Stimpson® is the leading manufacturer & supplier of “no hole needed” self-piercing and sheet metal grommets & washers for signs & banners. While adequately installed grommets & washers provide reliable hole reinforcement, selecting the appropriate grommet & washer type for your application is vital for both you and your customer. We will now explore the different grommet & washer considerations for sign & banner applications, including pre-punching holes, grommet use volumes, bench press vs. automatic machinery, to guide you in making an informed fastener decision.

“No hole needed” versus Pre-punching holes

When paired with the 405 bench press and the appropriate tooling, Stimpson self-piercing grommets, as the name suggests, pierce the material, creating the hole and setting the grommet in one action. There is no need to pre-punch a hole in the material since the self-piercing grommet and the 405 press do all the work. Sign & banner professionals experience increased productivity, time savings, and profit.

Sheet metal grommets with plain, teeth or neck washers and rolled rim grommets & spur washers, by design, require operators to pre-punch holes in the material. While punching a hole in the material is easy enough using the Stimpson modular hand drive or hole punch, it does add a step to the production process.


Bench-Press vs. Automatic Machinery

The Stimpson 405 bench press has remained a production floor staple since its first iteration over 100 years ago. Using self-piercing grommets with the 405 bench press is an economical option for sign & banner small and moderate volume runs. While setting capacity per hour may fluctuate depending on the material, and the operator’s experience, the quality of work the 405 produces equals that of hand feed and automatic setting machinery.


Setting machinery like the Jopevi J-269 or the Edward Segal 4KGW automatic grommet machine, punches a hole in your material and sets sheet-metal grommets & washers in a single action. Whether automatic machinery is suitable for your production environment depends on factors including production volume, budget, space, and even the type of material. When productivity is of paramount importance, automatic equipment is often preferred. For lower volume operations, the 405 Bench press can get the job done on a smaller budget without sacrificing quality.

Grommet Use Volumes

When working with sign & banner professionals to determine if self-piercing-grommet-washer self-piercing grommets or sheet metal grommets are appropriate, Stimpson professionals first ask what type of grommets & washers historically have been used. That question is quickly followed up by what kind of attaching machinery they operate and their current production volume. With this information, we can guide customers to make an informed grommet & washer purchasing decision that increases their productivity and profitability.

We often recommend self-piercing grommets for smaller volume customers using manual presses with one or two sign & banner material types since pre-punching a hole is not required. It is a tried and true option to boost productivity and profit margins. Since larger volume operations work with different sign & banner materials daily, sheet metal grommets offer diverse fastening options appropriate for thicker substrates. Also, sheet metal grommets are less expensive than self-piercing, so investing in the automatic machinery can pay off quickly for higher volume users. It is worth mentioning that larger sign & banner operations also benefit from increased productivity when using self-piercing grommets paired with the proper automatic attaching machinery.

Selecting the Appropriate Type of Grommet & Washer

To help customers select the appropriate grommet & washer combination for their banner, Stimpson fastening professionals often use these considerations to guide the conversation.

  • Budget: For economy-minded customers, plain sheet metal grommets & washers provide reliable hole reinforcement.
  • Ease of Use: Self-piercing grommets & washers allow operators to cut a hole in the material and set the fasteners in one action, saving time and money.
  • Efficiency: Auto-feed machines provide the fastest setting capacity per hour for sheet metal grommets with neck washers. The machine punches a hole in your material and sets the grommet & neck washer in a single action.
  • Strongest Setting Strength: For signs & banners under constant stress, rolled rim grommets & spur washers grasp the substrate resulting in a rugged and unyielding setting.

The Stimpson Difference

Stimpson’s high-performance brass and stainless steel fasteners adhere to strict quality standards. Regardless of whether operators use self-piercing grommets, sheet metal grommets, manual or automatic attaching machinery, rest assured, Stimpson fasteners will withstand indoor and outdoor applications for years to come.

Contact us today to discuss your specific requirements with a sign & banner fastening specialist. If you are ready to place an order, visit the official Stimpson webstore where any order placed by 3:00 PM E.T. ships the same day or call Stimpson at (877) 765-0748 to place an order by phone. Discover why sign & banner professionals continue to rely on Stimpson for 170 years for all of their fastening needs.