7 Best Guitar Pick Punches | April 2017

We spent 31 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. These guitar pick punches are a fantastic gift for any serious guitarist. They will let him or her create their own custom plectrums from just about any plastic material, including old driver's licenses and credit cards. Most of the models out there are pretty similar, so look out for unique gift sets and models that can catch your freshly cut picks. Skip to the best guitar pick punch on Amazon.
7 Best Guitar Pick Punches | April 2017
Overall Rank: 2
Best Mid-Range
Overall Rank: 4
Best High-End
Overall Rank: 6
Best Inexpensive
The Tonality Lab Kit comes to you complete with four solid-color strips of grip-enhanced plastic ready to be punched, as well as a sturdy molded carrier for protecting and storing your prized cuts while you're not using them to jam.
  • creates uniformly smooth shapes
  • comes with a satisfaction guarantee
  • does not catch picks
Brand Tonality Lab
Model Ton-2714
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0
The Econoled Guitar Plectrum Press costs half as much as many DIY pick makers, but is absolutely effective. It will punch through material that measures 1 millimeter in thickness, though it isn't built to catch your creations.
  • works on multiple types of plastic
  • large double spring
  • base may bend over time
Brand econoLED
Model BCG329155
Weight 15.2 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
The MuzJig Premium Pick Cutter looks a little lighter and less durable than the majority of its competition, but it has enough weight and staying power to chop away at thinner plastic for years on end. It comes with a convenient gift case.
  • plastic sheets included
  • cuts clean smooth edges
  • struggles with thick materials
Brand Muzjig
Model pending
Weight 1.8 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0
Not only will the reliable Zuanjia Pick Maker DIY Guitar tool make thousands of great-looking guitar picks, but it also looks great itself, with its bright red coloration, curved top, and retro design. It also has a highly visible, slightly humorous warning sticker.
  • tough stainless steel blade
  • hollowed out base catches cuts
  • requires more force than others
Brand Zuanjia
Model Pick-cutter-1SRD
Weight 12 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0
The Original Guitar Pick Punch claims to be the first and best option available on the consumer market. While those claims can't be easily substantiated, there's no denying that it's reliable, easy to use, and built like a tank.
  • punches standard 351 shapes
  • weighs well over a pound
  • instructions included
Brand Pick Punch
Model 351
Weight 1.3 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0
The BridgeWire Music Perfect Puncher arrives with enough strips of plastic to create 50 medium gauge picks in a slew of interesting styles, most of which will be appealing to the average player. It also comes with a smoothing strip to file down jagged corners.
  • holder included
  • heavy base for stability
  • comfortable curved handle
Brand BridgeWire Music
Model BWM-0300
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0
The Pick-a-Palooza DIY Red/Silver comes with a leather pick holding key chain, a guitar-shaped emery board for smoothing out rough edges, and fifteen brightly colored and patterned plastic strips ready to be punched into shape.
  • comes in a gift box presentation
  • suitable for serious musicians
  • stainless steel blade
Brand Pick-A-Palooza
Model pending
Weight 1.6 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

Your Card Has Been Declined

There are few more embarrassing words in the English language than "I'm sorry, but it seems your card has been declined."

It's a terrible situation for both the customer in question and the salesman or waiter charged with charging the destitute fool.

That may have been too harsh. There's no proof here of destitution. In my time, I've had a card or two declined just because the purchase raised a flag in the card company's identity theft algorithms.

If you do face the unfortunate experience of actually having your card declined and then deactivated for one reason or another, or if you simply have a card that's expired, you may find yourself in a position to make the most out of the pick punch.

It's a pretty simple device, really. It uses leverage focused toward a simple hinge the same way a stapler works. But, instead of driving a stapler, the pick punch pushes a pick-shaped piece of metal through a pick shaped hole lined with a blade.

Think of it like Wile E. Coyote running through a stone wall and leaving the perfect imprint of his body, but this time his body is shaped like a guitar pick.

When I Went Green

If, when I was a teenager, Jim Dunlop held a press conference and announced the bankruptcy of his company and the discontinuation of the .88mm green Dunlop Tortex picks, I might have quit playing the guitar then and there.

I had that much of an emotional connection to them.

It's still my go-to pick, as it has been for nearly 20 years of guitar playing.

That kind of commitment is hard to give up, and if you've played with a specific thickness of pick for a long while, it's something you're going to have to consider when selecting your pick punch.

A credit card or a gift card, for example, which are probably the two most commonly cited items punched into guitar picks, is .76mm thick. That's not quite .88mm, but it could do in a pinch. If that's much thicker than what you normally play, you'll have to seek out thinner plastics.

No pick punch set comes with an .88mm sheet set, though several brands offer .90mm sheets sold separately on their websites, and it was possible that I could make the transition from one weight to the next without losing too much sleep. But I far preferred the specific feel of Dunlop's .88mm nylon.

So what's a boy to do? Well, lucky me, the plastics industry is always happy to oblige a paying customer. You can find pretty much any kind of plastic or synthetic material online for your pick punch. As long as it's in the same Vicker's hardness test ballpark and it's less than 1mm thick, you should be able to punch it.

Playing Guitar Uphill, Both Ways

More and more I find myself playing the "When I was your age" card. Now, that's a card I'd be happy to feed to the pick punch!

The truth is that these punches weren't around when I was learning the instrument, and for the many years I spent playing out and touring with bands.

There was a stigma against homemade guitar picks back then. This was mainly due to the fact that, in order to cut a pick for yourself out of something like a credit card, you had to do it by hand. Usually, we'd use scissors.

The process was long and inarticulate, and the resulting picks were but shadows cast on the wall of the cave, flickering, unshapely semblances of a far away ideal.

They were too sharp, so they often cut through lighter strings. They were the wrong material, so they produced an ugly tone.

It's only in the past decade or so that all those problems were solved with a pick punch and a little bit of light emery cloth.

There's some disagreement about who made the thing first, but we can all agree that it works.

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Last updated on April 22 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.