Circa portable punch question

I was looking at the portable Circa punch,(Circa Portable punch)
and started thinking. Would it be possible to use just the punch, without the frame, to punch holes in 3x5 cards? If so, would it be easy to align the cards? Is it worth trying? I'm sure it's obvious why I'm thinking along these lines. :-) TIA


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Um, Yes.

Hi Jon.

Yes, and yes, and yes. :)

You won't get the alignment quite exact if you eyeball it, but you'll get really really close and it will probably be good enough.



An additional note to Shris's yesses...

If you are punching on the 3" side, you are good to go as the punch does 3 smurfs at a time. If you wanted to do the 5" side, you would run into alignment issues.

Other than that, I agree with Shris --> go for it !!
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)


Just make a few 'practice' punches and make a small dot if needed on the 'guide' portion of the punch.

There is a "Business Card" mark on the punch.

followup question

Is it possible, without the guide, to punch larger sheets of paper than a 3x5 on edge? By this, I mean, is it possible to walk the punch down the side without the guide. I envision punching the first three holes, then moving down the punch, and using the last of the original three holes as a guide to punch two more, and then, moving and doing two more, and so on...

I guess I'm curious, because it would be nice to carry this toy with me---er.... um... tool.... and punch on the fly, without having to tote, or try to use the extra piece. Anybody had any success doing this? Experiences to share that would heartily discourage further experimentation? ;-)

"See ya starside!"

Alignment without alignment tool


It doesn't work very well to try to punch a large sheet without the guide. If you measured carefully and marked the punch itself you might be able to manage it. The problem is that you can't see the previously punched hole when you're lining up the next punch, since it's inside the (opaque) gadget. You could possibly flip the thing over to try to utilize the transparent smurf-catcher to see when you've got the hole lined up..

But *any* misalignment of holes is going to make your pages drag on the rings and make your notebook hard to open and close when it's full.

The alignment tool is easy to use and very light. I don't think it would be a hardship to slip it into your briefcase or laptop bag on your way to work, or take it with you in a backpack somewhere if you're a student.



Thanks, Sris. That was just the info I was needing. I was just hoping to get something _really_ compact. When I'm in the States, I travel all over via car--with my family. Space is tight, yet, I need to be able to quickly add items to my honkin' big DayTimer (what I used to use) on the fly, so to speak. I suppose that the portable in the briefcase isn't so bad, but maybe I need to use slash pockets until I can get to the punch. But overall, I really suspect that the Circa system may be my answer to the paper mess I've had in the past.

Thanks again!


Portable punch

Hi Jon.

When you buy the portable punch, you get the alignment tool as part of the deal. Once you have them in your hands, you can experiment and measure and decide what you want to do.

You definitely want the portable punch for travel, though. The desktop punch weighs four pounds. :)

Slash pockets and page protectors are good, they are your friends. Likewise zip pockets and/or folios of one type or another.

Personally, I am finding that I need to stuff fewer original items into my planner now (especially now that it's so small). I have a separate doojiggy for stowing original large materials that I need to keep handy. It's a six-divider plastic folder with elastic bands to keep the stuff from falling out. It's light. There are also envelope things made of plastic too that would hold small items in better.

Since I carry a purse, I stuff most of the things I need to keep into the purse, then process them when I get back home. All you really need is a place to stuff the stuff until you get back to your punch, which might stay in your hotel or car or whatever. What kind of thing you use for that is largely a matter of preference.



Thanks, Sris for all that wonderful information and ideas!


The need for "zip"

A lot of the comment and concern in this thread brought something to the fromt of my thinking. I do not carry the punch with me all the time -- especially for the times I carry only a Hipster-size. That is why I prefer having a zip-around cover !! If I acquire a piece of paper or a card I want to save, it goes into an inner pocket until I can get back to where my punch "lives". Then I can punch it and include it properly.

Pockets or pouch folders can serve the same function. The point I am trying for is that one does not necessarily need to carry the punch around all the time.

Hope this helps. Good luck.
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

question about portable/desk punches

What is the largest paper that the portable and desk punches can do?

I also am curious about alignment... Do you have to position the paper at the top or bottom to get everything aligned correctly?

((I'm so very close to buying a punch... just want to clarify a few things before I take the dive into full price purchase land...))


Largest which way ? Length, width, or thickness ?

Length/width: infinite (alignment necessary)

The alignment tool that comes as part of it positions the paper and aligns the "smurfs". Other than doing the 3 inch side of an index card in one punch, I would not rely on punching without the alignment guide.

The alignment guide handles up to letter size - 11 inches
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

largest meaning...length of the to be punched edge...

If I had a 13" by 19" drawing I wanted to punch... and I wanted to do the 19" side... would the desk punch allow me to do it? would the portable?

I'm worried my drawings might be too large in some cases for this to actually work for me :(

my artwork

Portable - not without folding it...

or risking smurf misalignment (oh, the horror!!)

Desktop, maybe. Mine is at home (typing at work). I'll let you know if no one else does.
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

Cumbersome at that size, imo

Hi, Sara,

I have some 13 x 19 paper here and I think it would be awfully cumbersome, no matter which side you'd use. Maybe punching the 13" side and then folding the page would work, but I'm not sure you'd want to fold a drawing. And unless you had a stiff backing of some sort, it would flop all over the place.

The desktop punch could easily punch the 13" side (I don't have the portable version, so I can't test that). I'd probably just use the standard number of smurfs and leave an inch unpunched both top and bottom. To punch the 19" side would take some testing and marking to get some sort of template, imo.


I will probably use heavy cover stock for the front and back ... or lightweight cardboard of some kind...

the largest I will try to rollabind into a book would be 13 x 19... Glad to hear the 13 inches will fit into the desk punch :D Thank you~!

my artwork

Paper size


The desk punch does 12 holes, and has a removable stop at one end (the slider with the ruler comes out entirely). So you could punch your 19 twice if you lined it up *really* carefully. The centers of the punches are marked, but you can't see what you're doing very well. The slider goes in enough, though, that once you figure out the perfect alignment of paper, you could reproduce it easily.

The 13 inch side would be easier--you could eyeball the center and 12 discs would be plenty to hold it.

The portable punch alignment tool will *not* allow more than 11 inches of paper unless you're willing to mash up the edges. Even then you might only get 11.5 or 12" of paper in there. But again, you could line up the portable however you want (i.e. make your own punch jig) and just punch clusters of three holes instead of punching them every inch.


More portable punch

I can suggest another alternative for a very portable punch that works well with index cards for a Circa Hipster PDA. You can purchase a Rolodex Business Card Punch at most places like Staples for about $7. As long as you have a previously punched card to work off, you can easily line up the holes on a index card. The holes are admittedly larger than the Circa/Rollabind holes, but it works in a pinch and they stay on fine with paper the thickness of index cards.