A Crash Course On Arbor Presses

  • January 27, 2023

Commonly used by leatherworkers and jewelry makers, arbor presses are small hand presses that apply even pressure through the use of a basic lever or for more advance models levers that are gear assisted. They can be used in multiple applications and are an extremely handy tool to have around.

Uses of Arbor Presses

An arbor press is not designed for any specific job, but can be used for any job that requires a slow and steady pressure to be implemented on an object. As long as the object fits in the throat of the press, you are good to go. Below are some of the common applications of arbor presses:

  • Setting eyelets or grommets
  • Setting belt tips
  • Setting menu corners
  • setting clamps
  • Embossing patterns and logos: An arbor press can be used to replicate the same pattern or logo on jewelry, leather or metal.
  • Cutting out patterns and shapes: Just like with embossing, an arbor press can cut out various patterns and shapes with the help of cutting dies.
  • Punching holes.
  • … and many more!

With an arbor press, all the above tasks can be done with minimal effort and noiselessly!

How Arbor Presses Work

An arbor press is operated by rotating the handle either towards you like a slot machine or pressing down on the handle from the rear of the machine. This force drives down the top ram either thru a simple lever or thru a gear driven setup that multiplies the setting force of your hand pressure. The end of the ram has the top die inserted into it and it mates with the bottom die to do the setting, closing or cutting.    

Types of Arbor Presses

When purchasing an arbor press, tonnage rating is the most important thing to look out for. Tonnage rating is the maximum level of pressure your arbor press can safely handle without running the risk of damage. This depends on the size and physical property of the material you are working with.

  • Single Lever Press: The simplest model with the fewest number of moving parts, single lever presses are perfect for use on small eyelets and grommets. All you need to do is pull a handle or push down on the handle to do the setting  Single lever presses require more force than a gear driven press to set the same size fastener.
  • Gear Driven Press: Besides a handle, the gear driven press has teeth on the ram and the spline that the handle is attached to. The gear set-up multiplies the setting force of your hand by a factor of 18 to one. In addition to multiplying the setting force a gear driven set up handle can be adjusted to any position. It can be adjusted so the operator can push down on the handle from the front of the machine to exert maximum force when needed or pull down on the handle from the front of the machine like a slot machine. This means that the handle is always in the best position to apply pressure.

Important considerations when selecting and arbor press used for setting Eyelets, Grommets, Clamps, Quick Rivets and other fasteners

The accuracy of the arbor press should be the main consideration when selecting a press . Gear driven Arbor presses are preferred over single lever  presses because they have square rams and are less  prone to ram wobble like most round rams found on cheaper arbor presses. A standard arbor press bought thru a tool store does not have the top ram drilled out to accept setting dies and there is no bottom block holder to accept the bottom die. The line up of the top die in the ram to the bottom die in the bottom die block holder is crucial to a good setting. Drilling these die holes accurately require a milling machine and perfect lineup is essential. Especially where cut/set dies for grommets and eyelets are going to be used. When the top and bottom die come together, if the lineup is off by only .003 ( three thousands of an inch) the dies will wear prematurely or a poor setting will result. A good quality Arbor Press will also have adjusting screws on the plate that hold the ram in place to fine tune the ram lineup and resistance.

Selecting the right size machine for your specific fasteners is also important to reduce operator fatigue. We carry 4 size presses that are capable for doing small electronic size eyelet to #8 Grommets or super large curtain grommets.

Siska Inc., is the leading distributor of a wide range of industrial items, ranging from setting machines to arbor presses. Priding ourselves on the goal of delivering “Quality Without Compromise”, please feel free to read through our help center if you have any queries before purchasing. If you have a more specific concern or would like advice in choosing the right machine or fasteners for your project, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly staff for assistance.

Latest Posts

Your Guide To Setting Double Cap Rivets In Leather

February 2, 2023

An Introduction to Snaps

February 1, 2023

A Crash Course On Arbor Presses

January 27, 2023

Why Do Industrial Eyelets and Grommets Have Cadmium Plating?

January 25, 2023

The Difference Between Grommets And Eyelets

January 24, 2023

Why Should You Set Brass Grommets In Signage Products

January 23, 2023