Clasp Wars: Toggle Clasps

It’s time for another Clasp Wars post! This month, I wanna talk about Toggle Clasps.

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So, I’ll admit,  I’ve been putting off writing about toggle clasps because I have mixed feelings about them. I certainly do use them- I think customers can easily intuit how they work and they can add a real nice finish to a piece. But… they don’t work in every piece and situation and it can be a bit tricky to describe why.

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First off, toggles are cute! The T and O combo fits together in a visually pleasing way (I think they look a little less like hardware than, say, a lobster claw) and they are available in every size, metal finish, and aesthetic possible. You can find them easily online and in most craft stores. When you get that exact right style match between your toggle and your piece, it feels so great!

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Because you can find them in so many places, however, you can end up with differing levels on quality as well. I have come across poorly-made toggle clasps where the “T” was too small and slipped right out of the “O” and I’ve also seen the opposite problem where the “T” was super long and barely fit and was very difficult to get on and off.

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And I think that’s the major drawback to toggle clasp – they need room to maneuver properly and they need tension to stay closed. You have to be careful not to use a huge, loose toggle on a bracelet or that “T” bar can slip right through. You also have to be aware of how slim your bracelet needs to be to allow the “T” bar to maneuver through the “O”. That’s one of the reasons I’ve become keen on using jump rings to attach my clasps in recent years. It gives a little more leeway.

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My general rules for toggle clasps are these – use them for necklaces because they are cute, easy to use, and gravity will help keep them clasped. If you’re gonna use them for a bracelet, it better be narrow enough at the ends for it to be clasped well, and you might want to add it on with jump rings to get more wiggle room in there.

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One last thing to think about with toggles – you can make your own! I have no photos of this, because I really never do it. I tend to make low-key pieces that are casual and I don’t mind adding metal to my jewelry. But people designing for folks with metal allergies or beaders who think a beaded clasp would better suit their piece have the option of beading a toggle. It’s a really neat option that some artist have done really amazing things with.

I’d usually rather slap a chain and toggle on a piece than bead the whole thing, but less lazy beaders than me have done some pretty amazing things with beaded toggles.

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What do you guys think about toggles? Am I just being too fussy with them in my bracelets? Do you find them easy to get on and off? Let me know in the comments!

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4 Responses to Clasp Wars: Toggle Clasps

  1. Liz Browning Fox says:

    Toggles certainly have a place. They can be decorative, so you can make the toggle a feature of the piece, rather than just a closure. If someone wants a necklace or bracelet with a variable length, though, toggles are out. The same is true for snap closures, buttons, magnetic clasps, etc. If they want to wear it at more than one length, they’ll need a lobster clasp and an extension, or even a ribbon tie. I go for toggles when I want something a little more decorative.

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  2. Debbie says:

    I think they’re lovely, and they are surprisingly secure. More ao than many magnets. My favorite part of the toggles is when they are more than a tool in the design, but when they flatter or enhance the design.

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  3. Christine says:

    Hello! Interesting article. Same here, last week I came across toggle clasps that, once I had put it on one of my bracelets, simply let the T part slip out of the O part. Bad design, I can restring the item with another clasp and bring back the unused ones to the shop. For the rest, it’s true that they come in so many different designs and colors that it’s now my favorite clasp if I don’t need – for example – a small chain. Thank you very much for the jump ring idea – hadn’t thought of it when you need more room to slide the T end inside. Thank you!!

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