Making your zippers smarter and quieter

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Are you miffed by noisy zipper pulls? In certain use, so are we. That’s why we made this compact article on how to make practical and silent pulls with your own little hands.

Often, for example, backpacks come with just metal pulls or cord loops connected to the metal ones. This is OK as long as you don't need to be silent. However, when you want to sneak quietly like a true ninja, these dingle and dangle so loudly that it is impossible. Even if it doesn’t annoy you, an old metal pull can break. And on poor quality ones they can break simply because they are crap. Irritating but easy to fix.

Materials and tools

This is a pretty neat DIY project because you won’t need very expensive tools or materials, or a fully equipped mad scientist's lab. All you need are the following:

  • Paracord
  • A sharp knife or scissors
  • Wire cutters
  • A lighter for melting the paracord ends
  • Adhesive-lined shrink tubing
  • ITW GT Tactical Toggle or a tubular wooden button


Then let’s start making stuff. A quick and dirty fix for noisy pulls is to detach the cord from the zipper puller and tie it smarter. First through the zipper and then loop it through the puller. However, even better solution is to grab a pair of wire cutters and cut off the metal pull completely. Then you can put on a paracord loop together with e.g. an ITW GT Tactical Toggle.

Brown Särmä Assault Bag with DIY zipper pulls

Often general-purpose pouches have a small loop of cord as the pull. However, it is usually so small that it is difficult to use it with gloves on. A simple solution for this problem is a ITW GT Tactical Toggle, a wooden tubular button, or some other suitable knob. Untie the loop, thread the toggle on, tie the cord again into a loop, and you’re done.

IFAK with DIY zipper pulls

When you cut paracord, the raw cord ends get frayed. To avoid this, you should melt the ends with a lighter. Hold the flame close to the paracord, not in it.

IFAK with DIY zipper pulls

Showing off

In case you need something more stylish, forget the Toggle and instead make a so-called diamond knot at the paracord ends. In case you use shrink tubing to create a bit more professional look, select tubing that is adhesive-lined. The adhesive will cling onto the paracord and thus it won’t be wrinkled in use. Pull the tubing on before making the knot. Then heat it evenly all around with a lighter to make it shrink. Be careful not to melt the paracord.

Särmä TST Organizer pocket with DIY zipper pulls

In case you need something even fancier, you can first make a Snake Knot body and then make a Diamond Knot on it. This combo provides a very good grip with both bare hands and thick winter mittens.

There’s a video here below that shows you how to make various knots on paracord. So, you don’t need to rely on pics and text alone. Have fun making some cool shit!

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