Easy Way to Open a Split Key Ring (Tutorial)

by Rena Klingenberg.

Easy Way to Open a Split Key Ring - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Have you ever broken a fingernail or injured yourself trying to open a split key ring?

Easy Way to Open a Split Key Ring - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Some of them are so sturdy you can hardly slide a key onto them.

But here’s a simple everyday item that can easily open this type of key ring:

Staple Remover for Easy Way to Open a Split Key Ring - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

All you need is a regular staple remover (available nearly anywhere you can buy office supplies).

Easy Way to Open a Split Key Ring - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

Just sink its fangs between the main part of the key ring and one of the ends – and the end spreads open easily so you can slide your key (or a decorative dangle) onto the ring.

Easy Way to Open a Split Key Ring - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

You can quickly and painlessly load several keys, using this nifty little tool to hold the key ring open!
Easy Way to Open a Split Key Ring - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

It’s also handy for removing keys from the ring – like when you need to leave your car key with the mechanic.
Easy Way to Open a Split Key Ring - tutorial by Rena Klingenberg

And it’s a time saver (and finger saver) when you’re making loads of decorated key rings to sell! 🙂

Easy Way to Open a Split Key Ring with a Staple Remover - Jewelry Making Journal


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  1. Oh. My. Gosh. Thank you for this! Yours was the first post I clicked on this evening – I’m really glad to know about this! 🙂 Pinned!

  2. Thank you! I had bought a pair of split ring pliers to use on the small rings; didn’t want to risk them on the large strong ones. And I’d just bought a big batch of them. Great timing!

  3. Such a great idea and one of those “Duh, why didn’t I think of this” moments! With two in-home offices, I’m sure we have a few of these around the house!

  4. You. Are. So. Brilliant!!!

  5. Genius. Years ago I bought a little device for opening split rings as, without it, every time I’d break a nail. Your suggestion is more convenient as now “where did I put that little split ring device?” 🙂 With the staple remover you have to remember to move it over far enough so that you can fit the key on the ring and have it stay there when you release the “jaws” of the staple remover.
    Thanks for another great idea.

  6. The Dalai Farmer says:

    Genius. Just GENIUS!

  7. Why didn’t I think of this ! Thanks for the tip. I shared it on both my Facebook pages for the enlightenment of others like me 🙂

  8. I’ll be trying this with my 5 & 6 mm split/jump rings: that is where I really need help. Thanks!

  9. Fantastic idea. What about the smaller split rings? I love using them and they’re terribly hard to open even with the tool.

  10. What a novel idea! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  11. All these years, I’ve struggled with split rings – even the tool they make to open them is a pain! I had one of these within reach, but never thought to use it like that! Thank you! 🙂

  12. Rena, You never cease to amaze me with your practical cleverness!

  13. Thank you Rena for this brilliant idea, I have always been struggling to open split key rings.

  14. Thank you all for your lovely feedback on this tip! It’s a simple jewelry hack, but makes such a difference! 🙂

  15. I love this idea. So simple and quick. Thank You

  16. Thank you..so simple and cheap also… Never thought about this tool and I’ve had one sitting on my desk for a long while…

  17. So clever! I always pinch and scratch my fingernails trying to get those darn things open. This is a much better way!

  18. Great idea… I have never heard of this.

  19. Oh my gosh! That is brilliant! So easy too.

  20. AWESOME. Opening these rings are a nuisance and my nails will definitely appreciate this tip. Linda

  21. oh how i miss everyone in this blog. Its been a crazzy ride for my whole family this past few months. We recently moved from California to New Orleans. Boxes every where. So my jewelry creation is on hold for now. Cant wait to get back into it. Cant wait to try this staple remover:)

  22. Yes, I have broken many fingernails attempting to remove or add keys. Who would’ve thought! Thanks for the tip.

  23. Oh, that’s a great way to open a key ring. Now I don’t have to break my nail.

  24. Thanks for the idea. What’s left of my nails thank you too.

  25. Thanks for sharing this, I can’t tell you how many nails I’ve split or broken trying to open those darn things.

  26. Wow…that’s a neat idea. I have the hardest time doing this. Thanks for sharing this.

  27. Great idea!

  28. Khurshid Khoree says:

    Hi Rena,
    Came across your website by chance and I am so very glad I did. I learnt so much going through your videos. Thanks a ton for the time you take to help people like me.
    Your idea of using a staple pin remover was excellent. I am going to buy one as soon as I can. I have a plier for split rings but it never works for me.
    Thank you so much once again.

  29. Great idea! Anyone want to purchase a couple pair of barely used split ring pliers?

  30. Thank you for that idea, Rena; it will save my fingertips a lot of bother in the future.

  31. Phyllis C says:

    Wow!! Another Awesome Hack! Thanks Rena – I have the split ring pliers, and I use split rings with ALL my charms ( don’t want my customers to lose their charms from anything they purchase from me 🙂 ) and of course, key chains, so having this little gadget will make it easier than telling them to use a knife or something else to ply it open!

  32. I so needed to know this! Thank you, thank you! Pinning it!

  33. Rena, now I know why I have kept the “staple remover” for all these years,
    what a great idea, I just purchased some split-rings and spent too much time
    trying to open them, and gave up when something told me to search the net
    one more time, found you, saved my day and patience–now I can add charms to my bead bracelets –thank you :):)

  34. Pat, that’s wonderful to hear! So glad this tip was helpful for you! 🙂

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