We are pleased to announce the release of our very own, proprietary, swivel snap. They are marine grade snaps, made out of stainless steel, feature a durable black coating, and are custom designed to fit our products and customers needs. Our journey to create a snap started with the simple fact that we could not find any available hardware that met our exacting standards. While we have been using the highest quality solid brass snaps available, there were several issues with their design that made them less than perfect. Being that they were designed for marine use, they were durable but they weren’t designed with impact against hard surfaces in mind and they were prone to getting caught on other gear. Our goal was to create a single attachment option that could be utilized though our entire product line: it needed to be intuitive to use, snag free, durable, and rust resistant.
We chose to utilize a swivel snap design because it has been the de facto standard in pet products in the last century due to their ease of operation with one hand. This provides a sense of familiarity with the snap for most all pet owners. Swivel snaps are easy to use, durable, and, as the name implies, they swivel which helps reduce twists in leads. One of the main issues was finding a snap that was the right size. Our snap was dialed in to accommodate our 1” webbing, without bunching, and the round slot design allows for and additional 180 degrees of movement—this means the lead can articulate on a double axis to further reduce tangles or accidental un-clippings.
From there we redesigned and beefed up the thumb tab on the gate to be large enough for gloved hands to manipulate. We also made sure that the thumb gate ended flush and did not have a lip, to mitigate getting caught on environmental hazards. We have always touted the importance of a drain port on snaps, so these have the same feature. True to the name, a drain port is a hole at the bottom of the snap that allows any water to easily flow out. Reducing moisture helps mitigate internal rusting and helps prevent freezing.
The last step in the design process was choosing a proper material. While these snaps feature the most durable coating available on the market, it is only a coating and therefore can wear off with extreme abrasion and over time. If the coating does happen to wear, the metal underneath is then susceptible to a wide array of environmental conditions. Choosing steel for the snap is an easy choice, mostly due to its strength. The issue with steel is the susceptibility to rust. Manufacturers often use zinc or another method to coat and protect steel, but these are only coatings and likewise can wear off exposing the steel to the environment, resulting in rust. Therefore the surest way to future proof against rust is to use a stainless steel alloy.
The result of the material choice and coating method is a snap that not only looks great initially, but will look great for the life of the product. And the intentional design aspects ensure that the snap works properly in any environment. While this snap has become our default offering and should work great for almost everyone, we understand that there may be department requirements for a specific clip in option. Therefore we will continue to offer other attachment options as an add-on or customized product. We suggest you look over our attachment point analysis if you would like more information on various attachment options.
For anyone with a dog trained for protection work who wonders if this snap will work for back ties, the simple answer is yes, however these are not being independently strength rated for that use. We still recommend that you use our proprietary carabiner clip-in point (found on the snap end of our leads) with a strength rated carabiner for that type of training.