Cost-effective precision is the order of the day in the auto part manufacturing sector. Fine piercing, being a single stroke precision operation, is among the most widely used sheet metal forming operations in the part manufacturing industry. Compared to conventional piercing, fine piercing generates a cleaner cut edge, minimizing the need for further finishing operations. However, the application of fine piercing requires a triple action press. A modified process that uses rubber to exert counter force enabling fine piercing to be carried out using a double action press has been proposed earlier. In this work, an experiment setup for conventional fine piercing and the modified process using rubber has been designed and developed and fine piercing studies have been conducted. Finite element simulation of both processes has been carried out using the same process parameters. The force–stroke data recorded from experiments were used as the boundary condition for simulation. Simulation results suggest that the change in method of counter-force application causes negligible effects on the deformation mechanics involved. Fine pierced edge quality evaluation studies suggest that the proposed process makes no difference to the end product quality; hence, it can be used as a viable manufacturing process. © 2019, ASM International.