Selecting the Right Snap Installation Tool
Snap fasteners require the use of special tools to be installed properly, so if your next project involves snaps, you’re going to need a snap fastener installation tool as well. There are a few different tool options, and they each have their pros and cons. We’re going to go over all of the options that Sailrite® offers for snap installation tools so you can decide which is best for you.
This snap fastener installation tool is the most basic option we offer — and the most affordable. The snap installation tool comes with a metal anvil that has two sides: one for setting buttons and the other for setting eyelets. Before installing your snap, you will need to use a 1/8-inch hole punch or an awl to cut a hole in the fabric.
The big plus of this tool is the very low price point. It’s a great choice if you think you’ll only need to use snaps for one project. The drawbacks to this tool are that it’s not as durable as any of the other options, and it is not strong enough to set stainless steel snaps. It is also a two-step tool, while more expensive tools will set snaps in one step.
While this tool looks similar to the Snap Fastener Installation Tool, the Deluxe version is stronger and will last longer. The Sailrite Snap Fastener Deluxe Installation Tool is made of heat-treated metal and can set stainless steel snaps. This tool comes with an anvil that sets buttons on one side and eyelets on the other. This tool also requires the use of a 1/8-inch hole cutter or an awl to pre-cut a hole in the fabric before installing the fastener.
This is a great sturdy tool for the price and can be your go-to installation tool for years to come. The only drawback is that it requires two steps for installation, whereas the more professional installation tools will install snaps in only one step.
The SnapRite System was created by Sailrite owner Matt Grant. It uses a unique set of four 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 two 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. 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 it must also be used with special SnapRite buttons and gypsy studs that have a hole in the center to accommodate the mandrel.
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 they 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 installs grommets and that can be mounted on a tool bench (with the addition of the Bench Mount).
To further expand the 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.
To see a definitive list of all the fasteners we offer and which tools will install them, download our free Fastener Tool Selection Guide PDF.