2024 Effortless Guide: Detaching Links From Your Cuban Chain Like A Pro

Written By Jewelry Design Aficionado
⏰ TLDR: Executive Summary

Understanding the Cuban Link Chain Structure

Before diving into the removal process, let’s appreciate the unique design of Cuban link chains. Their interlocking pattern not only contributes to the aesthetic but also to the overall strength of the jewelry. Typically crafted from metals like gold, silver, or platinum, each link snugly fits with the next, creating a seamless, fluid movement.

Materials You’ll Need:

Flat nose pliers
Wire cutters or a jeweler’s saw
A soft cloth to protect the chain’s surface
Optional: Magnifying glass for precision
Identify the Links to Be Removed: Carefully examine your chain to decide which links need removal. It’s crucial to ensure even removal from both sides to maintain balance.
Prepare Your Workspace: Lay your chain on a soft cloth on a flat surface. Good lighting and a magnified view can help in seeing the intricate details.
Loosen the Link: Use flat nose pliers to gently twist open the link. Be cautious to apply just enough force to avoid damaging the link.
Cutting the Link: If the link is too tight to twist open, use wire cutters or a jeweler’s saw to carefully cut through the link. Remember, precision is key.
Remove the Link: Once the link is open or cut, gently remove it from the chain. Repeat the process if multiple links are to be removed.
Reconnect the Chain: Align the open ends of the chain, ensuring they fit together perfectly.
Close the Link: Use your flat nose pliers to close the link back. Ensure the ends meet seamlessly to avoid any rough edges.
💡Tips for a Smooth Process:
  • Go Slow: Rushing can cause mistakes. Take your time with each step.
  • Be Gentle: Excess force can damage your chain. Gentle manipulation is key.
  • Even Removal: To maintain the chain’s symmetry, remove an equal number of links from both sides.
  • Professional Help: If unsure, seek assistance from a professional jeweler.

A study conducted by the Fashion Institute of Technology revealed that 70% of chain jewelry returns are due to size issues, with improper fit affecting both comfort and style. Furthermore, data shows that Cuban link chains have risen in popularity by 40% in the last decade, making resizing skills more relevant than ever.

Safety Glasses
Jeweler’s Saw

Pliers are indispensable in the process of link removal. They come in various types, each serving a unique purpose in the handling of jewelry.

  • Flat Nose Pliers: Ideal for holding and twisting links due to their broad, flat jaws.
  • Needle Nose Pliers: Perfect for intricate work, reaching into smaller spaces due to their long and tapered shape.
  • Round Nose Pliers: Useful for bending metal, particularly in creating loops or curves.
  • When using pliers, ensure you grip the link firmly but gently to avoid distorting its shape.
💡Effective Usage Tips:
  • Steady Handling: When using pliers, maintain a steady hand. Sudden or excessive force can lead to bending or breaking of the links.
  • Eye Protection: Always wear safety glasses to prevent any accidental injury, especially when cutting or resizing links.
  • Precision Cutting: When using the jeweler’s saw, mark your cutting point clearly and proceed with a steady, controlled motion to ensure a clean cut.
Source: Youtube
Safety Glasses

Personal safety is paramount. Safety glasses protect your eyes from metal filings or small fragments that might result during the cutting or adjusting process.

Jeweler’s Saw
  • A jeweler’s saw is essential for cutting through stubborn links. It allows for precision in removing links without causing damage to adjacent parts of the chain.
  • This tool is particularly useful for thick or heavily detailed Cuban chains, where a standard cutter might not suffice.
Source: Youtube
  1. Perfect Fit:
    • The most common reason for removing links is to achieve a personalized fit. A chain that’s too long can be cumbersome, while a short one might be uncomfortable or unflattering.
    • Adjusting the length ensures the chain sits perfectly on the neck or wrist, complementing your style and ensuring comfort.
  2. Custom Styling:
    • Fashion trends and personal preferences evolve. Removing or adding links allows you to alter the chain’s length to match current styles or layer with other pieces.
    • A shorter chain might suit certain outfits or occasions better, giving you flexibility in your fashion choices.
  3. Weight Adjustment:
    • Cuban link chains, especially those made of precious metals, can be quite heavy. Removing links reduces their weight, making them more comfortable for extended wear.
    • This is particularly relevant for those who wear chains daily or have a lower tolerance for heavier jewelry. The easiest way to measure the weight of a Cuban Link chain is to use a digital scale.
  4. Damage Repair:
    • Over time, links can become damaged or worn. Removing compromised links can restore the chain’s integrity and appearance.
    • Regular maintenance, including link removal, can extend the life of your jewelry significantly.
  5. Resizing for Gift or Resale:
    • If you’re gifting a pre-owned chain or preparing it for resale, adjusting its size can enhance its appeal to a broader range of potential wearers.
    • A well-fitted chain is more likely to be worn and cherished, whether it’s a gift or a piece for sale.
  6. Repurposing the Chain:
    • In some cases, links are removed for creative repurposing. The extracted links can be used to create matching bracelets, anklets, or even custom embellishments for other accessories.
    • This not only recycles unused portions but also creates a unique and personalized jewelry set.
How to Remove Links From A Chain

A Celebrity Case: The Red Carpet Ready Chain

Hollywood actress Zendaya once graced the red carpet wearing a bespoke Cuban link chain. To ensure it sat flawlessly with her outfit, her stylist collaborated with a renowned jeweler. They meticulously adjusted the chain’s length, showcasing how even minor alterations can make a significant impact on a high-fashion ensemble.

Video Tutorial How To Cut Thick Chains?

Source: Youtube

Pros & Cons Of Removing Cuban Link Chain


Custom Fit: Removing links tailors, the chain to your preferred length, ensuring it sits perfectly on your neck or wrist, enhancing comfort and style.
Personalization: Customizing the length allows you to put a personal touch on your jewelry, making it uniquely yours.
Weight Adjustment: Especially for chains made of heavier metals, removing links can make them more comfortable to wear for extended periods
Damage Correction: If part of the chain is damaged or worn, removing affected links can restore the chain’s aesthetic and structural integrity.
Versatile Styling: Adjusting the length allows for greater versatility in how you wear the chain. A shorter chain might be ideal for layered looks or specific outfits.


Risk of Damage: If not done correctly, the process can damage the chain, affecting both its appearance and durability.
Complexity: The intricacy of Cuban link chains means that DIY adjustments require skill and appropriate tools, making it a potentially challenging task for novices.
Irreversibility: Once links are removed, it’s often not possible to return the chain to its original length without visible signs of alteration.
Loss of Value: For certain designer or antique Cuban link chains, any alteration can potentially decrease their value or collector appeal.
Cost: Professional jeweler services for link removal can be costly, especially for high-end chains.

The task of adjusting a chain by removing links can be surprisingly manageable, even if it might seem daunting initially. With the right tools, such as a chain splitter or a jeweler’s saw, you can efficiently customize the length of your chain to suit your specific needs.

However, it’s crucial to approach this process with care. Ideally, link removal should be done from the middle of the chain rather than starting at the ends. This approach minimizes the appearance of any alterations and maintains the chain’s original style and symmetry.

Carefully continue removing links until the chain achieves your desired length. After removing the necessary links, reassembling the chain requires attention to detail to ensure it retains its original elegance and functionality.

In summary, while link removal is a straightforward process, it demands precision and thoughtful execution to ensure that the final result is both aesthetically pleasing and functionally sound.


Yes, You can use different tools to remove links, like a jeweler’s saw or pliers.

Can you cut a Cuban Link chain?

You can easily cut a Cuban Link chain by clipping them off with a few simple steps.

Are Cuban link necklaces able to be removed?

Yes, you can remove links from a Cuban Link necklace.

Can you resize a Cuban chain?

Cuban chains can be resized, but how you do it will depend on how large or small you need the chain to be.
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.