I have seen three varieties of this gadget. All work by using intense material shear forces to create a hole in some sort of sheet material.

  1. The simple handheld office tool that can punch a single hole in a few pieces of paper, for binding, keychain, or confetti purposes.
  2. The more complex tabletop variant of 1. that uses three such punchers aligned against a base, so that one can easily punch a few pieces of paper at a time for inclusion in a binder. Usually more useful than 1.
  3. The industrial model that is found in machine shops and is used to punch holes in sheet metal. This machine consists of a rotating barrel of punches in various shapes and sizes. You do the actual punching by pulling on a big lever and abusing your mechanical advantage.