Category Archive: BRASS

Rigging Hardware 101: How to Choose the Best Type for Your Project

Wire ropes, straps, hooks, and other rigging hardware can be used in conjunction with cranes or other lifting equipment to move loads that are too heavy to lift manually. A wide range of industries and applications use rigging every day to facilitate the movement of cargo and materials. Rigging may be largely taken for granted, but proper selection can make the difference between a safe, successful move and one that causes property damage or injury.

Strict safety guidelines must be followed to avoid accidents. There are several steps users should take to make sure everything is used correctly. These include:

  • Familiarizing all users and stakeholders with information contained within equipment user manuals.
  • Proper training on all rigging and lifting equipment for all operators.
  • Conducting regular preventative maintenance on all rigging and lifting equipment.
  • Adhering to all safety and operational standards set forth by OSHA and other regulating bodies.

Rigging Hardware 101 Infographic


The Different Types of Rigging Hardware

Rigging selection can be a complex process, with many different forms of hardware made specifically for certain weights, situations, and environments. Common forms of rigging hardware include:


Used to lift heavy objects and eliminate slippage of materials, rigging hooks come in various forms, each one better suited for different weights and material types. The most common styles include:

  • Hoist hooks
  • Lifting hooks
  • Rigging hooks
  • Sling hooks

Eye Bolts

Eye bolts typically serve as an anchor point for cables or wires and are chosen depending on the angle of the load. Eye bolt types include:

  • Shoulder eye bolts
  • Straight eye bolts
  • Screw eye bolts
  • U-bolts
  • Lag eye screws

Steel Nuts

Steel nuts work in concert with eye bolts on many rigging applications. Most steel nuts are made from type 316 stainless steel. Nut types include:

  • Hex nuts
  • Ball ends
  • Dome nuts
  • Wing nuts
  • Lifting eye nuts

Wire Ropes

Wire ropes are used in rigging, mooring, and lifting operations. They are typically made with stainless steel and come in multiple sizes and strengths. Wire ropes can be used in conjunction with clips, thimbles, and sleeves.

Pulleys & Blocks

Blocks are a requirement for lifting very heavy loads. They do so by lessening the force needed to move weightier objects. The most common type of block is the snatch block, but swivel blocks and square blocks are also viable options for specific applications. Blocks are easy to deploy, available in multiple sizes, and can accommodate up to 30 tons in weight. Pulleys, available in single and double varieties, tend to be combined with rigging ropes in order to hook onto objects securely. Pulley selection is dependent on rope, frame, and sheave size.

Choosing the Best Hardware for Rigging and Lifting

With so many options, it’s important to differentiate between each piece of equipment and figure out what is best for each unique lifting situation. The correct choice of rigging hardware depends on many variables, such as the different weather conditions they must withstand, the materials they are interacting with, and the industry that is using them.

Rigging is a versatile discipline. Divers use rigging hardware such as bolt snaps and D-rings to attach valuable items to fins, masks, regulators, ventilators, and tanks. Snap hooks, anchor chains, and trailer safety chains do a similar job as sailboat rigging hardware. Different harnesses may be used as saddle rigging hardware for horses, depending on the work load (breast collar harnesses for light work, breast strap harnesses for more strenuous activity). Rigging hardware is also useful for other recreational activities. Links, snaps, eye bolts, and D-rings are all useful ways to stay safe while rock climbing or water skiing.

Rigging hardware is an invaluable source of safety in many industrial, commercial, and recreational applications. Henssgen Hardware offers a wide range of solutions for your rigging needs. If you have any questions or want to request a quote, please contact us here.


Marine Hardware | Materials Guide: Stainless Steel, Brass, and More

Marine hardware allows commercial, industrial, and recreational operators to customize their vessels, increase safety, and improve efficiency. There is a variety of boat rigging hardware that enhances the performance of a diverse range of watercraft.

Buying rigging made from corrosion-resistant materials ensures marine hardware holds up in harsh environments. Knowing what to look for helps watercraft owners find the right marine hardware for their specific needs.

Hardware Types for Marine Applications

Marine hardware fulfills many purposes on watercraft. Common rigging equipment includes:


  • Snap hooks are a versatile tool used to secure anchor chains, organize gear, tie down tarps, or customize pulley systems. Prepared boaters should always keep a supply of marine snap hooks on their vessels.
  • Boaters use rope cleats to secure ropes and knots. Rope cleats allow kayakers to customize their rig for comfort and stability.
  • Double-end hooks allow operators to create strong rope networks to support sails, secure fishing lines, and fasten diving gear.
  • Rings are another multifaceted tool that helps boaters secure loads and lines. Kayakers and rowers use them to keep equipment close while on the water.
  • Fixed, open, and swivel-eye snaps are flexible components for sailboats, fishing canoes, and pontoons.

Boat rigging hardware is an integral part of marine activities. Hardware made with the wrong materials sustains damage from sea salt, wind, and water. Environmental stress weakens the hardware and endangers lives and property.


Material Selection for Marine Applications

Corrosion-resistant metals protect vital marine hardware from degrading in aquatic conditions. Optimal materials for marine environments may include:

  • Durable brass alloys work well for underwater applications. Brass prevents submerged components from wearing away in salty or high-pressure waters.
  • Steel is a cost-effective solution for milder marine conditions. This material withstands sun and wind damage. Steel alloys may not be the best fit for those who frequent saltwater environments.
  • Stainless steel is attractive and highly resistant to rust. It’s also less prone to pitting and corrosion from salt water.
  • Die-cast zinc withstands high temperatures, making it ideal for protecting motorized equipment. Marine hardware made from zinc offers a wide variety of cosmetic finishes that complement exterior components.

Natural elements are the biggest threat to vessel safety. Choose corrosion-resistant materials to prevent weakened and compromised components.

Marine Rigging Solutions from Henssgen Hardware

Henssgen Hardware supplies commercial boaters and water sports enthusiasts alike with high-quality, corrosion-resistant marine hardware. Our selection of clips, snaps, and rings come in a variety of metals, finishes, and sizes to match your specifications at wholesale prices.

Browse our online catalog to find the perfect piece for your project or contact us directly for a quote.

Snaps: A Comprehensive Guide

Snaps—also known as snap hooks or spring hooks—are hooks with a spring snap in their ends to prevent the accidental unhooking of a rope, cord, or other target line. Snaps are a common but essential component in a huge range of industrial applications, from dog leashes to theatrical lighting.

The Different Types of Snaps

With multiple snap types available, it may not be immediately clear which type is correct for a given application. This page will explore the different types of snaps and their applications.

. Snap Hooks

snap hook

The traditional snap hook is perhaps the most common type. Snap hooks are equipped with a durable spring that allows for strong, quick attachment to a rope, cable, chain, or other line.

In its most basic form, a snap hook is a roughly question-mark shaped metal hook with a hollow section into which the spring-loaded closing bar is fitted. There will also be a small appendage that catches the snap hook and opens it when pressed with the thumb. Upon release of the knob, the gate snaps close by the spring’s action.

Snap hooks can come from a wide variety of source materials, such as brass, stainless steel, and die-cast zinc. They also can provide different functions, such as:

  • Panic snapsThis snap type allows the attached rope or cable to be released almost instantly. Some panic snaps are specifically designed for horses and come with a ring that instantly releases anything attached to the snap.
  • Fixed-eye snapsThese snaps have bases that are fixed in place. They are often used in the marine industry as boating attachments.
  • All-purpose snapsThese snaps let the operator change lures/rigs quickly without the need to retie a line.
  • Swivel-eye snapsSwivel-eye snaps have an adjustable base that allows the spring to turn along its vertical axis.

Snap Hook vs Carabiner

A carabiner is a metal loop with a spring-loaded entryway that will quickly open in order to detach a safety rig’s parts, such as the cable or line. The only way to open a carabiner is to manually push the gate away from the loop. This is one key difference between a carabiner and a more traditional snap hook—the snap hook can only release the cord or rope it holds if the spring gate is pushed towards the loop, instead of away from it.

Snaps vary in the amount of weight for which they are designed, and the amount of force they can successfully withstand without breakage. Snap hooks and carabiners should both have a kN (kilo-Newton) rating engraved on their spine. This is a rating for the force of gravity that the snap can successfully absorb.

. Heavy-Duty Snaps

heavy duty snap

For certain applications, the use of heavy-duty snaps is imperative. These snaps are constructed for strength and durability, and are subject to rigorous American National Standards Institute (ANSI) guidelines.

For instance, ANSI requires that fall-protection hardware have at least a 16 kN rating for the gate, and a 22.5 kN rating for the tensile load. In other words, the snap’s spring gate should be able to withstand kN forces of 3,600 pounds, and the snap itself must handle forces of 5,000 pounds. 

. Trigger Snaps

trigger snap

What are trigger snaps? Trigger snaps are considered a specialized type of snap hook. The distinguishing feature of a trigger snap is the addition of a small lever onto the spring gate apparatus. The snap’s user can easily press the lever, which then causes the spring gate to retract inwards and release the attached line. In practice, this means that a snap operator can easily attach or detach from a line with one hand.

Moreover, the trigger snap is designed so that it will not open accidentally. Trigger snaps are used for handbags and purses, camera and binocular straps, and other fashion or accessory applications.

. Bolt Snaps

bolt snap

Bolt snaps are like trigger snaps in the sense that they can be easily operated with one hand. The main difference between the two snap types is the unlocking mechanism. Whereas a trigger snap utilizes a lever; a bolt snap employs a button that causes the spring gate to release when pressed.

Bolt snaps tend to be less secure than trigger snaps since accidental pressure on the release button could cause an unintended detachment from the line or strap.

Applications: What are Snaps Used For?

Snaps can be used in a comprehensive array of industries and applications. Examples of common applications include:

  • Sports equipment. Snap hooks can keep volleyball and tennis nets level and tight. Facility managers for baseball fields may use them to hold up the netting behind home plate. Snap hooks may also be used to secure rifle slings, bird straps, or water skis. The sports applications for snap hooks are almost limitless.
  • Dog leashes. Dog leash snap hooks come in a wide variety and at different cost and quality levels. Factors to consider in choosing a snap hook type for dog leashes include: snap material, swivel-eye vs. fixed, eye shape, and eye diameter.
  • Awnings. Whether an awning is retractable or stationary, stainless steel snap hooks and other snap types typically provide stable and adjustable support.
  • Marine hardware. Sailors can employ snap hooks to attach to anchor chains, trailer safety chains, to secure equipment, or to secure vessels to docks.

But while snap hooks are usually thought of as heavy-duty hardware and associated with tough, durable products, the truth is that snap hooks have a softer side. There are many creative ways that snap hooks can be put to use.

Snap Hardware Materials

There are five types of material commonly used to produce snaps. Each material has its own unique properties and advantages.

  • Die cast zincZinc casting alloys tend to be stronger than reinforced, molded polymers. Zinc has self-lubricating abilities, and its stability makes it highly compatible for mechanical parts that move, such as gears. Zinc is also non-toxic and reusable.
  • Stainless steelStainless steel is exceptionally resistant to corrosion, making it a good fit for outdoor applications. In fact, high-grade stainless-steel alloys are even compatible for high acidity, high pressure, and high temperature conditions. Stainless steel is extremely durable and its lifespan typically offsets any increased upfront costs. 
  • Brass. Manufacturers often use brass for highly decorative applications that don’t involve a lot of moving parts or constant friction. Furthermore, brass is highly non-flammable, making it perfect for products that will be used around flammable or explosive gases.
  • Malleable iron. This material is often used for small castings or castings that have cross-sections of 0.25” or less. Malleable iron is very tough, highly ductile, and extremely heat resistant. It is utilized in electrical and pipe fittings, hand tools, and farm equipment, among other products.
  • Steel. Steel is a strong metal and can be formed according to rigorous standards of safety and quality.

Getting the Right Snap for Your Project at Henssgen Hardware

While they may be small components, snaps are essential to many applications across diverse industries. It’s important that you match the right snap to your project to ensure its ultimate success.

At Henssgen Hardware, we offer a wide range of snap products and are happy to help each customer find the perfect match for his or her particular application. If you’d like to learn more about our product line, reach out to us today or browse our online catalog. We work hard to ensure that our snaps are strong, durable, and will meet your specific needs.


The Hard(ware) Facts About Your Dog’s Leash

Next time you’re at the animal shelter or vet, watch as the staff there easily handles three or more dogs at once on a multi-dog leash. Of course, you can’t help but notice the amount of hardware involved in creating a great multi-dog leash.

When we think of a leash, we automatically think of a nylon line with a loop at one end for the walker’s hand to slip through, with some kind of snap or hook at the other end to attach to the dog’s collar. The average person doesn’t normally think too much of what it takes to turn a length of nylon into a safe piece of equipment for you and your dog.

In hardware “speak,” the pieces that make a simple nylon lead so effective and safe are familiar items in Henssgen’s everyday inventory.

Swivel Eye Bolt Snaps and Trigger Snaps

This is the item that connects you to your dog at the other end of that nylon line. It comes in several different metals, including malleable iron, brass and die-cast zinc, all of which are sturdy and weather-resistant. This is important for a couple of obvious reasons:

  • You and you dog still must go out, no matter what the weather;
  • You need something that is going to work smoothly and be rust-proof;
  • If the hardware on your leash is low quality, your dog could get loose and be injured;
  • It can get expensive to keep replacing your leashes.

Your Dog’s Collar and Comfort

If you’ve ever noticed, your dog’s collar is designed to fit on him snugly, but comfortably, allowing him to breathe with ease and move his head with no restrictions. The same is true of the increasingly popular harness-type collars, often used for bigger dogs or for dogs who are learning not to pull on the leash.

The Dee Ring on the collar and harness is used to attach the leash to your dog. There’s a reason it’s shaped like a “D” and not an “O” or other letter of the alphabet: it provides maximum comfort for your dog, while offering the best method of connection and quick release from the trigger or bolt snap.

Multi-Dog Leashes

For those of you who are real hardware “nerds,” a multi-dog leash is a beautiful example of the right use of hardware items such as quick release snap hooks, dee- and O-rings, and large harness swivel-eye trigger snaps for larger, heavier dogs.

So, the next time you’re getting ready to take your dog out for a walk, stop and take a look at the smalle but important pieces of hardware that transform a simple length of nylon into a safe, sturdy and dependable leash that keeps you and your dog safe and secure on your daily jaunts.

Henssgen Hardware has been supplying rings, quick release snaps, leather and chain hardware to dog leash and collar manufacturers since 1978. For more information, visit our website and shop our online catalog.

Don’t Find Yourself on Thin Ice with the Wrong Equipment

As winter descends upon us and the days and nights grow colder, fans of ice fishing are getting out their gear and preparing to reel in plenty of fish from nearby lakes, streams, and rivers.

For those who are new to this chilly winter sport and excited to get out on the ice, you’ve probably already got your augurs, chisels and special rods, reels and lures. And, your ice shanty is sitting in your garage, all ready to be loaded onto your pickup.

Think you’ve got everything? Well, before you head out onto the ice, don’t forget the other gear. You’re going to need sturdy rigging hardware to pull that shanty onto the lake or river. And, once you’re all settled on the ice, gear like D rings, double end bolt snaps and quick links are indispensable items for hanging your gear inside your shanty and keeping your reels and lines untangled and organized.

It’s also a good idea to have snap hooks linked to your fishing vest and other outerwear, giving you easy access to lures, jigs and other items that you’ll need to get your hands on in a hurry.
If you’re really diving into the ice fishing experience, chances are you’re going to cook your own food while you’re out there. Did you bring a cooking pot to hang over your campfire? Don’t forget to also pack some S-hooks for hanging the pot and other galley gear. Henssgen Hardware has a complete line of the best pulleys, hooks, all-purpose snaps and quick links in Stainless Steel, brass, die-cast zinc and other metals that won’t corrode when exposed to the water and the freezing elements.

Be sure to browse our extensive online catalog before you finish packing for your first ice-fishing trip of the winter. Otherwise, you could find yourself fishing on thin ice without the right equipment

Are you ‘Out of Your Element?’

Fun Facts About Brass!

Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc and is known for its resilience, strength, and high quality. It has been around and in use since ancient times, as both a decorative and utilitarian material. Changing the ratios of copper and zinc when producing brass will result in a material with different coloring and different properties.

brassDid you know that our neighbor to the East, Waterbury, CT, was once known as the most important center of brass production in the country? During the 1800s and well into the 20th century, foundries in Waterbury produced brass for buckles, buttons, and other decorative items. In addition to producing pipes and pipe fittings and many other materials in high demand during both peace and war.

The American Brass Company, Griggs & Smith, Randolph & Clowes – to name a few – were among the giants of the Connecticut brass industry. During the Civil War, all the brass buttons and buckles that went on the uniforms of both the Yankees and the Confederates were produced at the foundries in Waterbury.

Brass is an important alloy, because of its strength, resilience and high quality. It is widely used on craft, fashion and decorative items, like women’s purses, handbag and luggage clips, snaps and snap hooks, as well as in fashion jewelry, belt buckles and shoe buckles. Unlike other metals, it is more malleable and holds up better under pressure.

And, it can hold up to the elements. In addition to its uses for fashion and decorative items, it is used widely in marine, plumbing, and harness industries.

Zinc – A Ubiquitous Element

Listed as Zn on the periodic table of elements, Zinc has an atomic number of 30 and is important to plants, people, and animals. Traces of zinc can be found in certain foods, as well as in dietary supplements. The human body needs a certain amount of zinc every day to maintain proper health and optimal functioning.zinc

Zinc is an ingredient in many cold remedies, and some studies indicate that it may be useful in reversing heart disease and fighting cancer. Zinc plays an important role in hormonal balance, it boosts immunity, and acts as an anti-inflammatory.

You’ve no doubt heard of zinc-oxide. It’s that stuff you put on your nose to block the harmful UV rays from the sun. Well, zinc is also the primary ingredient in hot-dip galvanizing of steel to protect it from the elements and prolong its life. So, in different forms, it protects human skin and steel – pretty cool, huh?

Because of its protective qualities and lower pricing than brass, zinc-coated steel products, such as snaps, hooks, clips and pulleys are used regularly in the dairy and farming industries.

Whether your business requires brass, zinc, stainless steel or malleable iron, Henssgen Hardware supplies only the highest quality products. Visit us online and view our catalog for a complete product guide and pricing.

Brass vs Bronze? What’s the difference?

There have been times that I’ve seen bronze and brass items being marketed in the same categories but they are quite different not only in their make up but also in appearance. Here is some information that will help guide you in determining which would be best for your project.



First, bronze dates back to 3500 BC with the Sumerians, also leading to the Bronze Age. Through its discovery, people were able to create more detailed metal sculptures and building materials (decorative tiles), a larger variety of tools, weapons, and armor. Bronze was a much stronger and more durable alternative to stone and copper.

Brass was introduced around 500 BC.  Brass is made from an alloy of Copper and Zinc. Since Zinc is rarely if ever found in its natural state, early on people discovered melting copper and calamine (a zinc ore) yielded a golden colored tarnish resistant metal.  It was quite useful due to a high melting point and it’s malleability.

Below is a Comparison Chart that will clearly highlight the similarities and differences between the two metals:

 Brass vs Bronze

Brass Bronze
Composition: Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc.  Bronze is a metal alloy consisting primarily of copper, usually with tin as the main additive, but sometimes with other elements such as phosphorus, manganese, aluminum, or silicon.
Properties: Higher malleability than zinc or copper. Low melting point (900 c); flows when melted. Combinations of iron, aluminum, silicon & manganese make brass corrosion resistant. Susceptible to stress cracking when exposed to ammonia. Not as hard as steel. Hard and brittle. Melts at 950 centigrade but depends on amount of tin present. Bronze resists corrosion (especially seawater corrosion) and metal fatigue more than steel and is also a better conductor of heat and electricity than most steels.
Color: Muted yellow, somewhat similar to gold, but duller. Reddish brown.
Uses: Decorative; Low-friction applications (locks, gears, doorknobs, ammunition, valves); Plumbing / electronics; Musical instruments for acoustic properties; Zippers & uses where it’s important to negate spark (fittings & tools around explosive gas), boat and marine hardware Used in boat and ship fittings, propellers and submerged bearings because of resistance to salt water corrosion. Widely used for cast bronze sculpture; Bearings, clips, electrical connectors and springs; For top-quality bells and cymbals.
History: Brass was first known to exist in about 500 BC. Bronze dates to about 3500 BC.


Brass Hardware

Brass’s malleability and innate corrosion resistance make the metal ideal for a wide variety of hardware purposes. Its muted gold color is highly recognizable and can perform as both a decorative and functional element. While it can be confused with bronze, its unique properties and applications make brass a category unto itself.


Uses of Brass—Brass Hardware Applications

Brass is used across multiple industries to create corrosion- and spark-resistant fixtures, fasteners, and equipment components. Brass goods can last for many years, whether indoors and outdoors. Popular hardware applications for brass include:

  • Electronics (watch components, electrical terminals)
  • Home and garden (door knobs, fittings, locks, pipes, fasteners)
  • Marine (boat snaps, swivel eye bolt snaps, fasteners, pulleys)
  • Military and defense (casings, snap hooks, swivel eye bolt snaps, fasteners)
  • Oil and gas (non-reactive fittings, gears, tools, and valves)
  • Outdoor (snap hooks, quick release snaps, spring snaps)


The Benefits of Brass

Brass possesses several unique features that make it a solid choice for fabrication and machining. Some of these benefits include:

  • Antimicrobial properties
  • Resistances to both corrosion and shock
  • Malleability
  • Can develop an attractive and protective patina

Aside from these advantages, one of brass’s strongest benefits is its decorative appearance. The shine matches well with most woods and warmer colors.


Types of Solid Brass Hardware

Henssgen Hardware offers a wide variety of brass components and fasteners. Brass hardware is reliable, sturdy, and decorative, so each fastener can be used in visible or customer-facing environments. We always construct our fasteners with solid brass instead of offering brass-plated products that remain susceptible to corrosion.