8 Tools for Installing Twist-Lock Fasteners
When it comes to installing fasteners, there is a diverse group of tools you can use. No choice is right or wrong, it’s purely up to your preference. To help cut through the noise of all the choices, we’re rounding up the most popular ways to install twist-lock fasteners with a button-back stud. These fasteners have two pieces to install, the eyelet and the stud, and each piece requires a different set of tools. From this list, you can mix and match the tools you need to get the job done and stay within your budget.
To install the eyelet you need to cut slits in the fabric for the prongs and a circle in the center for the stud. There are two main options for this task.Sailrite® Twist-Lock Eyelet Hole Cutter
This hole cutter will cut the center hole for the stud, as well as the four slits for the eyelet prongs all in one step. This is the easiest and most time-efficient method for cutting these holes, but it does require a couple accessories in addition to this tool. The hole cutter should be used over a rubber cutting block to protect the tool and a heavy mallet is required to make the cut.A sharp knife or razor blade
If you don’t want to buy a new tool, you can use a sharp knife to cut slits in the fabric to install the eyelet. This method is time consuming, so we don’t recommend it if you have over 15 fasteners to install in one project.The Prong Bending Tool
After the eyelet is installed through the fabric, the prongs need to be bent over the washer. This task can be accomplished using a flat head screwdriver, but our Prong Bending Tool does make it a bit easier. If you have a lot of fasteners to install, you might want to consider adding this affordable tool to your toolbox.
The first step to installing the twist-lock stud is to make holes in the fabric for the buttons. There are two popular options for cutting these holes.Hole Cutter 1/8"
This hole cutter tool is the most common way to create holes for buttons and other snap fastener components. Using this tool requires a mallet to punch the hole. You’ll also need a cutting block of some kind underneath this tool, like our rubber cutting block, but, if push comes to shove, an old phonebook would also work.Sailrite® Drill Hole Cutter 1/8"
A handy, ingenious tool! Simply secure this hole cutter to your drill chuck to quickly and effortlessly cut holes in fabric. It requires a small cutting board to be used behind it, but this tool is fastest and easiest hole cutting method and is especially helpful if you have multiple fasteners to install.
Installation of the stud requires setting two snap fastener buttons. This step has three tools options.Snap Fastener Installation Tool
This is our most economical snap installation tool. Made of aluminum, it’s only rated for installing nickel-plated brass snap fasteners and a mallet is needed to set the snaps. Also, in order to fit next to the stud on the twist-lock fastener, you’ll have to move the sleeve on the tool up towards the back before use. This is a great choice for setting a few snaps, but for bigger projects you might want to upgrade to a heavier duty version.Sailrite® Deluxe Snap Fastener Installation Tool
A heavy-duty, steel snap installation tool, our Deluxe Snap Fastener Installation Tool is rated to install both nickel-plated brass and stainless steel snap fasteners. Like the simpler installation tool, it also requires the use of a mallet to install snaps. This durable tool is a great choice for installing buttons on projects with many twist-lock fasteners.SnapRite® Twist Lock Die
Add on to your SnapRite System with this specialty Twist-Lock Die. It works in conjunction with the SnapRite Button Die to install the buttons for a twist lock stud using a rivet tool. If you already have the SnapRite System, you just need to add on one die to install twist lock fasteners. If you have a rivet tool, you can also get a Twist-Lock Die Kit that contains everything you need to use it for this task, including a Stayput Spin Cut Tool and cutting block.
That’s it! Mix and match any of these hole cutting and installation tools to meet your budget and project needs.
Do you have a favorite method for installing twist-lock fasteners? Share it with us in the comments below!
Footnote: We've updated this blog in June 2020 to include a more current representation of our available products.