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Starrett 18C Automatic Center Punch Heavy-Duty With Adjustable Stroke, 5-1/4" Length, 11/16" Diameter

4.8 out of 5 stars 127 customer reviews
| 10 answered questions

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Specifications for this item
Brand Name Starrett
Part Number 18C
Number of Items 1
System of Measurement Inch
UPC 049659567571 , 094704972800
EAN 5915903796781 , 0049659567571 , 0094704972800
Item Weight 4.8 ounces
National Stock Number 5120-01-430-6354
UNSPSC Code 27111505

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Starrett 18C Automatic Center Punch Heavy-Duty With Adjustable Stroke, 5-1/4" Length, 11/16" Diameter
  • +
  • Starrett 18AA Automatic Center Punch With Adjustable Stroke, 4" Length, 7/16" Diameter
  • +
  • Starrett 819 Hinge-Locating Automatic Center Punch With Adjustable Stroke, 5" Length, 5/8" Diameter
Total price: $114.63
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Product Features

  • Heavy-duty automatic center punch with 5-1/4" length and 11/16" diameter punches a starter dimple without the need for a hammer
  • Capable of striking a heavier blow than standard automatic center punch
  • Stroke impact can be set by turning knurled cap
  • Spring tension is constant for uniform depth and dimple size at each setting
  • Hardened and tempered steel components provide wear resistance and strength

Product Description

The Starrett 18C heavy-duty automatic center punch with adjustable stroke is 5-1/4" long with a 11/16" (17 mm) diameter for creating a starter dimple without the need for a hammer. This heavy-duty model is capable of striking a heavier blow than the Starrett 18A and 18AA automatic center punches. It has an adjustable stroke, which can be set by turning the knurled cap and is regulated by spring tension for uniform dimple size at every setting. The punch is made from hardened and tempered steel components that provide wear resistance and strength. It has a round handle that is knurled for grip. The point can be removed for replacement or sharpening.

Center punches make small dimple marks in a workpiece to help guide a drill bit. Manual center punches have a metal shank with a point and are typically tapped with a ball-peen hammer to mark the material. Automatic center punches have an internal spring mechanism that enables them to mark the material without using a hammer, leaving one hand free for steadying the work.

The L.S. Starrett Company manufactures precision measuring tools, metrology and testing equipment, and saw blade products. The company, founded in 1880, is headquartered in Athol, MA.


Product Details

  • Item Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item can be shipped to select countries outside of the U.S. Learn More
  • ASIN: B000VDVR6W
  • Item model number: 18C
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,327 in Industrial & Scientific (See Top 100 in Industrial & Scientific)
  • Manufacturer’s warranty can be requested from customer service. Click here to make a request to customer service.

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By John S. Williams on November 28, 2012
Verified Purchase
Very rough threads in the tension nut. I used lapping compound and then buffed the threads. Smooth as silk now. The ends of the spring were sharp and had to be ground over to keep from digging in when turning the tension nut. It now works perfectly and hits harder than a sledge. After the rework, it looks and works like what I expect a $40.00+ auto center punch to be. I emailed Starrett, and received no response. Obviously they don't care. And they wonder why the Chinese are moving in.
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I have used automatic center punches quite extensively for metal work when fabricating industrial control panels. They are a vital tool to drilling precise holes in metal and they offer the convenience of not having to use a hammer. I purchased this starrett punch because of the quality of their other tools and because I have used cheaper ones that would take multiple blows to create a small dent because they just do not have the striking power needed. I also know that when it comes to tools the best ones are a joy to use and the cheap ones will only make you wish you just paid the money and got the best one to start with.

I was unsure of which one to order because I could not find any information online comparing the AA, A and C sizes, I ended up purchasing the 18C because it was listed as heavy duty and I figured I could turn down the striking power but if it was not enough on the smaller ones you cannot turn it up. I think for most people's uses the 18A would be the most ideal size and power.

The punch showed up in perfect condition, when held in the hand it does display true craftsmanship and quality which is so hard to find these days. The tip is not quite as sharp as I would have liked for those jobs where you want absolute precision, clearly it is made for heavier duty work than the other punches I have used in the past, and when the spring is turned to its maximum power it does take quite a bit of force to depress and strike a blow but you can be sure that one is enough. I would be mindful that when turned all the way up if you were to push down at any sort of angle you would risk the tip slipping and just putting a huge gouge in your work but sometimes you need that sort of power.
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I purchased this item to replace the cheap Chinese units that I have been struggling with for years. The punch is heavy in the hand, and works as advertised. It is easy to adjust the force that the punch strikes with simply by turning the knurled handle on the top of the tool. Replacing or re-grinding the point is easily done by unscrewing the lower portion of the punch. The punch leaves nice deep marks without excessive pressure being put on the tool. If you are looking for a quality tool, Starrett is the way to go.

One note about the listing, the 18C that you purchase will be the one pictured on the left of the image above. The tip shown on the right side punch is an add on that is not included.
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I bought this 18-C after buying the 18-A. The 18-C has the power I need to punch steel. I work in 20 gauge steel to fabricate A/V panels and the 18-C has the "oomph" to give me a mark that ensures accurate drilling. The adjustment goes from "easy to push" to "put your body weight into it." This is a great all-around punch.
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I've slowly been going through my tools and replacing the chinese garbage with quality tools that my son will inherit one day. If you have the crappy brass punch that sells in every store, take a leap of faith, get the starrett and enjoy something that just feels well made.

Put it on your christmas list, your wife won't know what it is, but you'll be happy.
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Starrett is one of the great names in American precision measuring and tooling products, and this Automatic Center Punch is no exception.

A few years ago, they changed the design of the center punches where the shank and the tip are unitized, meaning you have many more opportunities to sharpen the tip before you require a replacement. It's not as elegant as the original design, but it is more robust, and has one less part to worry about(the replaceable tip)

I now have the 18C, and have the original 18A and 18AA. This is by far the heaviest duty unit of the three, and will likely get the most use. It is adjustable, however, even the lightest setting is still quite hard, so if you are working with soft metals or thin gauge stock, you will likely want to use the 18A or 18AA.

This one is perfect for my use, and I will now be selling off my General automatic center punch, which takes significantly more pressure to activate and doesn't hit nearly as hard.
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All other automatic center punches seem a waste of time. Sure they have their uses and I have a couple smaller ones but when I need a drillable punch this is the one I pick up.
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No doubt this is the best auto center punch that I have owned. That is, until it stopped working. Lasted about 3 years, but I use it almost every day.

This punch is for metal, not wood people. If you need a punch for wood get a Harbor Freight special.

It held up to whatever I used it on - Stainless, Mild Steel, Aluminum, etc. and then one day it would not actuate. Tried everything and couldn't get it working again. Emailed Starrett, warranty on these is only a year from purchase, so I reluctantly sent it back for repair. The cost to repair was about $12 shy of buying a new one. Hate to do it, but like I said - this is the best I've owned.
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