How to Use and Gain Efficiency with a Hand Press Machine and Dies

   A hand press machine is a versatile tabletop tool that is used to install a wide variety of crafting hardware without the use of hand tools. They are great for increasing efficiency and can be used by any skill level. If installing hardware is something you do frequently a press machine is a must-have staple for your work area! Also, since they install hardware using the physics of a lever system this machine is very quiet making it a great alternative to hand tools which generally require the use of a hammer. 

How it works:

    The press machine has a top threaded receiver and a base receiver which accept part specific molds known as dies. Different dies are used for different applications and are generally size specific to the hardware you need. For example, if you wished to install 8mm double cap rivets you would use an 8mm cap rivet die on the press. Since the dies are interchangeable, the press machine is capable of setting over 150 different types of hardware. Pushing down on the press machine handle takes advantage of leverage to exert pressure onto the dies compressing the hardware to a perfect set. 


Watch the instructional videos below to see our press machines in action and how to set it up. It’s easy!


Note: For the purpose of the instructional videos the press is not mounted, for best results mount press to tabletop

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Press Machine Setup and Features

Press Machine Dies

Comparison of Press Machine vs Hand Tools for Installing Crystal Rivets and Eyelets

How and When to Use Hand Tools Instead of a Press Machine

Hand tools are an economical alternative to a press machine. They have advantages in that they can be used in certain situations where a press cannot (Example: setting a rivet in the center of a very large piece that a press would not be able to reach). Generally hand tools take a little more practice to get the motions right to land a good set. With practice you will get the feel for how to do it and it becomes smooth sailing from there!

Depending on where you are in your crafting journey, some people like to start out with hand tools to see if they like the craft before making an investment in a press. Experienced crafters generally will have both a press and hand tools for all situations.

How it works:

The basic mechanics of hand tools either involves a plier system to compress/punch or a hardware and size specific setting tool, metal base/anvil, and a hammer. After punching the hole, the hardware is inserted and placed on the anvil or base. The hardware is set by placing the setting tool on the hardware and hammering the back end of the tool until it is set. 

Hardware Installation Using Hand Tools

How to Set Cap Rivets for Leather
How to Set Rivets with Hand Tools

Other Tutorial Videos and How to Guides

Below is a collection of various other instructional videos on specific topics. We are regularly adding to our collection as we make custom videos for our customer’s needs so be sure to add a comment at the bottom of the page if there is a certain video you would like to see! You can also subscribe to our YouTube Channel to get the latest updated on video uploads! 

Installing Drusy Rim Sets

Troubleshooting Setting Cap Rivets Correctly

Punching Holes in Fabric and Biothane

Attaching Buckles

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2 Responses

  1. It would be great if you had a video demonstrating how to attach pearl snaps to a shirt. Like on a western shirt with pearl snaps on the cuffs, down the front and on the pockets.

  2. I am wondering how I would install the crystal grommets that come in 9 mm. I only see hand setting tools for 8 and 10 mm. Thank you.

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