How to Open a Captive Bead Ring

14K Gold - Captive Bead Rings

14K Gold – Captive Bead Rings

Captive Bead Rings (CBR) are among the most popular body jewelry types. They can be used for many different types of piercings and they come in many different sizes. The main design is simple but effective: these rings have a ball made to close the ring and turn it into a full circle.

Types of Captive Bead Rings

There are different types of captive bead rings, depending on the method used to keep the ball in place. There are two common types of captive bead rings: snap fit style and tension style rings. Understanding the main difference between them will make it easier for you to understand how to open them.

  •  Snap Fit Style Rings: they have a completely smooth ball. The body of the ring goes inside the ball. The dimple used to keep the ball in place is located inside of the ball.
  • Tension Style Rings: they have a ball held in place by the tension of the ring. The ball has dimples and the ends of the captive ring fit into them.

Both these styles are made to keep the ball firmly in place so the ring won’t open during use. Tension captive bead rings tend to be more common and somewhat easier to open.

Opening Captive Bead Rings Manually

Happy - Captive Bead Ring

Happy – Captive Bead Ring

Many captive bead rings operate using a simple mechanism to open and close them. You can snap them to remove the bead and then place the bead back and close the ring when you want to close it. This mechanism can often be done manually and without much problem.

You can usually remove the ball by simply holding the ring in one hand and pulling the bead out with the other. To open it, you will also need to twist the ring slightly. To twist the ring, turn your right hand clockwise and your left hand counter clockwise. It does require a bit of practice but it’s usually easy to do.

However, it’s not uncommon for captive bead rings, especially at larger gauges, to be difficult to open. This is when you need to use special tools to open them.

Opening the Ring with Opening Pliers

To open a captive bead ring, you will need a quality ring opening pliers, specially made for this jewelry type.

To open a captive bead ring, slide the ring over the tips of the plier. Make sure that the ring rests on the grooves. Open the pliers gently, until you feel them touch the sides of the ring. Slowly but firmly, force the ring outwards until the ball falls out. This will open the ring so you can handle it (insert it or remove it from your piercing).

Tips

  • When using ring opening pliers, make sure not to squeeze too hard or you will deform the ring.
  • For large gauges, use special pliers made for these gauges.
  • Before handling your body jewelry, make sure to wash your hands and use clean, sanitized tools.
  • In case you have opened the ring too far or if you are changing the ball size, you will need to use ring closing pliers.
  • If you are unsure how to open and close your captive bead ring, practice before you insert it into your piercing.