How to Fix A 3 Hole Punch- 3 Ways to Try

Alex Clarkson
Alex Clarkson

You’re using the 3 hole punch machine for a while. But now it seems to give you a hard time.

And it’s not something you plan on purchasing over and over. So you’re thinking of fixing it. But you don’t know-how.

Hence you’re looking for how to fix a 3 hole punch?

Well, you can spray WD40 over the punch rail, screws, and punchers. Then wait for 10 minutes to let the dirt inside be liquid. It will come out eventually. Just wipe it clean then. Or you can put aluminum foil on the puncher. And try to punch hard. After a few punches, the puncher will be sharp as new.

So that’s just a small percent of what we’ve written. We’ve explained it in detail, so stay with us till the end.

Why Did it Happen? How to Fix A 3 Hole Punch?

We understand how stressed you’re right now. But we only mean to lessen your stress. As we know how to fix your problem.

Hence we listed down the solutions for you. You can also think of these as alternate methods. If one doesn’t work, you can try another. That’s why we listed the methods in an easy-to-apply manner.

So without delay, let’s just start with the procedures.

Dirt Inside The Punch

So this punch especially has 3 holes. So, there’s a higher chance for dirt to get clogged in the holes. And make the punch stiff. Even if you manage to move the handle, you won’t see holes on the paper.

But here’s a quick solution.


We came up with the solution you need. But we want you to be well equipped beforehand.

To solve it, you’ll need-

  • WD40
  • Paper towel

First spread the paper towel on a plain surface. Then put the punch upside down above it. Now look for the inside punchers and screws. And you’ll also find a rail where the punchers can be moved.

After you found everything we said, it’s time to work. Spray WD40 on the screws, rail, and punchers. Apply a good amount of it. Then wait for 10 minutes. So that the WD40 can work its magic.

Once you spray it, the dirty liquid will drip off from the other side. It happens that the lubricant liquefies all the dirt and debris inside. Now that the liquid came off, there’s no clogged dirt inside.

And your punch is good as new.

The procedure gets easy when you have a good quality punch.

Puncher Got Uneven

Another reason can be that your puncher got uneven. You know the punchers cut through the paper. So these little punchers need to be sharp. When you use the punch for a long time without sharpening, it gets uneven.

The situation can be that one or two out of three punchers got affected. Or maybe all of them did. To know which puncher is uneven, take a paper. And place it under the punch.

Now use it as regular and see. If there are two holes, it means that one puncher got uneven. If there’s no hole, it means none of them are working. But you can always solve this problem easily.


Take one sheet of aluminum foil and put it under the punch. Now press it down hard. Try it a couple of times.

You can even fold the aluminum then try again. After a couple of tries, you’ll see that the foil is getting cut.

The aluminum foil helps to sharpen the punchers. If it still doesn’t work, you can try it differently.

Just start with putting the punch upside down. Then widen it a bit. You’ll see three little punchers screwed to the main punch rail. You have to unscrew them first. Then just unscrew the ones that are not sharp.

Then rub the aluminum foil on the punchers for 5 minutes. Then screw them again to their respective places. Finally, try to punch again. You’ll see that your 3 hole punch is just fine.

If the punchers are rusty and unworthy of repair, don’t worry. Because you can buy punchers separately and just screw them to your punch.

Puncher Got Jammed

Another thing that can happen is the spring can be jammed. Or the little punchers may be clogged with paper.

The clogged punchers are of no good. And to fix it,  you’ll need to understand how it works.

So when you put pressure on the handle, the spring moves. Then the punchers cut the paper and make holes. So there’s a possibility that the spring got stuck. Or maybe paper got stuck between the punchers. That’s why it’s jammed.

But there’s no need to get stressed over it. Because it’s nothing you can’t fix.


You can just turn the punch upside down. Then put a coin between the compressed spring and puncher. Now press it down. You’ll hear a sound. Which is that of unjamming.

In case the puncher is jammed with paper, the solution is simple. Remember how we taught you to unscrew the puncher Do that again. Now, look through the puncher whole.

You’ll see paper inside of it. Now with the pointy thin knife, try to drag the paper as much as you can. Or else if you scratch the paper circles into tiny pieces, that would do. Just shake the puncher and papers will come off.

Repeat this until all the paper comes off. Then just screw them again. And you’re all good.


Question: How does a 3 hole puncher work?

Answer: The 3 hole puncher helps to cut holes through paper. And the holes are used to bind the paper with a ribbon. Or the paper can be attached to a file through the holes.

Question: Can I use a rusty puncher?

Answer: Yes, you can use a rusty puncher. But first, you’ll need to fix it. Put the puncher in vinegar for 20 minutes. Then just take it out and rub it. It’ll be usable again.

Question: Can I punch legal documents?

Answer: No you shouldn’t punch the original copy of the legal document. But you can photocopy it. And then punch it as per your need.

Final Thoughts

It’s time for goodbye. Because you know how to fix a 3 hole punch. You’re on your own now.

But you can rely on us for queries. Just comment below what you need to know.

Hope you have a good day!

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