The 7 Most Common Clasps

If you're fairly new to jewelry making, it might be difficult at first to determine what type of clasp you should use when designing your bracelet or necklace. Below are seven of the most common. (Photos courtesy of

Box clasps are shaped like a box on one end and have a bent metal tab on the other end that snaps into the box. It's nice to use these as a decorative element on your piece–think asymmetry.

Fish-hook clasps are most commonly used with a classic pearl necklace. They have a hook on one end that catches inside a marquis-shaped box.
Hook-and-eye clasps have a J-shaped side and a loop side that hook into each other. This type of clasp requires tension to keep it closed, so it's a good choice when creating a necklace that has some weight to it.
Lobster and spring-ring clasps have levers that operate an internal spring to open and close them. These are a great multi-purpose clasp for smaller, delicate pieces. They are my go-to clasp when using chain.
Magnetic clasps are held together by strong magnets, so they should not be used by people with pacemakers. Since heavier-weight necklaces or bracelets could cause the magnets to pull apart, they should only be used for light- to middle-weight pieces.
S-hooks are made up of an S-shaped wire with jump rings at each end. This clasp, like the hook-and-eye, depends on tension to keep it closed.
Toggle clasps also require tension to keep them shut. Simply pass the bar half of the clasp through the ring half to fasten. This type of clasp works especially well for heavier necklaces.

Another thing to note: some clasps have one loop for making single-strand jewelry and others have two or more loops for multistrand pieces.

When designing your necklaces and bracelets, take a look at the clasps that your local bead shop or online retailers carry–the options are virtually endless!

Happy beading!

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