General Question

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

How to remove a ring from your finger?

Asked by AlfredaPrufrock (9359 points ) January 17th, 2009

I’ve had my wedding ring on for almost 30 years, and need to take it off. Unfortunately, I’ve gained weight recently and cannot remove it by normal means—soap, cooking oil, etc. It will need to be cut off. Anyone have any experience with this? Would I go to a jeweler? Emergency room? Can I do it myself? The back of the band is narrow, but is platinum and hasn’t worn thin at all in 30 years…

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21 Answers

bythebay's avatar

@Alfreda: You cannot cut it off yourself, but I would go to the jeweler and not the ER. I had to have my rings cut off in an emergency and the ER mangled them. But, before you do that, try this: Take thick thread or fishing line and start wrapping your finger, tightly, moving toward the end of your finger. You should be able to then move your ring over the threaded area. The wrapping dissipates the blood flow to your hand and constricts the flow to your finger thereby making it smaller. This is what they tried at the hospital before they cut my rings off and it almost worked! Had I not been losing blood, I think it might have saved my poor rings. The platinum was near impossible to cut through… Try this method when your hands are cold and also try to avoid salty foods prior to this. Good luck!!

Judi's avatar

You might even want to take an over the counter diuretic, or pamprin if you have it around.

bythebay's avatar

@Judi: Good idea! My rings are generally snug; but on very cold days (like today) or days where I really avoid sodium, they are very loose on my finger. When they were trying to get my rings off, they even put my hand in ice water.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Well what I use is a pair of bone nibblers.

Whether you go to the emergency room or the jeweler would depend on how tight the ring is. If your finger is visibly a different colour from the others I’d go to the ER. As for damaging the ring, I never removed one that couldn’t be repaired later although it always is a risk whover cuts it off.

shadling21's avatar

Raising your hand above your head and allowing all the blood to drain from your fingers sometimes works.

Snoopy's avatar

I would try a jeweler before going to the ER, assuming that your finger is not being compromised. This will save on time (you won’t be seen quickly if your ER is busy) and the cost of an ER visit.

If time or your finger’s health is not an issue….and no jeweler is willing or able to help…..I would consider searching to buy a ring cutter online.

The tool you are looking for is a hand tool in which a protective hook is forced under your ring to protect your finger. The blade is placed on the ring. With pressure, you squeeze the blade onto the ring and twist the blade (like a can opener) until the job is done. It can take several minutes. If done correctly, it should only make a single cut through the ring. It is then pried off of the finger.

An instance in which you might be able to use this would be a severely arthritic knuckle only. i.e. you need the ring off, but it isn’t cutting off the circulation to your finger.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

Oh, thanks, all! great ideas. I noticed yesterday that the cold made my fingers much thinner. I will try the thread thing with diuretics first, then the jeweler, then buy the tool. The circulation’s not cut off, but I was very petite when it went on 29 years ago, and not so now.

@Snoopy, I wondered where to get something like that. They’re not very expensive. I thought perhaps a Dremel tool might have an attachment that could do the job, but didn’t want to cut my finger.

Lightlyseared's avatar

@Snoopy I totaly forgot you guys have to pay the hospital.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

@lightlyseared, I thought someone told me the ER could do that sort of thing, but I would hate to take up ER resources for something like this, when they have real issues to deal with. I think I will save that for my last resort.

Snoopy's avatar

@AlfredaPrufrock A dremel w/ the right bit would work, but I would be afraid of injuring the finger. You would want protective eye gear and something in between the ring and finger to protect it….

I think you have the right idea w/ the flow diagram you describe above…..

Good luck!

bythebay's avatar

@AlfredaPrufrock , keep in mind also, after the ring has been cut then it has to be pried apart. The prying is very hard on your fingers and your ring. The cutting is laborious but the prying is truly difficult and also what will potentially damage your ring setting. Wishing you much luck and thin fingers!

shadling21's avatar

Let us know how it goes!

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

@snoopy, in my weirdness, I would never buy a dremel for no reason because that would be “self-indulgent” and I don’t do “self-indulgent” (except with glassware for some reason. I periodically buy glassware in sets of at least a dozen. Or more.) But cutting my ring off my finger gives me a valid reason to buy one.

Planning on icing the hand tomorrow morning…

bythebay's avatar

@AlfredaPrufrock: I’d love to hear how your ring issue worked out…

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

I tried all the various home remedies, to no avail. I found a jeweler that will cut it off, and am going on Monday to have it done.

bythebay's avatar

Oh I’m sorry none of our home remedies worked. Good luck on Monday.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

After 28.5 years, the ring is off the finger.

I went to the jeweler’s near my office, where s sweet little old man used this ring removal tool, just as @Snoopy described. It had a piece of metal that fit under the ring, and a cutting wheel with a knob on the right side to turn the blade. It took quite a number of turns to cut the platinum back of the ring. He then had to take pliers and open up the space so I could slip the ring off. The crease on my finger is quite deep; it looks like my finger was detached, then reattached. I wonder how long it will take for the crease to fade, or if it ever will fade. It cost me $15 to have it removed. I’ve had the ring on for 60% of my life.

Weird to be without it. But I’m okay. Cried a little, because I never thought I’d take it off, but glad, in the scheme of things, that it’s behind me. The journey now begins.

bythebay's avatar

A new chapter in the book of Alfreda!

Snoopy's avatar

@AlfredaPrufrock Thanks for letting us know….all the best to you on your journey.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

Thanks to everyone for their help and support.

mattbrowne's avatar

I hadn’t taken mine off for more than 20 years. All attempts failed even when done by a professional jeweler. I’m not kidding. She needed a small saw and the procedure took 15 minutes. My related tenosynovitis was so severe I required surgery and wasn’t allowed to use my car for a week. So it’s always a good idea to check all rings once a year. If they don’t come off easily, something needs to be done. Jewelers can increase the circumference.

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