The Silicone Pads and Finger Nibs
The first tools we examined were silicone pads and silicone finger nibs. These larger silicone pads resemble kitchen grips for opening jars. While they provide a good grip on jewelry, their size can be cumbersome, especially in tight spaces. Smaller strips of silicone offer an improved grip, but we found that using gloves provided an even better grip, particularly nitrile gloves with textured fingertips. Alternatively, smaller finger covers, commonly used by restaurant workers, can be rolled onto the fingertips for a convenient grip.
Overall, gloves or finger covers were more practical and allowed for better movement compared to the thick silicone pads. However, the silicone pads offer some finger protection when gripping jewelry tightly for a short period of time. These finger covers can be easily found online by searching for "finger cots" or "finger condoms."
Tweezers with Rubber Tips
We also tested tweezers with rubber tips designed to provide a better grip on ball ends. While they were effective at tightening jewelry, it was difficult to gauge the tightness or grip on the ball. They worked reasonably well for holding onto the back end of labret jewelry, reducing pressure on the piercing during removal. However, they did not grip ball ends securely compared to gloves, and there was a risk of potential scratches due to the lack of grip provided by the rubber tips.
Next, we tried a pair of forked tweezers designed for holding labret or ball ends. These tweezers provided a solid grip on the back end of labret jewelry, making removal easier without exerting excessive pressure on the piercing. However, they were not as effective at gripping ball ends, lacking the necessary grip for unscrewing them. Additionally, there was a concern that the forked tongs could potentially scratch delicate or high-quality jewelry surfaces.
Clicker Pin with Grabby Claws
Lastly, we examined a tool resembling a clicker pin with grabby claws. The concept behind this tool was to assist in picking up ball ends or facilitating the process of putting them on or taking them off. While it successfully removed a ball end, it struggled to grip the ball securely. Furthermore, the sharp metal posts on the tool posed a risk of scratching and damaging the jewelry's plating. We suggest that incorporating a silicone coating on the grippers would enhance both the grip and the protection of the jewelry.
After reviewing all the tools, we recommend relying on gloves or smaller finger covers for the best grip and maneuverability. The silicone pads and tweezers with rubber tips had limitations, such as size and grip issues, while the forked tweezers showed promise for labret jewelry but lacked effectiveness for ball ends. The clicker pin with grabby claws had potential but required improvement to prevent scratching and enhance grip.
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