Ring opening pliers come in a few different sizes. If you're working with tiny rings that are also small in gauge (18g, 16g, 12g) then getting a mini ring opening plier will probably be the easiest to use. The heavier the gauge of the ring, the larger the plier you will need. This is because you need leverage to be able to open up the ring and a small plier will not work well for large heavy gauge rings.
One thing to also note, is that you never want to apply large amounts of pressure when doing this. If you open a ring too much, it won't go back to its normal state. And that point you'll have to use a ring closing plier to help close it back.
To insert a bead into the ring:
- While holding the plier in one hand, place the ring into the notches of the plier and slowly open up the plier to where there is just enough tension to hold the ring in place without opening it up yet.
- Line up one dimple (or segment end) into one end of the ring.
- Slowly grip the pliers to apply tension to the ring. The ring will slowly open. As it is opening align the other side of the beads dimple to the other side of the ring.
- As soon as the dimples are aligned on both sides, you can release the plier and the bead should now hold securely in place.
To remove a bead from the ring:
- Insert the ring into the notches of the plier and apply enough tension for it to hold the ring (don't open it yet).
- With your other hand, grab the bead.
- While you are continuing to hold the bead, slowly apply pressure to the plier to slowly open up the ring and as soon as you feel the bead being loosened you can remove it and release the tension from the plier.