Have you ever had to deal with a stuck, separated, jammed, or just plain messed up zipper? I think we all have at one time or another. Check out this guide I put together on how to fix a separated zipper in less than 5 minutes! This guide on how to fix a separated zipper in less than 5 minutes is sure to save you hassle and money as you learn how easy it can be to repair your own zipper!!
I even went the extra mile just for you and put together a helpful video on how to fix a zipper in less than 5 minutes for your viewing pleasure (see below)!
How a Zipper Works
Before we go into how to fix a separated zipper, it is helpful to understand exactly how a zipper works. I’m a mechanical engineer and consider myself a pretty smart guy when it comes to these types of thing. But, I didn’t really understand how a zipper works. I am guessing maybe you are in the same boat – I just really never thought about it before. We use zippers every day, but don’t really think about how zippers work.
Once you understand how a zipper works, the method to repair a separated zipper makes much more sense and it actually pretty easy. The zipper is basically like a funnel that helps to push the zipper track teeth together. Just to repeat for emphasis – think of a zipper like a funnel!
It works to push them together both vertically and horizontally. This helps the zipper teeth to lock into place. See the below animated gif of how a zipper works that I took from wikipedia. This shows the zipper working in the horizontal (side-to-side) plane. The zipper also needs to properly align the zipper teeth vertically (up-and-down).
How to Fix a Separated Zipper
Now that you better understand how a zipper works, we can talk about how to fix a zipper. If your zipper is not working, there can only be a handful of problems with the zipper head. If your zipper is not working, there is something wrong with how it is bringing the zipper teeth together.
Here is what you need to look at if you zipper is not working:
- How to Fix a Stuck or Jammed Zipper (or how to fix a zipper that won’t close) – most likely the zipper head is too tight. The zipper head may have gotten smashed so that the “funnel” is now too small. You will need to open up the zipper horizontally and/or vertically to help it move more easily.
- How to Fix a Separated Zipper (zipper track opens up after zipping) – this is a zipper where the zipper head is too loose. The “funnel” is a bit too big, and it is not locking the teeth together adequately. You will need to pinch down on the zipper head a bit to eliminate some of the horizontal and/or vertical clearance.
- How to Fix a Separated Zipper (one track comes out of zipper head) – this is a zipper where one of the zipper tracks has come out of the zipper head. This means that the zipper head “funnel” has become too big and the zipper track has slipped out. You will need to open up the zipper head a bit more, insert in the zipper track, then close down the zipper head “funnel.”
Tools Required to Fix a Zipper
If you understand everything so far, then you are ready to get to work to fix your own zipper. The tools you will need are pretty basic and most folks will have these readily available:
- Needle nose pliers
- Second pair of some type of pliers (needle nose pliers are best)
As you can see, you really just need two small sets of pliers to fix any zipper in less than 5 minutes! If you have two pairs of needle nose pliers, this is the ideal case. But it isn’t necessarily required. In the video below, I actually use one set of needle nose pliers and one set of wire cutters.
Fixing a Zipper Yourself – Safety First
Remember, when fixing your zipper you need to be careful! You are applying large force, and some of the tools you will be working with can be sharp!
Make sure you are not “aiming” tools at your hands or arms. If a pair of needle nose pliers or wire cutters slip, you don’t want those shooting into your arteries!! Be careful when repairing your own zipper 🙂
How to Fix a Zipper in Less Than 5 Minutes – Video
OK – if all of the jibber-jabber above is confusing to you, that’s OK! I took time to make a hands on DIY video on how to fix a zipper in less than 5 minutes for you! Check it out below:
How to Fix a Separated Zipper in Less Than 5 Minutes – Final Thoughts
I hope that you’ve found this article on how to fix a separated zipper in less than 5 minutes helpful. I wish I would have learned how to do this 20 years ago. The number of jeans, backpacks, suitcases, etc. that we’ve gotten rid of over the years because the zipper didn’t work is ridiculous. Since I’ve learned how to do this, I’ve fixed over 4 broken zippers in just this past month! Good luck with all your zipper fixing endeavors!