Why We Use Chicago Screws on Our Camera Straps

I use solid brass Chicago screws on a handful of my items, but this blog is specifically about my Thin Leather Camera Straps. 

Chicago screws are a two piece hardware set, which hold two pieces of material together, in this case leather.  Chicago screws are considered to be one of the most secure ways to attached two or more pieces of leather. Because of the thickness of the tops and the screw mechanism holding the pieces together, a very strong bond is created.  This is in contrast to rivets which are held together by the metal being folded over on itself.  A proper saddle stitch is probably the strongest way to connect leather, however, over time, the stitch can wear and possibly break.  Solid brass Chicago screws would bend before breaking, so you would be less likely to have a catastrophic failure. 


The strength of the bond is one reason I use Chicago screws over rivets when I can.  The other (and main) reason I used Chicago screws, specifically on my thin leather camera straps is for ease of putting them on and taken them off. 


Once the heavy duty split key rings are on the camera lugs, you can very easily unscrew the Chicago screws to quickly changes straps.  I use this design because I personally don’t always like to have a strap on a camera and it can make your gear easier to stow on long trips.  Gone are the days of bending your finger nail off in order to move the split key ring from one camera to another.

A little secret I have is that the Chicago screws on my thin leather camera straps can be removed with a stiff guitar pick!  Couldn’t be easier.