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Guys, you have put mr well on the way to my EDM selection...

Not really. There were some models that could pop a start hole with an electrode, but I don't think they were very popular/ accepted. Two really different machines with different capabilities. Tell us what you want to use it for, and you'll get appropriate recommendations.
 
I believe it could be argued that "multi-function machines" are generally not good at any of their functions.

As RJT mentions, I believe it was Agie that had a machine with a piggy-back hole popper. I don't know of anyone that used it, and I'm fairly certain most people with those machines removed that "device".

PM
 
Agie that had a machine with a piggy-back hole popper.
Hitachi also offered it. The problem was that it clogged up the filters so everyone just bought a dedicated hole popper for start holes. They were an absolute game changer when they first came out. We made a perforation die with 720 3 mm holes that was a bugger to make, every time a contract tool room took on the job they would think they were going to make a killing and then we would never see them again, this was using a CNC to drill and ream. Problem was that the blocks would walk during hardening.

Old style was.
  1. Block up die blocks.
  2. Surface grind.
  3. Bolt old die block to new die block and spot holes through using old die as guide.
  4. Drill and ream new die block.
  5. Flip and drill scrap fall away.
  6. Send out for hardening.
  7. Using new die block as the guide drill and ream stripper plate.
  8. Bolt new stripper plate to new punch holder and drill and ream using stripper as guide plate.
  9. Surface grind die block.
  10. If you were lucky there would be no burrs and if there were you needed to start again.
New style.
  1. Block up die blocks.
  2. Send out for hardening.
  3. Surface grind.
  4. Bolt together.
  5. Hole pop all start holes this was all dowel holes and punch and die holes.
  6. Wire all holes including taper for scrap fall away.
  7. No burrs ever.
 








 
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