Updated May 8, 2020.
Tacking needlework onto stretcher bars is a fact of our stitching lives. Until recently my hands were strong enough to do the job. Now I need a tacking tool for needlework.
It has come in the form of the EZ Tack-it Tool. Designed to be used in any application where tacks are used, it magnifies your strength to make it easier to insert and remove tacks.
There are three components in the package, a box of brass tacks, a tack inserter and a tack remover. I tested all three.
For me, this was the biggest reason to buy the tool. I used it on both new and old stretcher bars and with several different kinds of tacks.
It works like a champ. The rounded plastic head makes it easy to hold and comfortable to use. The head is large and heavy enough to press the tacks down with a minimum of effort.
The head has a slightly indented center with a magnet in it. This center is about the size of a tack head. With regular tacks I could use this to pick up the tack and place it on the canvas. With larger quilter’s tacks I could pick the tacks up but generally needed to place them by hand and then use the tool to push them in.
I had hesitated before buying this because I worried it wouldn’t work with these larger tacks, I’m so glad that it did.
This tool is the biggest disappointment in the package. It is a lever with a plastic handle. Place it under the tack and press down on the other end to lift the tack.
I found several problems with this tool. First off it was short so that I found it hard to handle. Secondly, it’s thick at the business end so that it was difficult to get it under all but the loosest tacks.
Because that end is just a notch, it could not hold the tack in place once it had been loosened so I found tacks all over the place.
A far better choice for this job is a lever staple remover which is longer, thinner, and catches the tack and holds it.
For those of you who live in humid climates these gold brass tacks are a must because the do not rust. My preference is large-head quilter’s tacks because their thicker stems hold the canvas more securely. For me humidity isn’t a problem.
Once you have used up these tacks, you can use any brass tacks with this tool.
Tips & Concluding Thoughts
I found one problem with EZ Tack-it. If you use tacks with plastic covers on the heads, the magnet is not strong enough to hold it. This would most likely also hold true for decorative magnets with resin tops as well.
If you like this kind of tool but would like wood tops instead of plastic ones, consider the Corjac tool which has the same features.
I am delighted with this tool, it does its job easily and well. The price is good and while the remover could be better, it will work for many people.
It would also make a great stocking stuffer or gift for any stitcher.