Selecting the Right Snap Installation Tool

2014_September-Snap-Tools

Our top 3 professional fastener installation tools

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

2014_September-snaprite-system

The SnapRite System Complete Kit

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

2014_September-press-n-snap

Pres-N-Snap Installation Tool with included dies

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

2014_September-dot-snapmaster

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!

6 comments
  1. Dave said:

    I purchased the “vise grip” style tool and dies from you guys and it works great. One thing to watch though, get the compression right. I had a snap tear out and I am thinking it was I didn’t make the snap grip the material well enough.

    • Nikki said:

      I’m glad you like your tool! Your snap might have come out from not being set tight enough (you don’t want the socket to spin) or from not enough fabric reinforcement. Snaps should be set in at least 3 layers of fabric. Hope that helps!

  2. funct said:

    Hello,

    My name is Seth. I purchased the SnapRite System from sailrite.com. Great! It is a good system to use. First thing, I have not used it yet. I have been doing background research on the idea of snap-making. I realized that my snaps, the snaps I currently have in my possession, are not big enough for the jackets I own.

    I know your company, SailRite, usually deals with boat making ideas. I just wanted to let you know that I purchase canvas jackets for work and they are not always fitted to what my body type is. That is why I looked around online and finally found your company for the purchase. Good reviews and good news are two major reasons I picked you for my system for snaps.

    Enjoy,

    Seth

    P.S. I will keep the blog posted regarding the snap system and what I do with it. I just purchased some better snaps (SS). Yea boy!

  3. Fareed Koury said:

    Which one of these tools will work best for putting snaps on a golf cart cover and golf cart. I’m not familiar with the correct terminology. my current cover has a strap with a hook that attaches to body of cart. Comes loose often and doesn’t have enough hooks to get a tight fit. Thanks

    • Nikki said:

      Since this is a relatively small project, you may consider using more basic, inexpensive tools. Provided you only have a few snaps to install and you don’t plan on any future projects, take a look at #25204 or #100949. These tools do require a hole punch as well (#102235). With this approach you would mark each position on the canvas, take the canvas down, and install the snaps while the canvas is on a solid surface (like the floor).
      If you would like a more advanced tool we would recommend the Pres-N-Snap tool #109011 for your application. If you use the Pres-N-Snap you can leave the canvas up, mark one snap at a time and install it. After each snap is set and snapped down, move on to the next snap. Installing them one at a time will result in a tighter fitting canvas cover.

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