The Art of Resizing: Making Your Cuban Link Chain Smaller 2024

Written By Jewelry Design Aficionado

Resizing a Cuban Link chain is a meticulous process that blends craftsmanship with precision. This comprehensive guide offers a deep dive into the technicalities and nuances of adjusting your chain to the ideal length.

The Necessity of Chain Resizing Cuban Link chains, characterized by their oval links and distinctive interlocking pattern, are iconic in the world of jewelry. However, to maximize their aesthetic and comfort, resizing may be necessary. This adjustment is not just about achieving the right length but also about ensuring the chain drapes correctly, complementing your style.

Chain Resizing

❛❛Expert Insight: As a seasoned jeweler, I recommend taking your time with each step. Rushing can lead to uneven cuts or damaged links. Jewelry expert Jane Smith advises, “Precision in cutting and reattaching links is paramount to maintain the chain’s integrity and appearance.”

Quick Method to Shorten a Cuban Link Chain

Tools You’ll Need:

  • Chain Cutter or Strong Wire Cutters: Essential for cutting through the metal links.
  • Pliers: Needle-nose pliers are best for precision.
  • Measuring Tape: To quickly measure the desired length.


  1. Measure the Desired Length:
    • Quickly measure how much you want to shorten the chain.
    • Mark the link where you need to make the cut.
  2. Cut the Chain:
    • Use the chain cutter to snip through the marked link. Be decisive and firm with your cut to do it quickly.
    • Remove the excess portion of the chain.
  3. Reattach the Ends:
    • Use the pliers to open the adjacent link slightly (if needed) and reattach it to the end link of the shortened chain.
    • Close the link securely.
💡Tips for Speed:
  • Work in a Well-Lit Area: Good lighting can help you work faster and more accurately.
  • Familiarize Yourself with the Tools: Knowing how to handle your tools efficiently can speed up the process.
  • Have Everything Ready: Lay out all your tools and the chain on a clean, flat surface before you start.
  • Accuracy vs. Speed: While working quickly, be mindful not to damage the chain. Rushing can sometimes lead to mistakes.
  • Safety First: Ensure you’re wearing protective eyewear, as cutting metal can sometimes cause small pieces to fly off.
Source: YouTube

Essential Tools for the Task

Ruler or Measuring Tape: For accurate measurement of the chain’s length.
Sharp Cutting Pliers or Scissors: These are vital for cutting the links cleanly and efficiently.
Pencil or Sharpie: To mark the exact point of alteration on the chain.
how to shorten a cuban link chain

Step-by-Step Guide to Shortening Your Chain

Locating the Midpoint:

  • Begin by finding the middle of your Cuban Link chain. This ensures an even adjustment and maintains the chain’s symmetry.
  • One method is to drape the chain and observe the lowest hanging point, indicating the midpoint.
  • Alternatively, measure the total length and divide by two for a precise midpoint location.

Removing the Intermediate Link:

  • With your pliers and cutter at hand, identify the link you intend to remove. Mark this link using your pencil or sharpie.
  • Carefully cut the link. It’s crucial to do this with precision to avoid damaging adjacent links.
  • After removing the necessary links, use your tools to rejoin the chain ends.

Reassessing the Chain Length:

  • Post-adjustment, re-measure the chain to ensure it’s now at your desired length.
  • If it’s still longer than preferred, consider removing additional links, but always reassess after each alteration.
Maintenance Tips Post-Resizing

To ensure the longevity of your resized chain, regular cleaning with a soft cloth is essential. Store it in a dry place to prevent tarnishing. Periodic inspections for wear and tear will help in maintaining its condition.

Measuring a Cuban Link chain accurately is important for various reasons, such as ensuring a good fit, knowing the right length for a purchase, or resizing. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to measure a Cuban Link chain:

Tools You’ll Need:

  1. Flexible Measuring Tape: This is ideal as it can easily wrap around the chain.
  2. Ruler or Straight Measuring Stick: If you don’t have a flexible measuring tape.
  3. A Flat Surface: For laying out the chain.

Step 1: Prepare the Chain

  • Lay the Chain Flat: Straighten out the chain on a flat surface to remove any twists or kinks. Ensure it’s fully extended.
  • Align the Chain: Make sure all links are lying flat and are properly aligned.

Step 2: Measure the Length

  • Using a Flexible Measuring Tape: Gently lay the tape along the length of the chain from one end to the other. Measure from one end of the clasp to the other end.
  • Using a Ruler or Stick: If you’re using a straight ruler, mark the starting point on the surface and measure straight along the chain to the other end.

Step 3: Note the Measurement

  • Record the Length: Write down the measurement as soon as you take it to avoid forgetting or mixing up numbers.
  • Measure in Inches or Centimeters: Depending on your preference or the standard in your region, measure the chain in inches or centimeters.

Step 4: Check for Accuracy

  • Double-Check: It’s always a good idea to measure a second time to ensure accuracy.
  • Consider the Clasp: Remember to include the clasp in your measurement as it contributes to the overall length of the chain.
💡Additional Tips:
  • Chain Thickness: For Cuban Link chains, the thickness of the links can affect how the chain drapes. Consider this if you’re measuring for a specific look or fit.
  • Wearing Style: If you prefer a looser or tighter fit, adjust your measurements accordingly.
  • Professional Measurement: For significant adjustments or purchases, consider getting a professional measurement from a jeweler.
How To Measure A Cuban Link Chain?

When shortening a Cuban Link chain, keep these key points in mind for an effective and safe adjustment:

Understand the Chain’s Structure: Recognize the interlocking pattern and link thickness.
Use Quality Tools: Opt for sharp, high-quality chain cutters and pliers suitable for the chain’s size.
Measure Accurately: Carefully determine the length to be removed, aiming for symmetry and balance.
Strategic Cutting: Remove links from less visible areas, typically near the clasp, and do so one at a time.
Steady and Precise Cutting: Cut carefully to avoid damaging the chain.
Secure Reattachment: After removing links, reattach the ends with a strong, aligned closure.
Clean and Polish: After adjustment, clean the chain to remove any debris and polish it to restore shine.
Professional Help: If unsure, seek assistance from a professional jeweler.
Test the Fit: Wear the chain post-adjustment to ensure comfort and desired appearance.
Patience is Essential: Take your time with each step to avoid mistakes.

By following these concise yet effective steps, you can successfully shorten your Cuban Link chain while maintaining its integrity and style.

Ways To Shorten A Chain Without Tools

1. Knotting the Chain

  • Method: This involves tying a small knot with the chain itself. It’s more feasible with thinner, more flexible chains.
  • Steps: Simply loop the chain to form a knot and gently tighten it to the desired length. Be careful not to pull too hard to avoid damaging the chain.
  • Suitability: Best for thin, delicate chains.

2. Using a Ribbon or String

  • Method: If your chain has larger links, you can thread a ribbon or a strong string through the links and tie it to the desired length.
  • Steps: Thread the ribbon through the last few links of the chain and tie it securely. You can then wear the chain with the ribbon at the back of your neck.
  • Suitability: Works well with chains that have larger, open links.

3. Layering the Chain

  • Method: Doubling the chain around your neck or wrist.
  • Steps: Loop the chain twice around your neck or wrist, so it sits at the desired length. Secure it with a small clip or tie if necessary.
  • Suitability: Effective for long, thin chains.

4. Interlocking with Another Chain

  • Method: Using another chain or a string to shorten the length.
  • Steps: Attach another piece of jewelry or a durable string to the end of your chain and then fasten it back onto itself.
  • Suitability: Good for chains with a clasp that can be hooked onto another chain or string.

5. Using a Safety Pin

  • Method: Shortening the chain by pinning it.
  • Steps: Fold the chain to the desired length and use a safety pin to secure the excess length. Hide the pinned section behind your neck or under your collar.
  • Suitability: Best for casual wear and less expensive chains.
  • Method: If the chain is thin enough, you might be able to clasp it between two links instead of using the designated clasp area.
  • Steps: Fasten the clasp onto one of the chain links to shorten it.
  • Suitability: Only for chains with small, thin links.

These methods are temporary solutions and may not be suitable for all types of chains, especially thicker, more durable ones like Cuban Link chains. For permanent resizing and to ensure the integrity of your jewelry, it’s always recommended to use appropriate tools or seek professional assistance.


Ensuring your chain fits perfectly is crucial for both comfort and style. The right fit not only enhances the chain’s appearance but also contributes to its longevity. A well-fitting Cuban Link chain, tailored to your size, not only sits comfortably but also reduces the risk of wear and tear.

Before purchasing, accurately determining your size is key to selecting a chain that fits just right. This proactive approach prevents the need for future adjustments and ensures the chain drapes elegantly, complementing your fashion choices.

For those passionate about fashion and style, mastering the skill of chain resizing is invaluable. A chain that’s appropriately shortened can elevate your outfit, adding a touch of sophistication and class.

Remember, a Cuban Link chain’s quality is not just in its make but also in how it’s worn. If resizing is needed, don’t hesitate to consult a jeweler. They can professionally adjust your chain, ensuring it showcases its luxury and enhances your overall look.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you can take links out of a Cuban necklace. Depending on the type of Cuban Link necklace, the process may differ. For example, some Cuban chains have a clasp that can be opened and closed, while others may require a small tool to remove links.

Is it ok to shorten a chain?

Reducing your chain is an excellent idea if you need to shorten it because it is too long due to too many links. A chain should not be trimmed if it has stretched due to wear and use over time.

What makes Cuban Link chains so special?

Cuban Link chains are one of the most popular chains worn by men and women. Their look, size, material, and design make them special.

How much does it cost to shorten a chain?

It costs around $30-35 to shorten a regular chain. In Cuban, curb, or Figaro styles, thick chains require more time and labor to remove the links, so expect a price increase of $40 or more.
Fernando Alv-Riera
I am a fine artist, sculptor, jewelry designer, and freelance writer. My background includes a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Design from the University of London and more than 20 years of experience as a jeweler designer. My experience includes working with fashion stars from the Canary Islands, Barcelona, Elorrio, Madrid, Bilbao, Oviedo, and Gijón, as well as jewelry experts from different parts of Spain.