Tip of the Week - Split Rings vs Jump Rings
I am often asked what split rings I recommend for use in jewelry, and many people are surprised to find that split rings actually are not good for jewelry!
While split rings are wonderful for dog tags, key chains, and zipper pulls, they are not well suited to jewelry for a number of key reasons:
Exposed Ends - Split rings have two ends, just like jump rings do, but a split rings ends are exposed and can abrade your skin when used in jewelry while a jump rings ends are closed flush to each other.
Snagging - Due to those exposed ends, split rings can also snag sweaters and hair, especially if they have spread. If a jump ring is closed properly, it should never snag or scratch.
Spreading - Yes, small split rings are notorious for spreading while putting a piece together or under heavy weight and use. The resulting gap can allow a charm or connection to work its way out of the split rings grasp.
And last but not least, there is the illusion of extra security that jewelry-sized split rings give. The strength and integrity is lost in the scaling down of the gauge and size and they are no longer the safest connection. The size split ring that is commonly selected for jewelry use is too weak as the gauge of the wire used is too thin, usually 20 gauge(0.81mm thick) or 22 gauge(0.64mm thick). Split rings for making key chains, zipper pulls or to hang a pet tag are at least 16 gauge(1.2mm thick) or thicker.
Heidi – you sound like that old stereotype where the stubborn husband is lost and refusing to ask for directions. Your assertion that asking for help is a ‘millennial’ issue is ridiculous; in fact, teaching others how to make things and apprenticeships have been the norm throughout human history. Just because you chose to struggle instead of going to the library to read a book or asking someone else for help doesn’t make you special…. actually, it makes you sound quite stupid, and the only person who appears to be lacking common sense here is YOU.
P.S. It’s worth taking a bit of extra time to reread what you’ve written to check for spelling and grammatical errors, especially when critiquing the intelligence of others. You claim to be old, so surely you know that ‘u’ is not the proper way to spell ‘you’. Perhaps you need to re-evaluate the association you’ve made between only appearing smart and the existence of the internet.
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This post was very useful as the problem I was solving was how to make a chainmaille bracelet as tough as possible so it could be worn at a manual job and not suffer too much wear or tear in daily use. The strength of Spilt Rings appealed for that reason but the cons you mention outweighs their potential use in my project. Nobody comes into this world with an instruction book for anything, so people like yourself willing to address issues like these is passing on KNOWLEDGE not just information. Thank you.
Thank you for posting this information. I am new to to chainmaille and was looking for a concise answer to just this question…When to use a jump ring vs. a split ring. To those of us who are new to this art, the answer isn’t obvious and it is far more sensible to ask a question than to spend a year flailing around and becoming frustrated and surly.
To Heidi’s question, I needed this information because I am not creating the jewelry myself – I’m ordering jewelry on Etsy as a birthday gift for someone. I know nothing about jewelry making. As I’m purchasing the gift, there is an option for a jump ring attachment or split ring attachment, so I wanted to research it before selecting which one to order for my custom charm bracelet. I think researching the answer is in fact a form of solving the problem.
I appreciate you posting this, but I’m curious who is asking this? Obviously, it’s clear what is made for what. I never watched anyone, took a class, asked a question and I’ll tell u my first year of jewelry making was embarrassing. I’m grateful I’m old and there was only a store which sold beads, etc. There was no internet. People never solve problems anymore, making everyone appear smarter, but in reality, no common sense.