Stampbusters Episode 2: Sharpening your punches with soda cans?

I know I had told you I would test out Blender Pen refill recipes but had a terrific-ly busy week and didn’t make it to the store for glycerin.  I promise next Sunday I’ll post the video for that!

I LOVE my Stampin’ Up punches.  They add a little bit extra to projects, save time from cutting out stamped images AND they are easy to use.   Over time, they seem to get a bit dull.  I’ve tried the tin foil method, the wax paper to help them glide better but it doesn’t really sharpen as much as I would like.

My demonstrator buddy, Toni Ballesteros, shocked me when she said we could sharpen our punches using soda cans.  (maybe some of you already do this but news to me).

In Mythbusters style, I’m testing to see if it REALLY does sharpen my punches or does it ruin it forever?

Watch my experiment in the video below:

Linda Heller

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69 Responses to Stampbusters Episode 2: Sharpening your punches with soda cans?

  1. 2stampis2b says:

    I’m not scared anymore! I might try this on my Scallop Edge Punch just to take some of the fuzzy edges off…thanks so much for being brave and showing us this. Mythbusters is a big hit at our house, I’ll have to show your videos to my husband and son!

  2. Jessica says:

    Wow, that’s great to know! I was just going to try sharpening one of my punches with foil, as it’s stop cutting well. I guess I’ll have to give this a try.

  3. Hilva says:

    Thanks for the taking the time to test these “hints” for us. I had just learned about the floss, but the aluminum cans for sharpening punches is totally new. Thanks again, and I’m going to send your link to my stampin’ buds!!

  4. Marty says:

    Thank you so much. I too have tried the aluminum foil and it never has worked for me.

    I’m really enjoying MythBusters!!!

  5. Janet says:

    Thanks! I love my scallop punch, but it’s always been hard to punch. I’ll have to try this!!!!

  6. Dale Anne says:

    Our Aluminum pop cans up here in Canada are thicker than yours in the US, so will have to wait until someone is coming home from the US and will put a couple empty cans in their suitcases.

  7. Judy (Disneywed) says:

    Holy cow!!! this is fabulous! Thank you so much!! Off to find a can….

  8. ROSE says:

    Cool thanks so much for doing this!

  9. Claire Horvath says:

    I’m so glad it did the trick. I wondered if the tin foil actually did do anything. Seeing is believing. Good recycling for the soda cans.

  10. Simmy says:

    Wow, this is an awesome tip. My 1-3/8″ circle has the same fuzzy edge problem. Thanks for doing this. I’m loving Stamp Busters 🙂

  11. Anthonette says:

    Linda, you are a brave woman! We love Myth Busters. My 5-year really loves it. I’m glad you are doing these. I’m going to use a soda can to sharpen mine. One of my square punches is really dull. I agree that tin foil doesn’t really help that much.

  12. Carrie says:

    Perhaps a sheet of tin from Home Depot – thats flat would do the trick better than the tin cans?

    Just a thought…

  13. Bianca says:

    This is really a great idea!!! I have that problem with my circle punch. But I think here in Germany it wouldn’t work because our soda cans are a bit thicker (I know how thin the US cans are). I am afraid to ruin my punches. Shall I try it…this is the question…!

    Bianca from Germany!

  14. mandysu says:

    That’s amazing! Thanks for the stampbusters these are great tips. I am not sure I would have tried it but I have to now!

  15. Diana Gibbs says:

    Holy moly girl, that is awesome…doesn’t this go along with the going green? You are recycling, and then if you hung all the shapes on some fishing line you could make yourself an ornament…ha!!!

    Thanks for all your hard work.

  16. Judi Hays says:

    You’re amazing Linda. Okay – now I can’t wait to see what you do with the punched out aluminum shapes.

    Java Judi

  17. leezil says:

    Thanks for the myth busters! Great videos.

  18. Jan says:

    oh wow, you are far more brave than I am! But if punching soda cans does the trick then I may have to give it a whirl.

    For those of you who live in countries where the soda cans are thicker, maybe you could try punching thru some fine grit sandpaper. That’s what I have always heard helps but never got around to trying that either.


  19. Desirée says:

    Fantastic stamp-busting! Love this feature – I’m definitely forwarding this tip to all my stamping buddies!

  20. Crystal says:

    Very brave!!!! I also have tried the aluminum foil and it doesnt seem to do anything. I have other punches that have a lot more detail….hummmm wonder if that would work for them…a little scared to try it, but just maybe…..LOL
    Great job!!!!

  21. Crystal says:

    OOPPpppss!!! Forgot to also add that the metal punches would make great accents on cards also!!!!

  22. Tammy H says:

    Can’t wait to try this as I have the same fuzzy edges and have tried the aluminum foil with no improvement. Thanks for trying and making the video!

  23. Adriana says:

    Love your “mythbusters”. I can’t wait to sharpen my punches – the aluminum foil didn’t work well for me either and I have several punches that leave fuzzy edges. TFS!

  24. Candice says:

    So awesome. I love Mythbusters and I love your Stamp Busters. I’ve been trying to figure out how to sharpen mine. It’s so imbressing when it doesn’t work at a workshop. I finally bought a new one. Jus the small one. I can’t wait to try it. I have several that are getting dull. Thanks, Candice

  25. Nina says:

    Wow I am so impressed! This is so cool, I have to try it. Thanks for revealing this great tip to us!
    Many greetings from Germany

  26. Willow says:

    Aside from this technique being a true weapon of mass destruction…LOL…I am impressed!!! Seems to work well…just be sure there is no one tall or short standing behind you…thanks so much!!!

  27. Nancy says:

    All I can say is WOW all the way from Nova Scotia.

  28. pesc says:

    Love that little video. I think I would not have needed to buy a new one if I knew that before! Oh well. I will go and sharpen the old one anyway! 🙂

    About the blender pen, I did try one of the receip… what I did found out is that it work great but you have to put no more then 2 ml inside the pen because if you put more then that it will “drop” of the pen too much!

    I hope it helps for your test have a wonderful day! 🙂

  29. Marni L says:

    FABULOUS! Check out what I did with the punches once my punch was sharpened – I put it on my website:

  30. Sue says:

    Finally, something that really works without a lot of fuss. I’ll have to find some aluminum cans and try this technique on my Fiskars border punches. The lace one seems to gum up the most. Thanks for being brave enough to give it a try.

  31. LadyDoc says:

    Thank you sooo much! Great video and you have saved many punches and mucho $$$$ for all of us!

  32. Kelly Bee says:

    Brilliant! You just saved me 20 bux on replacing a circle punch that I ruined a couple of weeks ago. Thanks!

  33. Here’s a tip for making it easier to punch the aluminum once you’ve cut open the can. Run it through your Big Shot (or cuttlebug or other die cut machine) in between the plates, with no die. You will have to shim it. It will flatten the aluminum out to nice flat sheet and make it much easier to slip the punches in and out of.

    Also, if you trim the edges straight with a rotaty cutter first, it will sharpen your cutter and make the edges nicer – much easier to slip the aluminum into the punches.

    I’ve been doing this for a while. You can also die cut shapes out of the aluminum cans, and if you have embossing folders (heard a rumor that SU! will be carrying something like that soon) , you can run them through those as well.

    Great videos! I love the mythbusters/stampbusters idea.

  34. Shelly says:

    Thanks for doing this myth buster! I had to do 100 bag toppers with my punches and it sure did wear them out. I cut the soda can with them and they work waaaay better now! YAY!

  35. Mary Redford says:

    Oh WoW!! that really works!!
    thank you for this great idea…..MR

  36. laura says:

    This is awesome!!! thanks for risking your personal tools for the benefit of us all!!!! I better tell my husband to start saving his cans!!!

  37. Sue M says:

    This is awesome!! I tried it on my punches and it worked great! they work better than when they were brand new! LOL thanks so much!!!

  38. Jeanine says:

    Thank you so much Linda, this is amazing and leave to Diet Coke to come to the rescue. Yum can’t stamp without my Diet Coke.
    Stampin Hugs,

  39. Marie says:

    Thank you so much for this tip. I purchased a circular punch last weekend in my travels and was disappointed because it would not cut all the way around and would jam the paper. I was about to make the trek back to the store this afternoon to return it but stumbled upon this site. It worked like a charm – I now have perfect circles. Thank you so much.

  40. cheryl says:

    FANTASTIC IDEA!!!! Thanks for sharing…

  41. Nellie says:

    Muchisimas gracias!!! You’re a gem for posting this video. Thanks again!

  42. jogry says:

    Thanks for the information. All my punches need sharpening. Now I have to look for the tin.

  43. Debbie says:

    WOW so glad I found this! I tried it and it worked!!! Thank you so much!! I was so worried I was going to have to buy a new punch and they are SO expensive!! Thank you thank you thank you!!

  44. Awesome! Glad it worked for u!

    Linda (Pardon any auto correct typos- sent from my iPhone)

  45. Jennifer Keenan says:

    I am so glad I found this site and the link to using a pop can to sharpen paper punches. It works so well. Thank you so much for the great info here.

  46. Thanks!

    Linda (Pardon any auto correct typos- sent from my iPhone)

  47. Felicity says:

    Thanks for this video, it looks great!
    I want to try this, but I’m worried about all these comments about can thickness (I’m in Australia). Do you have a caliper, and would you be able to measure the thickness of your cans?

  48. Sorry, not something I would know how to do!

    Linda Heller

  49. Felicity says:

    oh well. I might just try this on one of my not-so-important punches. Thanks anyway 🙂

  50. I tried it and it didn’t work for mine. It not only won’t cut the entire corcle of paper out, the punch also sticks. Maybe mine is too bad for it to work. I have only used it a few times too: (

  51. Can u still return it? Where did you buy it from? Maybe it was just defective.

    Linda Heller

  52. Pingback: Tips + tricks | Using a paper punch | Make and Tell

  53. Dahlene says:

    Reblogged this on Simply Thoughtful Cards and commented:
    I’ve gotta try this Thanks!

  54. sylvia says:

    cant wait to do this…….. i hate when my punches “bite” the paper and i need to spend hours with aluminium foil and then wax paper and then again because it did not work…….thanks!

  55. Eloisa says:

    I am definitely going to try this. Thanks for being “brave” to test your puncher. Happy crafting!

  56. Linda Heller says:

    Thanks! It’s an oldie that still works for me !

  57. Sharman Slye says:

    I bought those intricate Martha Stewart punches of lattice fences and strings of butterflies. Will this work with tiny holes. I tried the aluminum foil/waxed paper and it improved a lot, but it’s still fuzzy in spots.

  58. Linda Heller says:

    All you can do it try and see. It’s a little random how it works. Use a tin foil first and then waxed paper, see if that helps before using the can.

  59. laurie says:

    i did this to my circle punch and it punched out the aluminum but not paper?

  60. Linda Heller says:

    One thing to try -be sure you use card stock to punch and not copy paper. Also be sure you are not too close to the edge of the paper – it will just pull it in and tear it.

  61. Anonymous says:

    will this work on those Stampin’ Up “build a” punches? I have the cupcake one and the actual cupcake pieces come out a bit ragged around some of the edges.

  62. Linda Heller says:

    They worked on mine….nothing beats a new punch but it did help a lot.

  63. Andrea S says:

    Just tried it on scissors and several punches….all worked perfectly!

  64. John D. Meyer says:

    Someone told me to use spray silicone but if the can works better stay with it. Thanks for the great video.

  65. Linda Heller says:

    I did try the spray silicone later – the soda can video was many years ago! The silicone got gummy after a few punches, unless I used the wrong stuff

  66. Trish Mertens says:

    these stamp companies need to have a buy back program. I punch a lot of scalloped tags and the tin can, tin foil and wax paper tricks just simply do not work ~ as you said, as a brand new punch! I hate the idea of this sitting in a land fill and not decomposing. I’m tempted to send them back to ek tools on my dime just so that they are not thrown away.

  67. Linda Heller says:

    I get that! I hate tossing them too. Most of mine come from SU (made by EK SUCCESS) and I use them A LOT and they still punch great. Only a few circles I’ve had to replace over the years. I guess it’s like anything else that cuts like scissors, they get dull after a while!

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