One of the best ideas I ever had--as far as tackmaking goes anyway!--was to use mechanical pencils as hole punches.Over the past eight years, these two Staedtler drafting pencils have helped me to punch tens of thousands of holes.
Alas, nothing is forever. There are only so many times you can hit a plastic tube with a mallet before that tube disintegrates.
Last week, I decided that the time had come to replace my pencil punches.
The conversion from "pencil" to "pencil punch" is simple. Just click out the lead, remove the eraser and begin punching.
It's so nice to have three functional punches on my work desk again! The 0.3 mm is wonderful for bridles and other fine strap goods, but I like to have the option to go a bit bigger on high use straps such as saddle billets.Staedtler pencils can be found in the drafting section of most craft or office supply stores. Expect to pay about eight dollars a pencil--the two pack I just purchased was $15.99 at Office Depot. That's a bit more than you'll pay for the mechanical pencils in the school supply aisle, but there really is no comparison. I'm looking forward to many years of good service from my new Staedtlers!