A hole punch (known also as a hole puncher, paper puncher, holing pincer, or rarely perforator) is a common office tool that is used to create holes in sheets of paper, often for the purpose of collecting the sheets in a binder or folder.
The origins of the hole punch date back to Germany, where two early patents for a device designed to "punch holes in paper" have since been discovered.  Friedrich Soennecken made his patent on November 14, 1886 for his Papierlocher für Sammelmappen.
A typical hole punch, whether a single or multiple hole punch, has a long lever which is used to push a bladed cylinder straight through a number of sheets of paper. As the vertical travel distance of the cylinder is only a few millimeters, it can be positioned within a centimeter of the lever fulcrum. For low volume hole punches, the resulting lever need not be more than 8 cm for sufficient force.
Two paper guides are needed to line up the paper: one opposite where the paper is inserted, to set the margin distance, and one on an adjacent side.
Hole punches for industrial volumes — hundreds of sheets — feature very long lever arms, but function identically.
Another mechanism uses hollowed drills which are lowered by a screwing action into the paper. The paper is cut and forced up into the shaft of the drill to be later discarded as tightly packed columns. This method allows a small machine to cut industrial volumes of paper with little effort.