Stainless Steel Grommets Buying Guide

Posted by MyTarp Help Center on

What is the difference between an eyelet and a grommet?

An Eyelet is one-piece T-shaped fastener with top flange and barrel and punched through the material. A Grommet is made up of two pieces; a grommet and a washer. The grommet and matching washer are placed on opposite sides of the material (canvas, vinyl, leather, etc.)

Here is a helpful video on difference between an eyelet and a grommet.

How do you install stainless steel grommets?

Because stainless steel is a much harder metal than brass or aluminum, you must use specially designed stainless steel grommet tools.

Why do many people have problems installing stainless steel grommets? Improper tools, mainly. Either the grommet tool is not designed for stainless steel grommets or they are using an incorrect size or style of grommet tool. Stainless steel grommets require high carbon steel setting dies specifically designed for stainless steel grommets. Worn out grommet dies will not work with stainless steel grommets.

Here is a video of How to Install a Grommet.

Stainless Steel Grommets Installation Tips

  1. Use high carbon steel grommet dies designed for stainless steel grommets.
  2. Use the correct size grommet tool - Is the grommet tool the correct size?
  3. Use the correct style grommet tool - Is the grommet tool for Plain Grommets and Plain Washers style or Rolled Rim Grommet and Spur Washer?
    Important Note:'s stainless steel grommets and tools are standard US Stimpson style. Other styles of grommets or tools may not be compatible.
  4. Use heavier mallet - Stainless steel grommet require much more force to set. A gentle tap is not enough.
  5. Place the correct piece (grommet or washer) up and down on the grommet die - Placing the wrong piece up / down may damage your grommet tool.

What is a stainless steel grommet?

Stainless steel grommets is a two-piece fastener made from stainless steel sheet metal. Grommet setting tools are required for installation. Here are the common stainless steel grommets.

  1. 304 Stainless Steel Grommets - Most popular
  2. 305 / 302 Stainless Steel Grommets - 305 has slightly higher nickel content than 304.

Here is more information on Wikipedia of Stainless Steel Grades.

Do you need stainless steel grommets?

Stainless steel grommets are more expensive and more difficult to install. So, when do you need to use stainless steel grommets, instead of brass grommets or aluminum grommets? Here are some popular stainless steel grommet uses.

  1. Marine boat applications - Boats on salt water, boat curtains and shades
  2. Food processing and kitchens
  3. Medical facilities
  4. Laboratories

How do you know what size grommets to buy?

Grommet sizes are determined mainly by the grommet inner diameter, aka, grommet hole size. For tarps, boat curtains and industrial curtains, the most popular grommet size is #2.

Stainless Steel Grommet Sizes

Sizes of stainless steel grommets are following.

Plain #00 Stainless 3/16" .425" 0.135" 0.009"
Plain #0 Stainless 1/4" .545" 0.175" 0.012"
Plain #1 Stainless 9/32" .687" .185" 0.012"
Plain #2 Stainless 3/8" .815" .215" 0.013"
Plain #3 Stainless 7/16" .970" .295" 0.014"
Plain #4 Stainless 1/2" 1.050" .375" 0.016"
Spur #0 Stainless 9/32" .670" 0.175" 0.016"
Spur #1 Stainless 13/32" .790" .205" 0.016"
Spur #2 Stainless 7/16" .890" .255" 0.018"
Spur #3 Stainless 15/32" .970" .255" 0.020"
Spur #4 Stainless 9/16" 1.120" .320" 0.020"

Please see Grommet Size Guide for complete detailed grommet size information for all grommets.

Which Stainless Steel Grommets - Plain or Spur?

Spur grommets are made of heavier gauge metal and the washer has spurs all around the inside rim that lock into a rolled edge on the flange part of the grommet. As a result, spur grommets are slightly less prone to grommet pull out.

Comparison of Plain vs Spur Grommets

Style Pros Cons
Plain Plain is more popular and widely available
Widely available grommet tools for plain grommets
Less expensive
Possible less grommet pull-out strength*
Lighter gauge metal
Spur Possible higher grommet pull-out strength*
Heavier gauge metal. Less prone to bending
Require separate spur grommet tools
More expensive

* Grommet pull-out strength is heavily dependent on the material the grommet is installed to.

Share this post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published.