When I need a couple of rubber washers for a project, I often just purchase a pack, but there are two downsides to this. First, I don’t often need 50 or 100 washers. Second, sometimes the washer or gasket specifications change mid-project and I am left having to wait for a reorder to come in.
This is why last night I finally ordered a Mayhew dual-cutting hollow punch set.
An ordinary hollow punch is used to cut holes out of thin sheets of rubber, cork, and other soft materials. You could create washers and gaskets with two differently sized punches, but it takes two operations and extra time if you need the holes to be perfectly concentric.
With a dual-cutting hollow punch set, one or two cutting heads can be attached to a single punch tool, allowing you to cut washers, gaskets, and similar parts in a single step.
I went with Mayhew, based on my positive experiences with their chisels and punches. On my last visit to Home Depot I spotted bent Mayhew pin punches, and am hoping the punch sets are given better QC.
There are a couple of inch and metric sets that offer different ranges of sizes. Some include ordinary handles, and others have a higher-priced pistol-grip handle with floating anvil.
I went for the 27-piece inch set (66002) that covers sizes 1/8″ to 2″. Since the hollow punches are useless without having anything to cut, I ordered a few rubber and silicone strips and sheets to keep on hand.
There are less expensive generic branded import sets, but I figured the investment for a Mayhew set would be worth it in the long run.
Buy Now(via Amazon)
Update: The set I received was made in France.
Great concept – dual-cutting makes it a heck of a lot more precise.
I have a set (#2000) made by Dasco (now called Dasco Pro) which are no longer made. It uses a similar concept – but the handle and screw-on collar only hold 1 punch at a time – and only provided 7 sizes (1/4 – 7/8). Consistently obtaining perfect concentricity with these is pretty finicky. At one time plumbers used these to cut washers/gaskets. I recall that Dasco also promoted them for Auto mechanics. While I always had a hard time picturing someone cutting out a homemade head gasket out of cork gasket sheet, I guess it could be done or even had to be done if there was no commercially available substitute (maybe for your 1936 Hispano Suiza)
You probably should have bought it at Zoro – when they were having their 30% off sale. Their base price for the 66002 set is $293.15
I ordered my set the other day from Zoro with 20% off coupon code. =) Better than nothing. But generally, unless there’s a sizable difference in price I prefer Amazon, hence the tendency to recommend Amazon more. I figure if someone already shops at Zoro, that’s one of the places they’ll look at when searching for best pricing.
Sorry for the multiple posts – but it occurred to me that your readers might want to know about a fly-cutter option for larger gaskets. I have a #11 General Tools gasket cutter that cost $15 way back when – and was made in the USA.
Amazon still lists one:
Alan S. Blue
Thank you. I was boggling at the price of the other sets. 🙂
“Fly cutter” made me think “Mill” though, and… well, it needs to be applied a -lot- slower than that 😀
You can use one in a drill press(I have many times). My mill spins a hell of a lot slower then my drill press, so I think it could be used in a mill without a issue.
I never used the mill because the DP has always just been a quicker way to do that job..
I called Hardware Sales, here is link to this product via their website as well. https://www.hardwaresales.com/general-tools-11-5-8-to-6-1-2-washer-and-gasket-cutter.html.
Turns out this General Tools model number 11 UPC number 038728 210241n is made in China, not American anymore. I called General Tools today twice about this issue and both instances I was told this was 100% American made.
Yet, the gentleman I spoke to actually had the product in hand and told me that the country of origin was clearly printed in the back and this stated “made in China”.
On the back of the package the date was 2007 as well and the only information printed on the tool was the brand name, General Tools.
If you or anyone else doesn’t believe, call Hardware Sales. They have this product in their warehouse and they are also a independent shop located in Washington as well.
As they did to me twice, General Tools likely will swear up and down all day long this model number 11 is still all American made, but that just isn’t true anymore. At one point, this product was likely American made, but not anymore.
Naturally I don’t work for Hardware Sales, General Tools. I don’t receive any compensation at all for this posting or any postings.
But as for this product in question, definitely looks as this could be beneficial. I certainly see this being a useful tool.
If you’re right and the General Tools drill press gasket cutter is now made in China, what will you do, or recommend others do, when the need for a large gasket arrives? Eschew the General Tools cutter and instead whip out heavy duty scissors?
I usually don’t mind your strong it sucks if it’s not made in the USA attitude, but it doesn’t help anyone to bash tools and brands without pointing out alternatives. Is there another brand’s USA-made drill press gasket cutter in the General Tools cutter’s rough price range, or even double the money?
Who said I say this item sucks because this isn’t USA made? I just wanted to inform others that General Tools told me this item is USA made when this isn’t.
For once, this isn’t about the quality of the item, but rather the fact that not even the manufacturer knows where this item is made.
Not sure about anyone else and only speak for myself, but I strongly dislike being lied to. I called again and spoke to a “manager” and he said this product is USA made.
I don’t post here to start wars or make anyone mad. I just wanted to let anyone who might think this General Tools model 11 is USA that this isn’t USA made.
Quality wise I can’t speak for this product or any other products within in category.
Call, email or if you one lives in that area visit Hardware Sales at their brick and mortar shop if you don’t believe me. Chances are whoever you speak to will tell you exactly what I am writing.
They are in the business of making money, so I strongly doubt they would lie to their customers when the product itself can be accessed.
Believe it or not and chances are you probably won’t, I didn’t make that post to bash General tools for the fact the product isn’t American made anymore.
I made that post to showcase that they lied to me, not once but three times and I am sure they would do that an infinite amount of times should I or anyone call back.
If General Tools would list the country of origin of this product on their website and include “subject to change” perhaps I and I imagine others wouldn’t have to call several distributors to find out this information and spend the time they and myself do on this research.
This is all I have to say on this matter Stuart. I can’t stress this enough, but this post wasn’t another USA vs. import post.
Gee – I’m kind of sorry that I started this whole thing with posting about my General #11 – which was probably purchased in the 1970’s or 1980’s at the latest
Lying is the conveyance of a mistruth with the intent to deceive.
Are you sure they were lying? If you spoke to customer service on the phone, chances are they might simply be misinformed or drawing from outdated information.
What does it matter, if there are no directly competing products? That’s also possibly the exact reason why they moved manufacturing to China.
Don’t be so quick to assume I don’t believe you. I value your comments, and generally agree with your points. But in is case the issue of COO, and whether General Tools’ customer service is familiar with their products – obscures the greater point – tools that can be used to make washers and gaskets from rubber strips and sheets. Because there are no directly competing products to the General cutter, the COO has diminished significance. For that matter, I believe the Mayhew set is made in the USA, but the uniqueness of the product is a more significant consideration as well.
I’ve read your post about the shady tactics of Lowes and others. Stan’s post seems aimed at protecting buyers from dishonest claims. I also was unable to read anything into his comment that was bashing the product specifically.
Thank you very much Chris Pyfer, as all my post was about the dishonest tactics that General Tools seems to employ or at least with this situation.
I provided the UPC number and that information was also provided to me by Hardware Sales.
I don’t know how else to say this, as I was certain this was clear, but as Chirs had stated, I wanted to protect others who thought they might be buying a American made product when in reality, this product is 100% made in China.
NOT and I repeat NOT every post of mine is about bashing imported items versus USA made products. Just a thought, but maybe just maybe I wanted to prevent someone who eagerly is excited about buying a USA made item only to discover that is item is imported and the disappointment that might follow.
I care about others and if I didn’t, I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy American made items or spend time researching information for others either. Not everyone knows or has the patience to utilize search engines and call companies. Not that I always do either, but I had some time today.
that plumber guy
That Mayhew set looks nice just way to expensive for me for what it is. I just cut mine by hand, they come out looking quite crude to professional depending how much time I’m willing to spend. One trick I use for smaller sizes (1/2″-1″) is to use copper pipe heated up a touch much like those Mayhew set. Works good for rubber gaskets. Bigger ones are just cut by hand with either a xacto knife,snips or good pair of scissors. All the gaskets I use are made out of red rubber, I never use felt paper or similar. Made a few out of lead but try to avoid it.
Olfa also makes a circle cutter that goes up to 8″, I have never tried it but might be an option for some. What I really would like is one of those make your own o-ring kits. Does anyone have any experience with these?
I have a buna splicing kit. It comes in handy making large or custom sizes. They are fairly easy to use. If you do large circ pump o ring replacement they are indespensible for field work.
I saw the Olfa cutter, but heard before that it works best on thinner materials. I my case I need a lot of smaller diameter sizes, which is why the Mayhew set makes sense.
I looked at O-ring kits before as well, but mainly only use standard sized rings. The kits are fairly inexpensive, as are the raw materials, but I haven’t yet had a need to splice together a custom round seal yet. Seems like one could get a splicing jig, adhesive, and plenty of Buna-N and EPDM cordage in different thicknesses for $50 or so.
Just to clarify….is this Mayhew kit meant to be used in a drill (power tool) or do you hit them with a hammer (manually)?…or can you use them both ways?
Great question! You’d use it with a hammer. This is definitely not something you want to use with a drill.
There might be some rotary circle or grommet cutters, but I think a punch set is an easier and better way to go.
What material are you guys cutting the gaskets from? I am looking online, but not finding a clear answer on this. What materials work best? And where can I find them?
Depends on what the application calls for.
There are different material thicknesses and different properties. I tend to use rubber sheets sourced from McMaster Carr. I bought a small selection of materials in different thicknesses. McMaster’s website can usually help you narrow things down, even when selection criteria might be limited.
i THINK THE mAyhew set is made in France
Hello guys, thank you for the helpful posts. I have a historic house and usually buy these special replacement rubber washers (https://deabath.com/product/pre-ww2-crane-extra-thick-bibb-washer/). The item description isn’t perfectly clear (to me, at least), but I believe they are 3/4 OD x 1/8 ID 1/2 thick. I can’t find them anywhere else and they are pretty pricey by each plus shipping so I wondered if I could make them myself. In reading your suggestion of using a dual-cutting hollow punch set, I wondered if this tool and method of hitting with a hammer would work for a 1/2″ thick washer? The Mayhew you suggest would be too expensive for me, but if the tool and method would work, I was hoping to find a less expensive one. Thanks for your help!