How Does a Paper Drill Work?

Paper DrillsHave you ever-wondered how ruled paper is three-hole punched for use in a three-ring binder? Even if you’ve never put much thought into it, it is a very interesting process. While you may imagine people sitting in a factory with a paper punch, paper manufacturers actually use paper drills (found here) to put holes in paper. So how exactly does a paper drill work?

While paper punches are great for use in an office for occasional hole punching, they aren’t very fast and require a bit of effort to use. Punching through a one-inch stack of paper could potentially take several minutes. A paper drill can complete the same process, with clear results, in just second.

Paper drills are very similar in function and even a bit in appearance to a standard wood drill press. They share several basic components. Paper drills feature a spinning motor attached to a drill bit. The bit is then pressed, by manual, electric or hydraulic means, into the paper. The bit, once it has made its way through a piece of paper then rests on a wood block located on the opposite side.

There are some major differences, however, between a paper drill press and a wood drill press. To begin with, paper drills use hollow bits. As the drill spins, it cuts through the paper. Cut paper holes then travel up the drill’s shaft until it reaches a catch tray located in the top or back of the drill.

This is a video demo of a single-spindle paper drill in action:

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Many people ask if they can use a paper drill bit on a standard wood drill press. The answer to that question is no. Chuck incompatibility issues aside, the hollow bit has nowhere to deposit the drilled holes of paper, resulting in a complete failure of the bit after just a few minutes.

Popular brands of paper drills include Martin Yale, Lassco Spinnit, MBM, FP (File Pecker) and others. So what exactly separates one paper drill from another?

  • Number of Spindles: Entry level paper drills typically only feature a single drill bit (aka spindle). From there you can find two and three-spindle paper drills. Three holes can still be drilled using a single-spindle machine, but will require multiple passes.
  • Power Source: Some paper drills are manual, requiring the force of the drill to be powered by an individual pulling on a handle. Other presses apply drilling force via an electric motor or via hydraulics.

If you are a business, a factory, a manufacturer of paper or handle paper on a regular basis, you may have need of a paper drill. These machines are very easy to operate and can drill through inches of paper in just seconds. You can find our entire selection of paper drills here.

We have been selling paper drills since 1980, so we have a lot of experience setting these machines up and using them. If you are just starting out researching paper drills, or are looking for a specific model, please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with your questions.

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2 Responses to “How Does a Paper Drill Work?”

  1. Pat Haake Says:

    We have some 1″ thick catalogs with 5/16″ holes in them We need 7/16″ holes. Would a paper drill do this ? Can we buy a bit, and use our drill press?
    Thanks
    Pat

  2. mcloward Says:

    Sorry, we do not have 7/16″ diameter paper drill bits. This is where you can find all available diameters …

    http://www.abcoffice.com/paper-drill-bits.htm

    You can only use paper drill bits in a paper drill. They do not fit a standard drill press.

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