Different Types Of Belt Buckles: Which One Is Right For You?

Greetings, buckle enthusiasts!

From the humble prong buckle to the flashy western-style trophy buckle, these little accessories can make a big statement about your personality and style.

Belt buckles are more than just a functional accessory to hold up your pants. They can be a fashion statement, a symbol of achievement, or simply a way to express your individuality.

Whether you're a cowboy or a city slicker, there's a buckle out there that's just right for you. In this article, we'll explore some of the different types of belt buckles and what makes them unique.

Let's get started.

Heel Bar Buckles - The Classic Choice

Heel Bar Buckle

The heel bar buckle is one of the most common types of belt buckles and for good reason. The bar runs across the heel of the buckle, and when you use one of these, you're going to need to add a loop or a “belt keeper.” That's going to hold down the tongue of the belt or the strap.

Weaver Leather Supply sells all manner of pre-made keepers, including decorative, metal, and veg tan. For veg tan, if you dye the project, you can dye the keeper so it will be a perfect match.

There is an unlimited variety of heel bar buckles in terms of fashion, western, period, basic, utility, sizes, colors, and finishes. You can buy the buckle first and then design the belt around the buckle design. It's a classic choice that never goes out of style.

Center Bar Buckles - The Built-In Keeper

A center bar buckle is another popular choice that doesn't require a separate belt keeper.

The bar goes right across the center so you don't need a keeper because the buckle is the keeper. You can also have a two-pronged center bar so all you have to do is punch two oblong holes. This type of buckle is great for a clean, minimalist look.

Trophy Buckles - Flashy & Fashion-Forward

If you're looking for a more statement piece, then the trophy buckle is a great option. You don't need an oblong or even a keeper for this buckle. It's a popular choice for sports teams, rodeo riders, and other organizations that want to show off their accomplishments. You can get a trophy buckle with your name, logo, or design engraved on it.

There's nothing wrong with making it personal!

Buckle Sets - Multiple Beautiful Designs

Buckle Sets

Weaver Leather Supply has multiple, beautiful buckle sets with many different designs. They can be customized to match your style and preferences. Buckle sets typically include a buckle, a keeper, and a tip. Some sets also include conchos or other decorative elements.

These sets are a great option for those who want a coordinated look from top to bottom. Is that you?

Conway Buckles - An Underappreciated Gem

Conway Belt Buckles

You don't see Conway buckles often, but they have great benefits. You don't need a keeper, oblong, screws, or snaps. All you need is a line of holes. If you have a strap that needs to be adjusted from time to time or you want to bring two straps together, this is a perfect choice.

It's different to master the movement on this buckle, but once you do, you'll appreciate the simplicity and versatility

Adding a buckle to a belt blank

Time To Secure the Buckle

Let's talk about the most underrated and often overlooked part of a belt - the buckle. Buckles are the unsung heroes that keep your pants up and add a touch of personality to your outfit. But, did you know there are different ways to secure your buckle?

Here are some highly efficient ways to make your belt stand out.

The Rivet - Heavy-Duty Heroes

If you want a secure buckle that can withstand any adventure, rivets are your heroes. Double cap rivets, 104 tubular rivets, and solid copper or solid brass rivets and burrs make great options. Check out our full selection to add just the right touch to your project. Not only do they look great, but they're also durable and easy to set.

Line 24 Snap - The Buckle Swapper

If you like to change your buckle often, the line 24 snap is the perfect option for you. It's good for 7-8 ounce or 8-9 ounce leather and comes in multiple finishes. Swap out your buckle to match your outfit without any hassle.

Line 20 Snap - The Lightweight Champ

If you have a lighter leather belt, the line 20 snap is the way to go. It's perfect for a 4-5 ounce or 5-6 ounce leather and comes in multiple finishes. Keep it simple and secure with this lightweight champ.

Chicago Screw - The Strong and Easy Option

If you want a buckle that's strong and easy to swap out, the Chicago screw is your go-to option. It's a threaded rivet with two big benefits.

First, it's easy to install and remove, so you can change your buckle with ease. Second, it's strong enough to use on high-stress points on your leather belt. Weaver Leather Supply even adds a slot for an Allen wrench on this rivet to make installation a breeze.

Sewing - The Belt Strengthener

If you're looking to add some extra strength to your belt, sewing is a great option. However, traditional production belts are sewn across the belt, which can weaken the belt's strength. Instead, sew along the edges of the belt to maintain its strength. If you're using a heel bar buckle, you'll need to add a keeper, which can become tedious with multiple stitch lines. If you're not feeling up to sewing or securing your buckle with rivets or snaps, a simple knot can add personality to your belt. Get creative with different knots to add some flair to your outfit.

Buckle Up and Get Started!

Adding a new buckle to your leatherwork project is an excellent way to personalize and elevate your creation. Whether you opt for a heel bar or center bar buckle, a trophy buckle, or a Conway buckle, each option offers a unique look and functionality. Don't be afraid to experiment and have fun with your leatherworking projects. Ultimately, the best belt buckle is the one that fits your design and style preferences.

Fortunately, there are endless possibilities!

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