The cost of tooling in sheet metal industries contributes a considerable part to the overall cost of manufacturing a component. It is therefore imperative to keep down this cost by ensuring that the tool works for a long period in production without interruption. One way of achieving this objective is to reduce the stress on the tool during punching/blanking. This paper deals with the study of this problem by using the finite-element technique. 3-D finite-element models of various type of punching/blanking tools have been developed, these models enabling the analysis of the effects of variations in tool geometry on the punching/blanking force and on the deformation of the punch, a parameter highly relevant to the assessment of tool performance in terms of the accuracy of the manufactured components. The model caters also for variation in the characteristics of the tool material, in the sense that a highly wear-resistant tool is normally composed of carbide tips around its cutting profile. Computed results by FE models are checked against design standards by American Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME). Some suggestions are offered as to how the efficiency of a punching/blanking tool can be improved.