Best 3-hole punchers TechnoBuffalo 2021
A hole punch is a handy tool to have in your office. The majority of punchers are 3-hole punch machines so paper and folders can fit into 3-ringed binders. We've gathered the best from basic designs to heavy-duty machines and even an electric option. Our top pick is the Bostitch Office HP12 puncher. It handles several pages at once, is easy to empty and looks professional sitting on your desk.
- Best Overall: Bostitch office HP12 3-hole punch
- Best adjustable puncher: Swingline lighttouch hole punch
- Best portable puncher: WorkLion binder hole punch
- Best electric hole punch: AFMAT electric hole punch
- Most colorful puncher: PaperPro inpress hole punch
Best overall: Bostitch office HP12 3-hole punch
This 3-hole punch handles 12 sheets of paper at once. Its simple design fits nicely into any office setting with a rubber base to keep it stable while working. The waste tray is covered to keep small paper pieces from getting everywhere, though it is easy to open and dump when needed. This hole punch isn't adjustable, but the three holes are positioned to handle most jobs and line up with ringed binders. It isn't recommended to use this puncher for heavier materials like cardboard.
- Punches 12 sheets at once
- Simple, professional design
- Rubber base
- Not adjustable
- Not recommended for thicker materials
Best adjustable puncher: Swingline lighttouch hole punch
This high capacity hole puncher cuts through 20 sheets of paper at once. It's adjustable so if you have a project that needs more holes – up to seven – this hole punch can handle it. And if you have a binder that is smaller than the standard size, the Swingline LightTouch can punch your paper to fit perfectly. The tray underneath the holes collects excess paper and is emptied by sliding the tray out. The lever of this punch doesn't spread across the device. Instead, it has a handle that depresses the entire puncher without a lot of pressure. There is a bit of a learning curve with this machine. But once figured out it is quite easy to use.
- Punches 20 sheets at once
- Adjustable punchers
- Single-lever design
- Little bit of a learning curve
Best portable puncher: WorkLion binder hole punch
For punching on the go, the WorkLion hole punch is lightweight and compact. The three holes are not adjustable, but are perfectly spaced to ensure punched paper fits into traditional 3-ringed binders. There is a 10-inch measuring ruler attached to help guide you where to punch your holes. The top part of this puncher pops off to expose the catch tray underneath that can then be cleaned out. It can only punch through five sheets of paper at a time and is made mainly from plastic that isn't very sturdy or long lasting.
- Compact and lightweight
- Measuring ruler guide
- Detachable catch try
- Only punches through five pages
- Isn't built to last
Best electric hole punch: AFMAT Electric hole punch
The AFMAT hole puncher is powered with both an AC adapter or six AA batteries. It can punch through 20 sheets of paper at once and only requires you to push a small button when ready. There is a guide on the side of this puncher that slides in and out depending on the size of your paper. This helps keep paper straight while being punched. The scrap paper is collected underneath and is easy to empty when full. Because it does run on battery power, you can keep working even when the power is out, and it makes it portable to bring along on quick work trips. However, it is heavier than non-electric punchers, which may be easier and more portable than the AFMAT.
- Evenly spaced punches
- AC and battery power options
- Not adjustable
Most colorful puncher: PaperPro inpress hole punch
For a splash of color on your desk, the PaperPro inPress is a perfect choice. This 3-hole puncher has a fun, purple finish that helps it stand out while also looking professional. It includes an integrated ruler and an adjustable guide to keep paper straight while punching through it. It doesn't jam as you punch through 12 sheets of paper and the waste compartment is concealed with a door that's easy to open when disposing of the scrapes. This 3-hole punch is made entirely of metal, which means it is heavy duty and will last a long time. The biggest con of this product is the punchers themselves aren't adjustable.
- Fun, colored finish
- Adjustable paper guide
- All metal design
- Punchers not adjustable
Our puncher pick
The best for most people is the Bostitch Office HP12 3-hole puncher. Though the holes are not adjustable, they are spaced far enough to ensure your punched paper will fit in traditional binders. The lever runs the length of the machine so holes are punched at the same time and the leftover pieces of paper are captured underneath in a full-length tray. When the capture tray is full, you can open a concealed door and simply tip it over to empty.
While there are other hole punchers that offer some additional features, including electronic models, they come with a bigger price tag. Bostitch Office gives you a great option at a reasonable price
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
As a mom of 10 and grandma to five, Nicole Johnston pulls from her years of experience raising her family as she explores, tests and reviews a variety of consumer products from food processors to bed pillows to parental control programs. Nicole has over 13 years of research and writing experience in both the public and private sectors.
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