Paper continues to evolve into use for more craft projects. Traditionally, paper crafting included scrapbooking, origami, and card making.
Now, though, we have paper crafts of all sorts! And with the addition of craft punches and Cricut machines, those paper crafts have evolved to endless possibilities.
With a craft punch you can cut out little shapes, like hearts, and tape them to individual chocolates for an easy Valentine’s Day present. You can use the paper you punched as a background for a cute invitation or card.
So, what is the best craft punch? The best craft punches come in many shapes, make a smooth cut, and have an easy system to remove your punched paper. Consider the size of your craft and the material you are using. You’ll need to choose a punch that’s the right size and made to cut specific material such as foam or felt.
Keep reading this buyer’s guide to find out why these qualities make for a perfect craft punch. At the end, we’ll list our 7 best picks for craft punches to help you easily grab one for your next paper project.
Buyer’s Guide – Craft Punches
When searching for craft punches, you’ll soon find that the market is saturated with cheaply produced punches. These often come with a lot of headaches, like dull blades and incorrect sizing.
We recommend reading the product listing and reviews thoroughly before choosing your craft punch. You want to confirm the size and shape will work for your project, it will produce a smooth cut, and the cut-out shape (or any potential paper jam) will be easy to remove.
Most craft punches are designed specifically for standard paper, but a lot will also cut through thicker cardstock paper, felt, and foam. Read the product description to see if it has the versatility of material that you’re looking for.
1. Intended Use
Craft punches are handy not just for the resulting shape that’s been punched out, but for the paper left behind with cute, decorative holes. It’s these cute designs that set craft punches apart from a regular hole punch.
While it’s possible to find craft punches in circle shapes, these are more geared towards making designs. Traditional hole punches are created just to give a paper the ability to be put into a binder or folder.
Craft punches can be used for adding designs to homemade invitations, holiday or birthday cards, scrapbooks, and many other paper crafts. Simply lay the paper flat in the punch, press down, and you have your shape!
Some punches are designed to create special borders or corners on the paper. Rather than having the cut-out paper as the end goal, such as with craft punches that give you butterflies or hearts, these punches take your original paper and give it a new design.
Make sure you choose a hole punch that can cater to your specific needs.
If you’re working on a large overall design, like decorating a door, a small craft punch isn’t going to work. It would take too long to punch out the number of shapes; you’d need to create a design to span several feet.
However, if your design is a simple birthday card, using a larger craft punch could run the risk of taking up your whole paper with only one shape.
We recommend measuring the size of your paper as you intend it to be in the final product and use a ruler to compare the size of the craft punch you’re considering.
For example, if you’re starting with a full-size 8” x 11.5” piece of cardstock paper but you’re planning to cut it to be a 4” x 6” invitation, use the 4” x 6” dimensions.
Grab a ruler and take note of the craft punch dimensions. You’re looking for the measurement referring to the final size of the shape you’re cutting, not the size of the craft punch itself.
Lightly trace a square outline of how large the shape would be to see how it will fit on your paper. This will help you determine whether you need to find a larger or smaller craft punch in your desired shape.
When it comes to the shape, you’ll find virtually every shape you could possibly need with a simple search.
With so many options, it’s important that you search for the right shape for your project. Don’t settle for a shape that’s only kind of like what you envisioned. Keep looking until you find the right one!
If you can’t find the perfect shape with a craft punch and you have a good craft budget, we recommend investing in a Cricut machine. These machines are well worth the investment because you can design your own shape and cut whatever your mind can create!
4. Smooth Cut
When the goal of your paper craft is the cut-out paper designs, you don’t want them with rough, torn edges. You want smooth lines for a clean look! That’s why it’s important to search for a craft punch that has sharp blades to give you a smooth cut.
This will not only keep your design looking nice, but it will help you in cutting the paper. If you feel like you have to slam your hand (or a brick) onto the button or lever just to get the paper to cut, it’s a poor quality craft punch.
Focus on craft punches that have sharp blades to make a smooth, clean cut with little effort every time. If the blade seems dull, try folding a piece of aluminum foil in half and use the craft punch to cut through the aluminum. In certain cases, this can help sharpen the blade.
5. Easy Paper Removal
Most craft punches have a plastic cover on the bottom that easily slides off to retrieve your punched-out designs.
Not all are so easy, though. And if you’re going to spend all that time punching paper, you want to make sure you’re actually getting the designs out of there.
Some of the plastic sliding covers will even have a non-slip silicone or rubber material on the outside to keep your craft punch in place while you work. This is an added bonus, and if you see a craft punch with this feature, it’s definitely worth getting.
6. Versatility Of Cutting Material
Although craft punches are primarily made for paper crafts, some are strong enough to cut through other materials. If you’re looking to cut out vinyl, fabric, felt, foam, cardstock, or something else, you’ll want to find a craft punch that specifically lists this as an acceptable material.
If the craft punch doesn’t have any materials listed, it’s likely only intended for use with regular paper or thin cardstock. Craft punches that can be used with foam or felt are great for those looking to add a 3D element to a plain birthday card, or even for a home felt board project!
7 Best Craft Punches
Now that we’ve gone over everything you’ll need to consider before you choose a craft punch, we’ve gathered some of the best options on the online market for you to peruse. Happy crafting!
|1.||Joinwin Craft Edger Punch||Edge puncher, several designs, clean cut|
|2.||Echolife Craft Punches With Glitter Cardstock||6 shapes, 10 glitter papers, child safe|
|3.||CADY Crafts Punch Set||3 sizes, several different designs, easy to use|
|4.||SCS Direct Store Scrapbook Paper Punch||58 shape set, carrying case, several versions|
|5.||Bira Craft Leaf Shape Craft Punch||Several designs, single, clean edges|
|6.||Manaloom Shape Paper Punch Set||60 set, works on vinyl and cardstock|
|7.||Zonon Tag Punch Corner Cutter||2 set, for gifts + labels + homemade products|
1. Joinwin Craft Edger Punch
If you’re looking to make a designed edge around an invitation or holiday card, then look no further. Joinwin has created the perfect edge craft punch for whatever design you need.
We’ve listed their fan design, but they have so many more: dolphins, hearts, ribbons, flowers, S-shapes, and footprints.
This craft punch is another one that’s easy to use with a simple lever to push down. It works great on standard paper and also lists foam, felt, and cardboard as acceptable materials.
These Joinwin edge craft punches will always leave you with a clean edge that’s sure to impress.
2. Echolife Craft Punches With Glitter Cardstock
The great thing about the Echolife craft punches is that not only do you get 6 different shapes, but you get 10 pieces of glitter cardstock paper to try them all out on!
These craft punches are smaller in size, with cut-outs less than an inch wide. If you’re looking to do some smaller designs, these are perfect!
With this set, you get a clover, butterfly, heart, snowflake, and two kinds of flowers.
Not only is there versatility in shapes, but these craft punches can work on cardstock, EVA foam, foil, and craft paper. They do recommend craft paper with a thickness less than 3mm for ideal results.
In fun, whimsical colors, this set is perfect for use with small children.
3. CADY Crafts Punch Set
This set by CADY is perfect for those looking for a simple set of one shape in 3 different sizes. We’ve included the circle set, but they also have flowers, butterflies, hearts, petals, snowflakes, stars, and trees.
While this is a limited set of just 3 punches, we love that they come in different shapes. If you’re working on a springtime craft and really only needed butterflies, for example, this is perfect! You can add butterflies of 3 different sizes to your craft, giving it dimension with only one design.
We like the easy punch button and slide off plastic cover on these craft punches. They’re simple to use for crafters of all ages – from children to adults.
4. SCS Direct Store Scrapbook Paper Punch
If you really want to step up your craft punch game and get a set with a large variety of shapes, then this set by SCS Direct Store is the perfect choice for you.
Although mini in size, these craft punches work great and easily cut through standard paper and cardstock paper.
With a variety of 58 different shapes, you’re sure to find the one you’re looking for to add to your design. They even come in their own carrying case!
Or, if you’re someone who loves to add design to their nails, these mini craft punches are said to work great on the modern sheets of nail color you can purchase online.
With a set like this, the possibilities are truly endless. Create a scrapbook, journal, holiday card, or gift wrapping of your dreams. This brand even offers smaller sets of craft punches in specific themes, such as tropical, wedding, and animals.
5. Bira Craft Leaf Shape Craft Punch
Bira Craft creates high quality craft punches that anyone can use on any project.
This craft punch cuts smoothly leaving you with clean edges every time.
It’s a larger size punch, with a final cut-out design of about 3/4” x 7/8” in size. This is ideal for those working on a larger background, such as a full-size scrapbook (which tends to be about 12” x 12”).
You can use this craft punch on other materials, but they recommend using cardstock of no more than 65-lb.
Sometimes the blades can become dull with frequent use. To prevent that, Bira Craft recommends utilizing the aluminum foil trick we mentioned earlier. Simply use the craft punch to cut through layers of foil instead of paper to sharpen the blades again.
It’s also common for a new craft punch to be quite stiff when you first start using it. If this happens to you, Bira Craft recommends lubricating your blade by punching through waxed paper.
6. Manaloom Shape Paper Punch Set
Similar to the SCS Direct Store option listed above, this Manaloom set includes 60 mini craft punches.
The final cut-out shape will be truly mini – only about 0.39” x 0.39”. This can be perfect if you’re working on a small card, tag, or invitation!
What’s great about these craft punches is that they also work on certain types of vinyl to make stickers – the perfect way to use such small designs! They also work on thicker paper such as cardstock.
Just like the option above, this set also works to create nail art using the sheets of stick-on color.
7. Zonon Tag Punch Corner Cutter
To make a holiday extra special, try using this Zonon tag punch. You can choose any kind of festive scrapbook paper and use this craft punch to create customized gift tags!
The tag shape on this craft punch even has a hole already cut out, so you can tie it directly to the gift with ribbon.
Not only does the Zonon brand come with a tag punch, but you’ll also get a corner punch to create smooth, rounded corners for those cute holiday cards you want to send to your friends and family.
We love that the Zonon craft punches come as this two-pack of tags and corners, because it’s the perfect combination of craft punches for gift giving.
Not only are these perfect for gifts, but they also make cute labels for homemade jam and honey jars, or handmade products you plan on selling!
At the end of the day, just remember to buy the craft punch that’s right for your project. No two craft punches will work the same for two people, because you’ll inevitably use them differently for your different projects.
Simply look for one that’s the right size and shape for your project, has a sharp blade, and has a sliding plastic cover.
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