When running your own small business, it is often a difficult decision to invest in tools. I find that I purchase new equipment rarely, especially since I do more beadwork than benchwork in my handmade jewelry business, Peggy Li Creations. However, I recently purchased a Swanstrom disc cutter from Rio Grande and love it! It takes minimal force from a brass (I use a 1 lb) hammer to punch perfect discs from soft metal sheet. Metals such as copper, sterling silver, fine silver no thicker than 20 gauge. Be sure to use burr-life lubricant on the cutting tools to extend their sharpness and a piece of scrap sheet opposite the hole you are punching (in the same gauge of sheet) to extend the life of the tool.
The Swanstrom disc cutter is a bit on the pricey side, but look at the cool handmade jewelry pieces I've been able to make with it. See these and other handmade jewelry pieces at Peggy Li Creations:
Domed Pearl Necklace
Patterned Disc Earrings