Tons to Punch Hole
Click from Hole Punch Tonnage to HOMEPAGE.

Chart showing Tonnage Required to Punch a Hole

What size Portable Hole Punch or hydraulic Ironworker machine is needed for punching a hole size?
This chart shows the tons of force required for punching a single round hole in mild steel derived by the formula: Tons of pressure required + hole size x material thickness x constant 80. All table figures shown are tons or percentages of tons. For sizes inbetween, you can interpolate.
To calculate the tons needed for other metals just multiply number times the tons required for punching mild steel:
Aluminum (2024-0): multiply x .36
Brass (1/4 hard): multiply x .70
Copper (1/2 hard): multiply x .52
High Carbon Steel: multiply x 1.60
A36 Steel (recycled): multiply x 1.25
Stainless Steel: multiply x 1.50
Also remember that you should never try to punch a hole that is smaller that the thickness of the steel. This is because the concentrated load on the punch stem will shatter it very quickly. That is why there are blank spots on the chart. Example; if the steel is 1/4 inch thick, you should not try to punch a hole smaller than 1/4 inch diameter. You should consider drilling the hole instead.
A hint on how to keep your punches sharp longer; spray oil on the spot before you punch the hole. This will prevent the punch from getting dull so quickly. This is especially true when punching holes in stainless steel or hard aircraft aluminum. Without spraying oil, the punches will get dull twice as fast as the die, which is a good reason to buy twice as many punches as dies.
If you are punching metric size hole diameters and want to use this chart, divide by 25.4 to convert your mm sizes into inches so that you can find the tonnage needed to punch your hole sizes. For your convenience we have already converted some hole sizes from inches to mm.
To convert to metric from inches, remember 1 inch = 25.4 mm, so just multiply the inch sizes by 25.4 to get your answer in mm.

Round Hole Diameter [inches] to be punched
Steel
Thickness
1/8 inch
diameter
3/16
1/4
5/16
3/8
7/16
1/2
9/16
5/8
11/16
3/4
13/16
7/8
15/16
26 gauge (.018)
.18 tons
.27
.36
.45
.54
.63
.72
.81
.90
.99
1.07
1.16
1.25
1.34
24 ga. (.024)
.24
.36
.48
.60
.72
.84
.96
1.08
1.20
1.31
1.43
1.5
1.67
1.89
22 ga. (.030)
.30
.45
.60
.75
.90
1.05
1.20
1.35
1.50
1.65
1.80
1.95
2.10
2.24
20 ga. (.036)
.36
.54
.72
.90
1.08
1.26
1.44
1.62
1.80
1.98
2.15
2.33
2.51
2.69
18 ga. (.048)
.48
.72
.96
1.20
1.20
1.43
1.67
1.91
2.39
2.63
2.87
3.11
3.34
3.58
16 ga. (.060)
.60
.90
1.20
1.50
1.79
2.09
2.39
2.69
2.99
3.29
3.59
3.89
4.19
4.49
14 ga. (.075)
.75
1.12
1.49
1.87
2.24
2.61
2.99
3.36
3.73
4.11
4.48
4.86
5.23
5.60
12 ga. (.105)
1.05
1.57
2.09
2.62
3.14
3.66
4.18
4.71
5.23
5.75
6.28
6.80
7.32
7.85
10 ga. (.135)
-
2.02
2.69
3.36
4.04
4.71
5.38
6.05
6.73
7.40
8.08
8.75
9.42
10.09
3/16 (.187)
-
2.81
3.74
4.68
5.61
6.50
7.48
8.42
9.35
10.29
11.22
12.16
13.09
14.03
1/4 (.250)
-
-
5.00
6.25
7.50
8.75
10.00
11.25
12.50
13.75
15.00
16.25
17.50
18.75
3/8 (.375)
-
-
-
-
11.25
13.13
15.00
16.88
18.75
20.63
22.50
24.38
26.25
28.13
1/2 (.500)
-
-
-
-
-
-
20.00
22.50
25.00
27.50
30.00
32.50
35.00
37.50
5/8 (.625)
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
31.25
34.38
37.50
40.63
43.75
46.88
3/4 (.750)
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
45.00
48.75
52.50
56.25
7/8 (.875)
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
61.25
65.63
1 inch thick
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-

-

Round Hole Diameter to be punched
Steel
Thickness
1 inch
(25.4mm)
diameter
1-1/16
(27mm)
1-1/8
(28.6mm)
1-1/4
(32mm)
1-3/8
(35mm)
1-1/2
(38mm)
1-9/16
(40mm)
1-3/4
(44.5mm)
2
(51mm)
3
(76mm)
4
(102mm)
16 gauge (.060)
5 tons
5
5.5
6
7
7.3
7.6
8
10
14
19 tons
12 ga. (.105)
8
9
9.5
10
12
13
13.5
15
17
25
33
10 ga. (.135)
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
18
20
30
40
3/16 (.187)
15
16
17
19
21
23
23
27
30
45
60
1/4 (.250)
20
21
23
25
28
30
31
35
40
60
80
5/16 (.312)
25
27
28
31
34
37
39
43
50
75
100
3/8 (.375)
30
32
33
38
41
45
47
52
60
90
120
1/2 (.500)
40
43
45
50
55
60
63
70
80
120
160
5/8 (.625)
50
53
56
63
69
75
78
87
100
150
200
3/4 (.750)
60
64
68
75
83
90
94
105
120
180
240
7/8 (.875)
70
74
78
88
96
105
109
122
140
210
280
1 inch thick
80
85
90
100
110
120
125
140
160
240
300

Below is a conversion chart that converts sheet metal gauge numbers into metal thickness:

26 gauge 24 ga. 22 ga. 20 ga . 18 ga. 16 ga. 14 ga. 13 ga. 12 ga. 11 ga. 10 ga. 9 ga. 8 ga. 7 ga. 6 ga.
.018" .024" .030" .036" .048" .060" .075" .090" .105" .120" .135" .150" .164" .180" .194
.46mm .61mm .76mm .91mm 1.2mm 1.5mm 1.9mm 2.3mm 2.7mm 3mm 3.4mm 3.8mm 4mm 4.6mm 4.9mm

Picture of ironworker Punch and die. Note: safety guard removed for clarity

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