A strap lock helps you secure your guitar strap onto the instrument to prevent it from inadvertently falling off. As simple as that sounds, strap locks can be the difference between happiness and disaster.
Unfortunately, this is mostly understood by folks that have had a guitar plunge to the floor while playing. When this happens, your precious guitar will likely suffer damage. The extent of said damage can vary, but I can assure you from personal experience that it is never pleasant.
In order to avoid heartbreak over a scratched, smashed, and even broken guitar, strap locks are a must. They come in different types, from simple washers that help keep the strap onto the guitar’s strap button, to metal clasps with springs that can handle lots of pounds of force.
Strap locks are particularly important if you play live. Manufacturers know this and many companies offer a few models of strap locks. With so many choices out there, how do you make sense of it all? We’re here to help. Keep reading.
- Best Strap Locks: Our Top 3
- Best Strap Locks: Individual Reviews
- How To Choose The Best Strap Locks For You
- Final Thoughts on the Best Strap Locks
Best Strap Locks: Our Top 3
The Fender Infinity strap locks are our Top Pick. They offer you an ideal balance of protection, functionality, looks, and cost. These durable strap locks feature a structure made of hardened steel for additional safety for your instrument. With 360 degrees of rotation for comfort, they are a great buy for guitarists.
The Fender Strap Locks and Buttons Set are our budget choice and come equipped with a quick-release system with a two-piece strap lock system. You get confidence while on stage with these chrome-covered and durable strap locks.
Finally, the Schaller S-Locks is our Editor’s Choice. They rely on solid, 1-piece, strap buttons made of hardened steel for improved durability. They offer extra security and longevity and are ideal for discerning professionals that have quality as their top priority.
Best Strap Locks: Individual Reviews
Great comfort, functionality, and durability.
Fender has provided us with a history of quality gear for all types of musicians. These strap locks are simple yet effective and do a great job of providing security and comfort for the guitarist onstage.
The Fender Infinity strap locks offer you an ideal balance of safety, functionality, looks, and price. These long-lasting strap locks feature a construction made of hardened steel for extra safety for your instrument. You also get the F logo, as well as 360 degrees of rotation for comfort and convenience.
Fender also thought about the inevitable strap adjustments that you’ll have to make from time to time. These strap locks feature a special side-pinch release mechanism that allows you to make adjustments in no time.
We installed these strap locks on our Fender Strat in order to try them out. The mounting hardware is included, and installing them requires nothing other than common sense! In other words, the installation was a breeze and we were done in a matter of minutes.
We played both standing up and sitting down with these strap locks, and they got the job done just right. We had to adjust them in order to change positions from standing to sitting, as we tried to emulate possible gig scenarios.
The side-pinch release feature proved to be very convenient. We were able to do adjustments at will, feeling that our instrument was secure at all times. We also felt really comfortable with these strap locks, as they allow movement and provide convenience.
We played through our pedal board, using several fuzz boxes and distortion, as well as clean tones. The Fender Infinity strap locks did not make any noise and looked just right on our Strat with their bright red finish.
In short, a fantastic set of guitar strap locks that get the job done in style. Your guitar will be nicely secured, and you will be able to move about the stage comfortably with these strap locks from Fender.
Verdict: The Fender Infinity strap locks provide safety, functionality, and killer looks, at the right price. These are durable strap locks that feature hardened steel for longevity and for securely holding your instrument in place.
A simple yet effective choice.
This set of strap locks is a straightforward option that helps keep your guitar secured. It features Fender quality and offers you a simple solution to hold your strap in place so you can perform worry-free. This set of strap locks is a great choice for beginners and those on a tight budget.
The Fender Strap Locks and Buttons Set is equipped with a quick-release system and designed as a two-piece strap lock system that gives you confidence while on stage. It features a chrome cover and is very durable, offering you safety for gigs and more.
We installed these strap locks on our Strat to put the to the test. Installation was straightforward and did not take a long time. Once on, we took our conventional Ernie Ball strap, and off we went. Although these strap locks are inexpensive, they certainly get the job done.
Our strat was well secured on both ends, giving our instrument the stability needed to perform with confidence and comfort. We played for a while, trying out pedals, cranking the amp, playing quietly, etc. These strap locks gave us a quiet performance and got the job done nicely.
For the sake of testing, we changed the straps a few times. The spring-loaded release pin was a great addition to this set of strap locks, as it allowed us to make adjustments fast and conveniently, with smooth operation.
Another nice feature of this set of strap locks is the felt washers. They do a great job of preventing accidental scratches on the instrument’s finish. This set ships with buttons, locks, and mounting hardware, for easy and fast installation.
Verdict: The Fender Strap Locks and Buttons Set features a quick-release system for ultimate convenience and comfort. It provides safety and reliability for your instrument and is designed as a two-piece strap lock system. It comes in a chrome cover that guarantees durability while being stylish.
Ultimate security and durability for professionals.
Schaller is one of the most respected companies in guitar hardware gear. They have a solid reputation for offering top-notch quality and performance. These strap locks are no exception and give you professional quality while remaining easy to install.
The Schaller S-Locks employ solid, 1-piece, hardened steel strap buttons for enhanced durability. These buttons are built for security and longevity as they feature a thickness that is more than double that of their predecessors.
The buttons come with 5/32-inch screws and feature self-tapping wood threads, making them easy to install. Schaller also added high-grade felt washers along with the S-Locks for extra protection on the guitar finish.
The S-Locks also come with extended thread lengths, which allows you to use straps that are up to 0.24 inches in thickness. The locking bolts are slanted and feature stainless steel.
We tried these strap locks on our Fender Strat and loved how they felt. Besides giving us security and peace of mind, they were also very easy to install. The extra touch is provided by the felt washers as they truly protected our guitar’s finish.
We also liked how quiet these strap locks proved to be. We dialed in some high-gain distortion and still got a noiseless performance from these strap locks.
We really liked the S-Locks’ redesigned pull-up balls, as they offer an easy-grip lock and release. This durable set of strap locks comes with lock wheels that feature a unique 3-step security function. You can screw them by hand, then tighten them with a 5/64-inch Allen wrench. The final step is to employ Schaller’s micro cone-top screw to secure them permanently.
Another fantastic feature of these strap locks is that they are fully compatible with other Schaller Security Locks, which makes it all that more practical and convenient.
In short, a superior set of strap locks that give you security and comfort, while protecting your instrument and providing quiet performance. An ideal choice for professionals that have quality at the top of their priorities.
Verdict: The Schaller S-Locks offer superlative durability, security, and performance. They feature a silent design that keeps them noiseless, regardless of how loud your guitar and amp may be. These are a great choice for discerning guitarists.
Safety and convenience from the string and accessory giant.
D'Addario has developed a solid reputation for providing innovative, and quality musical accessories for decades, as well as great strings. This universal strap lock system offers safety and convenience in a straightforward package. It was designed by Ned Steinberger, a renowned inventor, and creator of Steinberger Guitars.
The D’Addario Universal Strap Lock System was designed by innovator Ned Steinberger, as a simple yet effective solution to keep your strap firmly locked in place. These strap locks offer hassle-free installation and make it convenient for the user to place or remove the strap.
More importantly, it gives you a sense of security by firmly holding your straps in place while allowing you freedom of movement. You also get to choose the model that best fits your guitar and strap. You can select among black, gold, and nickel strap buttons to color-match your instrument if you wish.
We tried this strap lock system with our Fender Strat. Right off the bat, the installation was a no-brainer. We got complete strap security that proved to be as effective as it is functional. This system uses a simple screw mechanism that allows us to position and remove our straps at will.
In use, we got plenty of comfort and security while standing up. Whether we used heavy distortion or clean tones for a jazz chord solo, we got a quiet performance from these strap locks.
This set of strap locks is well-built and with a clever design from Mr. Steinberger. They offer great security and give the player the confidence that the instrument will stay in place and the strap won’t slip off. However, as good as it is, there are a lot of other competent choices in this price range.
Verdict: The D’Addario Universal Strap Lock System was created by one of the biggest names in guitar-making history: Ned Steinberger. It offers an effective solution to keep your strap securely in place and comes with hassle-free installation for ultimate convenience.
A secure and sturdy set from a renowned string creator.
Ernie Ball is one the most respected names in music, especially as a string and accessory manufacturer. This set of strap locks offers great durability as well as safety for your guitar by making sure your strap is always secured.
The Ernie Ball PO4602 Super Locks Set features a pinch-button release mechanism that ensures convenience while keeping your strap safely in place. They come with a 360-degree design for secure connection and are built with durable nickel-plated steel.
This set of strap locks displays Ernie Ball’s name and logo on the outside surface, which can match nicely if you also use this brand’s popular guitar strap. However, it will fit any strap you own, as the Pilot hole features a standard 7/64″ diameter and is 1 1/2″ deep.
We tried this set of strap locks with our Fender Strat to test if it’s as sturdy as it looks. Installation was easy and relatively fast, and placing the strap was also a matter of seconds. In other words, this is a convenient option.
We plugged into our Twin Revert and turned up quite a bit. These strap locks gave us quiet performance during our tests. We moved about our rehearsal space and got a good range of movement to play and feel that our strap and instrument were secure at all times.
Besides safely securing our strap, these Ernie Ball strap locks also gave us a sense of durability. We feel that they could last you for years and that the nickel-plated steel construction was a wise choice from the manufacturer.
As good and convenient as these strap locks were, they did feel a little bulky. In any case, a good option at a good price for anyone looking for a secure and durable way to safeguard their guitar during live shows.
Verdict: The Ernie Ball PO4602 Super Locks Set comes in a pinch-button release design that is convenient and keeps your instrument safely in place. Its 360-degree design allows freedom of movement and the nickel-plated steel construction makes it a very durable set of strap locks.
An effective and durable choice.
Grover is one of the best-known guitar and bass hardware producers in the world. Their products have been used by some of the finest professionals for years. This strap lock set is no exception and offers great quality for the money.
The Grover GP800G Strap Lock Set is a great choice for keeping your guitar’s strap connection secure and safe. It features a quick release design that is convenient and easy to use as well.
These Grover Strap Locks are meant to replace your guitar’s original strap buttons, with ease and convenience. They offer you effortless installation and do not require any instrument modifications whatsoever.
We tried this strap lock set in our Strat. Installing them was a simple process and took us just a few minutes. Grover ships these strap locks with all the hardware necessary for installation, to keep it quick and convenient.
In our tests, these strap locks gave us quite a performance and the confidence that our strap was securely held in place. We really liked the quick release design as it makes it much easier to conveniently swap instruments during a live performance.
Besides being quiet and giving us no rattle or noise, these strap locks also allow for great freedom of movement onstage. This will be especially important for folks that like to jump around and even swing their guitars around their neck a la Yngwie Malmsteen.
In short, a nice set of strap locks to keep your instrument conveniently secured. Although they certainly do their job well, these strap locks may not be visually appealing to everyone.
Verdict: The Grover GP800G Strap Lock Set is an excellent choice for players of all styles needing to keep their guitar straps secure and safe. With a quick release mechanism and great build quality, these strap locks are functional, convenient, and easy to use and install.
A very secure and convenient choice.
Dunlop has made a name for itself as one of the main guitar and bass accessories providers. This set of strap locks employs this company's expertise in order to give you a very secure way to keep your instrument safe.
The Dunlop Straplok System Dual Design Strap Retainer employs a 360-degree groove-and-ball design that gives you plenty of freedom of movement. Built with case-hardened steel skin this set of strap locks offers great durability and the convenience provided by their interchangeable strap buttons.
Dunlop went the extra mile with the Straplok System. They even tested this product with 800 lbs. of applied pull. In other words, there are no jumps, movements, or pyrotechnics that will set your strap loose. That is incredible insurance for folks that need a remarkably secure set of strap locks.
In our tests, we really liked how the 360-degree design felt as we moved around our practice space. It gave us freedom of movement while we felt confident that our strap was being held securely in place.
This strap lock set also provided quiet performance during the entirety of our tests. We also liked how easy to install these were, adding to the convenience factor that this product provides.
Although we really liked how this strap lock set performs and feels, it does have a particular look to it. Naturally, this is all a matter of taste, so make sure you like how they look before you purchase.
Verdict: The Dunlop Straplok System Dual Design Strap Retainer comes with a 360-degree groove-and-ball design for convenience and freedom of movement. Dunlop built this strap locks with case-hardened steel skin for extra durability and for making sure your guitar strap stays in place no matter how extreme your performance antics may be.
How To Choose The Best Strap Locks For You
A good set of strap locks will prevent your strap from slipping and your guitar from falling into a vast array of possible damages. Additionally, it will give you peace of mind to just focus on the music without hindering your onstage persona.
As with most things guitar related, the best strap locks are a personal choice that depends on your needs. There are essentially two kinds of guitar strap locks in the market today.
Washer type of strap locks
The first one is a straightforward rubber washer that is placed over your strap and onto the guitar strap button. It has the advantage of being remarkably affordable.
Additionally, this type of strap lock is far easier to install. You simply place them on your guitar strap buttons and you’re done. This will take you less than 30 seconds for both buttons.
As a matter of fact, you don’t need any tools, nor do you have to remove any of your guitar’s original hardware. This convenient washer-type of strap lock is also unobtrusive and a quick solution for holding your strap in place. However, there is a negative side to this level of convenience, as the protection they offer is not as reliable.
The second one is a two-piece design that is a bit more involved. In this type of strap lock, you have to attach a locking pin to the strap and then add the dedicated strap lock button. As you may imagine, this will take far longer than installing a washer type of strap lock.
It is important to mention that although this two-piece design is more involved than adding a simple rubber washer, they are still convenient. They only take a few minutes to install on your guitar and it is a simple process that does not take much more than common sense.
That said, for some folks, two-piece systems may seem bulky and add an unpleasant visual element to your guitar. Although this is largely personal, not all two-piece systems look the same, and there are some that are stylish.
Naturally, these types of strap locks offer much better security for your instrument than a simple washer. They are sturdier, more durable, and have been thoroughly tested to endure the rigors of live performances. They also are a stronger choice for guitarists that need to switch guitars during a show, but keep the same strap.
In short, do yourself a favor and invest in a two-piece design for your strap locks. It will take just a bit longer than installing washers, and will cost a bit more, but it is well worth it.
Not only will you get better durability and far superior quality, but also peace of mind. It is no fun to be trying to rock onstage and have the thought of whether your strap is going to hold in place until the end of the gig.
Naturally, a washer type of strap lock is better than nothing. But personal preferences aside, a two-piece system that you install in your guitar is a much stronger choice for the sake of protecting your instrument.
Final Thoughts on the Best Strap Locks
Strap locks are severely underestimated. They may not be as sexy as distortion pedals or tube amp shopping, but they are essential, especially for live performers. And they cost a fraction of the price of almost all other guitar-related gear.
Think of them as insurance on your precious guitar. After all, there are plenty of horror stories from folks that did employ them. Their importance became painfully clear to me when I dropped my Strat right on the nail of my big toe while rehearsing bare feet. That was not a fun day, to say the least…
So make sure you learn from others’ experience, at least in regards to strap locks. They are a relatively inexpensive accessory and will save you a lot of grief, by protecting your most valuable physical asset: your guitar.
To recap our choices, The Fender Infinity strap locks are our Top Pick. With an ideal balance of price, protection, and functionality, these durable strap locks come with hardened steel for additional safety for your instrument.
The Fender Strap Locks and Buttons Set are our budget choice and feature a quick-release system that gives you confidence while on stage, at an affordable price.
Finally, the Schaller S-Locks is our Editor’s Choice. They deliver extra protection and longevity and are excellent for discerning guitarists that have quality as their top priority and are willing to pay for it.