Gadget memories – Ronco Buttoneer


Tragedy struck this morning when the button fell off my pants and I’ve been walking around all day hitching my pants up every so often just because I’m too lazy to go searching for a needle and thread. The situation caused me to remember a gadget from my childhood – the Ronco Buttoneer. Does anyone else remember this gadget from the 70’s?


The Buttoneer was a hand held plastic device with a handle on one end and a needle on the other. A strip of tiny plastic fasteners were loaded into a chamber and then when you inserted the needle through a button and material, it fastened them together without using needle and thread. They touted it as the 5 second button attacher. Genius!


I remember playing with the Buttoneer and fastening things together that really weren’t supposed to be fastened together. I was a gadget rebel even back in the day ;o) Fond memories of gadget days gone by. Here’s a commercial:

You can still buy the original Buttoneer on eBay and from Etsy shops like the one I found these images.

Ronco / As seen on TV needs to come out with a new and IMPROVED Buttoneer that is USB powered with WiFi and lasers!

Should we make a reoccurring gadget memories feature?

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11 comments… add one
  • Martin July 9, 2014, 2:47 am

    Is _this_ the inspiration for the name of this website? It all makes sense now … I think …

  • Julie Strietelmeier July 9, 2014, 7:43 am

    @Martin you just made me laugh for the first time today. Thank you ;o)

  • Fred July 9, 2014, 12:47 pm

    @Julie, I can always count on you for a memory reminder and a good smile,

    “Ronco / As seen on TV needs to come out with a new and IMPROVED Buttoneer that is USB powered with WiFi and lasers!”

    However, I must admit that it is not childhood but an earlier adult memory for me. I always look forward to your articles and reviews.

  • Luis Reyes July 10, 2014, 6:12 pm

    This is the new trend for sewing

  • Ms Hanson July 11, 2014, 11:23 am

    While you’re at it, let’s bring back the Mr Clean Car Wash System, featuring an unwieldy handheld soap dispenser and water filter which attached to your hose in place of a simple nozzle. Amazingly, this contraption delivered on its promise to deliver a spot-free car wash.

  • Rajesh K July 11, 2014, 12:32 pm

    They do still make these (or at least its eponym); I got refills last year for the one I bought in 1992.

  • Dave M July 12, 2014, 10:27 am

    Oh yeah! I remember it, I had one of those, they’re great!! I’d love to get another one as my wife isn’t the best or fastest sewer in the world.


  • Bruce January 10, 2016, 11:02 pm

    Does anyone know if the fasteners for the first Buttoneer are still available anywhere?

  • CHRISTINE POOK October 26, 2016, 7:18 pm

    I loved this gadget – fastened far more than buttons. Eventually the plastic tags got used up and I couldn’t get replacements. So I threw it away. I replaced it with an Avery two needle gadget – which I found useless by comparison. Occasionally I look for the old Ronco one, but I think it has gone forever.

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