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Zipper Slider Replacement Guide

So you don’t need to replace a whole zipper, just the slider? Replacing a zipper slider - sometimes called a pull tab or a zipper head - is usually a much easier repair than a full zipper replacement. Great news, right? However, there are still several questions to answer to determine the correct part to use. Following along in this guide will help you determine the right slider to order from our zipper pulls and sliders offerings.

Shortcut: We offer Zipper Rescue Kits, which contain an assortment of the most common zipper sliders and stops. If you would like to get a kit with several common sliders and stops (rather than 1 individual slider), you can check out the following links to order a kit. There is a kit for clothing zipper sliders and a different kit for outdoor zipper sliders:

Zipper Rescue Kit - Clothing Zipper Slider Repair Kit

Zipper Rescue Kit - Outdoor Zipper Slider Repair Kit

If you would rather order only the slider you need, and not an entire kit, please read on...

Here are instructions for determining the correct sliders or pull tabs for your zippers. Use the following guide to determine the identifying features of your zipper. Once you have done that, the links toward the bottom of this page will point you to the right place on our website to find your zipper slider replacement.

1. Material - Determine type of material your zipper teeth have. Common types include:

Molded Plastic

Nylon Coil


2. Gauge. Determine the gauge of your zipper. A gauge is a number which describes the thickness of the zipper teeth.

The number of the gauge corresponds to the width of the zipper teeth, in millimeters, when the zipper is zipped. You can also double the width of one tooth if the zipper will no longer zip (this is an approximation that might overstate the gauge slightly depending how much the zipper teeth overlap in the center when zipped). The larger the number, the more heavy duty the zipper. The most common gauges include #5 (5mm) for a medium weight jacket zipper and #10 (10mm) for heavy duty jacket zippers.

3. Autolock or nonlock - Autolock sliders disengage when you pull directly down on them. If you pull them from the side, they will not move. Autolock sliders are typically found on jackets and pants, and other garments. Nonlock sliders can be moved from any direction. They are commonly found on bags and tents.

Once you know those 3 characteristics, plus the color you desire, you can select from among our stock items.

Sliders for Molded Plastic Zippers

For sliders for molded plastic zippers, click the link below:

or decorative novelty sliders for #5 molded plastic zippers can be found here:

Sliders for Nylon Coil Zippers

For sliders for nylon coil zippers, click the link below:

Sliders for Metal Zippers

For sliders for metal zippers, click the link below:

or decorative novelty sliders for #5 metal zippers can be found here:

Please keep in mind that we do not guarantee that our sliders will work with your existing zipper. Most of the time they do, but there can be variations across zipper manufactures.

We hope that after reading these instructions, you are zipping again in no time flat!