How to Sharpen Craft Punches

Updated February 21, 2017

A craft punch is a tool, similar to the hole puncher, used for cutting out various shapes in paper. Along with other arts and crafts tools such as rubber stamps and stencils, craft punches are used in craft-making and scrapbooking. A single craft punch always makes a single shape of a hole in the paper. A craft punch actually resembles a stamp, with a metal shape inside it. The shape penetrates through paper once the craft puncher is pressed. In order for the hole to look neat, the metal shape inside the craft puncher has to be sharp.

Prepare your craft puncher for sharpening by cleaning it thoroughly. Use a soft damp cloth with a mild multipurpose cleaner.

Straighten a piece of aluminium foil so it doesn’t have any wrinkles.

Punch holes through the aluminium foil using your craft puncher. This will sharpen the edges of the metal shape inside the puncher. Repeat at least 10 times, cutting holes along the aluminium foil.

Try the craft puncher on an ordinary paper and a thicker paper or cardboard. Check the edges of the hole--they should be sharp and neat. Also, check if it is easy to punch holes. If the craft puncher goes quickly and smoothly through the paper, that means that the aluminium foil method worked. If the craft puncher is still dull and it’s hard to cut the holes, proceed to the next step.

Dismantle the craft puncher by removing the top punching part. Then remove the bottom part that goes under the paper by sliding it out. This will reveal the metal shape inside the craft puncher.

Treat the edges of the metal part of the puncher with an extremely fine grit sandpaper. Consider using 200 or 400 grit sandpaper, depending on the size and accessibility of the metal shape. You can also use a fine nail file. After you have sharpened the edges of the metal shape, reassemble the craft puncher.

Finish the sharpening process by punching holes through waxed paper to lubricate the metal.


You can also use a special solution for cutting tools that coats the metal with silicone.


Be careful when sharpening the metal part inside the craft puncher so you don’t cut yourself on the edges.

Things You'll Need

  • Cloth
  • Multipurpose cleaner
  • Aluminium foil
  • Paper and cardboard
  • Fine grit sandpaper
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About the Author

Based in New York, Mary Gonzales has been writing computer- and technology-related articles since 1995. Her work has appeared in “Tech Trends” and “Mac Tips” magazines. Gonzales received the Lilly M. Fuchs Literary Award in 1999. She holds a Bachelor of Science in computer programming from New York University.