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Choosing the Perfect Clasp For Your Bracelet

Updated on November 28, 2008

Making a bracelet is about a lot of different things. You have the materials you are going to string the project on, the beads you want, how many strands the piece will have, and whether or not you will be using a stitch in making your piece. However, one important decision that you have to make that is sometimes ignored is making the clasp choice.

Choosing the perfect clasp is often about preference. If you like a particular clasp more then others then you will find yourself using it more often. Sometimes it is about cost and other times it is about what you have when you sit down to make the piece. However, there are still a few things to consider when making a bracelet.

Things to Consider

When choosing the clasp for your bracelet there are a few things to consider.

  1. Can it be worked one handed? This is often a hard one to answer because it is often about the person's personal abilities. However, there are some that can't be worked with one hand no matter who you are. These clasps are eliminated.
  2. Is it too heavy or too light for the bracelet? Sometimes an over heavy clasp is okay because it adds to the decorative style provided by the piece, however you usually want something that works well with the piece weight wise.

  3. Does it add to the piece? It isn't necessary for the clasp to add to the piece, however if it is decorative it should be something that matches or adds to the piece. If you have a flower theme going on and then pick a toggle clasp with cowboy boots on it then you have an issue...

The Toggle Clasp

The Toggle Clasp

This is one clasp that is very popular to use as a bracelet clasp. It is called several things:

  • Toggle Clasp
  • Bar and Ring Clasp
  • Bar and Eye Clasp
  • Ring and Guard Clasp
  • Sometimes referred to by their style such as Heart and bar clasp or star clasp

These are popular bracelet clasps because they are easily manipulated with one hand allowing people to put the bracelet on. They are also very secure with little chance of falling off while wearing it. Additionally, they come in all types of metals, shapes, and in many decorative styles. You can get them with flowers, boots, stars, or other shapes added for decoration. You can also get them in a wide range of shapes and even some fancy styles. This gives this clasp a lot of variation.

Standard varieties with a simple plain ring and a straight bar are easy to find and very inexpensive. You can get them in silver tone, gold tone, and a variety of copper colors. You can also get them in larger and smaller varieties offering something for everyone.

Hook and Eye Clasp

Hook and Eye Clasp

This is another popular choice for bracelet making. It is simple, easy to use, and fairly secure. It too comes in a variety of options. This one shown is very simple and easy to use. You can get more complicated options for a wide range of style choices. These options can add to your piece or you can choose it for its simplicity.

S Shaped Clasp

S Shaped Clasp

While similar to a hook and eye the s shaped clasp is unique in that it is either sold as one and then a small ring is used or it is sold as two and they are then hooked together. It isn't as secure as the hook and eye clasp, but it works for most pieces and comes in a wide range of styles and decorative features.

Lobster Claw Clasp

Lobster Claw Clasp

While this clasp isn't as popular as a bracelet clasp it still works well. It isn't as easy to use with one hand as some others, but you can still do it. It comes in a wide range of styles and shapes as well, but is usually found just like this. It is easy to add to a bracelet, never weights it down, and never looks bulky or out of place. This makes it worth it even though it is a little harder to work. It is also extremely secure and won't be going anywhere!

Other Popular Options

Magnetic Clasps-Magnetic clasps are becoming more and more popular. They are available in a wide range of styles and shapes. They are fairly secure, though not as secure as some other options. However, everyone can work them quickly and easily.

Tube Clasps-Tube clasps make it easy to make multi-strand bracelets and come in a wide range of styles, sizes, and more specifically strand numbers. They aren't always easy to find, but they are easy to use, secure, and make making multi-strand bracelets with separated strands easier (especially with divider bars).

Snap Locks-These clasps are something most of us are familiar with. They are popular with watches and many commercially purchased bracelets. You slide the clasp over the bar and flip it over locking it into place. This is an extremely safe clasp, but harder to find and more expensive then the other types.

While choosing a clasp doesn't have to be rocket science it can be done for function or done for beauty or a combination of the two. Whether you are making a masterpiece of a bracelet or just making the perfect bracelet for your favorite outfit choose with care!

Comments

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  • aidenofthetower profile image
    Author

    aidenofthetower 6 years ago

    @Joe...Fire Mountain Gems might have something. They are a bit pricey, but have a large selection. If you are willing to go out of the US then eBay is a great place to find a huge selection at great prices. You may also want to consider making your own from a heavy duty wire or with a bead/button and a loop.

  • profile image

    Joe 6 years ago

    I started making mens leather bracelets recently and I'm having problems locating a vendor selling masculine heaVY clasp without going out of the US. Any ideas?

  • aidenofthetower profile image
    Author

    aidenofthetower 7 years ago

    Louise...I didn't see the bracelet in question, but here are a few tips that may help.

    -For heavier bracelets there are a few options. A large toggle clasp is probably your best bet. A good size hook and eye clasp can also work.

    -I would recommend stringing it with a heavy nylon coated wire. Use the crimp beads. You will need to make sure you have a good pair of crimp pliers. Then take a little Bead Fix glue and dab each crimp bead.

    Most of the time stretch cord doesn't do well with a heavy batch of beads. However, if you really want it on stretch cord you will need to make square knots (tied one direction and then the opposite direction) and you will need to glue it with Bead Fix afterwards. Often secure knots are on the large side and unless your beads are large they will be hard to hide.

    Good luck.

    Danelle

    aidenofthetower

  • profile image

    Louise 7 years ago

    If you visit my site I made a big heavy glass beaded bracelet and I am afraid I did not clasp it well. I love the look and the weight is heavy and I used 2 strings of wire with lobster clasp, crimp and crip cover. I tried the stretch heavy and it broke 3 times meaning I must not have tied right. Any suggestions? I have never taken classes I just make them as things come up. Most are lighter. Can you help. Thank you

  • beadydani profile image

    beadydani 8 years ago from London, England

    I really love how very comprehensive your hubs, not a lot of people will taking time to write in such detail.

    I look forward to reading more of hubs, thank you so much for taking to share your expertise. It is so helpful.

  • profile image

    andrew 8 years ago

    I have made a dragonscale bracelet but really dont know what clasp to use, most likely tube?

  • profile image

    Tammie Stovall 9 years ago

    Here I am again, six month later. I've come a long ways with the jewelry. I make akk my own clasps, rings, and ear wires. I was wondering if anyone can tell me how to make some strand dividers out of sterling wire. It seems like everyone I look at on the internet is not long enough. Their all meant for 4mm balls or smaller. Also I don't like paying for them. If anyone has ideas for them please email me at tdraves@pldi.net. Thanks!

  • aidenofthetower profile image
    Author

    aidenofthetower 9 years ago

    Linda,

    Depending on its age and the company that made it, it could be hard to find an exact replacement. I would suggest that you search for something similar at Fire Mountain Gems...they have a wide selection of silver clasps and a variety of different options. You might also be able to talk their customer service and get more help. Good Luck,

    Danelle

  • profile image

    Linda Santos 9 years ago

    Hi

    I have an older silver bracelet that has a slid in clasp which I need to replace. The old one just slid into the bracelet but the little button which you pushed to open the clasp was broke. I don't know where to search for this item as I don't know the correct name for it.

    Can someone help me??

  • profile image

    CaryAnn  9 years ago

    I have been making jewelry for over a year, and I find I like the toggle clasp the best. It is easy for the person to use one handed. I also like using the memory wire to make bangle like bracelets. However, I am learning new things, and brancing out a bit.

  • aidenofthetower profile image
    Author

    aidenofthetower 9 years ago

    Tammie-Once the toggle clasp is attached to your bracelet then the bar of the clasp will go through the circle by turning it on the side. When you have done this you then manuever it so that it is sits across the circle. As long as you have put everything together well you won't have a problem with the clasp's bar turning by accident. I am going to look for a picture to show you. Good luck and have fun with it!

  • profile image

    Tammie 9 years ago

    I just started making jewelry, and have only made 1 bracelet so far. I made it stretchy so it doesn't have a clasp. I just got in some toggle clasps and was wondering how they work. I went in the computer to see if there was something to tell me because it doesn't look like it would be secure at all. I thought before I got them, that the straight piece would go all the way through the hole. I can't imagine it not falling out with only one end sticking in the hole. But, you say it's good, so I'm about to make a bracelet with it and see. Thanks! Sincerely, Tammie Stovall

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