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(How) Do You Cut a Necklace Chain? Answered

I bought a chain for a necklace at Wal-Mart that's significantly bigger than I need. Should I cut it? Can I cut it? How do I cut it? 


If a close inspection shows the links to be split then hold each side of the split with pliers and twist in opposite directions to open the link.

DO NOT pull the link open or it will not close again neatly - twist as shown in the illustration.

If the link is soldered closed then you will need to cut through it. A pair of wire cutters will usually do this for you, just cut across the link at the point you want to shorten the chain.

You will need to solder or refit the clasp onto the new end of the chain. It is easier to cut close to the end with the ring on it rather than the end with the clasp.

split ring.jpg

If it is just a cheap chain you may be able to open a link and shorten it.

If it is gold or silver the links are welded or soldered shut with a special rod best to be done by a jeweler unless you can get the rod.

Depends on the chain.

Thin chains from softer metals (gold, silver, brass, etc.) are usually best cut with flush cut pliers, especially if you intend to use one of the cut cain links to relink the chain.

Thicker chains or chains made from harder materials will need anything from end cutting pliers, (compact) bolt cutting pliers, dremels with cutting discs, angle grinders or similar equipment.

You might want to have a closer look at the chain though, the links might not have been welded shut, instead they might have just been bent closed. In that case, needle pliers (combination pliers for thicker chains) will be your best bet at opening the links to remove some.

It might also be that the links have been bent shut prior to coating, so the gap might be a bit harder to see. As you want to remove links anyway there's no harm in grabbing some pliers and bending to see if the link pops open or not.


2 years ago

Each chain ring is actually split. Take a two small pliers to open one ring to split the chain in two segments A & B. Now repeat the process on a ring at a distance you want to shorten C from B and after removing the length simply add the tail of B to A in the split ring.

Close the ring on the chain A,B now shorter by the segment C...

What kind of chain is it ???