Bungee cords are great for holding things tight. You can use them to secure things on the roof rack of your car, strap the tarp of a truck or boat, or simply keep things from falling. Bungee cords are also good for making tire chains for cars and trampoline for kids. Kayakers also use them to make anchor trolleys and deck lines for securing kayaking gear. In other words, there are a million and one uses for bungee cords.
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What is a bungee cord?
A bungee cord or shock cord is an elastic rope with a fabric sheath. It can have a hook assembly on each end for easy attachment. The hooks are either plastic or metal and are strong enough to withstand the tension on the cord. Furthermore, the assembly of the hook attachment must be strong enough to keep the cord from coming off. A foolproof way to secure the bungee hooks is to crimp the ends of the cord with a hog ring.
In this article, I provide a step-by-step guide on how to securely install bungee cord hooks on a shock cord using hog rings and a pair of hog ring pliers.
How to secure bungee cord hook with hog rings
Tools and supplies
- Hog ring pliers via Amazon
- Hog ring fasteners
- Bungee cord
- Bungee hook
- Tape measure
- Utility knife or hot knife
- Needle nose pliers (optional)
Step 1: Measure and cut the bungee cord to length.
Measure enough length of bungee cord with tape measure and mark the cutting point. Wrap the cutting point with masking tape before cutting off the chord. The masking tape ensures that you end up with a clean cut. Now cut off the cord with a utility knife or hot knife.
Hot knife or utility knife, which is the best for cutting bungee cord? Both tools cut shock cords well but a hot knife cuts and seals at the same time. As such, you won’t need a fire torch to seal the ends of the cord if have a hot knife.
Step 2: Seal the ends of the cord to prevent fraying.
Use a fire torch or lighter to burn the ends lightly and squeeze with your fingers. Then remove the masking tape after the end has cooled.
Skip this step if you used a hot knife to cut the shock cord. Your cord is already sealed. Just remove the masking tape.
Step 3: Attach bungee hook or carabiner to the shock cord
Insert the end of the shock cord through the hole of the bungee hook or carabiner. Pull through as much length as you need for a good hand grip. At least 5 inches is good. But if you are making a big loop, you will need enough length to fold over.
Step 4: Set the hog ring onto the hog ring pliers.
Hog ring pliers have a spring mechanism that keeps the ring fastener from falling. The hog ring should be the same size as the diameter of the shock cord rope. For example, 1/4″ hog ring for 1/4″ bungee or 3/8 hog ring for 3/8 bungee.
Step 5: Double over the shock cord end and a hog ring
Bend over the end of the shock cord (about an inch or less) and attach the hog ring around it. You can use needle nose pliers to hold firmly the folded-over end while you attach the ring fastener.
Once the ring is properly seated, crimp it with hog ring pliers by squeezing the handles together. Press until the pokes of the ring overlap.
How many hog rings do you need? I know you might be tempted to use two hog rings but one is enough if you do it right.
Step 6: Pull back the excess bungee cord length
After attaching the hog ring, pull back the bungee cord so that the knot sits inside the hole of the hook. Now you have a foolproof knot that will keep the hook from ever coming out unless it breaks or the cord snaps.
Well, there you have it. That is how you attach a bungee cord to a hook using hog rings. You can also use a hog ring to splice shock cords together.
How to secure a hook to Bungee Cord using a Hog Ring – Video
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
When you cut bungee cord, the ends may start to fray. Fortunately, you can easily keep the shock cord ends from fraying by either cutting with a hot knife, burning the ends lightly with a fire torch, or applying a light coat of fray free fabric stabilizer.
One of the best fabric stabilizer products is the Terial Magic fabric fray free stabilizer (via Amazon). It binds the fiber of fabric together to prevent unraveling. You can use it to secure the ends of your bungee cords if you don’t know how to seal them with heat.
The rule of thumb when finding the appropriate size of hog ring for bungee is to use hog rings that are the same size as the shock cord. For example, 1/4 hog ring for 1/4 bungee or 3/8 hog clip for 3/8 shock cord. If you cannot find a matching size, choose the nearest hog ring size.
You only need one hog ring to attach a hook to a bungee cord. But make sure it is the correct size and crimp it properly.