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Tips & Techniques > Applying Snaps with the Snap Source Snap Setter Tool

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Posted by: Renren
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Posted on: 2/26/13 11:39 PM
Review Rating: Helpful by 3 people   Very Helpful by 14 people   
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Applying Snaps with the Snap Source Snap Setter Tool

The Snap Source Snap Setter (snapsource.com) is pictured here:

The snap setter bars unstacked and sitting next to the packaging (this setter is for size 16, the most common size snap)

This photo shows the 3 parts of the setter stacked: the bottom bar has the post which fits through the middle bar and the top bar (the one with the logo). So these 3 parts will be stacked with fabric and the snap parts in a specific order to affix the snap to the fabric.

the 3 bars of the setter, stacked

The tool is used to hold snaps in place while they are applied to fabric.

A snap consists of these 4 parts:

four parts of a snap


From left to right are the snap top, socket, stud, and open prong ring. (Note that at the left I have shown 2 identical snap tops--one right side up and one right side down.)

These 4 elements of the snap are paired into two groups: the snap top and socket are pressed together with the fabric in between them AND the stud and open prong ring are also pressed together with the fabric caught between them.

This photo shows the pairing (without the fabric):


which snap parts go together

So, what you need to attach a snap using the SnapSetter system is the 3-part tool (purple in first photo) and the 4 sections of a snap.

This is how you attach the snap top and its socket:

Place the snap top with the prongs facing up in the base of the setter. The base of the setter has the post sticking up (left hand side in photo).snap top with prongs up

NOTE: This is what the instructions say to do, but what you will probably do is first work the prongs through the fabric at the point the snap is to be attached. Make sure there is no twisting in the fabric. Then place the fabric with the snap top's prongs into the shallow well in the bottom bar.
fabric and snap top positioned in bottom bar


Next, align the rectangular hole of the middle bar with the post and let it fall into position. You will see the snap prongs in the hole of the middle bar as shown in this picture.


Now drop the socket into position. I think this is the trickiest part because you have to look very closely at the socket to determine which way to place it. There are six little slits in a rim that need to face up. Look closely! This part is tricky! socket in place with slits on rim facing up


Place the top bar with the logo over the post and the snap.
top part in place (logo is on the top part)
At this point you can give a couple of tops with a hammer. You don't have to slam down the hammer, just a couple of firm taps.

This photo shows two snaps which have been attached, a front view and a back view. Note that I still need to attach the bottom, or receiving portion, of the snap (the stud and open prong ring).
two top snaps attached (top half only)


To attach the stud and open prong ring, the steps above will be repeated, this time with the open prong ring placed through the fabric and into the base of the setter (the one with the post on it). Here is the prongs of the open prong ring sticking through the fabric.

Next, place the middle bar onto the post and drop the stud into the well on top of the prongs. The rounded stud part will face up.


This step is pictured here.


Now position the top bar (with the logo) and tap with a hammer to affix the stud and open prong ring.

You now have both parts of the snap.

Here two snaps are shown attached to my project:

snaps on tab


There is a clip at snapsource.com with Nancy Zieman demonstrating the use of the Snap Source Snap Setter.

I am not affiliated with Snap Source in any other way than I am a happy customer.

What supposedly makes these snaps better than others are their long prongs.

I have attached about 9 snaps now and am just beginning to get to the point it seems more natural and there isn't as much head scratching going on.

I do recommend this tool. I had considered an actual snap press but they are large and heavy and costly. So far the Snap Source Snap Setter has been perfect for my very light use.

Although I bought all sizes, I think the size 16 is the most common size.

Maybe you would like to leave a message with your preferred way of attaching snaps. I would like to hear about it.

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12 Comments
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SandiMacD said...
I got this a few years back and followed their directions. I found it easy to use on all sorts of projects and repairs.
2/27/13 4:26 AM
JuliN said...
I just ordered one (and snaps) this past weekend and hope to have good success with the snap setter too.
2/27/13 7:02 AM
cherylwashere said...
I LIKE IT!!!!!! MUST GET IT!!!!!!
2/27/13 9:13 AM
CSM--Carla said...
I have this and like it very much. Have you heard about using it for any other brand besides Snap Source Brand? Thanks in advance.
2/27/13 12:42 PM
Renren said...
CSM--Carla, I don't know first hand how to answer this. This is what I do know: 1) The ladies at ASG have said that these SnapSource snaps have longer prongs and hold on better. The first page at snapsource.com says the secret to their snaps working so well is the longer prongs. And I found this question and answer at the FAQ section at snapsource.com: Can I use snap parts from other manufacturer's snaps? A: No. All manufacturers make their snap part uniquely. Even though the size of the snaps are the same, each manufacturer designs their brand of snaps differently than their competition. For best results, use snaps from one manufacturer at a time.
2/27/13 1:05 PM
Margaret said...
Thanks for posting this. I have this tool but haven't used it in several years, so this will be a great reminder whenever I need to put snaps on something.
2/28/13 7:59 AM
Renren said...
Carla--the edit feature doesn't work and I needed to make another observation, so here is yesterday's comment with the amendment to it: CSM--Carla, I don't know first hand how to answer this. This is what I do know: 1) The ladies at ASG have said that these SnapSource snaps have longer prongs and hold on better. The first page at snapsource.com says the secret to their snaps working so well is the longer prongs. And I found this question and answer at the FAQ section at snapsource.com: Q: Can I use snap parts from other manufacturer's snaps? A: No. All manufacturers make their snap part uniquely. Even though the size of the snaps are the same, each manufacturer designs their brand of snaps differently than their competition. For best results, use snaps from one manufacturer at a time. Now, if you will notice, that's not really an answer to the question asked. Obviously, you won't want to mix the 4 parts among manufacturers because the snap cap, socket, stud, and open prong ring are made to fit inside the parts. However, what I think is not being answered is whether you can drop parts of a matched set from another manuf. into the snap setter tool, and for that, I don't see why it would not work. You probably won't be getting the longer prong, and that is the problem the ASG ladies had with the snaps offered at the chain stores. The bottom line is that to get the answer to the question you asked is to do a little experimentation (I'm not sure if I have ordinary snaps--prob. not) or call the contact phone number of SnapSource and ask very specific questions about using the setter tool with other brand snaps. Actually, the thickness of the setter tool is probably gauged to the depth of those prongs, and that might keep the snap from another manuf. from seating into its paired part (snap top with socket; stud with open ring prong) securely. I bet that's the problem with using other snaps. Sorry I can't give a definitive answer, but those are my ideas about it.
2/28/13 1:21 PM
michellep74 said...
I have one of these, too. It's been an indispensable tool for me once I started sewing baby stuff.
3/4/13 7:38 PM
GymkhanaMom said...
I just finished using this tool. Found it confusing at first but one I had it down it worked great. I did push the prongs through before putting in the tool to make sure I got the snap in the right spot.
3/23/13 8:54 PM
Renren said...
GymkhanaMom, I also found it confusing at first and every time I use it I have to refamiliarize myself with it. That's one reason I wrote this tip so I could refer to it. It's really handy and I think the longer prongs make these snaps sturdier than other types.
3/23/13 9:33 PM
CSM--Carla said...
WOW! Renren, THANK YOU SO MUCH for taking the time to look into my question and answering it so thoroughly. That was very kind of you. I'll try to remember to come back and write more comments after I try this in the future. May every good thing come to you! Carla
3/28/13 9:35 AM
cherylwashere said...
Hi Renren, I bought one and love it...My first attempt was to a felted wool multi pocket pouch I made...the snap was sliding around so I placed a piece of scotch tape to the front part of the snap...tape worked like a charm...held it in place perfectly... And the second part of the snap needed to be placed in the inside of the front pocket...that was a bit tricky...but again using tape it held it in place. The one I placed first on the front flap I did not center it well...so I had to pry it off with a screw driver...and not wanting to waste a snap. I took a needle nose plier and bent the prongs straight up to be used again... I am now addicted and want all the different size adapters and snaps!!!
4/14/13 9:15 PM
 
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