How to Test Your Side-Release Buckles for Safety
SAFETY FIRST: Testing your Side Release Buckles
While all hardware should be inspected periodically for normal wear and tear, here are 3 important tests you should administer before you start making anything with a side-release buckle. If any results of these tests are questionable, the hardware should be replaced or used solely for decorative applications.
Below are 3 tests you can do yourself when using side release buckles for your pet accessories, luggage, or other important projects.
OPEN + CLOSE TEST
Press both sides of the female part in, while simultaneously pulling the male part of the buckle. You should need to use pretty significant force to push the female ends in to allow the pieces to separate. If the buckle opens too easily, it may not be safe for use.
NOTE: Some tight fitting buckles may leave some scratches on the side of the wings where they scrape along the side of the buckle. This is a good sign, and means the buckle is snug.
Place your fingers on the top and bottom of the buckle, as shown. This will simulate the pressure of a dog's neck and body. With your other hand, pull forcefully on the female part of the buckle. If it slips out or if there is a possibility the buckle can come loose, do not use it for pet products.
NOTE: This is especially important for larger size buckles (1 inch, 1.5 inch) because they will be heavier and thus easier to open with less force.
The internal mechanism of your side release buckle is a simple spring, and a rivet that holds both wings of the female end in place. Take a nail or small pointed object (tip of a pen, etc.) and forcefully poke it into the hole on the underside of the buckle. If the rivet stays in, GREAT! If it pops out....obviously it needs tossed or the rivet replaced.
NOTE: This is not a common problem, but it is good to check occasionally.
There you have it. 3 ways to test the integrity of your side release buckles. Our hope is that you now feel more empowered to create with confidence, knowing your designs will be safe, beautiful, and loved for years to come.
Happy Making! xo-Nic