Grommets are typically used to reinforce holes in leather, cloth, shoes, canvas and other fabrics. They can be made of metal, rubber, or plastic, and are easily used in common projects, requiring only the grommet itself and a means of setting it. A simple punch, a metal rod with a convex tip, is often sold with the grommets. It can be struck with a hammer to set the grommet. It can alternatively be set with an electronic, pneumatic, or gas-powered machine. There are also dedicated grommet presses with punch and anvil, as shown in the picture, ranging from inexpensive to better-quality tools, which are somewhat faster to use.
Typical applications are footwear for boot and shoe laces, in laced clothing such as corsets, in flags for hoisting, and in curtains and other household items that require hanging from hooks, as when they are used in conjunction with tensioner rods for shower curtains. The grommet prevents the cord from tearing through the hole, thereby providing structural integrity. Small grommets are also called eyelets, especially when used in clothing or crafting. Eyelets may be used purely decoratively for crafting. When used in sailing and various other applications, they are called cringles. Sometimes field workers refer to them as grunyons.