Choosing the Right Grommet
grommet assortment

Why Choose Grommets?

The small but mighty grommet is a piece of hardware used to reinforce holes in fabric. Grommets are paired with coinciding washers that engage with each other on either side of the fabric (sold in sets through Trican®).


While there is a lot out there to choose from, certain manufacturers make stable metal grommets specially built for heavy-duty uses. There are several types of grommets and washers, depending on application and size demands. They can be used in tents and tarps, industrial covers, boat covers and other marine uses, custom awnings, shade sails, vinyl banners and flags, grommet curtains, drapery, outdoor upholstery, and more.

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Common Grommet Questions

See below for answers to some common questions about grommets.

  • What Do Grommets Do?
  • What's the Difference Between a Grommet and an Eyelet?
  • What Types of Projects Use Grommets?
  • How Do I Install Grommets?
  • How Do I Remove Grommets?
  • What's the best sign and banner fabric for reinforcing grommets?
  • What grommets work with the FASNAP® PM5 machine?
  • What are the different benefits of metal grommets, rubber grommets, and plastic grommets?
  • Grommet Types

  • Plain grommets
  • What's the Difference Between a Grommet and an Eyelet?
  • What Types of Projects Use Grommets?
  • Washer Types

  • Plain washers
  • Tooth washers
  • Spur washers
  • Neck washers
  • Grommet Size Chart

    Grommets and washers are assigned a standard sizing number from #00 to #4. Keep in mind, though, sizing is slightly different between plain/tooth and spur grommets/washers. Take care in selecting the properly sized tools for the types of grommet and washers you’re installing. What size grommet you need will depend on the project.

    For example, a #0 Spur Washer has an approximate inner diameter (ID) of 5/16”, therefore, will pair with a #1 Hole Punch or Cutter (not a #0, which makes a 1/4” hole)

    See grommet size chart below for corresponding sizes (in inches).

    • PLAIN GROMMETS
    • ROLLED RIM GROMMETS
    • PLAIN WASHERS
    • TOOTH WASHERS
    • SPUR WASHERS
    • NECK WASHERS

    Materials Grommets Come In

    You’ll find grommets and washers in a few different materials, each containing its own benefits. The following are four of the most common choices.

    • Brass is a durable, moderately priced material that resists corrosion and can withstand high temperatures. Brass grommets are popular because they can live in just about any environment. Because the material is malleable, it’s easy to work with. Brass grommets with plain washers are a good standard choice.
    • Stainless steel is less malleable than brass but very strong, making it best for use in self-piercing grommets.
    • Aluminum is lightweight but durable and corrosion resistant. Since it’s not as strong as brass or steel, it’s generally used for lighter uses.
    • Nickel and black plated options offer different finishes with added abrasion resistance.

    How to Use a Grommet Tool

    There are several tools you can use to install a grommet. Using the right grommet tools help make the installation process go much smoother. We recommend pairing the following tools with your preferred grommet style and a distinct fabric for a professional result.

    What is the best grommet tool? That will depend on your project. Below we'll describe the differences between the tools and explain how to use a grommet press and other grommet tools. You can apply the grommets by hand or with a grommet press tool.

    • DOT Snapmaster® Hand Press

      The M-380E press easily mounts to a wooden table or bench and is used to install a range of fasteners. It features an ergonomic handle and an adjustable lower die holder for greater flexibility and creativity.

    • Dead Blow Hammers and Rawhide Mallets

      Dead blow hammers and rawhide mallets are used in conjunction with grommet dies when installing by hand. The soft face minimizes impressions while delivering a powerful blow.

    • Urethane Cutting Pads

      Use a urethane cutting pad to protect your work bench or surface beneath the fabric.

    • Hole Cutters

      Use these cutters with a dead blow hammer or mallet to cut holes prior to installing your grommets.

    • Setting Dies

      Setting dies work with a hammer or a grommet press tool. The grommet fits in the die and is attached to the fabric once hammered or pressed into place.

    • Pres-N-Snap® Setting Tool

      The Pres-N-Snap tool works with different dies to install fasteners and grommets (works with #1 plain grommets only). It can be used as a hand tool, by simply squeezing the handles to press the grommets in place. It can also be mounted to a bench to reduce hand strain. See it in action here.

    • Home Grommet Kits

      Grommet kits are a convenient way to gather the necessary tools for small, home-based grommet projects. Each kit comes with a grommet die, cutting punch, grommets and washers, a cutting board, and instructions.

    Disclaimer:

    The purpose of this guide is to give fabricators some general guidelines and product information.

    This guide should not be considered as the sole source of information on grommets. This guide is strictly informational.

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