Tuesday, May 13

Benchtop Tool Review: RP TOOLZ hexagonal punch and die set

There are plenty of hole punch tools out there – but they are mostly hard to get and expensive and especially in the shape of a hexagon!  Enter new company RP TOOLZ who are supplying several new modelling tools for us to test out to see if they are up to the standards of our other prized punch sets.
Review: RP TOOLZ hexagonal punch and die set

Set Contains: 

1 Hammer

I vice/ die plate with six hex holes

6 hex punches

Instructions in both English and Hungarian
Price: Around AU$95/ US$75/ €65 
You can get these sets from RP’s distributors on the RP TOOLZ website

Until recently there were only one or two sets modellers could use to make circles for all shapes for rivets and panels, and hexagonal shapes for nuts and bolt heads for things like heavy machinery and tank hulls.

Enter this year a new company from Hungary called RP TOOLZ. This is a small company offering an alternative to the one or two other expensive sets out there that will set you back a good 50-odd pounds depending where you get them from. Problem is until now supply has been weak and demand had been high.

This hexagonal punch and die set comes in a little white box filled with packing foam. The clamping vice or die plate, the “wee” hammer and the punches are all in small zip-loc bags for them to remain safe in the post. The fact they came all the way from Poland to Australia without damage was a good sign. 
A word about the quality of these tools – yes they are not as expensive as the sets you may know – they retail for a price point of around AU$95/ US$75/ €65 / £40 so they are still not cheap. I tried to find a Waldron or a Historix punch and die set, and apart from “not available” the only ones I could find were in and around the same price point or slightly more for something that I could say is not as half as competent looking as this set.

Instructions are in both English and Hungarian in case you feel like learning Magyar..
In the box there is a flat vice-like die plate with six assorted hexagonal holes which are 0.7, 0.85, 1, 1.25, 1.5 & 2mm in size with the accompanying same sized punch tools and mighty small hammer to make the noise and bring the shapes forth.
The two parts of the vice are a galvanized steel base and a clear plastic top with nine different holes in the earmarked sizes. Nine instead of six because the three smaller sizes have two holes each which act as round guide holes to keep the hex shape at a right angle. The recessed numbers are a nice thought as otherwise the sizes would soon become obscured with all the banging and hitting and co-ercing. You can read the numbers after you use them no problems. 

The six punches have hexagon shaped ends, while again the smaller three sizes have a shank with them that helps align the punch as it finds it’s plastic victim.

It’s a pretty basic concept you take the vice and locate the plastic between the layers – tighten it up but not too much and hit through the punch until it goes right through. 
It is not as noisy as you might think - one or two taps and you have your piece. Soon enough though you will have a bunch of nut heads in a hexagon shape that you can use as bolt on a variety of steel fixings.

Pardon the pun but it sure beats the hell out of any other tool like it on the market (with a tiny hammer) so this is a winner to me. The real benefit of being able to make your own size mini hexagons is so very cool.

Adam Norenberg

Thanks to Peter from RP TOOLZ for sending this set to review - you can get these sets from the RP TOOLZ website: