Bolt Snap or Scissor Snap: What Hardware Should I Choose for my Leash? 

We've recently updated our product pages to include some additional customization options! Our Medium and Large Leashes and Long Lines now include a choice of snap - Bolt Snap or Scissor Snap. Additionally, our Small, Medium and Large Leashes and Long Lines now have the option to add an O Ring or a D Ring to the handle. All hardware is high quality and solid brass. You may be wondering what hardware options to choose - we break it down for you here!

Above (Left to Right): Medium Bolt Snap, Medium Scissor Snap, Large Bolt Snap, Large Scissor Snap 

Bolt Snap vs Scissor Snap

Bolt Snaps are the standard style snap for dog leashes and long lines. They have a spring mechanism inside, and a button that moves up and down to open and close the snap gate so that you can attach the leash to your dog’s harness or collar. We use bolt snaps on all of our dog walking gear, and love them because they are easy to use, quick to get on and off (handy if you’re swapping out leashes for long lines), strong, and durable. There are a couple of possible downsides to a bolt snap. First, the metal spring inside the clasp can get sticky if exposed to the elements over time (especially salt water). For this reason, we recommend rinsing your clasp in fresh water after a trip to the beach. If the spring does get sticky, add a couple of drops of WD-40 or another penetrating oil to get it moving fluidly. Second, while I have never had a bolt snap open inadvertently, I have heard of this happening on very rare occasions, most likely from the snap gate button getting caught on a piece of hardware. My best advice is to ensure that the gate is completely closed after you hook the snap to the D-ring on the harness or collar, and that the button is not caught on anything when you attach the snap. 

Scissor Snaps (also called Trigger Snaps) work a little differently. Similar to scissors, there are two separate components that are connected via a lever at the bottom, and you can open or close the clasp using a tab at the bottom. The advantage of a Scissor Snap is that it does not have a spring inside, so is less likely to get sticky. If you live on the coast and/or visit the beach a lot, this may be an important consideration. Since the tab at the bottom is larger than the button on a bolt snap, some find the scissor snap easier to open when wearing gloves. Similar to a bolt snap, it’s possible (thought extremely unlikely) that the gate opening lever could inadvertently be pushed down, causing the gate to open. 

A final difference between the two clasps is how quickly they release. With a bolt snap, when you press the button to open the gate, you have to then move the clasp hook up and over the D-ring to get it off. With a scissor snap, because of its design, the clasp will releases immediately when you open the gate.

Both of these snap styles are extremely strong and durable - in our many years of walking dogs we have never had a snap fail! Of course, it is ultimately your responsibility to ensure the safety of your dog and to check your hardware regularly. If you have any questions, as always, contact us!

Floating O Ring or Fixed D Ring Option 

We've found that some customers like having a D Ring or an O Ring affixed to the handle of their leash or long line. This can be used for attaching a poop bag holder or for more easily attaching the leash cross-body while you are off leash hiking (clipping the leash to itself using the clasp). While most prefer the fixed D Ring, some people like the Floating O Ring design, so we decided to offer either! The Fixed D-Ring or Floating O-Ring are available for $2/each as add on options. 

Why Solid Brass? 

We have a lot of requests for various hardware styles and colors. Some prefer the aesthetic of silver hardware more than brass. Why do we choose to use brass hardware? Most silver hardware found on the market for pet products is either nickel plated brass or (more typically) nickel plated (non-stainless) steel. Unfortunately, the nickel plating, and the steel hardware underneath, are not rust or weather-proof and will degrade over time, resulting in pitting, a dull finish, rusting, and even the possibility for breakage or failure. A superior option is stainless steel, which is used in a lot of marine products, but it is difficult and cost prohibitive to source stainless steel hardware for consumer products. We have found an excellent middle road with solid brass, as it is rust proof, strong, beautiful, retains its strength and luster over many years of use, and can be readily sourced. Though it is more expensive than the nickel plated steel hardware found in many pet products, we have found the superior quality to be more than worth the added cost. 

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