How to Repair a Three Hole Punch

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Save money by taking extra time to repair your office supplies.
Save money by taking extra time to repair your office supplies. (Image: three hole paper punch image by Scott Williams from Fotolia.com)

Purchasing office supplies for a small business tends to add up in costs at the end of the year. Although fixing certain supplies seems cumbersome, tossing several dollars away will cost you even more money. By taking time to review broken supplies such as a three-hole punch, you often find it is repairable. Punching several sheets of paper at one time repeatedly may jam your hole puncher. By regularly cleaning out the excess punches, securely attaching the bottom punch holder and making sure the coiled springs are properly working, the three-hole punch will last longer than expected.

Things You'll Need

  • Scrap paper
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Paper towel
  • Old rag (optional)
  • WD-40 silicone spray (optional)
  • Flat-head screwdriver

Repairing Jammed Coils

Turn the three-hole punch over to view the punch hole mechanism. There are generally three steel cylinder-like barrels with a coil casing. The coil acts as a spring board once the punch is made and released.

Press down on the three-hole punch with one sheet of scrap paper slowly and view what each coil is doing. If the barrel is not inserted into the coil or if any of the barrel casings have loosened, the punch will stop working.

Remove the bottom punch holder. It is generally shaped as a plastic cover that overlaps onto the hole puncher. Make sure you remove this over a trash can. There are most likely several punches inside of the holder.

Unscrew each barrel casing plate holder. You will most likely need a Phillips head screwdriver. Do not misplace the screws.

Fold a paper towel or old rag in half. Spray a light coating of WD-40 silicone spray onto the paper towel.

Rub the paper towel around the coils and barrel to ensure smooth punches. Wipe away any excess spray to ensure your papers are not soiled during punching. Air dry the recommended time.

Reinsert the loose barrels into the coils. Replace your screws and tighten with the screwdriver.

Repairing Jammed Punch Holes

Repeat section 1, step 3.

Insert a small flat-head screwdriver gently into the punch hole. Do not insert the screwdriver all the way in to avoid damage.

Lift up the jammed paper punches. Excessive amounts of paper punches will clog the hole punch and prevent the puncher from working.

Replace the bottom punch holder prior to punching with the three hole punch. Do not exceed your brand’s recommended sheet maximum to avoid damage to the puncher.

Tips & Warnings

  • Welded barrel casing holders cannot be removed. Take your puncher to a service repair professional.

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References

  • “Knack Home Repair & Maintenance: An Illustrated Problem Solver;” Terry Meany; 2008
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