How to Use Snap Pliers for Sewing Projects

How to Use Snap Pliers for Sewing Projects

Snap pliers are a handy tool for any sewer who wants to add a professional touch to their projects. They allow you to easily and securely attach plastic snaps to fabric, creating a durable and stylish closure. But with so many different types of snap pliers available, it can be confusing to know which ones to choose and how to use them effectively. This guide will walk you through the basics of using snap pliers for sewing projects.

Types of Snap Pliers

There are two main types of snap pliers: handheld and automatic.

Handheld Snap Pliers

Handheld snap pliers are the most common type of snap pliers. They require a bit more manual dexterity, but they are also more affordable and versatile. They work by using two levers to press the snap together. Some handheld pliers come with interchangeable dies to accommodate different sizes of snaps.

Automatic Snap Pliers

Automatic snap pliers are designed for faster and easier snap application. They use a spring-loaded mechanism that automatically presses the snap together with a single squeeze. Automatic pliers are typically more expensive than handheld pliers, but they can save you a lot of time and effort, especially if you’re working on large projects.

Choosing the Right Snap Pliers

When choosing snap pliers, consider the following factors:

  • Type of snaps: Different snap pliers are designed to work with different types of snaps, such as prong snaps, sew-on snaps, or snap studs. Make sure to choose pliers that are compatible with the snaps you want to use.
  • Size of snaps: The size of the snaps you want to use will determine the size of the dies you need for your pliers. Some pliers come with interchangeable dies, while others have fixed dies.
  • Ease of use: If you’re a beginner, handheld snap pliers might be easier to use than automatic pliers. But if you’re working on a large project, automatic pliers can save you a lot of time and effort.
  • Budget: Handheld snap pliers are generally more affordable than automatic pliers.

How to Use Snap Pliers

Once you have your snap pliers, you can follow these steps to apply snaps to your sewing project:

  1. Prepare the fabric: Mark the location of the snaps on your fabric using a fabric marker or chalk. Make sure the markings are accurate and symmetrical.
  2. Attach the snap parts: There are two main parts to a snap: the socket and the stud. The socket is the larger part, and the stud is the smaller part. Use the snap pliers to attach the socket and stud to the fabric. The socket is typically attached to the bottom side of the fabric, and the stud is attached to the top side.
  3. Set the snaps: Once the socket and stud are attached to the fabric, use the snap pliers to set the snaps. This will secure the snaps in place and create a durable closure.

Safety Tips

When using snap pliers, it’s important to follow these safety tips:

  • Use safety glasses: Snap pliers can generate small metal fragments when setting the snaps, so it’s important to protect your eyes.
  • Keep fingers clear: Make sure to keep your fingers clear of the snap pliers when setting the snaps. The pliers can pinch your fingers if they are not properly positioned.
  • Don’t use excessive force: Too much force can damage the snaps or the fabric. Use just enough pressure to set the snaps securely.


Snap pliers are a valuable tool for any sewer who wants to add a professional touch to their projects. By following the tips in this guide, you can learn how to use snap pliers safely and effectively to create durable and stylish closures for your sewing projects.