Which KAMsnaps Tool is Right for Me?

December 27, 2018

In-Depth Comparison



  • If you'll be doing high volume work, want more options to speed up the process, desire the utmost professional results, and need a tool that won't aggravate your hands/wrists, go with the DK93 table press.
  • If you want the most affordable multi-function tool or one that doesn't require a table surface, go with the KX8J pro-handheld.
  • If you want to avoid strain on your hands & wrists but desire portability, go with the KX-T2 pro-standup (mini-table press).

(Note:  All 3 professional presses above use the same die attachments from the KX-series so you can mix & match presses.)

  • If you know you're going to use only plastic snaps and only infrequently without the necessity of uniform-looking results, consider the basic pliers as the best cost-saving tool.


Super Quick Summary of Tools

Click here for a comparison chart summary of the tools.

Here's a list of pros and cons for each tool:

1. The professional table top press (DK93) is the gold standard among our setting presses.

Pros -
  • results are consistently uniform and professional
  • more power
  • will not tire hands and wrists
  • can be hooked up to a kick pedal for hands-free pressing
  • longest reach so fasteners can be set farthest from fabric edge compared to handheld tools
  • plenty of vertical space between top and bottom dies so easy to place fasteners between dies
  • functions can be expanded to work with any fastener on our site
  • can use dies from KX-series & DK93-series
Cons -
  • press itself is more expensive than handheld tools (but still a great value!)
  • not easily portable
  • base is too large to fit through small spaces that require a snap (such as hand sanitizers)

2. The stand-up pro-handheld press (KX-T2) is the free-standing version of the KX8J pro-handheld. It stands on a table like a mini- table press to reduce hand, wrist and grip pain.

Pros -
  • eliminates the need to use hands to grip press
  • more portable than table press
  • see also KX8J pro-handheld below
Cons -
  • bulkier compared to KX8J pro-handheld so more awkward to hold in hands
  • see also KX8J pro-handheld below

    3. The professional handheld press (KX8J) is a significant step up from the basic pliers for plastic snaps because it can perform nearly all the functions of a table top press.

    Pros -
    • easily portable
    • results with plastic snaps are more consistently uniform and professional-looking compared to the basic pliers
    • spring-loaded so easier to press handles than basic pliers
    • longer reach than basic pliers so can fasten snaps farther from fabric edge
    • base is small enough to apply snaps in tight spaces (such has hand sanitizers)
    • less expensive than a table top press, yet can be expanded to install plastic snaps, multiple styles of metal snaps, rivets, grommets, key fob hardware, cover buttons, remove plastic snaps, punch holes, and more
    • dies are interchangeable with table press
    Cons -
    • hand and wrist can tire if doing high volume
    • results may not always be as uniform compared to table press
    • shorter fabric reach than table press
    • vertical spacing between top and bottom dies is limited so may be more difficult to place fasteners between dies, especially for those with large fingers

    4. The basic pliers for plastic snaps (K1 or K2) are ideally suited for occasional home use where uniform-looking results are not necessary.  A good tool to start with to test the waters of plastic snaps, or if you just plan to install a few snaps once in a while.

    Watch this video to understand the differences between the basic pliers for plastic snaps & the professional handheld press:

    Pros -
    • very inexpensive
    • small, portable
    • base is small enough to apply snaps in tight spaces (such has hand sanitizers)
    • gets the job done (for plastic snaps only)
     Cons -
    • hand and wrist will tire quickly because you have to press down harder compared to our other tools
    • results may not always look uniform or completely professional (although they will still be functional)
    • very short reach so can only install snaps close to fabric edge
    • vertical spacing between top and bottom dies is limited so may be more difficult to place snaps between dies, especially for those with large fingers
    • dies are *not* interchangeable with any other tool
    • functions cannot be expanded - will only install plastic snaps -- that's it


    Next Step: Once you've determined the tool you want, it's time to figure out the attachments needed for the specific fastener:  Which Dies Do I Need?

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