A center punch is a necessary tool for a metal smith. The main use for a center punch is to make it easier to drill holes into metal. When you order a center punch they come in a set of three. Now if you take good care of a center punch it can last for over year. Center punches eventually get dull and that is when you want to replace it. Remember they are cast iron so you can recycle them.
The way to use a center punch is to line it up on the spot you want to hit. Then use your ball peen hammer on the flat side. Hit it strong and once. On the backside there should be a dimple where you hit it. Remember that when you hammer metal you are moving it not remove it. Therefore all the metal is there from before it just has been moved.
For more information and a detailed demonstration watch the above video.
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