Robert E. De Barth - Eyelet or Grommet

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What is the difference between an eyelet and a grommet?

Many people think that if you use a washer with your application you are using a grommet. This is not the case. The main difference between an eyelet and a grommet is that the grommet has a large flange diameter in relation to the hole size than an eyelet. The larger flange is used for additional holding strength in high stress applications such as tents, banners and flags. For most applications an eyelet with a washer will provide more than adequate holding power if set properly. Grommets tend to look more "industrial" and do not have the "finished look" of an eyelet. Eyelets are the main choice in garments, belts, hats, shoes and other applications where aesthetics are important. Eyelets are also the main choice when binding papers, booklets, calendars and for hole re-enforcements in tags and labels. The small flange of the eyelet does not detract from the overall appearance of these items since it is not as pronounced as the flange on a grommet. Below is a picture to illustrate the point. On the left is an eyelet with the same inside hole diameter as the grommet on the right. Notice how much larger the flange on the grommet on the right is versus the eyelet on the left.

by Earl De Barth, Technical Writer


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