Updated October 12, 2018 by Sheila O'Neill

The 8 Best Guitar Pick Punches

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This wiki has been updated 21 times since it was first published in December of 2015. If you're looking to buy a unique present for the musician in your life, you might want to consider getting them one of these pick punches. They allow any guitarist, mandolinist, or ukulele player to create their own custom plectrums from just about any plastic material, including old credit cards, hotel keys, and driver's licenses. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best guitar pick punch on Amazon.

8. PickMaster Premium

7. MuzJig Blue

This item has been flagged for editorial review and is not available.

6. Minidiva Professional

5. EconoLED Plectrum Press

4. BridgeWire Music Perfect Puncher

3. Pick Punch 351

2. Signstek Flanger

1. Pick-a-Palooza DIY

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.

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.

Well, lucky me, the plastics industry is always happy to oblige a paying customer.

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.

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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Sheila O'Neill
Last updated on October 12, 2018 by Sheila O'Neill

Sheila is a writer and editor living in sunny Southern California. She studied writing and film at State University of New York at Purchase, where she earned her bachelor of arts degree. After graduating, she worked as an assistant video editor at a small film company, then spent a few years doing freelance work, both as a writer and a video editor. During that time, she wrote screenplays and articles, and edited everything from short films to infomercials. An ardent lover of the English language, she can often be found listening to podcasts about etymology and correcting her friends’ grammar.

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