The best center punches for pre-drilling metals, hard woods, and other tough materials

Automatic center punches are designed to help mark the center of a point in a material without requiring any striking. The tool can punch starter holes, produce small indentations, or create a dimple to guide the tip of a drill bit or help make patterns in metal pieces. To begin using a dependable automatic center punch, or a conventional center punch, consider one of these leading choices.

Punch tools are either hollow or solid. Hollow punch tools are used to create holes in materials by puncturing a surface while solid punch tools are employed to remove chunks from materials or drive pins, rivets, or other components into workpieces. No matter which one you prefer, these top-notch center punches and automatic center punches can cover hollow- or solid-variety tasks.

Neiko 5-Inch Automatic Center Hole Punch

Best Overall

The list of the best center punches available should include the Neiko 02638A Automatic Center Hole Punch. The 5-inch center punch is spring loaded with an adjustable stroke and can be used on various types of materials, including wood, plastic, metal, glass, and leather. Its chrome-plated shank body can withstand high-impact forces and resist corrosion, while its durable steel tip can hold up to hard surfaces.

Starrett S117PC Set of 5 Center Punches

Best Set

If a complete set of center punches would suit you, reach out for the Starrett S117PC Set of Five Center Punches. Made of hardened and tempered steel to provide wear resistance and higher strength, the punches range in size from 1/16 to 5/32 of an inch and sport diameter tapered points. Their round shank is knurled for a better grip.

Starrett 18C Automatic Center Punch

Best Durability

Need center punches that will last a long time? Then consider the Starrett 18C Automatic Center Punch, which ranks high in durability. The automatic center punch is made of hardened and tempered steel components that offer high wear resistance and strength. The heavy-duty tool is engineered to strike a heavier blow than standard automatic center punches, and its stroke impact can be set by turning a knurled cap.

Before you drill, mark the intended hole by using an effective center punch or automatic center punch. And before you buy one, explore these top-notch center punches.