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How to Use Split Ring Pliers

Judging from the occasional forum posts about split rings, jewelry makers are "split" on the issue, if you could excuse the pun. Some don't use them at all. They prefer to use jump rings but settle for a sufficient wire thickness to reduce the possibility they will open. The trouble is no matter how careful one is, the clasp area takes a beating. So with any jump ring, a thin beading wire unless enclosed in a wire guard, risks slipping through the gap which only needs to be opened just a little for it to happen.

That is why I listed the split ring pliers as one of the six most useful tools. However, these pliers don't come with any instructions so here they are. The pliers has one flat sided jaw and the other is notched. Hold the pliers so the notched jaw is on top and the flat jaw is below the ring. Insert the notch between the rings and close the pliers. Still closed, slide the pliers along the split rings until you get to the open end. Slip on the clasp. Then remove the pliers and slide the clasp further in just as you would a key on a giant split ring until it is on. Viola!

Here is a video demonstrating how to use one:

Some people probably use a soldered closed jump ring and a regular jump ring combination for their clasps. If you grow to like the use of split rings, you can get a balanced look by using two split rings as above for either side of the clasp.

You know those big key rings? I use this tool for them too. No more ruined nails!

These pliers also come in handy with this nifty trick to keep pant zippers up
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 


  1. Thanks so much for this posting. This is a tool I have been considering and thanks to you I will know how to use it now.

  2. And thank you for telling me! I plan to add more how-tos from time to time to help beaders.

  3. Thank you so much!! They don't really open the rings quite wide enough, so I wondered if I was using them correctly. And now I know why wire guards too!!

  4. It took me a while to figure out how to use them! BTW wire guards are primarily used to reduce fraying of the beading wire but they also work to prevent the thin wire from slipping through the jump ring gap as I said.

  5. I have the problem of my metal pieces slipping through the jump rings on my bracelets. so I started using split rings using my fingernails (ouch), glad to know there is a tool 4 split rings. My fingernails thank you.

  6. ;-) There often is a tool if there is a great need!


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