Essential Hardware Definitions

1 comment by Hannah Shimko

Welcome to Master the Meaning! The idea behind this series is to educate people on certain terms within specific topics.

Today it is all about hardware! From fasteners, rings and slides, swivel snaps, and buckles. The world of hardware can be a bit intimidating, so we wrote this to serve as a helpful guide for beginners and experts alike.



A solid brass, steel or copper piece of hardware made up of two pieces used for securing materials like leather, webbing, nylon, or canvas. Can be used functionally by joining two pieces of leather together or decorative detail. This is a popular choice between leather and handbag crafters for fastening material.

Jiffy Rivets:

A solid brass or steel fastener that is exclusively distributed by Ohio Travel Bag. Jiffy Rivets can have a double cap or single cap and are domed - not flat. Used for securing materials like leather, webbing, nylon, or canvas. Popular for it's ease of use, just needing a mallet for hitting it shut, causing the "click" between the cap and post allowing for maximum durability.


Made up of four pieces of hardware: the Cap, Socket, Stud and Post. These are used for closures on bags and pockets, knives or ax sheaths, and attachment points on straps. Snaps can be magnetic as well but are composed of two pieces rather than four. Check out our Ligne snap sets!

Eyelets & Grommets:

Either metal plastic or rubber ring is used to reinforce holes by being inserted in a hole in thin material to prevent rips. Grommets tend to be larger in diameter than eyelets and are also usually used with a washer. Eyelets are smaller in diameter and usually use without a washer. When set into the material it folds into itself creating a smaller ring on another side. Used for lacing together garments and footwear.

Chicago Screws:

Can be used similarly to rivets, depending on the use, commonly used for belts to provide secure fasten; Rather than setting with a hammer and inserting a cap on the post, the Chicago screws have grooves to secure material.

Rings & Slides:


D Rings, also called Dee's or Dee Rings are curved side and one flat side to gets its name D-ring. Welded together and attached by looping a strap through it. The curved side is usually used for a clip or swivel snap. These have less movement than an O-ring because of their flat side.


O Rings are one of the most basic rings for artisans, creators and manufacturers! Used as a utility connector to attach strapping or hardware. Usually attached by looping straps (leather, webbing, etc) around the ring and setting with rivets or sewing shut. These can come cast, split or welded. Cast are a solid circle, split will have a small space between the metal, and welded are well.. welded closed.

Rectangular Rings:

Rectangle rings are also used to attach strapping on bags, usually on bags, totes, and purses. The difference between a rectangular ring, o-ring or d-ring comes down to style choice, strapping size, and use of your end product.

Triangle Rings:

Triangle Rings or Tri RIngs for short can be used for attaching leather straps to saddlery, dog leads, and collars. These are usually solid brass or steel since the typical use case are for products that rely on durability. You can find these as a cast, welded or split style. Split may be useful if you are looking for a malleable peice of hardware that can be opened or closed with pliers.

Spring Gate Rings:

Spring Gate Rings have a swinging latch that opens and closes. These are popular connectors for the ease of opening the gate. Screw Gate Rings are similar but they have screws that open the gate rather than a spring. The screw gate will keep the strapping in with no mistake of unlatching or slipping out.

Strap Slides and Loops:

Strap slides are used to keep strap ends tight against a purse or bag. Allowing for strap size adjustments to be longer or shorter depending on the user. It's a good choice for bags, duffels, purses and pouches. These are available as the adjustable strap slide or a cast, loop slide.


Center Bar Buckle:

Center bar buckles have a connector bar located in the center of the buckle. Usually used for leather straps, belts, or webbing with a punched hole to feed the buckle tongue into and pull the strapping through the other side of the buckle.

Double Tongue Buckle:

Double tongue buckle can be many different styles (roller bar, heel bar, center bar, etc) but the main difference is the two prongs on both sides of the buckle. Used to hold material from both sides or two-hole straps and belts. Utility is the same as a normal buckle, the double tongue buckle feature is mainly a style choice and popularly used for military or war renactment buckles. Also see our Sam Browne buckles.

Heel Bar Buckle:

Heel bar buckles can be found on belts and handbags. This style buckle features connector bar on the end, or heel, of the buckle with a longer center prong.

Roller Bar Buckle:

Roller bar buckle is a buckle with a roller on the top. These can be functioning rollers or be immitation rollers with the look of a roller only. The roller bar buckle is available as a center bar or heel bar style.

Side Squeeze:

Side squeeze buckles, also known as side release buckles are popular choice for, pet collars, tack or ulitity uses. Usually plastic or a solid, durable metal that is attached with a strong webbing.

Swivel Snaps:

Bolt, lever, trigger, and halter swivel snaps are used to attach straps to bags, dog collars, saddlery tack. Either fixed or have a swivel to turn freely. These are less likely to fall off than spring gates because they are attached at the base and will not fall off when open. Usually used with rings on strapping.

1 comment

  • Timothy M Dolan Jr.

    I would add to “Center bar” that the center bar buckle has a built in keeper, where as an heel bar or end bar buckle needs a keeper to keep the tip of the belt/strap flat against the belt/strap. Keepers can be made out of Leather, or a rectangular ring.

    And then on “Roller” I would add "the roller makes it slightly easier to pull a belt/strap tighter than a buckle without the roller.

    And finally possibly add “Lock Tongue” description.

    Pictures would be nice as well. I highly recommend a picture of a buckle with the parts outlined and described.

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