Even though jump rings are the dominate materials found in Chainmaille jewelry, they are also found in other medias of jewelry. These include beading, polymer’s clay, clay metals, and mixed media.
To stand behind what I just told you, look at some of your jewelry and you will see. Earrings, necklaces, bracelets-jump rings are there. They come in all shapes (oval, square, rectangular, circle), metal types (copper, brass, stainless steel, aluminum) and sizes (from tiny to jumbo) but a jump ring is a jump ring right???
That’s a negative!
You aren’t the only one who feels that way. You see, I too thought the exact same thing when I first started making jewelry. After a few scratches here and there, I quickly learned that not all jump rings are created equal.
The earth color mixed jump rings are saw cut and the green & light gray jump rings are machine cut.
So what’s the difference?
Machine cut jump rings are cut by a machine and saw cut jump rings are used by a saw…..
Um …….Duh…….you knew that just by reading the blog title (pardon the sarcasm).
On a more serious note, machine cut jump rings are made and cut by a machine but the ends (where you open and close) aren’t flushed, giving it a rough look and feel. Machine cut rings are easier to close than saw cut rings. From time-to-time, machine cut rings can snag onto clothing items but not as much as the pinch cut jump rings (which is a pain). Since machine cut jump rings are usually lower in cost than saw cut rings, this allows you to experiment with them more (Read the previous post about the quality of jewelry making supplies).
Saw cut jump rings are also made by a machine that cuts a coil with a saw blade. If you want to someday make your own jump rings, you can use dowels (pictured above) and cut them with a saw yourself. Saw cut rings are smooth, polished, and leaves a seamless look when closed.
So why is it easier to close a machine cut jump ring when the saw cut rings have a much smoother finish??? The reason why is because when there’s a wide gap between the ends of saw cut rings, it is more difficult to close. Remember, the saw cut is to leave a seamless look so noticeable gaps will appear if the ring was pulled too far apart in plier usage.
Which is better, machine or saw cut?
To be honest they both are acceptable in jewelry making and it depends on personal preference. If you are particular about how a finish looks, the saw cut rings are your friend. If you don’t care, just as long as the rings can open and close, machine cut rings are in your favor. Based on my personal experience with jump rings, the machine cut ones were heavier and have a matte look.
Was this blog post helpful? Let us know by sharing your thoughts in the comments below.