Sewing tools — Dritz snap setter

I bought a snap setter. I nearly took it back to the store.

The directions on this thing are one of the most unintuitive and difficult to process examples of the genre I’ve ever seen.

Snaps have two halves; an innie and an outie. Before they are attached, each one consists of two pieces — the innie (or outie) and the ring-and-prongs. The snap setter is basically a pair of pliers with which one compresses the prongs into the back of the outie (or innie).

First time I tested the device, I successfully attached an innie to a piece of scrap fabric. So far so good. Then I went to attach the outie. Pulled the snap setter away, and all that was on my fabric was a set of prongs sticking out. The outie part had wedged itself into the machine’s innie. I didn’t know the machine had an innie!!!

I tried various removal techniques. Letter opener. Screwdriver. Pliers. Teeth. Dental floss. Verbal abuse. Fishing line. Pliers again. More verbal abuse.

Spouse Phor came home and managed an extraction by jamming a nail into the back end of the thing.

Set it up again, and had luck with the outie parts, but all the innies fell off as soon as you breathed on them. Swore at it. Went to bed.

Next day, I did some internet research. Joann’s has some heinous reviews.

  • Never again will I buy this. I have again resorted to banging in the snaps with a hammer.
  • I finally gave up and donated the plier kit and a large package of snaps and eyelets.
  • This product would have been great for the price had it worked…all the snaps I have are now a crumbled mess from “testing” The instructions are vague and the dritz website is not helpful. I am very disappointed.
  • all it did was ruined the clothes I was sewing for my baby.

But. There are some folks in there that are saying “what?? worked fine for me!!”. (They don’t say “you idiot”, because Sewing World is a politer corner of the internet, I guess.)

  • It worked perfectly the first time and I was very proud of myself and my new friend the snap and eyelet setter.
  • In my opinion, the directions are perfectly clear and the product does what it’s supposed to.

Now, see, I’m taking that as a challenge. Because I refused to let the machine defeat me. Because that would be admitting that I couldn’t understand the directions.

When you insert the innie part into the slot, it tells you to do so “with the raised center exposed”. Problem is, both sides of this piece have a raised center. I googled some more, and I found these directions, which explain that if you feel for it, one side has more of a raise than the other.

After a few practice tries, I figured I had the hang of it. I finally managed to get all of the snaps on to the McCalls 3665 onesie. Took me down to my very last one. I pressed it. I took pictures. Triumph was mine! At last!

Then Spouse Phor came home, looked at the garment and managed to pull off the top snap when he opened it. Oh well. At least it was him, and not someone I’d given it to as a gift.


14 Responses to “Sewing tools — Dritz snap setter”

  1. thedomesticdiva Says:

    ROTFLMAO…it’s a totally useless tool!

    I had much better luck with the Snap Setter from


    With friendship,

  2. annaphor Says:

    Couple of people have recommended that one. Maybe in six months. I think I’m going with velcro for a while …

  3. Nicole Says:

    Thanks for your comments – I will definitely not be buying the dritz one…The only trouble with velcro (and our bibs – we have twins) are it attaches to everything in the wash and frays ribbons and anything nice to bits!

  4. korosh bayat Says:

    please give me a information a bout dental floss and flosser

  5. miss raquel Says:

    Wow. LMAO! You nailed it on this one. I sew for a living (doll clothing) and I’ve purchased the Dritz snap pliers 2 times… if you can believe it. And I really wish I had found this article before spending my money since it’s not the cheapest tool with regard to cost.

    The first time I purchased it I ruined the snaps constantly. The directions on the back of the package were terrible (and I pick things up pretty easily) and then I lost one of the accessory pieces. I gave up on the thing at some point and lost it during a move.

    I then purchased it again, telling myself that I would get it right this time. 2 years later the directions on the package are still terribly vague and their website is useless. Again, I ruined just about every snap I placed and the ones that did attach successfully eventually fell off or tore the fabric during product testing. Explains why I can’t even find a YouTube video or Expert Village Video of someone using the thing…because its a STINKER. LoL. Will try the “Snap Setter” from Snap Source next.

  6. Heather Says:

    You might want to also consider snap pliers for plastic snaps from They’re super easy to use and there are so many different colors and sizes of snaps to choose from.

  7. miss raquel Says:

    Thanks so much for the recommendation. I will definitely take some time and check into this!!

  8. Chindian Says:

    Thank you for posting this! I thought it was just me! I am so glad other people couldn’t understand the instructions or get the tool to work.
    I eventually got my Prym snaps on with the little plastic tool that comes with the pack of snaps, which you use with a hammer.
    Now I am considering getting the SnapSetter from
    (I’m weighing it up against the cost of shipment to South Africa, but it seems worth it.)

  9. Laurie Says:

    I totally agree – this snap setter is totally useless! I *barely* got it to work on a single layer of cotton fabric. Moronic.

    I have, however, had success with the SnapSource setter.

    Hope you’ve found a suitable setter now since this post is so incredibly old. lol

  10. Dave Says:

    Hey, I just wanted to add, that this tool is a piece of crap, it does not align correctly the inner flange, and proceeds to only fold half of it, and if you press firmly you also bend the snap ring , so that it does not snap together correctly. $22 was a total waste.

  11. Emily Says:

    I just bought this tool and since I didn’t understand the directions either, I went searching on line for more clear instructions and instead found lots of negative comments. I can’t take it back because I threw the front of the package away. Oh well, chalk one up to experience and learning to research before purchasing.

  12. mary Says:

    I bought Dritz #24 snaps and a jumbo snap tool today. I can’t make out the diagrams in the directions because they are soooo small. And yes I have reading glasses! I have sewn all my life and can’t figure out the snaps 😦 I went to the website which proved useless. I don’t think I’ll buy a Dritz product again.

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