If you’re working on a project that involves installing a lot of snap fasteners, you might want to invest in a high quality snap fastener installation tool. Professional grade installation tools make installing snaps so quick and easy that you’ll be glad you made the purchase. There are many different snap fastener tools on the market so choosing which one is right for you can sometimes be challenging. Today we’re going to break down the different strengths of three popular snap installation tools; the SnapRite® System, the Pres-n-Snap Tool, and the DOT® Snapmaster Hand Press.
The SnapRite System
The SnapRite System was created by Sailrite owner Matt Grant and it uses a unique set of 4 dies that work with a standard rivet gun to set button, socket, stud and eyelet snap fastener components in one step. This system also installs Pull-the-Dot components and gypsy studs without requiring special dies, but it can be expanded with the purchase of 2 additional dies to install studs to hard surfaces and twist lock fasteners.
The SnapRite is a lightweight and portable tool (all the dies will fit in one small pouch!). It’s great for installing snaps on covers because the dies work as a positioning tool to help you place snaps on your canvas exactly where you need them, so you get a super snug cover. The SnapRite also has no throat restriction on the tool, so you can place snaps anywhere on fabric, even in the middle of a large boat cover.
Drawbacks to the SnapRite System are that it requires the use of SnapRite Mandrels for setting snaps and must also be used with special SnapRite buttons and gypsy studs that have a hole in the center to accommodate the mandrel.
Great SnapRite Features:
- • Sets in one step without pre-punching a hole
- • Conveniently portable
- • Allows for perfect positioning without tool restrictions
- • Works with any standard rivet tool
- • Installs DOT snap fasteners, Pull-The-Dot, gypsy studs and more
The Pres-N-Snap Tool
The Pres-N-Snap Tool is a professional grade tool that allows you to set snaps with just a one-handed squeeze. This tool uses dies that work in pairs to install snaps in one step. The dies snap into the Pres-N-Snap so they won’t get lost during installation and include gaskets that keep the snap components securely in place. The tool itself comes with six dies to install standard snap fasteners (buttons, sockets, studs and eyelets) and #1 plain grommets. It is the only snap fastener installation tool that also install grommets and that can be mounted on a tool bench (with the addition of the Bench Mount).
To further expand usefulness of this tool, additional dies can be purchased to install Pull-the-Dot sockets, gypsy studs, and spur and plain grommets.
The drawbacks to this tool are that adding extra dies can get expensive and that the throat of the tool restricts where you can install snaps on the fabric.
Great Pres-N-Snap Features:
- • One-handed installation
- • Punches holes and installs snaps in one step
- • Conveniently portable
- • Can be bench mounted
- • Installs DOT snap fasteners, Pull-The-Dot, gypsy studs, and grommets
DOT® Snapmaster Hand Press
This tool is great for the professional who installs a lot of snaps and fasteners. The Snapmaster Hand Press is a lightweight and portable, professional grade tool that installs all the most common marine fasteners on the market. It has a comfortable grip and an adjustable lower die. This tools also offers the flexibility of interchangeable upper and lower die seats, so there’s no wrong way to install the dies.
The Snapmaster uses dies that pair together to install standard snap fasteners (buttons, sockets, studs and eyelets) as well as Pull-The-Dot, Common Sense, and Lift-The-Dot fastener components. Installing Common Sense eyelets and Lift-The-Dot sockets requires using a pair of cutting punches and then a pair of setting dies.
All of the dies are sold separately from this tool, which is really its biggest drawback. While the Snapmaster does a great job setting snaps, the cost of the tool and all of the individual dies can really add up. Like the Pres-N-Snap, you are also somewhat restricted by the tool’s throat.
Great Snapmaster Hand Press Features:
- • Aluminum/Steel Construction
- • Heavy-duty toggle link mechanism
- • Adjustable lower die and dual bushing system
- • Extended throat depth
- • Punches and dies interchangeable in upper and lower die seats
- • Installs DOT snap fasteners, Pull-The-Dot, Common Sense, and Lift-The-Dot fasteners
To see a comparison chart that further breaks down the features and installation capabilities of each of these tools view our Snap Fastener Tool and Components Guide.
All of these professional snap fastener installation tools are available at www.sailrite.com.
Which of these fasteners is your go-to tool? Why do you love it? Share your opinions with us in the comments!