I’m working on a backpack project that requires the use of metal buckles and hardware. I’m looking for a company, or companies, to source some components (I’m essentially looking for the metal equivalent of Nifco). Do you have any suggestions? Any help would be much appreciated.
Hi Patrick check out
also tandy leather in san mateo is good for buckles
otherwise check alibaba for large orders
hope that helps
Fidlock are a Germany company who exhibited at ISPO this year. They make buckles for the likes of Porsche Design, Salomon, Smith Optics… Their buckles look really trick! No doubt they come at a price but if your backpack is at the high end of the market it’s worth a look - http://www.fidlock.com
Thanks for the responses. Ill definitely check out SF Bags. I actually came across Tandy while working on a project a while ago, but had forgotten about them. Looking for places that sell leather goods in San Francisco is a little bit dangerous, haha. I’ve also spent quite a bit of time at Britex in the city and get the feeling they are the kind of place that would help my find things that they don’t stock.
Piers, I actually requested a catalog from Fidlock just before I posted this. Their stuff does look pretty cool and would definitely help differentiate a product. If you like their website, I would suggest you do the same, their catalog has a much wider selection of off the shelf components.
Thanks again, I’m still looking if anyone else has suggestions.
I ran across Strapworks.com a couple months ago. Looks like they might have what you need. Custom coloring options too.
Fidlock makes great stuff. I have several of their samples here at my desk right now.
However, they’re not 100% metal. In fact, only a small % of the entire construction is metal.
Do you want custom made metal hardware? Or off the shelf hardware? China made or US made?
There are hundreds of hardware manufacturers, most of them using plastic (Nylon, ABS, etc), but plenty who make metal.
Taylor, I guessed that Fidlock parts were primarily plastic based on the images and catalog, but they still looked interesting. I am primarily looking for off the shelf hardware, but I would like to use the hardware to help differentiate the product. Based on cultural influences in the market I’m designing for (high end skate/action sports), metal hardware seemed like a potential solution. I am aware of some of the plastic manufacturers (I.E. Nifco, etc.) but Im looking for some well designed, aesthetically pleasing solutions that are atypical to the bags in that industry.
As for country of origin, both have their advantages. In the long run, I would prefer US made, but it really depends on the product. Again, while custom buckles would be great, I’m not sure they make sense for the volume that I am designing for at the moment.
Again, thanks for the replies. I really appreciate the help.
Great links. Always trying to remember good buckle companies. Interestingly, my previous company created a large sample run of bags using something similar to the FidLock Miniturn(not sure of source). These were heavily tested by outdoor sports enthusiasts and the buckles didn’t last. Consider the use and abuse these will get and position on product, as some aesthetically high-end buckles may not be appropriate. I’ve quite often fab’ed up stuff using buckles from sailing shops because I know they’ll handle my abuse.
I’d love to know your final decisions. Some other standard links:
Mystery Ranch (pack God Dana Gleason’s latest endeavour) favours easily replaceable anywhere buckles for their niche packs.
+1 for Iderryan’s Strapworks recommendation.
I have ordered from them a few times and have received good service.