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Border Punch Comparison

{Reported by: Mandy Starner}

WHAT it is: Border punches have been quite popular for about a year or so, now. The designs you can find range from basic to very intricate. There are a few different companies out there producing these punches. But today, I am going to compare two of the most popular brands… Martha Stewart and Fiskars. I think I’ll start with the Martha Stewart punches first.

Martha Stewart:

The Martha Stewart border punches tend to be on the more intricate side of the scale with designs including animals, phrases, lattice, and lace. There are designs for every season and birthdays too. The Martha Stewart designers made a great effort to insure that your punches would line up, with an excellent guide painted on the surface. It’s hard to mess up, even the most intricate designs. They even factored in storage to their design of the punch, the sides fold in and the entire thing stands upright, making a tidy little cube, perfect for storing in a drawer or on a shelf. These punches are very well made; they seem to keep cutting sharp images, even after many uses.

What I liked:

Storage is a breeze with these punches; they fold in and stand upright, so you can see the design on the front.

I love the variety of designs offered.

They cut sharp images even after many uses.

What I disliked:

I am not a big fan of the lever, it’s a little awkward and I tend to pinch my hand.


The Fiskars punches seemed to have launched the “border pu

nch craze” with designs like the Threading Water and Upper Crest punches. There are many different designs to choose from, some of them are my personal favorites. There is a guide painted on every punch to insure your design lines up, perfectly. Storage of these

monsters, is not very elegant, they don’t exactly stack or stand well. These border punches are very sturdy (mine have withstood an alarming amount of use). The lever is wide, making it easy to engage the punching mechanism (no pinching with these punches).

What I liked:

Some of the designs by Fiskars are my most favorites. I reach for them over and over.

There’s no pinching of my hands when I push down on the lever.

These punches can withstand a lot of abuse.

What I disliked:

They are hard to store, I am a tidy person, and so I am not fond of the disaster that is my punch drawer.

Many of the designs offered, are not appealing to me. I’d like to see more from Fiskars in the border punch department.

What I made:

I made the following card using the “Modern Garland” Martha Stewart border punch.

Patterned paper- BasicGrey, Border punch- Martha Stewart, Ribbon- Offray, Silk flower- K&Co.

I used a ton of scraps and the “Scalloped Sentiment” border punch by Fiskars to make the fish’s scales on the following card.

Patterned paper- My Mind’s Eye, Hambly, American Crafts, SEI, Making Memories, Cosmo Cricket, BasicGrey, October Afternoon, Border punch- Fiskars, Alphabet stickers- BasicGrey, Pearls- BasicGrey, Other- Spellbinders Nestabilities

And on this last card, I used the Martha Stewart “Birds on a wire” and Fiskars “Scalloped Sentiment” border punches.

Where and How Much:

Product Name: Martha Stewart Crafts border punches

Manufacturer: Martha Stewart Crafts by EK Success

MSRP: $14.99

Available at:*,,

Product Name: Fiskars border punch

Manufacturer: Fiskars

MSRP: $14.99

Available at:,,*

What I think:
Well, I can honestly tell you that I have way more Martha Stewart punches in my collection than any other company. The storage issue and designs are more appealing to me. BUT my Fiskars punches are used just as much, if not more than
my other punches. So… if I had to pick one brand of border punches, it would have to be Martha Stewart.

What do you think? Are you a collector of border punches, like me? Who makes your favorite border punches? What do you like about that company?


Susanne said...

I'm a big fan of EK Success punches, especially since they went to the newer locking design. I know they make ML's, but I find that their main line has very versatile designs, and I think some of ML's designs are more specialized and seasonal. I don't own a single one of hers (yet?). But Fiskars did start it all, and their punches have proven to be good quality manufacturing that lasts and last and lasts. Just my 2 cents,

Char Dobson said...

I'd love to see you include a review of the EK Success punches here as well. They seem to overtake the punch section in my local Michaels. I agree with you on the awkward lever of the Martha Stewart - I have even broken one of these!

Hannie C said...

I have fiskar's punch for the border and martha's for the butterflies, I love them both. haven't tried on martha's border punch though.

CStrickler said...

I own only two punches. one is an older fiskars which a friedn gave me after years of use and it is still going strong. the other is an EK Success notebook punch. I do love both but storage is a huge issue for me. While I may get one or two other punches in the future, I tend to like using my cricut and SCAl software to mimin the looks punches give. there is nothing to store and I have a wide range of choices available.

Donna Espiritu said...

I love both Fiskars and Martha Stewart border punchers. I own one of each :D I love the different and intricate styles of Martha Stewart's though :)

Natalie said...

I think Martha Stewart punches are the best. They cut better and the handle is less awkward than the Fiskars or EK punches. I didn't know they folded into a cube. I wonder if I have ones that do that.

Luv 2 Create said...

I am no expert by far, but I do own tons of punches. I personally prefer the Martha Stewart punches. I think alot of planning went in to their design. I find them sturdy easier to store and much more versatile. I like that they have covered all the bases with the matching corner punches. I own just as many fiskars punches also. I think that they seam to be flimsier, hard to store and I am not as crazy about their designs. Martha Stewart definitely has my vote!!

Marla said...

I really like MS and Fiskars pretty much the same. I agree that I like the foldable storage of the MS punches better than Fiskars because they are easier to store. I really like the EK Success ones also!!

lisa808 said...

I love punches! I have about 40 MS punches. I also have about 25 SU & EK punches. I love all of them. I tried one Fiskar border punch and would never get another one. It was difficult to use and did not punch through the paper very well.

Gabrielle Watson said...

I love border punches, and ultimately my favorites have been with Fiskars. I have more Fiskars punches than MS. I love the MS punches, but they are not on sale like the Fiskars punches are, and they are kind of awkward to use sometimes. I have no trouble storing my border punches. I store them in a locker basket on my Expedit shelving system in my scrap room. It works for me :)

Fisckar's Threading Water was the first punch I ever purchased for myself, and it was one of my very first scrapbook purchases next to a pack of Thickers!! Both I love and collect practically :)

-Gabi from Savannah, TX

CuddlyBunny said...

Border punches pretty equally fascinate and annoy me, so I have a dozen or so from various companies.

The EK Success/Stampin' Up punches are awesome with the "lock closed" feature (organized Mandy would like these, :) ).

In the end, I prefer the MS punches for a somewhat ridiculous reason: Because our Martha likes to constantly produce, discontinue and renew ... I can always find her punches CHEAP at stores such as Tuesday Mornings, Ross, Marshall's ...

Thanks for your comparison report, Mandy! Especially grateful to see your creations which are reminding me of different uses for these punches!

p.s. the equally annoyed part is because no matter how many a person owns ... there's always another one we think we need ...

Leah l'Orange said...

great review, Mandy! some of the likes and dislikes you've mentioned are much like my own. STORAGE for punches is like the bane of my existence, i swear. i love anything from EK Success, and they happen to make the Martha punches, so they obviously have a good recipe goin' on. i love the durability of the Fiskars punches, but they're just SO cumbersome!

regardless, i see myself buying more and more of any of the designs i like, and i'll just have to figure out a better way to store them, somehow. :) not a big priority.

by the way, Michael's has a TON of the Martha around the page and corner punches on clearance right now!

Christine said...

My fave punches are EK Success! They fold down and are much easier to punch.

I purchased a Fiskars punch and I accidently turned it upside down and it feel apart. I'm now missing one of the springs that belong in it and so it doesn't work very well. I never bought (and don't plan to) another Fiskars punch.

I love MS as well. I have had problems with the more intricate punches (doily lace) cuttin heavy cardstock like PTI. I didn't know that they folded up. That's a great feature!!!

Thanks so much for the review. Loved it!

Rachel said...

I'm a huge fan of punches. And recently the border ones. I started with Fiskars but found that at times they stick. Especially the embossed punches. So I then moved to EK Success and Martha Stewart. Both of which I love.

Just a tip. I store my punches in a plastic over the door shoe storage unit. It works perfect for all shapes and sized of punches.

Theresa said...

I have MS, EK Success, and Fiskars.

My vote goes to MS for the variety and beauty of their designs, and I like the handle they use on their punches - I find it easy to use and you can get a good grip on it.

I love the EK Success punches because of how they store down flat - their designs tend to be basic, but they are classics that can be used over and over again.

Fiskars are okay, but not my first choice.

billiejo said...

I have a couple of MS and EK punches and so far so good. I do like that MS punches fold up, but I can't help wondering if the alignment can be thrown off by getting knocked around in my tub of punches. Only time will tell.

The border punch craze hit our area back in the early 2000's with Fiskars punches. They made the most beautiful, intricate patterns. My lacy, intricate pattern punch collection is quite complete and I am ready to move on. The current Fiskars patterns are determined by asking the Fiskateers for opinions, etc. The Fiskateers are a 7000+ strong online scrap and craft community that we'd love to have you, and all of the readers, join. Fiskars really listens to what we like, dislike, and want. I also like that Fiskars stands behind their products so well. Hopefully, MS
and EK do too. To join and help shape the future, visit, click on one of the pictures, and ask to join.

I personally love the variety of all three lines of punches, and hope to continue to see so many choices.

kim c said...

this was an extremely helpful post. i didn't realize MS would fold up for storage. thanks for sharing

Victoria S. said...

I have the most of Stampin UP punches from years of collecting But i am a new fan of EK, Fiscars, And Martha -just bought 3 Martha butterfly punches and am thrilled and have 2 or 3 fiscars border and at least 2 of EK borders... love them all!

Paula J Atkinson said...

I love the intricacy of the Martha Stewart punches & the ease of use, but i also have a few Fiskars ones & think they all have a place in my craft stash. (But a few more MS ones would be welcome ;0))