Lets start with grommets before we talk about grommet setting tools.
Grommets are simply a piece of hardware used to reinforce a hole made in
some type of material. Grommets with holes smaller than 3/16'' (size
#00) are usually called eyelets.
A Grommet consists of two parts, the grommet (shank) and the washer (the flat piece).
The Grommets used for fabric and leather that we will be discussing here are typically made out of Brass, Nickel Plated Brass or Anodized or painted Brass. Brass is used to make most grommets because it is both non-rusting, non-corrosive under everyday conditions, and because brass is a soft enough metal to work with using non-hydraulic forces and relatively inexpensive setting tools. Specially heat treated Stainless Steel Grommets that can be set with regular hand grommet toots are now available. Previously, the hardness and brittleness of stainless steel prevented it's use for grommets
Grommets come in several sizes and are measured and sized by the diameter of the hole in the center, not the overall diameter of the washer or flange. Grommets commonly range from size #00 through size #8. Oversize grommets, such as #10, #12 and the huge size #15 are also available.
Grommet Setting Tools range from expensive, industrial, powered presses, to hand tools that are operated with a light mallet (a type of hammer with a soft, plastic, rubber or wood head).
A typical Hand Grommet Setting Kit consists of a hole cutter, a bottom setting die, a top setting punch/die and a wooden or plastic cutting block. Grommets are simple to set by hand as shown by these typical instructions for setting grommets using a hand grommet kit. With the hand grommet setting kit, a different kit is needed to set each size of grommet, and as the grommets get larger in size they require more and more hammering force. A size #0 grommet can probably be set with one light blow with a heavy mallet, but a size #8 grommet might take 5 to 7 heavy blows with the same heavy mallet.
Hand Grommet setting kits that use a mallet to set grommets are great for the occasional user, but for higher output or shop use, a Grommet Setting Press will save a lot of time and effort. Grommet Setting presses are able set most sizes of grommets from the smallest to the largest. Simply snap or screw in a different set of grommet setting dies to set different size grommets. Grommet setting presses, are intended to be bolted down to a heavy work bench or floor standing, weighted steel frame. The lever action of the grommet setting press gives even the smallest person enough of force to set the largest grommets. Constant downward force is not required, simply use the weight of the handle, throwing it downward sharply, to generate enough force with 2 slams, to set even a size #15 grommet. Instructions for our grommet press
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