Reported by Donna Lannerd
I have 2 punch needle tools not because I’ve started a collection but because I put one in a very safe place to make sure I would know where it was. Guess what? It was so safe even I couldn’t harm it … I mean … find it. Unfortunately I was in the middle of a project and after an agonizing week of looking I finally gave in to buying a new one. But, my needle was not one I could find in just any craft store and I was already so far behind that I didn’t want to wait for one to come in the mail. Luckily, punch needle or for some, needle punch, had gained some mainstream popularity and I picked up the Punch Needle Tool and Threader by Dimensions at my local Hobby Lobby.
Now, the only problem was that I was very skeptical of this small, bare-bones tool. For one thing it only cost about $3 and I probably used a coupon so it didn’t even cost me that much. My professional looking (at least compared to the Dimensions gadget) Ultra Punch cost about $16 that I purchased from a vendor at a quilt show. I started to really miss my Ultra Punch by Cameo and I hadn’t even taken the new one out of the package but I really needed to finish that project so I reluctantly opened the package.
First off, the Dimensions tool is much smaller. It is 4 1/2 inches long compared to the Ultra Punch that is 6 inches long on the shortest setting. That’s another thing, this little one doesn’t have extra settings (although I hadn’t even used different settings yet). It is a one-size-is-it punch length. For those of you that are not familiar with punch needle, the whole concept is about making loops on the right side of your fabric with the needle and different settings gives you different lengths of loops.
Just like my larger one, the small one came with needle threaders which you absolutely need with this tool. I threaded the needle and went to work. Voila! It worked. Other than getting used to the smaller size it worked just fine. I finished my project and then I found my other needle which was stored near by with some new floss for another project. Well, at least I have a back up tool now.
Now that I have that extra needle, I am not going to get rid of my larger one. I mean I did pay way more for it than the smaller one but it definitely has its upsides like being able to adjust the loops. The flower pictured below is an example of what those different adjustments can do. I did the center of the flower using the shortest setting and did the petals with the longest. There are actually 12 settings which means you can add a sculptural look to a project.
This next photo is a card using a punch needle motif and I used both of the needles to see if there was any difference. The Dimensions tool’s needle is actually minutely longer than the Ultra Punch on its lowest setting so the center heart is just ever so slightly higher than the outer heart. This effect was minimized when I pressed it.
- Ultra Punch has several length settings
- Ultra Punch needle stores with the needle covered
- Ultra Punch has 3 needle sizes that are interchangeable on one tool
- Dimension tool is inexpensive
- Dimension tool is easy to find at nationwide stores
- Both tools have a comfortable hold position
- Ultra Punch tool is more costly
- Dimension tool only has one setting
- Dimension tool is altogether short, making it (at least to me) a little harder to hold
Suggested price of the Dimensions Punch Needle Tool and Threader is $3.00 and is easily available at Hobby Lobby, Michaels and Joann’s. It can also be found online at Dimensions, Joann’s, and Ericas. The Ultra Punch by Cameo can be found online at Joann’s, Nordic Needle and Country Threads and prices vary from $15 – 17.99 for the small and medium (I have the small). Some places only offer it in a 3 size needle set which is usually around $27.99.
I rate the Dimension’s tool at an 8 while giving the Cameo a 9 because I can make the different lengths. I also would recommend the Dimension one to any beginner because punch needle can take some practice before getting the feel of how to do it.
Have you tried either or both of these tools, or perhaps you have another tool we don’t know about?