What snap hook you need to make a dog leash?

Written By Rachel Novak

dog with leash on mouth


Estimates show that global pet owners spent billions on products for their pets and that number is expected to continue increasing year over year. To grasp some of this market share, pet product manufacturers must ensure that they use only the highest quality components on the products they sell. Pet industry consumers frequently seek out products for their pets that operate safely and function as intended, even if that means paying a little bit more.

Most municipalities have mandatory leash laws, which means that dog owners must own at least one leash. Pet owners require leashes that are comfortable for the pet and reliable for the owner. At Henssgen Hardware, we work with multiple pet manufacturers who make leashes for dogs. Our products support a variety of leash types, including but not limited to:

  • Long leashes for field trials
  • Leather leashes
  • Braided leashes
  • K-9 training leashes
  • Nylon leashes

With so many available choices in today’s dog leash market, our customers often inquire about the best snap hook for this purpose. This blog post will discuss snap hooks for dog leashes and how to select the best one for the job.

Choosing the Best Dog Leash Hardware

Dog lovers want their furry family members to be comfortable and secure on outside walks. The hardware used in the dog leash plays an important role in pet safety.

Swivel vs Fixed Eye Snap Hooks

Most dog leashes use a snap hook to keep the line secure. There are two snap hooks commonly used for dog leashes:

  • fixed eye bolt snapA fixed-eye snap hook has an eye opening that does not move or rotate. The primary benefit of this snap is that it has a stronger Safe Working Load (SWL) versus the swivel-eye snap hook. Although it does tend to be a stronger snap, the fixed eye does not offer the flexibility or freedom of movement some manufacturers seek in their products. This snap hook variety is most useful for large dog leashes or leashes marketed for dogs that pull.


  • swivel eye bolt snapswivel-eye snap hook has an eye that swivels around the bolt of the snap, allowing the webbing attached through the eye to rotate as the dog or pet moves. The swivel eye bolt snap is by far our most popular snap for dog leashes. It comes in a variety of material options and sizes that will accommodate dogs ranging from small to large. Of note, the movement of swivel snaps results in friction which may result in wear and breakage over time. Adhering to the advised SWLs for snaps is a very important factor to keep in mind when determining the size of dog the leash will be marketed to.


Pick the Best Snap Hook Eye Shape and Diameter for Your Leash

A couple of other factors that play a role in selecting the best leash hardware include:

  • The shape of the eye. Rounded swivels are compatible with most webbing material used for leashes, including leather, nylon, paracord, and more. Most rounded-end snap hooks flatten at the bottom to comfortably accommodate webbing material, so it’s important that webbing isn’t too wide. Square eyes are popular for leashes with wide webbing material, since they help prevent curling around the edges of the lead.


  • The diameter of the eye. The majority of leashes have either 3/4″ or 1″ webbing, which means the corresponding 3/4″ or 1″ snap hooks are the best options to secure the lead line. To ensure the right size and shape, make sure the webbing lays flat as it passes through the eye of the snap hook.


Other Hardware Options

Though swivel-eye and fixed-eye snap hooks are the most popular options for dog leashes, there are other hardware components sometimes used for this application as well. These include:

  • Trigger snapsTrigger snap hooks come with a level that allows for quick release of the line.
  • Harness swivel-eye trigger snapsHarness snap hooks are ideal when working with large dogs or dogs that are learning not to pull on the leash.
  • D-rings and O-rings D-rings or O-rings can be used to secure the snap hooks to the dog’s collar or harness. D-rings are most common for this purpose.

Steel snap and connectors

Best Materials and Finishes for Dog Leash Hardware

The three most popular finishes for dog leash hardware include stainless steel, brass, and die-cast zinc.

  • Stainless steel makes it an excellent choice for durability and longevity. Though it is the most expensive option, it will not rust when exposed to rain or water, which makes it an ideal choice for fully outdoor applications such as leashes.
  • Brass looks great and holds up fairly well against the elements, though it will tarnish over time if frequently exposed to water and moisture. It is less expensive than stainless steel.
  • Die-cast zinc. This is the most economical option for dog lovers. Die cast zinc is rust-resistant and just as functional as stainless steel or brass. However, it will likely rust over time, especially if it is frequently exposed to the elements. Rust will impede the functionality and reliability of the snap hook and facilitate eventual replacement.

dog collar leash

Leash and Collar Hardware From Henssgen Hardware

At Henssgen Hardware, we provide components that help pet manufacturers to create reliable products that keep pets safely restrained and comfortable. We offer high-quality dog leash and collar hardware to suit a variety of budgets and project needs. If you’d like to learn more about our catalog of premium products, reach out to us today.