You can’t beat the convenience of punches for the job they do, especially for punching out circles and squares that are consistent in shape and size. But they can be difficult to use and they don’t store well, being oddly shaped and bulky.
Punches have undergone some design progress in the past decade. First there were the punches designed with a button on top that usually requires putting the heel of your palm on it and then pushing down with your shoulders to move the punch.
Then came the thumb punch design by EK Success that had a lever action. It was a vast improvement but still required a lot of effort (usually two thumbs stacked on the small lever, a painful method, in my experience) to use.
One thing that hasn’t changed is the bulk of bunches for storage. In fact, the improved use of thumb punches was somewhat offset by an awkward shape for storage.
Because of all this, over the years, I’ve had a bit of a love/hate relationship with punches. Love the concept…hate the reality. I own about 40 of them (was shocked when I added that up for this article) but other than a very few like corner rounders, they don’t get used very often except maybe on cards occasionally.
That may be about to change. Thanks to EK Success’s latest re-design on their punches, I am in love now with the reality of punches, not just the concept.
The redesign of EK Success punches that I am so in love with was introduced at CHA-Winter 2009 and is being called the “slim line” design by EK. When the punch is not in use, it can be locked into a flat position for storage using a sliding button on the bottom of the tool. Sliding the button to the other position releases the spring-loaded lever upwards into the punching position. Below is a comparison of the old EK Success medium punch design alongside the new medium punch design:
I love this design for several reasons. First, punching is easier than even with the old style thumb punch. Also, if punching is too difficult for one handed use, the new design has a much wider & more comfortable lever to allow for placing two hands on it. And finally, the new design is nicely rectangular and slim for storage. The redesigned punches take about half the storage space of the old ones, and can be lined up vertically in the drawer for maximum usage of space.
The newly redesigned punches are now starting to ship to specialty stores although they have been in Michaels for several months under a special arrangement with EK Success. They are at both Scrapbook.com and Two Peas In A Bucket already (including the super-cool Medium Airplane punch pictured above that I can’t wait to use on some travel layouts from the CHA show). The one I am most coveting is the border edger punch called Binding Edge that makes your paper look like spiral notebook paper.
It’s great to see companies like EK Success thinking creatively and striving to improve their product lines with such great results.
Want to win one of the new slimline EK Success border punches? Scrapbook Update will be giving one away on National Scrapbook Day! Check back on Scrapbook Update on Saturday or watch my Twitter feed or Facebook page on Saturday for more details!