Always Test New Tools

Google’s edict that requires sites to be responsive or more friendly to hand-held devices has left me scrambling and rethinking all of my sites. Sadly, it’s not left much time to craft.

I have been working for way more hours than it should have taken on a little notebook for my web activities. The one I have now works but the pages can’t be changed around, so it’s going to end up a bit of a mess with all of the changes I am making. I don’t do many paper crafts and this was a chance to dabble and play with paper.

In the process of working with my faux chipboard, I broke my favorite single hole punch and it has led to a reminder to always test new tools. My trusty punch was a buck at our local version of the dollar store and I went back to get another. One of the employees mentioned that his had broke too. Now, I freely admit I abused mine and I don’t know if any of the single hole, hand-held punches would have held up to the abuse.

So, down the road we went to Staples. They had two to choose from. A plain silver metal one or one with pretty purple grips. I had liked the rubber grips on my old one and well, these new ones were purple. I’m a sucker for purple. A little disappointed they were 5 bucks but I had a store credit/rebate from ink cartridges that was expiring, so I was feeling a little flush.

Opened up my purple hole punch this morning. I am so glad I wasn’t near my notebook project. I took some draft pages from a writing project and punched a few holes. I thought they were nicely formed and it went through the 4 sheets fairly easily. But, I noticed some smudges on the paper. Our cat Tali had laid all over it the night before and I thought maybe between her and my evening snack we had simply made the paper dirty.


The purple gripped hole punch turned out to be the culprit. The paper guide has rusty spots – you should be able to see them in the photo. It is leaving orange-brown marks and smears all over the paper – a little harder to see in the photo but trust me, the edges of the page are a mess. Thank goodness I did not try it out first on my project.

I have used a lot of single and multi-hole hole punches through the years. Met more than a few that didn’t make nice holes, but this is the first one that came new, out of the blister pack, full of rust that stains paper. The reviews were a mixed bag of they’re great or they don’t make nice holes, but I didn’t see anyone else complaining about rust. So, maybe I just drew the short straw on this one.

They’ll be going back to Staples in the next few days but I thought I would share my experience with everyone. Lesson learned, thankfully not the hard way, always test new tools on scrap paper before using them on a project.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Olaf

    My wife got a Crop-a-dille 2 a fews month ago and a Big Bite (a bit expensive) punch tool. It is able to make holes in belts and other stronger material.

    1. Michele

      Hi Olaf,

      That Big Bite tool looks amazing. I had thought about using grommits for my book to make it stronger but just can’t justify the investment for a tool that I might never use again; even if it looks like a super cool tool. Bet it would have cut through my faux chipboard like butter. sigh, for now I’ll just have to drool over it.

      Thanks for visiting and taking the time to comment. I’ve seen some of your wife’s work and it is quite lovely.

  2. Olaf

    Hi Michele,
    there are so many big crafts stores in US. Doesn’t they offer the different tools you need? You can but and test a tool and return it to the store if you doesn’t like it.
    Here in the Netherlands we need to buy most of the stuff online and the shipment costs for returns are often to high for a test purchase.

    1. Michele


      The issue wasn’t so much not having the right tool as much as purchasing a defective one.

      My point is that no matter what you purchase, you should always work with it and test it on something you haven’t already spent several hours on.

      So much better to find out the punch was rusty and marked up the scrap paper than to have ruined a project with it.

      Interesting that the Netherlands doesn’t really have many craft stores. A lot of the great blogs I see on Pinterest are Dutch. Too bad someone doesn’t see the opportunity that looks like and opens a great store.

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