Best Automatic Center Punch | Top 5 Picks in 2022

Best Automatic Center PunchDrilling a hole through metal surfaces can be a frustrating and dangerous task if you don’t make a dimple to mark the starting spot. Your drilling machine can easily slide off the drilling point and end up hurting you. It’d be nearly impossible to drill accurate holes!

Now, you’d struggle to make dents on harder metals using older methods as nails and chisels aren’t just strong enough. But with a modern automatic center punch, you’d be able to form extremely accurate dimples on any metallic surface!

We are here to help you get the best automatic center punch using which you’d be able to drill holes with the maximum precision!

1. Starrett 18A Automatic Center Punch

Highlighted Features

  • Extremely durable with its all-steel construction
  • Sturdy enough to handle the toughest materials
  • Has the controllable force with the adjustable knurled cap
  • Rugged handle prevents slipping off
  • The easily removable point which can be replaced any time

Starrett 18A Automatic Center PunchStarrett is a leading company that excels at producing high-value tools. The Starrett 18A Automatic Center Punch is easily one of their best products, which is praised by countless professionals. It’s undoubtedly a remarkable gadget, designed to provide outstanding performance.

This center punch boasts an all-steel construction. To make it extra durable, it was specially tempered and hardened, making it a piece of robust equipment. It won’t break even if it is placed under heavy pressure.

It’s a super-strong unit, so you’d get to punch into hard metal surfaces with ease! You can use it on wood, plastic, and other materials as well. 

With its amazing mechanism, it will automatically strike with enough power to make dents with increased efficiency. You won’t have to use hammers, so it allows one-handed use for extra convenience! Moreover, you’ll have total control over the applied force using the adjustable knurled cap.

You’d enjoy using it thanks to its rugged handle that offers enough grips to prevent slipping off.  You’d find comfort in holding it as well. The narrow and sharp tip increases its performance to a great extent. If it gets blunt after use, you can easily remove it to replace it.

Overall, this is an excellent tool with enough durability and power to ease up your drilling jobs.

2. Fowler 52-500-290 Super Heavy-Duty Automatic Center Punch

Highlighted Features

  • Designed to be heavy-duty
  • Durable construction with steel construction
  • Packs a lot of punch thanks to the rugged design
  • Comes it a relatively low price
  • Replaceable bits whenever they too blunt

Fowler 52-500-290 Super Heavy-Duty Automatic Center PunchThe Fowler 52-500-290 is a heavy-duty automatic center punch that is capable of punching through the hardest metal surfaces. If you’re tired of your regular center punch that is incapable of making dents on those hard metals, then it’s time to switch to this one.

With its 6-inch length, it’s one of the longest kits out there. This actually makes it far easier to hold and offer more grips. This is a solid product as it is made with high-quality steel. It’s wear-resistant as well, so if you decide to get it, you won’t have to buy another similar tool for a long time!

It features a unique Ultima Bore Gauging System that allows it to work with extreme precision. As a result, you’ll be able to form highly accurate dents with ease. The hardened steel bit also allows you to punch with quite a bit of force and make deeper holes.  Its spring-loaded punch completely eliminates the need for hammers!

Just like any other first-rate center punches, its bits can be easily sharpened. If they get too bad, you can simply replace it with newer and better ones. You’ll be glad to know that it’s regarded as the best center punch for steel by a lot of people.

This heavy duty automatic center punch comes at a surprisingly low price, so it’s highly affordable as well, making it a fantastic budget-friendly gadget.

3. Starrett 18C Heavy-Duty Automatic Center Punch

Highlighted Features

  • Offers a lot of force to deal with hardened metals
  • Constructed with high-quality steel for durability
  • Allows creating dimples with utmost precision
  • Easily controllable stroke for added convenience

Starrett 18C Heavy-Duty Automatic Center PunchStarrett is a trusted brand, and the Starret 18C Automatic Center Punch is a reliable product that will easily make incredible dimples on any metal surface. With its excellent craftsmanship, you’re almost guaranteed to be satisfied!

This is very likely to be the only center punching tool that you will ever need with its incredibly durable construction. Made with hardened and tempered steel components, this one won’t break any time soon. You’re in for the long haul if you go for it!

It is specially designed to deal with harder materials. With its internal mechanisms, you will be able to generate just about enough tension to create starting dimple in any material without using hammers.

Moreover, you can easily adjust the stroke to your preference by utilizing the knurled cap. As a result, you’ll have complete control over the size and depth of the dimples! The 17mm diameter allows you to make holes with increased accuracy.

This kit measures about 5-1/4” in length. With this size, you’ll enjoy a better grip when operating it. The handle is designed to be comfortable enough to hold and prevent slipping to make it easy to use.

Although it comes at a higher price, it provides unmatched performance. So, if you have the money, you should definitely go for this one!

4. HORUSDY 2-Piece Automatic Centre Punch

Highlighted Features

  • Two automatic center punches for the price of one
  • Highly versatile product
  • Steel and chrome vanadium offers exceptional durability
  • Easy to hold thanks to the knurled body
  • Comes at a cheap price

HORUSDY 2-Piece Automatic Centre PunchHORUSDY offers two different automatic center punches to allow you to handle a wide range of materials. The smaller one is made for making guiding holes in softer materials, while the bigger one is meant for harder materials like steel.

The bigger 6.1” tool sports double spring action, which makes it super strong. With it, you can deal with sturdier materials with ease, making it a heavy-duty unit.

On the other hand, the smaller 5.12” tool only has one spring action. With it, you can handle lighter materials with amazing precision. It won’t damage them thanks to its controlled and limited force.

Both of the tools are made with premium steel to make them long-lasting. They are capable of resisting rusts and corrosion. Its tips are constructed with hardened chrome vanadium to make sure they never break under pressure.  You won’t find this much durability in other products at this price!

With the adjustable tension, you’d be able to change the impact strength to whatever you need. They are both handy enough to be operated with only one hand. It comes with a knurled body with black and chrome finish, which gives you amazing grips so you’d find it easy to handle.

5. General Tools 89 Stainless Steel Automatic Center Punch

Highlighted Features

  • Designed to tolerate an immense amount of pressure
  • The stainless-steel construction makes it highly durable
  • Powerful tip for accurate marking
  • Smoothly handles hardened materials
  • The knurled body allows firm holding

General Tools 89 Stainless Steel Automatic Center PunchThe automatic center punch that you’d use to place marks on hardened materials must be sturdy enough to withstand immense pressure. If you’re looking for such a product, then you should look no further than the General Tools 89 as it is well-equipped to tolerate high pressure!

With its stainless-steel construction, it will strike hard on the toughest materials without breaking! It will never get rusted, which just adds to its durability. It’s well-equipped to withstand the pressure of

Additionally, the tip boasts a hardened steel construction, making it both powerful and long-lasting at the same time! As a result, you’d be able to make dimples on hard metals like copper and steel smoothly. 

Being an automated device, there is no need to use a hammer so you’d enjoy one-handed use! You can easily adjust the force of impact depending on the type of materials you want it to handle. This adjustable stroke allows you to use this equipment to make dents of various materials.

The knurled body of this one offers extra grip, so you’d get to work without worrying about it slipping off. For punching deep holes easily, you can rely on this considerably cheap unit.

Also Read: 5 Best Impact Driver Bit Sets | Top 5 Picks

Buying Guide For Automatic Center Punch

If you aren’t cautious enough in buying an automatic center punch, it’s highly likely that you’d end up with a trashy product that makes the job harder. Considering these things before buying will allow you to get the perfect tool!


Buying an automatic center punch that fails to deliver enough force to make a dent on metals is as good as throwing money into the water. So, make sure your tool is powerful enough to mark the drilling points. Otherwise, it just defeats the purpose.

Build Quality

You wouldn’t get the power from a product that is poorly constructed. So, your center punch should be made with high-quality materials. It should be durable enough. Additionally, it must be able to resist wear so that it lasts long!


The bit of your center punch should be narrow and sharp. This will allow you to accurately make dimples. Sharp bits make the job easier as well. If you end up getting a dull one, you won’t be able to place markings.

You won’t get the precision required to be accurate enough with a blunt bit. If your bit gets dulled after use, you should quickly replace it.


Working with a center punch can put a lot of strain on your hand. It can slip off easily as well. But if it has a comfortable handle with great grips, you’d be able to use it for hours without feeling any fatigue. So, look for the ones that have decent handles. Avoid the ones that aren’t comfortable enough to hold.


Automatic center punches aren’t all that expensive. Some pricier ones offer extra convenient features that can make the job even easier. However, the high price doesn't always mean a better product. Therefore, you should only opt-out for the ones that offer the best value for money!

Fortunately for you, our list contains only the tools that are worth every penny.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How are manual center punches and automatic center punches different?

Ans: A manual center punch requires the use of a hammer with which you can strike the knob to make dents. However, an automatic center punch doesn’t require any hammer. Instead, it utilizes spring tension to generate the power needed to make the marks.

2. Why use a center punch?

Ans: A center punch actually has tons of uses. But the main use is to make dimples right where you want to drill holes. It can also be used to shatter tempered glasses.

3. Is it possible to sharpen the tip of a center punch?

Ans: Of course, it is! Whenever your center punch’s tip gets dulled, you can sharpen it again to make it usable again.

4. Can I use a center punch on materials other than metal?

Ans: Yes, you can. Besides metal, it will make effective dimples on wood, ceramic, stone, leather, plastic, etc.

5. How to maintain an automatic center punch?

Ans: You should regularly oil the components. Make sure to clean it every time you use it. Always keep it in a dry place, and don't let it soak on water. If you use your center punch with care, it will last you a long time!


Selecting the right automatic center punch will make it extremely easy to make really accurate marks. If you read our reviews and follow our buying guide, you should be able to find the perfect tool without going through any trouble.

In our consideration, the "Starrett 18A Automatic Center Punch" stands out as the best automatic center punch. That’s because it is durable enough to be long-lasting and strong enough to create dimples with unparalleled efficiency and accuracy.   It can be a great addition to your toolbox without question!

About Jeremy

Hello! My name is Jeremy Bloomberg. I have been passionate about carpentry and DIY. Over the years, my passion slowly turned into expertise and wider knowledge about electronics. I’ve been involved in numerous projects, both professional and personal. I want to share all I have learned with you. Welcome!

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