Is the portable circa punch good enough or is the desktop necessary?

I am cringing at the price of the desktop circa punch. Is it absolutely necessary or will the portable punch be good enough? I keep putting the desktop punch in my shopping cart but I think my husband would have a coniption if I bought it and I don't think I can really justify $58+ at the moment. I wish there was a cheaper alternative. Is the portable a real pain for punching junior sized pages or does it work well? Thanks for your help : )

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You can usually find a coupon code for 20% off

Which would bring the price down to $46.40. Still pricey, but not as bad. I have both. It's a pain in the hiney to try to punch longer edges with the small handheld punch. I recommend biting the bullet and getting the big one.

You'll like it better


You'll like the big one better if you're punching classic or letter sheets.

The problem with the little one with guide is that the paper tends to move slightly between punches, or that you can only punch a few sheets at a time, or that you don't have the punch in perfect alignment with the guide.. So you can end up with a less than perfect punch that results in more friction when you're trying to turn the pages on the discs.

The portable is a fine device, don't get me wrong--but you won't be satisfied if you punch *all* the sheets for your book that way. The occasional inserted piece would not be a problem. But punching two or three times per page is gonna get old if you're doing any large quantity of pages.


If you get the desktop

If you get the desktop punch, you realize why it costs that much. It's a freaking tank. It should outlast your grandkids. :P

As for which punch, it depends on how much you're punching, and how often. Punching classic size isn't too bad, but if you're using 24lb. paper, four sheets at a time is pushing the limits; it's better to limit it to three. If you're punching a lot of sheets in one session, at infrequent intervals, the portable punch is viable if only because you don't have to worry about it for a while. If you punch a couple pages regularly, it's also viable, since low volume per punching session is really what it's meant for. If you want everything as perfect as possible, it's still viable, but you'll save a lot of finicky adjustments lining up the paper if you get the desk punch. If you punch a lot of anything regularly, go for the desk punch. If you don't think you'll need to punch things while away from home (or wherever you would keep the desk punch) then go for the desk punch. Just remember, you will not want to move that thing between locations much. Not only is it heavy, but bigger than you'd think as well. But better bang for the buck if you just want one, and don't plan to move it around much.

Levenger Punch

I got a punch off of eBay. I agree, I still though what I paid was more than it should be. But it is extremely well made, and it is very easy to use. My thought is that if you are OK with punching one or two pages at a time, the portable is fine.

Thanks you all for the advice

Well I broke down and got the desk punch, thanks to all of your advice. Levenger outlet had a returned item one listed buy it now on ebay fo $45. So I ended up getting the punch and a production sample leather zip folio for $74. Not too bad. I still felt crazy spending so much, but I think like some of you said, it is going to last, so in essence make back it's money. Thanks for all your advice, this is a great community.