Removing Jewelry

Ring Opening Pliers

Ring Opening Pliers

Sometimes, it is necessary to remove your body jewelry. You may wish to change the jewelry and wear another piece, or you may wish to go without jewelry for a while. Whatever your reasons may be, you need to know how to open and remove your jewelry quickly and easily.

Different jewelry types are removed in different ways. In order to remove a jewelry piece, you need to know how this piece is designed and how to properly open it so you can take it out.

Here are quick tips on how to remove the most popular jewelry types:

Captive Bead Rings

Captive Bead Rings and other similar captive jewelry types come with a special bead that has to be removed in order to open the jewelry. To open your ring, it’s best to grab the bead with one hand and the ring with the other and then pull them into the opposite directions. This should make the bead pop out of the ring.

This process is sometimes difficult so you may need to use pliers. There are special Ring Opening Pliers you need to use for this. In case you wear large gauge jewelry, it’s best to use specialized Large Gauge Pliers.

Fixed, Seamless and Continuous Rings

These rings are a bit different than CBRs. Fixed rings have the bead attached to one side of the ring. Seamless and continuous rings do not use beads at all. They are built to be completely circular, usually with parts fitting nicely into each other. To open these rings, you should grab the bead (or, in the case there is no bead, one side of the ring) with one hand and the ring itself with the other hand and pull gently. Make sure to perform a small but firm twist. This should make ends separate and the ring will be opened.


Barbells tend to be easy to open, comparing to the rings. These jewelry types have a bar (straight, curved, circular, spiral, etc.) and a bead on the each end. The beads are screwed on the shaft. To open these barbells, simply unscrew the bead from the shaft. The same logic can be applied to labret studs.

Nostril Jewelry Pieces

Jewelry specially designed for nostril piercings is typically shaped in such a way to prevent jewelry to slip out of the piercing. It means it’s either curved or it has a small ball on the end to keep jewelry in place.

These pieces are sometimes struggle to get in and out, because they have to be tight enough to stay in the piercing during use. To remove them, you need to be aware of their shape and then carefully pull, move and turn the jewelry until it’s out.

Eear Plugs, Tunnels and Earlets

These jewelry pieces are specially designed for stretched lobes. There are many different types of plugs, flesh tunnels and earlets. Some are smooth and require O rings to keep them inside the piercing. These jewelry pieces are easily removed by simply taking the O rings out.

Flared jewelry pieces, especially double flared plugs and tunnels may be more difficult to remove, so you need to know how to manipulate the jewelry out of the piercing.

To learn more about inserting double flared jewelry, check out our article: How to Insert Double Flared Plugs and Tunnels.


Keep in mind that piercings tend to shrink rapidly after jewelry is removed. This is particularly true for new, fresh piercings but even older and fully healed piercings are not immune to it. Our bodies are quick to close the tissue, which will result in a rapid shrinkage of your piercing.

As a result, you may find out that it’s difficult to reinsert the jewelry. It may be uncomfortable or even painful. In some extreme cases it might become impossible to reinsert your jewelry. Shrinkage occurs very quickly, and it starts as soon as jewelry is taken out. Keep this in mind if you intend to remove your jewelry and go without it for some time.

Tips for Caring for Captive Bead Rings and Barbells

Ring Closing Pliers

Ring Closing Pliers

Quality body jewelry is made to last for a long time, which means it’s designed to be functional. This includes balls on the ends of the barbells or balls used for Captive Bead Rings. However, even the best jewelry can become a bit loose during use, so it’s not a rare situation for beads to become less tight. This is a problem because you might end up losing jewelry balls.

Here are some tips on how to keep your jewelry tight and what to do if you lose beads:

Take Care of Your Jewelry

The first thing you can do is to take care of your jewelry. Inspect your jewelry regularly to make sure balls and beads are holding tight. You may even give barbells a twist to make them hold tighter. When it comes to Captive Bead Rings, check the balls regularly to make sure they are held snugly and won’t come off.

Use Pliers

Another thing you can do is to use special jewelry tools (ring opening pliers and ring closing pliers) to open and close your jewelry rings. This will make them keep their shape, which is important for making them stay tight and in a perfect shape.

Other Jewelry Types: Fixed Rings & Segment Rings

Consider fixed rings and other types of jewelry rings designed to keep the ball, bead or decoration in place. With a fixed ring, the ball (bead, decoration) is fixed to the jewelry, so there is no way that you’ll lose it. Another choice is to use a segment ring. Segment rings are made of several segments that fit perfectly together. They don’t use beads so you won’t have to think about them falling out. These are good alternatives to Captive Bead Rings (or circular and curved barbells, depending on the body part and style), so you may consider using them.

Have Replacement Parts Ready

It’s a good thing to have replacements balls and beads ready in case you lose the originals. This way, even if you lose the beads you will be able to quickly get another one. These replacements beads will sure save you when you’re in trouble and help you keep your piercing. Replacements balls and beads are usually not expensive and they come in packs so there is typically more than one. It means you can use them more than once and more than one jewelry piece. Some replacement parts are plain but there are also more effective ones (even colorful ones) to choose from, so they will definitely not make your piercing less attractive.

Body Jewelry Tools

Many people who get piercings are very excited to buy new body jewelry and put it into their piercing to show it off. After your piercings are healed, you are able to change your jewelry. But this can prove to be quiet the task for some people. Luckily there are tools available to help change the jewelry out with ease.
When you are ready to change out your Captive Bead Ring a very useful tool is the ring opening pliers. Most male and female genital piercings often have Captive Bead Ring jewelry in them and these pliers are great for these type of piercings that are hard to reach. Ring opening pliers can help open the jewelry so that it can be removed and/or replaced. These pliers work very well with larger gauged jewelry. In the nose of these pliers there are little notches that are indented; these are there to help the jewelry fit snugly into the pliers so that they can open the ring properly and without damaging the jewelry.


One of the hardest parts of changing out a Captive Bead Ring is to maintain the circular shape while inserting the ball. Ring closing pliers are great to use and make changing jewelry a breeze. They come in different sizes. The small pliers are used for rings that are 7/16” or smaller. They also designed with grooves that help hold the beads while putting it into place. Larger pliers are mostly used for jewelry that is 5/8” or bigger. These as the name states are used for closing the circular ring tighter together so that the ball fits in correctly.


If you have many piercings and have difficulty changing the jewelry or hanging on to the beads, opening and closing pliers will be your new best friend. Do not forget to check out all of the different kind of tools we have available here at The Chain Gang.