How to fix a broken zipper pull tab

You might not think a zipper puller tab is important but when it breaks or comes off you will appreciate how it makes it easy for you to pull a zipper slider. Read this article to learn how a fix a broken or missing zipper pull handle.

Pulling a zipper slider that has a broken pull tab can be very difficult. You can even break your fingernails or hurt your finger tips while trying to grab a hold of the slider to pull. But all is not lost. If this happens to the zipper on your bag or garment, there are easy ways to fix it even without having to buy a new replacement zipper slider. In this article, l show you how to use items you already have to fix a broken zipper pull tab. But first, why would a zipper puller come off or break?

What causes a zip puller tab to break or come off?

There are many reasons why the pull tab on a zipper slider can come off or break. One of the reasons is if you pull the zipper glide too aggressively causing the puller tab to come off or bust. This is a common problem with luggage bags whereby a zipper glide becomes so hard to pull around a corner thus requiring you to apply more force. If the zipper slider pull tab is weak, it can break. Sometimes if you are too aggressive you could bust open the entire zipper slider body.

Another reason why a pull tab on a zipper would break is if you crush it accidentally. This can happen when you place heavy items on a zipper mechanism unknowingly.

A zipper pull tab can also wear out naturally and break off. This is common with metallic zippers, especially due to exposure to detergents and bleach as well as other corrosive fluids. At the job site, fluids such as oils and aerosals can cause the metallic zipper parts to wear out faster.

But when the zip puller comes off, it is not the end of the road for your garment or bag. You can fix it easily and be able to pull the slider on the zipper chain with ease again. But how do you do it?

How to fix a broken zipper puller handle

Method 1: Re-attach the zipper pull tab

The easiest way to fix a zip puller tab is to reattach it. Unfortunately, this applies only to a pull tab that has come off the hook of the zipper body without breaking.

To reattach a zipper puller handle that came off, use needle nose pliers to pry the hook on the zipper body. Slide the the puller through the hook and squeeze it shut with the pliers. This will secure the tab in place.

If the eye of the zipper puller handle is broken, try the next methods

Method 2: How to fix a broken zip pull tab with split ring

You cannot reuse a broken zipper pull handle. The only thing you can do is to either get a new puller or try to be creative. But since I promised you at beginning of this article that the zipper hacks I will share don’t require anything from the shop, I will deliberately avoid suggesting a new zipper. However, you will need a split ring. You can get one from a key chain or from old jewelry that you don’t use.

Simply open the split ring and slide it through the hole on the zipper slider. You may need a pair of split ring pliers to open the ring if it is too tough for your fingernails.

If the zipper slider has a hook instead of a hole, just slip the split ring through. Then press the open end of the hook to close the gap and secure the ring. Use a pair of pliers to press the hook and makes sure to apply the force gently to avoid breaking it.

Alternatively, if you don’t have a split ring at hand, you can use a piece of wire. Put it through the loop or hole on the zipper slider and twist the two ends together to make a very nice braid. Use wire twister pliers or any pliers with good grips to twist the wire.

Method 3: How to fix a broken zipper puller tab with a zip tie

The third method is a temporary solution that involves using a cable tie. Since the loop or hole on a zipper slider is small, you need a very narrow zip tie. Once you put it through the hole, tie it all the way down and cut off the tail so that you only have enough length to grab. If the loop to which the zipper slider pull handle attaches is broken, you may have to get a new slider. Check out this article to learn how to replace a broken zipper slider.

Alternatively, you can use epoxy to attach a DIY pull handle onto the zipper puller body. The makeshift puller handle will need to have long legs to increase the contact area for the glue.

Well, I hope you have learned how to deal with a zipper slider whose pull tab has come off or is broken. So, next time don’t hurt your fingertips trying to run the zipper slider without a pull handle while you could fix it yourself.

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Julio a.k.a Pliersman is the owner and creator of the Pliersman Website. As a handy person, he possesses a variety of pliers (both general-purpose and specialty pliers) which he uses to complete various tasks. When Julio is not blogging, he spends his time in the garage fixing cars or building stuff.