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What Are the Different Types of Luggage Parts?

By Christina Edwards
Updated May 23, 2024
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Many times, repairing luggage parts that are broken is more economical than buying a new piece of luggage. A few main types of luggage parts may need replaced. In general, handles, wheels, and zippers are the most common luggage parts that may need to be replaced. Individuals who do not have a warranty on their luggage can purchase replacement luggage parts from a specialty store, the luggage manufacturer, or online.

Broken luggage handles are quite common. These can break when carrying a very heavy load, or when luggage has been handled roughly. Two main types of luggage handles may need replaced — regular handles or retractable handles.

A broken regular luggage handle can be taken off by unscrewing the screws surrounding the handle. The new handle can then be put into place, and the screws can be replaced. A retractable handle may be a bit more difficult to replace, but the job can be done. The screws holding the handle on should be removed. These are usually located on the top and bottom of the suitcase, and sometimes under the inside liner. The shafts of the new handle can then be slid into place, and the screws will need to be replaced.

Luggage wheels may also need to be replaced at some time. These luggage parts make transporting luggage easy. They can be replaced if they are broken, or if they simply don't work well. Typically, rubber luggage wheels work a little better than hard plastic luggage wheels.

Wheels are usually attached to luggage with either screws or rivets. Screws are simple to remove, but rivets may require a pry bar and a little muscle. After the old wheel is removed, the new wheel can be set in place and attached to the suitcase. The screws or rivets holding them in place should not be tightened too tightly, however. This can cause the plastic surrounding these luggage parts to crack.

Luggage zippers are essential luggage parts. These keep the luggage closed. If a zipper is simply stuck, an individual can use wax or oil to lubricate the teeth. If it is broken, however, obtaining a new luggage zipper is usually necessary.

Generally, heavy duty zippers are used on most types of luggage. These are often made from metal, and they have rather large teeth. Zippers are usually glued or sewn into the inside of a piece of luggage. After the old zipper is carefully removed, the new zipper can be attached in the same manner.

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Discussion Comments

By anon1004598 — On Mar 12, 2021

Multiple small rivets, preferably aluminum or brass, to join the fabric portion of the zipper to the carcass of the luggage would be time consuming, but if spaced closely enough would work. If one would like to make it strongest, sewing several layers of seam binding to the zipper fabric edges before riveting it would make it most durable.

By anon316230 — On Jan 28, 2013

What are common materials used in luggage parts?

By julies — On Nov 17, 2011

Has anybody ever had a zipper replaced on their luggage? I have always wondered if it would be cheaper to buy new luggage or take it to an upholstery repair shop.

I don't even know if there is a specific Samsonite luggage repair place, or if it would be best to just take it to a local shop and ask how much it would cost.

I have had this piece of luggage for a long time, and it has held up very well except for the zipper. It isn't worth anything if the zipper doesn't work, and think it might be time to find something different.

I have been putting it off, because when I priced a new piece of luggage, it was quite a bit more than I wanted to pay.

If I could get the zipper replaced for a fraction of the cost, it would be well worth it.

By sunshined — On Nov 16, 2011

I have really never given much thought to having luggage repaired other than replacing the wheels.

It seems like the wheels on my luggage are the first things to go. It isn't any fun dragging your luggage through the airport when your wheels are broken.

I have found that it is quite a bit cheaper to replace the wheels than to buy a new piece of luggage.

I don't usually buy fashion luggage, or spend much money on luggage that I will take on an airplane. It seems like the luggage gets so beat up, that I would rather by cheap luggage and replace it more often.

By candyquilt — On Nov 15, 2011

@alisha-- You're right. Generally, airlines will reimburse people when their luggage has been damaged while in transit, or they might replace it altogether.

But I know sometimes people don't want to deal with the whole process. My mom had her luggage ruined once too but she refused to take a replacement because the replacement was such bad quality.

I wish brands would sell luggage with extra parts that we can replace if something happens. It sounds to me like this is way too common. How many of us have thrown away luggage that had everything wrong with it? It's usually one part or piece that's broken that prevents us from using it.

Even if just the end of the zipper comes off, it's very difficult to zip up a suitcase!

By discographer — On Nov 15, 2011

The worst is when one of the plastic feet of the luggage breaks. I had that happen to me once.

I hate giving luggage under the plane because something always happens to it while in transit. The people who work at airports must throw them around pretty roughly.

I received my luggage at my destination once with one of the plastic feet missing. It was impossible to not notice because my luggage couldn't stand straight. It kept tipping and falling to one side. I never thought about looking at a store or site with luggage repair parts because I assumed that they just wouldn't carry that piece.

Maybe I should have looked, it's a real shame for otherwise perfectly fine luggage to become unusable because of a small piece of plastic.

By bear78 — On Nov 14, 2011

I had no idea that I could by luggage parts individually! That's a great idea because luggage costs so much, especially when it's good quality and durable.

I do so much traveling that I've basically suffered from all of the issues this article mentioned. I've had handles completely come off, the wheels and zippers break so many times. Every time, I end up throwing the luggage away or using it as a container for old things in the garage. I have no idea how much money I've spent on luggage so far.

I think the handle and wheels would be pretty easy to replace, but I'm not so sure about the zipper. I can't imagine sewing a zipper on a suitcase, it's made of very hard fabric. I don't think glue would work well either, I think it would become detached easily.

I wonder if there is another luggage repair option for a broken zipper?

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