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recommendations on grommet/snap hand press machine

I am looking to purchase a hand press machine to set gromments and snaps on latex. There are a lot of choices out there. Does anyone have a recommendation on a hand press?


Response by: jillCouture, October 8th 2013 3:46:25 pm

I've used the dritz grommit plier kit and I've been happy with it.  I picked mine up at Wal-Mart and got some silver grommits with it.

For my second project where I used it, I ordered gold grommits online.  Can't remember where I got them but I wasn't able to find them locally.

This is a pic of the kit:

Here are some of the projects I'm working on with it:

Response by: scarletonthetile, October 8th 2013 9:20:08 pm

If you really want to invest in one that's good for everything from latex to leather tandy leather factory sells one that has a life time guarantee. I do not personally own one but my friend does, here is a link to the product: http://www.tandyleatherfactory.com/en-usd/product/craftool-hand-press-3990-00.aspx

Response by: juju993, October 9th 2013 10:12:16 am


I have been looking at the bench mounted models such as the tandy. With the initial cost for the press and the additional cost for each die, these tools are much more expensive than the handheld models. Are they worth the extra money for the hobbyist?

Response by: fksewblog, October 10th 2013 11:33:29 am

Be careful of the metals in the machine and grommets as latex does not react well to many metals. :)

Response by: gBlazeWear, October 14th 2013 8:32:43 am

There are a couple points to consider when working with grommets in latex.

1) The setter does make a big difference. The pliers type setter is fine if you are setting one or two grommets, but your hand will be hurting in a short time of setting because grommets take quite a bit of force to press into shape. I used one of these with my first set of grommets. I thought this would be a reasonable option to save money since I only use #0 grommets and the die for my hand press machine cost $185 (this is the die just for this one size of grommet).

2) Grommets come is specific sizes and each die or setter you can purchase only fits a specific size. This means you will need a setter for each size grommet you want to use. The pliers generally won't get larger than a #1 grommet and most at the craft stores are probably #00 or #0.

As a reference:

#00 inner diameter = 3/16"

#0 inner diameter = 1/4"

#1 inner diameter = 9/32"

The larger the number the bigger the grommet.

3) I have not come across grommets that are not made of brass (real brass, not brass plated metal). Brass will discolor light latex colors, even some of the midrange colors. I would recommend only using the silver colored grommets with latex unless you are putting them on a dark latex. The silver colored grommets are, most likely, nickle coated. This coating will protect the latex from being affected by the brass.

My advice is that if you are going to plan to set a lot of rivets on a piece or you will be using it frequently enough I would highly recommend the setting press machine over the pliers. When I set my first grommet with the $185 die it was well worth the cost. The setting is smooth and tight. The best thing about the the setting machine is that you also have a device that can punch your holes and set rivets as well. Latex is very resistant to being punch so the machine makes punching much easier than using the hand tools.

I make strap based gear for costuming and bondage from various materials. Latex is one of my primary materials. I use the hardware more than you may be planning, but if you are going to be serious about using these materials as a hobby you will be much happier down the road if you invest in good tools sooner than later. I always keep my hand tools on the side, but rarely use them and I am thinking about getting a second machine so I can have two different dies ready at the same time. That's how easy any convenient the setting machine has made my production.

Speaking of grommet colors and the problem with metals. I have started powder coating my own hardware to offer a variety of color options. Recently I tested a batch of grommets. I don't see any reason that the grommets should be limited to silver, gold and black, especially when the gold and black are discoloring my latex. Now I only need to have one color of grommet on hand and I can produce any color I want. Once I have the practice down I will be able to offer this service to the public for anyone that would like to add that extra pop of color to the pieces they are making. I have done the same with rivets with very good success too.

Response by: juju993, October 14th 2013 9:11:04 am

Thanks  gBlazeWear!

Yourwas an extremely helpful. I will go with the a bench press model

BTW, what are you using to do the powder coating? Something homemade?

Response by: gBlazeWear, October 14th 2013 9:52:36 am

Powder coating isn't something I would recommend for general hobby. It requires a powder coating gun and powders as well as a space to spray and a dedicated oven.

The process involves electrostatically charging the powder and piece to be coated then spraying the powder onto the item. It then gets baked to melt the powder and create a smooth paint coat. You can only use items that can withstand high tempuratures, typically up to 450F is suggested. This limits your options to metal, although it is possible that other materials could be used. It is a very messy process and requires thorough cleaning between colors. It's definitely not something I would recommend for someone needing a few pieces on occasion unless you are accounting for a financial return and you have the space to dedicate to this process. This is where I would recommend purchasing the hardware you need. Because I haven't seen certain pieces of hardware available, such as colored rivets and grommets, this is why I am working on providing it through my store.

There are very few places that will do short runs at reasonable prices. I used to use a service, but they discontinued about half of their standard powder inventory so I looked into doing it myself. Because I work on a short run system this actually makes it more cost effective and efficient for me on top of that I get complete control of colors. Also, since rivets and grommets are such small and tedious pieces to arrange for powder they weren't items that I would have sent to a service to coat.

Response by: Forrest, January 15th 2014 1:10:53 pm

There is an easy way of doing this, I do it all the time. You can buy a kit for grommets/snaps/eyelets, etc, at a hobby store or from Tandy Leather.  You just need a hammer is all the tools you need. The kit comes with everything else you need, it's very easy to use also. They don't cost very much either, maybe $5 to $10. Hope this helps.

Response by: antrices, April 30th 2014 5:26:22 pm

nice but i am still worried about them falling out :c

Response by: JP, November 15th 2014 12:18:34 am

Regarding metals that don't play well with latex, you should be able to find grommets and snaps in stainless steel from suppliers that target outdoor applications like sail making, boat upholstery, etc.  See for example http://www.alanrichardtextiles.com/store/page385.html   They sell C. S. Osborne, a very well-established, high-quality manufacturer.  You can find imports for less on eBay, but quality may not be quite as consistent.

Stainless is a bit more expensive, and a bit harder to set, but very non-reactive.

Be careful to get "plain washer" grommets, not "spur washer" ones.  Spur washers have sharp teeth that stab into the material around the center hole.  Great for keeping woven fabric from fraying, but with materials that tear easily, it means a circle of ragged holes stabbed all around the center hole that you were so careful to punch cleanly.