10 January 2013

Filofax Punches

There are quite a few different of paper punches on the market for punching pages to fit in to your Filofax, I have done a few posts about these before. In this post we will look in closer detail at 3 or 4 of the ones I own.

Just before Christmas I received a KW Trio punch from Holland, this punch is adjustable with settings for Filofax A5, Personal, Pocket/Mini, it also has an additional setting which is suitable for Mulberry Agenda organisers.

For the technically minded the KW Trio 9170 punch has two sets of 3 punches spaced at 19mm spacing with the central spacing being adjustable to 70, 51, 38 and 19mm spacings or anything in between with careful measurements!

Not clearly visible in the photos but the punch has markings for the different page sizes on the front edge of the lever to help you align them centrally in the punch, there is also a pull out paper guide for most of the common paper sizes.


Set to A5 spacing, the two sets of punch blocks slide to their outer most settings.


With the plastic base removed you can see the punch blocks slid to their A5 settings, the other holes above the punches are the detents for Personal, Mulberry and Pocket/Mini spacings..


The punch blocks are now shown at their narrowest setting, which is suitable for Filofax Pocket and Mini hole spacings. Mini is the same hole spacing as Pocket (19mm) but only 5 rings instead of 6.


Again with the base removed you can see the punch blocks set to Pocket settings.


This punch has 5 mm punch dies which is the standard size for most hole punches on the market.

This punch is available from a couple of on-line sources,(Othwl.nl and Hummelman) the shipping though does increase the cost but the overall cost is still very reasonable for a punch that will most probably suit all of your Filofax organiser requirements. 

The KW Trio is also branded as the Rakuten PU - 462 and due to the cost of shipping to say the USA, it is cheaper to buy this version rather than the KW Trio version.


The Rapseco Diary hole punch which has featured before can be adjusted to punch pages for Personal, Pocket/Mini and Mulberry Agenda. It's slightly smaller in overall size to the KW Trio, but it is of similar design with moveable punch blocks. Again the punch dies are 5mm in diameter. Like the KW Trio it has an easy to remove plastic base for emptying out the paper 'chads'


The two three punch blocks have like the KW Trio equal 19 mm spacing with central spacing adjustable to 51, 38 and 19 mm spacing.


Again the two sets of punch blocks slide in channels set in to the base of the punch. In the photo below they are at their outer most setting set to punch Personal hole spacing. 


And with the two punch blocks pushed together they are set to Pocket/Mini spacing. 


With the plastic base remove you can see the workings of the punches and again the detents for other spacings (Personal, Mulberry, Pocket/Mini)



If you have no requirement to punch pages for an A5 Filofax then this punch is ideal.

The Rapseco punch is available via Amazon as well as other sources.



I also have a Filofax A5 punch and a Filofax Pocket Punch, these are almost identical in construction and operation. They are of fixed spacing unlike the two above.

First the Filofax A5 punch. The punch is solidly made out of aluminium with plastic end caps and steel 5mm punch dies.


Viewed from behind, you can see the punch dies and two springs that acts on the punch lever.


As you can see the Filofax Pocket is nearly identical in construction.


As you can see front and back they look almost the same as the A5 version. The main difference is that the Pocket size is fitted with 3 mm punch dies, the rings on Pocket and Minis are slightly thinner.


To empty the Filofax punches of paper chads you have to first remove the plastic end cap off the end indicated by the arrow on the base. 


Then normally using a pair of small pliers slide out the base plate, being careful to not spill the contents everywhere!


And here you can see it disassembled, this is the pocket Filofax punch. 


One of the common complaints about the Filofax own brand punches is how hard they are to use.

The picture below will give you a bit of a clue as to why this is so.... as you can see the KW trio on the left has a far bigger lever to operate and push down on compared to the two Filofax punches on the right, which as you can see are the same size, just different overall lengths for their respective paper sizes.


It's also worth pointing out that any of these four punches will punch holes for the defunct M2 organisers, as they have only 3 rings of 19mm ring spacing.

This post The Great Organiser Hole Spacing Conspiracy will help you with the multitude of hole-spacings there are for different makes of ring bound organisers.



I also came across this adjustable punch on Amazon UK. I have not tested it so I can't vouch for its quality etc. The adjustment is by moving the individual punch dies so it will be a bit more involved to adjust the punch when changing paper sizes.



32 comments:

  1. I have two punches for the personal size, and neither has adjustable holes. My first was a Keny, which only have a couple of markings to line up the paper against. While it has great leverage, I found the lack of an edge paper guide frustrating. At a Franklin Covey store, I found one of their punches, which has a paper guide against which you can set the edge of the page for proper alignment.

    There is also one other significant difference between the two punches. The Keny punches 6 mm holes that are 5 mm from the edge of the paper; the FC punches 5 mm holes 4 mm from the edge of the paper. With large rings, this difference might not be significant, but with 11 mm rings, like 4 of my binders have, it makes a huge difference. The Keny-punched pages simply have to much inside the rings for easy page turning.

    I can find nothing about the "Keny" brand on line at all. The FC punch is an older model, which I don't think is still available.

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    1. I want to add my thank you to Steve for this post. It prompted me to look more closely at the two punches that I have and had been using almost interchangeably. I often chose the Keny over the FC because of the leverage and being able to punch more sheet at a time. I had not realized the difference in the hole locations, which I noted in my comment, above, until I carefully measured them, last night. I reprinted my 2013 diary and punched it with the Franklin Covey this time and it makes an enormous difference to how easily the pages turn.

      I second Josh's comment about getting the Franklin Covey Punch.

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    2. Which Franklin Covey punch do you have? I'm thinking of buying a pocket one but want to make sure the holes will line up with the personal size filofax pages.

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    3. Which Franklin Covey Punch do you have? I need one that will match the Personal size Filofax holes. Will a pocket suffice?

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  2. What's the best Pocket size paper to punch which requires no trimming? Would I have a size advantage over stock FF paper? The quality advantage, as usual, would be without question - I ask as a fountain pen user and recent convert to a Pocket Domino who does not use the pen loop, and has a dangerous impatience with scissors...

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  3. There is also the Leitz Akto 5114 - I got a used one from ebay and it works great if you need to punch lots of paper. It punches up to 30 pages at a time...holes are 6mm and also about 6mm from edge - but for my A5 Holborn it works fine...
    punching levers are adjustable each separately - so nothing for quick change between paper sizes...

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  4. Thanks so much for this, Steve!

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  5. Can I just offer the suggestion, particularly to readers in the US, Canada, and perhaps Latin America as well, to check out the Franklin Covey punch? The "Compact" size punches perfectly for personal size and unlike the Rapesco, they have a paper guide to help you get consistent hole spacing sheet to sheet. I bought two of these and keep one on my desk at home and one on my desk at work and they get regular use to punch and insert all matter of documents and slips of paper. I'm very happy with the quality, design, and price of this punch. When I bought it, I found good reviews on Amazon as well.

    The Rapesco is a very good punch and more suitable if you need to punch for multiple sizes of binders. I really don't like how it doesn't have any sort of guide marks to help you get the holes in the right spaces; every single page I punched in the Rapesco sticks out oddly from the bunch in my planner. Of course, you can figure out how to get this consistent, but for me, it was much better to simply have a punch with a guide so I can just get it right without any thought.

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    1. Thanks for this...I have a FC compact punch in my shopping cart as well as the Rapesco. Wasn't sure which one to get but now I will most definitely get the FC. I.ve been watching for a sale for weeks but FC doesn't seem to have as many online sales as Filofax. Even so I will purchase. I still have my FC classic punch from 20 years ago and it still works fine. I do have need for pocket sized punch but I couldn't live with pages sticking out so looks like the Rapesco is not for me!

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  6. Oh man, now I'm lusting after the KW Trio 9170! Too bad shipping to the States would probably be insane!


    Thanks for the potential enabling, Steve :)

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    1. I checked today, shipping to the USA is $11.37 per punch. That's from here: http://www.chinaglobalmall.com/products/16830327075

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  7. Many thanks for the Post Steve. I have found that the Rapesco hole punch of good construction and sturdy in use and cheaper than the Filofax model. I agree the lever is a good indication as to how easy it is to punch the holes. I usually hold each side of the sheet between thumb and fore finger, this is a guide to ensure centralising the sheet before punching.

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  8. I got the KW Trio, shipped from NL. The 10EUR shipping seemed pricey but then I got a £7 PayPal refund for the excess postage, which was rather kind of them.

    It's great, I am tempted to buy a 2nd one so I can keep it at work.

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    1. Cld you share your experience? Can it punch more than 3 or 4 sheets?

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    2. Using mine at the moment to punch 7 sheets at a time of Rhodia 80 g/m2 paper

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  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  10. Thanks for a fab post, Steve. I used to have a Rapesco which was great & only sold it as I upgraded to the A5 size. I managed to pick up a KW Trio when someone was selling them on Adspot & it's another punch that I'd recommend.

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  11. I have only recently bought my Filofax, and ordered a hole punch at the same time... it is the one from Amazon that you haven't tested, by ME and MY. Anyway, it's just arrived and from what I can see it looks fairly sound. Like you mentioned you have to move the hole punchers individually, but I imagine that gives maximum flexibility. Unfortunately my A5 Filofax hasn't yet arrived so I can't vouch for fit etc., but I will do when it's here :) love the blog BTW, lots of helpful ideas!

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  12. I have just received the ME and MY punch from Amazon that Georgina mentioned above, and it is absolutely superb for A5 Filo - manages about 8 pages at a time really well.

    Really robust with strong spring action. Cannot recommend highly enough, and for only £30 not to be sniffed at.

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  13. For anyone in the U.S. wanting a KW Trio punch, try looking at www.timesystem.us for the A5 Business & Compact punch. I got one last November with my 2013 Business A5 refill. I really like being able to punch more than three sheets at a time. I can't be certain of the model because it isn't stamped on the punch, and the packaging has disappeared. It does resemble the photos above. My older Opto.se A5 punch is now on my desk at work where it only has to punch one sheet at a time.

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  14. I checked on prices from both Othwl.nl and Hummelman. According to the emails I received, there's quite a bit of difference in the shipping costs to the USA.
    Othwl.nl: €115.00 = $148.73
    Hummelman: €29,40 = $38.02

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  15. Can the FC compact punch be used to punch A5 inserts as well with a modification like the rapesco?

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  16. Hi there, I am a self confessed newbie to the fikofax world...my dream of owning and utilising one came true in December (and there is no sarcasm in the latter part of that statement!)....having perused the overwhelming amount of information available on which hoke punch to buy for my A5 filofax I am still non the wiser on which is the most preferred (apart from avoiding the official one)....any thoughts and recomendations would be much appreciated :) Kx

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    1. Go for the KW Trio or the Rakuten depending where in the world you live. The deciding factor will be the cost of the shipping. They are basically the same punch, just a different label and a different colour.

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  17. A question about the Filofax pocket/mini punch: are those dies *really* only 3mm? It seems like those would be awfully small holes for your pages. I have pocket-compatible inserts with 4mm-ish holes (edging towards 4.5mm) and they are "perfect" to me. The Filofax brand pocket inserts are punched with 5mm holes, which I dislike! I guess I'm picky, but I can't find much info on this... Thanks!

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  18. I have a rapesco 66 but I find the diameter of the punched holes a little too large for the mini size ff and the paper flops about on he rings. Can anyone suggest a suitable punch that won't breakbthe bank for the mini ff pls? I'm in the UK.

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    1. Hi Kirsty, I never got a reply to my earlier comment on this thread but I think I might be able to help you with some input. I searched EVERYWHERE for a paper punch with dies smaller than 5mm (I live in the US, but I explored as many international options as I could). 6mm is the most common, 5mm is rarer but obtainable, and anything smaller is unheard of unless you go for a single-hole craft punch. Like one of these:
      http://www.eksuccessbrands.com/ektools/Products/3+16_Inch_Circle_Punch_54-10059.htm
      A single hole punch is obviously much cheaper and you can choose literally any hole size you want, but obviously comes with the trade-off of having to line it up for every single hole punched. I guess it would depend on how much you're wanting to punch.
      The only option for tiny refill holes is the one Filofax provides us with. My suggestion is to search for the item on ebay, in fact make it a saved search, and wait for one to be sold as a used item. They go for about half price that way. It's how I got mine, and to me the time I'll be saving is worth the money spent. Wish I had better news for you!

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  19. Is there a special trick to opening the Filofax personal punch in order to open it? I can't seem to pull off the plastic cap, I might be too weak but it just won't open.

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    1. Assuming you are taking the right one off, the one without the paper stop it should just wiggle off.

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  20. Ordered the KW puncher yesterday based on your review! Thank you! I'm really looking forward DIY'ing my pages and dividers with it! I use a pocket, personal and A5 Filofaxes, so this really will cover all my needs! Awesome! Thanks!

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  21. I've seen a time manager 6 hole punch, would this work for filfofax A5? It's online and there's no photo of the spacing.

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  22. I thought I was going to die when I discovered Othwl.nl ships to Sweden - for 51 euros!!! I sure hope they wrap that thing in gold...

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