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Home>Machine Information>American vs. Foreign Machines
 

American vs. Foreign Machines


Group A  Single Action Hand Machines and Dies (USA) 
Machine base hole diameter = 5/8"
Die shank [stem] diameter = very slightly smaller than 5/8" 3
Thread size = 5/8" x 20  (NA for button dies)
  • C.S. Osborne & Co.
  • Defiance Button Machine Co.1
  • Dyna-Line 1920
  • Dyna-Line Lip Lok 2
  • Wade Button Machine Co.

Also known as "1920" machines.  Group A machines easily accept button dies from Groups A, B, and C.  Button dies need not fit snugly in the machine base.

All Group A dies fit Group A machines.  Group A button dies will fit Group B and C machines with modification.3  Other types of dies (grommet, snap, etc.) screw directly onto the machine; threads on Group A dies are only compatible with Group A machines.  Machine thread sizes are not compatible between groups.

1Defiance #23 Kick Press has Group A machine threads and Group B base hole (we can modify any Group A die to fit this machine).

2Lip Lok machine threads are probably compatible with Group A machines.

3Osborne button dies manufactured after April 2010 have smaller die stems and will fit Group B machines without modification.



 Group B  Single Action Hand Machines and Dies (USA)  

Machine base hole diameter = 1/2" (Maxant) and 9/16" (Handy)
Die shank [stem] diameter = very slightly smaller than 1/2" or 9/16", depending 1
Thread size = 5/8" x 11 (NA for button dies)
  • Handy Button Machine Co.2 (Junior No. 1 and No. 20)
  • Maxant Banner Master 3
  • Maxant Button & Supply Co.3
  • Burgess USA (Burgess Manufacturing Corp.)

Group B machines easily accept button dies from Groups B and C.  Button dies need not fit snugly in the machine base.  Group A button dies will fit Group B machines with modification; modified dies will fit all American machine (newer Osborne dies are the exception.4)

All Group B dies fit Group B machines.  Group B button dies also fit Group A machines as-is, and will fit Group C machines with modification.5  Other types of dies (grommet, snap, etc.) screw directly onto the machine; threads on Group B dies are only compatible with Group B machines.  Machine thread sizes are not compatible between groups.

1Newer Handy button dies have an even smaller stem, but not as small as Group C.

2Handy Jr. No. 1 is available from both Handy Ltd (UK) and Handy-Kenlin (US).  It is the same machine.

3Maxant die stems are solid, with no hole through the center.  We can turn an opening, if desired.

4
Osborne button dies manufactured after April 2010 have smaller die stems and will fit Group B machines without modification.

5Modified button dies are compatible with all American machines.



 Group C  Single Action Hand Machines and Dies (Asia)  

Machine base hole diameter = 7/16"
Die shank [stem] diameter = very slightly smaller than 7/16"
Thread size = NA (button dies require Rowley "adapter" - see below)
  • Rowley Co.

The lone member of Group C is the Rowley machine.  Rowley button dies have an American action, but are designed to accept Continental and UK-Standard buttons, NOT American.  However, Rowley dies #30, #36, #45, and #60 are compatible with American button backs if paired with low wall shells, either aluminum or rust-resistant.  Rowley button dies fit machines from Groups A and B.  Button dies from Groups A and B will fit the Rowley machine with modification.  Rowley grommet dies screw directly into the machine and are not compatible with any other machine.

Please see our Rowley informational page here:  Rowley Co. Machines and Dies



 Group D  Single Action Hand Machines and Dies (Europe and Asia) 

Machine base hole diameter = varies
Die shank [stem] diameter = varies
Thread size = NA
  • AMJ Precision Engineering 1
  • Astor-Berning
  • MIKRON/MicronAmerica
  • Hexing Yuan Garment Accessory Co. (HXY Button/Union Cover Button/C-Buttons) 2
  • HDE Garment Accessory Co.
  • K.S. Exports India
  • Ornstin Victory "Little Marvel"
  • Cardenas (Brazil)
  • Presmak
  • NINA (Greece)
  • Gameco (Antonio Gaviria y Cia) 3
Machine styles include twist-type (shown) and lever.  This is a very incomplete list of manufacturers.

European and Asian machines and dies are incompatible with their American cousins.  Group D button dies only accept Continental and UK-Standard buttons, NOT American.
1UK dimensions are slightly different from Continental European, but close enough to be considered interchangeable.

2Some Chinese button dies can be made with a partial American action (bottom die is an assembled unit).  In theory, they could be used with American machines if the plate is removed and the die is large enough for the pin to make contact.  Please note we have not actually tried this, although we have been assured it will work.  Attempt at your own risk!

3Gameco machines are modeled after Defiance machines, but with metric pin threads.  They have an American action and accept American button dies (but not grommet, snap, etc.).





Group D button dies generally (but not always) separate into pieces; American and Rowley dies are fastened together and can not be separated without an Allen wrench and/or screwdriver.  American and Rowley machines require a removable plate for making buttons, which dissipates pressure evenly.  Group D machines (except for Gameco and some AMJ machines) use a different action:  pressure is applied directly to the center of the die.

Typical American button plate
(standard with all USA machines)
"Crimp Button Setter Adapter"
(available only from Rowley;
not included with machines)
Machine with no button plate
(typical non-American design)




Inherit an old machine?  Find some used dies at a yard sale?  Give us call!  Our staff is the most knowledgeable in the industry.  We offer expert advice, professional guidance, and step-by-step instruction... no purchase necessary!