The purpose of this tool is to mar the surface of the work piece. Safety glasses should always be worn when using this tool. When using this tool, ensure that the work piece is on a stable surface. There are three different types of punches: transfer punches, manual center punch and automatic center punch. The function of a transfer punch is to locate the center of an existing hole on another material. There are various size transfer punches and the closest size to the bore should be used to accurately mark the center. The manual center punch is like the transfer punch but is generally not meant to fit in a bore. Both these punches require a metal face hammer to create the indent. The automatic center punch is like the manual center punch but is spring-loaded so a hammer is not required. The following should not be used as a punch to mar the surface of a material: taps, screw-drivers, drills, drill mills, bolts/ screws/ nails.
First identify the type of punch that is needed for your application. Place your work piece on a flat surface. Place the appropriate punch at the location to mar. With a metal face hammer, lightly tap the end of the punch (provided it is not an automatic center punch). If the dimple needs to be deeper, strike the punch with more force as appropriate.