Basics on Paracord Buckle Sizing and Selection

At Paracord Wholesale, we’re proud to offer a huge variety of paracord supplies for any project or craft you might have in mind. Our 550 paracord and numerous other bulk paracord rope options are versatile and durable, helping you with projects ranging from artsy personal jobs to important practical needs.

In addition to our actual paracord products, we also offer a number of valuable related accessories. One category here includes paracord buckles and shackles, which are used in a number of different craft areas, from necklaces and bracelets to waves, webbing or even dog collars. As you’re getting started on a given project that might require buckles, how do you know the proper size of buckle to purchase? Let’s go over how buckles are sized and measured, the common sizes generally used for some various applications, and some basic additional tips in this area.

paracord buckle sizing selection

How Buckles Are Measured

While you might think buckles are measured based on their own essential size dimensions – that is, the length or width of the entire buckle itself – this is not actually the case. Rather, buckle size is actually determined by the dimensions of the anchor hole, or the areas where your paracord or other material is passed through.

This means that when you see or hear buckle size referenced, the measurement being referred to speaks to the size of this opening. A 3/8” buckle, for instance, has a 3/8-inch hole that material can be passed through. Simple enough, right?

Common Bucket Sizes and Applications

Now that we have a foundation for what buckle sizes refer to, what are some of the size ranges commonly used for various paracord projects? Here’s a basic breakdown – we’ll list the buckle size, the number of strands of 550 paracord that can generally fit through the openings of each buckle size, and the common project types each size is good for.

  • Breakaway buckle (smallest type, 1 strand of 550 paracord fits): This product is designed for safety and use for small children, often used in child bracelets, necklaces and lanyards.
  • 3/8” buckle (2 strands): Used for simple bracelets, not meant for any heavy stress.
  • 1/2” buckle (up to 3 strands): For paracord bracelets with reasonable durability.
  • 5/8” buckle (up to 4 strands): For wider bracelet weaves and patterns.
  • 3/4” buckle (4-5 strands): For the widest weaves, and also sometimes used for dog collars.
  • 1” buckle (5-6 strands): For nylon webbing and dog collars.
  • 2” buckle (11-12 strands): Rarely used.

Paracord is Compressible

One important note here: Because 550 paracord is at least somewhat compressible, there are many strand types that may fit a few more strands through a buckle opening than the list above suggests. This depends on the individual product and the project in question.

For more on choosing the right buckle size for you paracord project, or to learn about any of our paracord supplies, speak to the staff at Paracord Wholesale today.