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.
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Update: The set I received was made in France.