized drilling holes.

They are forged as one-piece design for ease of handling and use. These varied pieces are a great addition to the toolbox that will not even take much space.

Each one of them has been made from tempered material so that they can withstand any hammering when placed on diverse surfaces.

Whether you use it for piercing thin materials or marking the drilling points, they will have it done effectively. The center punches are further coated with black oxide to resist any form of rust or corrosion. It even gives the unit a robust and sleek appearance that is hard to ignore.

So if your line of work contains unique applications of specified tolerances, or constant indent making for several tasks, MayhewPro certainly delivers premium finishes.     

This knurled bodied center punch kit with a small pouch is an absolute must-have for all the professionals and DIY enthusiasts.


  • Single-forged body
  • Very promising with performance
  • Great value for the price
  • Versatile use
  • Comes with a pouch for storage
  • Tempered construction for durability
  • Rust and corrosion-resistant


  • Ideal for soft metals only

6. Rennsteig Adjustable Automatic Center Punch

Rennsteig Adjustable Automatic Center Punch

A center punch is of no use if the thing does not incorporate a good grip to work with! Nonetheless, this brand has brought both essential features together to make an excellent choice of item.

Before we begin, you can completely place confidence in this automatic punch tool by Rennsteig. It is because the unit is made from the most durable and sturdy steel.

That is not all; for the further nickel finish to add longevity and resistance to wear makes it a perfect option for industrial use. As you can guess, the product is compatible with tough materials effortlessly.

And the best part is being it an automated, the force it activates downwards is excellently pressurized. So the self-striking tension mechanism can leave the right sized dent on the desired surface.

Thanks to the hardened tip, it drives for precision right after you position it accordingly. The outcome is- an impressive dimple even on industrial-grade hard metals!

Now we shall discuss the distinct feature that makes holding this item worthwhile. The handle is not an extravagant design but, it sure provides ultra-comfort when maneuvering it.

Thus, no matter how many times a day, you need to create heavy impacts on hard metals, the ergonomic grip will ensure you to make repeatable action without feeling any strain.

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  • Large and convenient proportions
  • Can handle any tough materials
  • Adjustable torque setting for soft materials
  • Creates a strong mark
  • Highly durable
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Premium option within budget
  • Push knob handle with ergonomic touch


  • Might not work for HSLA steel

7. ABN Spring Loaded Center Punch, Automatic Center Punch Tool

ABN Spring Loaded Center Punch, Automatic Center Punch Tool

This center punch design is somewhat similar to the Neiko 02638A we have mentioned earlier. However, ABN auto center punch projects many variations in the comparison.  

It is specifically designed to fulfill a DIY enthusiast’s immeasurable needs. The work variation ranges from light metal sheets, wood, plastic, leather, cardboard, and glass.

This proves how one single and compact ABN automatic center punch is more than enough to complete any relatable job.

It has a punching mechanism of double spring activation so, forget about carrying a hammer along. The shank body is made from chrome-plated steel for strength and resilience.

Thus, the whole structure is made to last against corrosion as well as heavy impact force. But if the bit part is not sufficiently sturdy, it fails to give you the result you seek. So the bit material used here is from S2 steel for additional longevity and toughness. It can easily dent over any metallic surface.

One of the reasons why it is a suitable choice for utilizing construction sites is its resistance to harsh conditions. 

This device is merely a five-inch in length, of which about a quarter of the area is for the handle. It has a very convenient grip that helps reach accurate dimple marks.

Overall, it gets the job done due to the very firm spring punch function, something the user will not regret acquiring.

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  • Durable construction
  • Adjustable torque impact
  • Compact
  • Offers a solid grip
  • Delivers precision
  • Suitable for soft materials
  • Resistant to corrosion
  • Able to withstand harsh conditions


  • Not ideal for tough metals

8. Spring Tools 32R00-1 Hammerless Double Ended Prick Punch

Spring Tools 32R00-1 Hammerless Double Ended Prick Punch

Let us just say the Spring Tools 32R00 lands solid punches on sheet metal like surfaces. It is possible because of the supreme quality build.

Its unique design is made to ensure simplicity with maximum force implantation. Instead of a handle grip on one part, the device comes as a double-ended prick on both portions.

This might take time to get used to if you are someone who has been utilizing center punches with handles. Once the user gets the hang of the tool, however, it works like a pro!

Some may still find the dimple marking procedure a little cumbersome at the beginning because it is a two-hand operation. You will need to pull the prick punch end to release it. Make sure to direct the force where the dent has to be formed.

The amount of power transference depends on how hard you retract the punch end. So we suggest being a tad careful not to injure your fingers.

You will know you have made the right choice once you see the dimple it creates. The tip comes with tempered material to endure any impact against hard surfaces.

In general, the two ends are forged from the premium carbon steel, which is conjoined by a high-tensile spring permanently.

This is why the product is an excellent example of substantial compatibility at harsh industrial sites.


  • Very durable
  • Unique structure of double-ended prick punch
  • Simple but produces maximum force
  • Superior quality
  • High-grade bit feature
  • Ideal for soft and moderately hard materials


  • Needs time to get used to the handle-less operation
  • Requires plenty of strength to pull the spring end

9. Automatic Center Punch – 5 inch Brass Spring Loaded Center Hole Punch

Automatic Center Punch

Working with a hammer to make a punch does not always fit the agenda, especially if the user has trouble handling the heavy load.

The Laurel + Holland Forge Industrial 2 Pack, therefore, offers an extremely lightweight center punch to go with almost all materials. Plus, the perfect slim shape lets you work with ease.

On the contrary, the quality might not please some users as it rather appears a little flimsy. But the machined brass body with the knurled surface will ensure making unlimited dimple marks as you maintain a tight grip.

Since the thing is automated, all you have to do is hold it firmly against the targeted area; the spring mechanism does the rest.

It is simple to adjust and control despite being a pretty compact tool. The only thing you have to worry about is making sure you remember where you store it!    

Such a small tool can get lost if not taken care of after every application. Let us inform you that this is an instrument for light works that include jewelry making, furniture assembling, DIY craft projects, and more.

So the mechanism works on light metal, aluminum, steel, copper, wood, plastic, brass, etc. This will give you an idea about how and where you should utilize the product.


  • Tempered steel tip for strength and durability
  • Adjustable torque lever
  • Ideal for light works
  • One-hand operation for convenience
  • Lightweight
  • Knurled exterior prevents slip-off
  • Durable and sturdy for small jobs


  • Bit dulls pretty quick

10. General Tools 89 Stainless Steel Automatic Center Punch 

General Tools 89 Stainless Steel Automatic Center Punch

If you are looking for something that can withstand impact pressure with every task, here is another center punch to make drill marks easy.

This unit is well-qualified for one-handed labor to eliminate additional strain on both hands. You simply have to activate the tension by pressuring it downward. The rest will be taken care of due to an automated punch. 

General Tools 89 has a knurled body that allows a tight grip. This knurled body with adjusting pressure enables the user to decrease or increase the stroking force. The accuracy will depend on how the holder keeps it steady, though.

Nevertheless, we assure you that the tip of this product can form visible marks on hard metals like steel or copper. This durable unit is forged from stainless steel, making it entirely durable and oxide-resistant.

The tip, on the other hand, is made from the sturdiest hardened steel to ensure it withstands against the force as well as corrosion.

Even though the unit is resourceful with multiple levels of materials, it does have its flaws. For instance, you might require applying a few punches on the tough steel to make a single mark.

Another disadvantage is that the device tip could get blunt after several months of use. So we think it most suitably fit the DIY users with lesser drilling projects.

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  • Sturdy and durable
  • Knurled body for a firm grip
  • Suitable for professional and DIY-ers
  • Creates a stable dimple for the drill bit to follow
  • Able to perform with one hand only
  • Great for emergency car window breaking


  • Makes an impact after several strokes on hardened metals

What to Look for Before You Buy?

There are a few aspects that one needs to look out for before purchasing the product. To make the job easier, we suggest considering these things to obtain the perfect tool.


The power or force the tool gives should be the deepest concern of all. Either it is manually achieved or automated; the dent on various materials must have a point marked due to the force.

Therefore, always make sure the center point is powerful enough to mark the drilling point. Otherwise, it is merely a metal stick, nothing more.

Bit Sharpness

As the tool builds up the power to strike, the dimple it creates can vary according to the bit sharpness. Now, if the tip is not sharp enough, there is a possibility of accidental movement.

Thus, the mark formed could be slightly off the potential mark. So it is advisable to use the narrow and sharp bits in a center punch for an accurate outcome.

Bit Replacement

Even when you have a sharp center punch tip, it could blunt over a certain period. It could put the precision point in jeopardy.

The bit sure will make a mark, but this could result in a larger point in case the material you are working on is a compact one, such as intricate jewelry making.

Therefore, always have a replacement ready when the day comes to change it. This way, the user will not need to buy another center punch, simple money-saving method.  

Overall Quality

The user cannot expect top-notch performance if the tool is made from cheaply constructed material. It would not matter even if the punch with a sharp tip gives out a perfect dimple.

Because, what would be the point of it all if it does not last enough? Hence, high or low cost, make sure the quality of the material is sturdy and durable.

Since it is a tool that needs to be in contact with versatile mediums, see if it is resistant to wear.

Ergonomic Knob

Would you be able to work with a center punch if it is hard to hold or handle? No, because otherwise, the punching force will put additional strain on your hand.

Although a decent and comfortable handle with superior grips can cut down the stress in half! How can we make that happen?

As you select the tool, we personally think you should check the handle structure as well. If it feels ergonomic enough to complete one task after the other without feeling fatigued, you have got yourself the right item.

Do not make any compromise even when a slight discomfort is felt. It will definitely make things much worse in the future.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the difference between an automatic and a manual center punch?

An automatic center punch has a spring tension that produces enough force needed to make a mark. It does not require a hammer.

On the contrary, you must use a hammer to tap the knob on a manual center punch in order to make a dimple.

  • Can I sharpen the tip?

Yes. This tool could become blunt after regular use. Sharpening the tip will only sustain its accuracy.

You can do it with the help of a bench grinder. Do not forget to wear safety glasses when processing them. 

  • Does a center punch work on ceramics?

Yes, but it might not be reliable. You could make an impression of the sort, but the process might be trickier.

  • Can we replace the piercing pin, if so, how?

Only if the item you have has the option to replace, for the replaceable ones, the user can purchase the additional pins online of the same model.

You merely have to unscrew the device to change the pin. It is pretty straightforward.

  • Will an automatic center punch break a car window?

Yes. The automatic center punches are often used in emergency situations like car accidents.

It is more effective than the traditional ones since the spring-loaded center punch exerts pressure directly without having to swing it.

  • Why are most center punches made from mild steel?

This is because the hardened and tempered mild steel point can withstand impacts better.

  • How do I maintain the center punch?

The basic instruction is to oil the components. It helps the device to function smoothly.

Keep it clean after each use and store it in a dry place. Remember soaking it in water can damage the value.

Final Words

We believe every professional or DIYer should have one of these in their toolbox. Accuracy is the key factor to make any project a success.

That is why the best center punches are a must-have for people who use drilling tasks at all times. Whether it is a traditional or an automatic, we hope our review has helped you make the decision for this particular gem.

We also covered an article on drill guides. You may check it out.

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