Confessions of a Plannerholic: Disappointing Purchases: MAMBI Punch review

When I first bought the Happy Planner punch from Me & My BIG Ideas™, I was so freaking excited.

Imagine, I thought. Imagine all the things I could do with this punch.


A blog planner.



Pocket folders for all those silly loose papers that have no where else to go.



Custom covers to protect my archi–



Here’s where things started to go downhill.




You see, for all that I love this punch and originally thought it was much better quality than both the Filofax and Rapesco punches I have for my ring-bound planners, MAMBI has kind of slipped up here.

I’m not the only one who had great plans to design sticker books, custom notebooks, and so on. Yet, for some reason, the MAMBI punch is only capable of cutting through a maximum of 3 sheets of paper.

That’s a maximum of 3 sheets of paper.


DIY Pocket Folders


It will cut through thin cardstock even if it’s doubled up. It might punch through thick cardstock (the packaging says “1 sheet of cardstock” but doesn’t detail what thickness). I’ve even managed to cut through the first couple of laminated covers I made.

But that’s where my “best purchase ever!” turned into something of a disappointment. Basically: it broke. It will no longer punch through laminate, having made an absolute mess of several pretty covers I made, and it will only just punch through paper or card after some wiggling and fiddling and “dad fix my stuff!”ing.






In fairness, there are warnings all over the punch’s packaging if you bother to read it. I didn’t notice because I was so excited that I just shovelled it out of the box and got to work.

(Colour me silly but I’d imagined that a punch designed for planner girls who are also quite artsy and creative would be capable of much more than your bog-standard paper punch, anyway.)

I emailed MAMBI’s customer support asking for advice (and secretly hoping they’d replace it even though it was really my own fault for not reading the label). All they could suggest was that I try punching through kitchen foil to sharpen up the blades, but the issue doesn’t appear to be its sharpness so much as that the individual punches no longer line up. Some will cut right through but others don’t sink deep enough and do nothing, resulting in a jam that you have to tear free.


MAMBI Goodies


So, in short: the MAMBI punch is a big disappointment for me. It’s great if all you plan to do is add journalling cards and pictures to your ready-made Happy Planner, but not so much if you want to get a bit more creative and start designing your own covers.

I’m fortunate that a lovely lady in America offered me hers, but that’s only because she’s moved on to the more reliable Arc and Levenger punches. They’re more expensive (and sadly out of my price range right now), but quite a few women in the Facebook planner groups are headed in that direction simply because the MAMBI punch doesn’t meet their needs.

Still, it’s a good looking punch and it’s reasonably priced for what it does. If all you need it for is to punch the occasional extra for your planner, go ahead and buy it. I can’t recommend it enough for that, especially compared to other punches of its type. (It’s just so much prettier, guys.)

But if you’re a crafter as much as you are a planner, don’t bother. It won’t do what you need.



Go check out these other awesome women!



4 Replies to “Confessions of a Plannerholic: Disappointing Purchases: MAMBI Punch review”

  1. I was really disappointed with the punch too – I’m surprised you were able to punch even one piece of laminated material!

    I’m in the lookout for something that will punch thicker cardstock and laminated pages – is the Arc punch the one to go for do you think?


    1. Hi Katy! I’m sorry your punch was disappointing too. 😦

      I’ve heard a lot more about the Levenger punch in my planner groups than the Arc so I’m not really sure. I think the Arc is probably easier to get a hold of, and possibly cheaper than the Levenger, too, but that probably means the Levenger is better in the long run. I’d be interested to know which one you go with, either way. I’m eventually going to have to replace my MAMBI punch and I’d prefer to get one of the heftier stock if they’re worth the extra money. ¬_¬


      1. I just thought I’d update you to let you know I bought the Arc punch from Staples and it’s FANTASTIC! I was punching some happy planner inserts I’d printed and was able to do 4-6 pages at a time when the Happy Planner punch would do probably 2 pages due to the thickness of the paper. I haven’t tried anything laminated yet but I’m confident the arc punch will punch through.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Thanks for the update! I’m totally adding the Arc punch to my wishlist! It definitely sounds like it will eat through laminate like butter, too, so fingers crossed for you. 😀

        I did hear on one of the Facebook groups that sandwiching laminate between regular paper helps with the MAMBI punch, but I haven’t tried it yet.


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