How To Use a Center Punch

A center punch is a useful tool to have in your garage tool box, if you drill plenty of screws into your DIY projects at home. A center punch basically helps make drilling easier by creating dents on the surface of the material that you want to drill into. Because there is already an indentation in the surface of the material, it becomes much easier for you to drill a straight hole into wood or metallic surfaces. If you have a center punch, here’s how you can use it.

  • Mark. First of all, determine the points in the surface of the material you are working on where you want the drill holes to be placed. This way, you will not have to guess at where you will aim the center punch later on. Use a pencil or a piece of chalk to create the marking. You don’t have to worry about the marking on the surface, since it will disappear once you have made the drill hole in it.
  • Size. Next, determine the size of the bit that you want to use for your center punch. The size will be determined by the size of the drill bit that you will later on use on the material that you are working on. Generally, the sizes of the center punch bit is determined in fractions of inches, ranging from as small as a quarter of an inch, to as large as 5/8 of an inch.
  • Place. Know that there are two types of center punches. There is the traditional center punch, which is manually operated. If you are using a traditional center punch, you simply need to place the tip of the center punch over the marking in the surface. At this point, you should have already installed the bit on the tip of the center punch, and the bit must correspond to the size that you want for the dent.
  • Tap. Now that you have positioned the end of the center punch, the next step is to take a piece of hammer and then give it a light tap. Make sure that you only tap lightly. After all, the only purpose that the center punch has is to make an indentation on the surface, and not to make an actual hole. If you want to create an actual hole in the surface, use a simple nail and hammer instead.
  • Spring tension cap. There are also modern center punch tools. These modern center punch tools make use of spring tension in order to make it easier for you to create the indentations, without having to tap on the center punch manually with a hammer. If you are using this, simply adjust the spring on the tension cap so that it is wound up, and then aim over the marked area in the wood or metal sheet that you are working on.
  • Downward pressure. Finally, apply a downward pressure on the automatic center punch, which will release the spring tension cap and drive the bit to the point that you have marked earlier on. This will create the dent.

With these steps in mind, you should be able to easily create dents using a center punch, and making drilling much easier.


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