Top quality pin punch?
February 4, 2011 8:42 PM   Subscribe

I need to buy a 1/16th inch pin punch, but I'm lost telling between cheap Chinese shit and top quality.

At robotics today (FIRST robotics, fun stuff ;D) I was trying to punch out a pin so i could take something off and replace it. I asked one of our mentors if he had a pin punch i could borrow to get the pin out. He had one that was a little to big and one that was a little too small. I took both and long story short, i snapped the small one. :/

This mentor is not any old mentor. He owns an automation company and does things there that not many can wrap their head around. Hes a firm believer in USA manufacturing and despises anything made in China or anything thats of poor quality. I'm not too down about breaking the punch, its not like I chewed up the gears in one of his mills or something. But just to show my appreciation for putting up with a bunch of teenagers, I think it will be nice to get him a replacement. :D But if I went to Walmart or some shit and got a some 99 cent punch, it would be worse then not getting him one to begin with.

So, I'm lost in a unfamiliar world. Whats the best 1/16th inch punch I could buy? Lets stay reasonable. I wouldn't spend over 20$ on such a thing. But it has to be of top notch quality that a professional engineer/machinist could use daily.

Thanks!!! :D
posted by NotSoSiniSter to Shopping (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Just a cursory look turned up Armstrong Tools selling one. I know they are American Made. I would say Snap On, but they start at 3/32".

I agree with you on the cheap Chinese shit though, we won't allow any Chinese made stuff into our lab. It's the reason we have 3/4 of our failure analysis business and it's literally a safety hazard to use tools made there.
posted by sanka at 8:58 PM on February 4, 2011

If you can't find the suitable replacement that your looking for, perhaps you could buy the Snap-on and grind off 1/32th of it. It shouldn't be that difficult if you keep rotating it as you grind ( ever so gently). Maybe try using an electric knife sharpener (wet wheel). Snap-on is a pretty decent brand.

Just a thought.
posted by Taurid at 10:19 PM on February 4, 2011

McMaster-Carr sells pin punches and tends to source American. They even list premium and hardened pin punches in the size you want for under 10 bucks (well under, actually)
Pin Punches at McMaster-Carr
posted by jz at 10:38 PM on February 4, 2011

McMaster Carr claims to have 'premium' and 'heavy-duty' pin punches (at bottom of page 2310), though they don't name the manufacturer they're from.
posted by Hither at 10:38 PM on February 4, 2011

If you want to aim high, Starrett is the brand to go with. Here's a gun shop that sells them individually.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 10:57 PM on February 4, 2011

Seconding Starrett. That name will send the message.
posted by Rhomboid at 11:07 PM on February 4, 2011

Nthing Starrett. Brown and Sharpe is another good American name.
posted by Bruce H. at 12:17 AM on February 5, 2011

How about buying him something from the same brand?

Failing that, not US-made, but German - Stahlwille
posted by titantoppler at 4:10 AM on February 5, 2011

Re: McMaster Carr, if they don't specify a brand, it's almost certainly from china, even if it says "premium". Enco has 1/16 starrett pin punches for $4.86, and you can usually google up a coupon code for free shipping.

I'd like to add that equipment from china isn't always bad. The main problem as I see it is that they just slap a "CHINA" sticker on everything and don't associate a name with a particular factory or company, so there are no repercussions for the ones that cut corners. Name brand chinese products (like SPI for example) are usually decent, and cheaper than first world brands.
posted by Mark Doner at 5:32 AM on February 5, 2011

I'd go to a local hardware store and ask for their help.
posted by theora55 at 10:35 AM on February 5, 2011

eek should have clarified. Hes not like anything outside of the United States is crap, he showed me some $300 chuck for a mill and said how it was made in Switzerland. :)

With 3 people recommending Starrlett. I think I'll be going with that. :D
posted by NotSoSiniSter at 8:42 PM on February 5, 2011

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