Once again an incredulous button maker (person) wants to know about "Made in China" button stuff. August 04 2012

I get asked this one alot.  “The Chinese are cheap at everything, why not button makers?”  Here’s the actual question this time:  I know that they say not to buy buttons from places like china. But you have to say that there prices especially for machines are so much cheaper than from the US. There has to be some companies that sell good quality parts. Please let me know if you know of any.

Chinese button parts are actually more expensive than US button parts, they are also not compatible with standard button parts.

There are no real Chinese button machine options that I have found.  Whilst the button machines are often cheaper than US options the parts are really so much more expensive that the saving on the machine is lost.  US companies produce literally millions of buttons a day and the Chinese have a long way to go until their production matches that of the US and until then they will not be able to compete on the price of button parts. Over the years you will spend more on button parts than you will on the original purchase of the button maker.  Chinese parts are selling here mostly in 100 packs and are about double the price of US parts at the 1000 rate.

As far as quality of the button machines is concerned they are also worlds apart.  The Tecre button makers for example are extremely well crafted, designed by engineers, built for the long term, sturdy and precise. In comparison the Chinese button makers contain plastic parts, are not sturdy and are not a comparable precision press.  A button maker is simply a press but it has to press accurately and it has to take the repetition of button production. The plastic parts and low quality metal in the Chinese button makers will not allow them to work well for long. They are certainly not engineered to the calibre of Tecre button machines.

A third point is that the Chinese have based their button makers on millimetre sizes so you cannot use cheap North American parts in the Chinese button machines. Also if you look at Chinese button parts they are a little bit nasty.  They are using low grade metal so the buttons are super light or in some cases they use white plastic backs with a pin that is glued on.  If your selling buttons with your designs a good way to depress your button sales would be to put your designs on cheesy button parts.  If you’re giving your buttons away as a promotion maybe it doesn’t matter…….maybe.