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How to Use Split Ring Pliers: 5 Simple Steps

Split Ring Plier

Split ring pliers are a unique type of pliers that can confuse many people in terms of how they operate and what projects require them. The short answer is that this amazing tool can open split rings, as the name suggests, and one of its most common uses is to help add and remove keys from a keyring. However, there are many other uses for split ring pliers, so keep reading as we explain why you need this tool and how to use it.

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What Are Split Ring Pliers?

Split ring pliers are a specialty tool designed to open and close a split ring. The special pointed tip of the instrument pushes its way between the two metal rings and wedges them open. These pliers are usually small because the rings that they work with are small, and larger pliers would be too bulky. The shape of the head enables you to hold multiple rings at once so you can tackle a large project.

Who Needs Split Ring Pliers?

Regular People

Split ring pliers can be a useful tool around the house because they can help you remove keys from your keychain. Changing keys gives many people trouble, especially if you have long fingernails or arthritis.


It’s also an extremely popular tool for anglers. For example, anglers frequently use lures, hooks, and other items with split rings to help get them on and off the line faster. Split ring pliers take most of the work out of changing these components, so you will often find them in a fisherman’s tacklebox.

Jewelry Makers

Another likely place that you will see these pliers is at a jewelry store. Many different kinds of jewelry utilize split rings, and you’ll find them on earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. A jeweler needs split ring pliers to make any repairs or changes to the jewelry without doing damage.

pearl necklace inside jewelry box
Photo Credit By: kropekk_pl, Pixabay

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The 5 Steps on How to Use Split Ring Pliers

1. Hold Them Correctly

Hold your pliers so the flat side faces up and the pointed tooth faces down.

2. Place the Split Ring on the Pliers

Open the pliers, and slide the split ring onto the flat bottom side of the pliers.

3. Close the Split Ring Pliers

Close the split ring pliers so the pointy tooth comes down between two rings of the split ring that you are opening near one of the ends and pushes a space between them.

4. Work the Split Ring

With a firm grip keeping the pliers closed, use your other hand to move the split ring around, creating a larger gap, so it is easier to add your keys or another item to the ring. You can also use a pair of flat-nose pliers to turn the ring until the item is on.

5. Release the Split Ring

Once the key or other item is in position, you can open the split ring pliers to allow the gap between rings to close while keeping the key in position.tool divider


Split ring pliers are a great tool that many of us never knew we needed, but they can help you add and remove keys from keychains, change the charms on pet collars, and much more. If you’re an avid fisherman, split ring pliers can help you change your lures and hooks quickly while out in the field, jewelers can use them to make repairs without damaging the expensive merchandise. Once you try them, you’ll wonder how you got along without them!

Featured Image Credit: Trong Nguyen, Shutterstock


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