How to Take Links Out of a Watch Without Tools


So, you want to take links out of a watch without tools?

Not a problem. There are easy ways to do this and the techniques in this list can be done with things you already have in your home. However, if you already have the tools for it, here’s a guide on how to remove watch band links you might want to check out.

Know that this does not apply to all types of watches. Sports watches and running watches are some of the ones you can’t adjust the same way because they use a different type of watch band.

In any case, it makes a lot of sense to just take links out of a watch without tools on your own rather than taking it to a repair shop which could cost you money. The steps are simple and all you would need is a little bit of patience.

Types of Watch Links

You probably already know that there are different types of straps or bracelets, like leather or casual straps. When it comes to different watch links, there are a few classifications as well.

  • Material

    Watch links are made with different types of materials. This is important to know when you’re learning how to take links out of a watch without tools.

    There is stainless steel, gold, titanium, and sometimes wood. A lot of people prefer watch links or bracelets rather than leather because they can be very classy and are quite durable, too.

  • Oyster

    This was first used in Rolex watches back in the 1930’s. It’s a classic and looks very stylish. It’s also the most popular type of link strap. It has a long and thick 3-piece link design. Its wide center bar makes the links strong and less prone to stretching, making it quite durable. Additionally, it is typically stiffer than others and it can also be made out of wood.

  • President

    The width of the links in this bracelet is a lot similar to the oyster but there is a drastic difference in the number of individual links. It’s denser than the oyster and each link is shorter. Because of this, it’s not as stiff or durable as the previous type of bracelet.

  • Jubilee

    This band has 3 narrow links between thick side links that are usually matte-finished. Designers often make them two-toned so that they look very formal and can be considered as dress watches. More prone to stretching, it is typically used in large and small watches.

  • Engineer

    Lastly, there is the engineer which is a chunky band that comprises 5 large links. They are sometimes angular and tend to be heavy, thick, and quite durable. It has a bulky appearance so people with smaller wrists may not choose to wear it.

Those are the types of watch links that you need to know when learning how to take links out of a watch without tools.

How to Take Links Out of a Watch Without Tools?

So, how do you take links out of a watch without tools? No matter what type of link your watch has, these steps are proven to be effective.

  • What You’ll Need

    As mentioned, you don’t need any official watch repair tools. Instead, you can use the ones you already have at home.

    A pin – This can be thumbtack or anything small enough to fit through the link hole. You can even use the ends of an LED light bulb or anything that is small but strong enough to be able to push the link.

    A hammer – You can use a hammer or anything that is strong enough to push the pin into the link. It can even be a metal nail cutter.

    Pliers – These are optional since you can use anything that can pull out the pin from the link.

  • Locate the Adjustment

    First, determine which part you want to remove. This is up to you but, do not make it too uneven. That way, the watch won’t look awkward when you wear it again. If you just need a small adjustment, it’s okay to just remove links from one side.

  • Locate Where the Pin Goes Out

    Next, you need to inspect your watch links and find out where the pin should go out. In some watches, there may even be an arrow indicating that. If it doesn’t have that indication, simply look for the side that has a line through the end of the pin that is more noticeable.

  • Pound the Pin

    Once you’ve located that, pound the pin on the side opposite the one with the arrow or the line to take links out of a watch without tools. Line your push pin along with the pinhole. Make sure that you are doing this on a flat surface that is a bit soft so that the pin can go out the other side.

    Tap or pound the pin with your hammer. Be careful not to hit your fingers.

  • Take Out the Link

    Once the small pin inside the link is sticking out, you can pull it off. In most cases, you can just pull this out with your hand, though with a bit of effort. Other times, you may want to use pliers or tweezers to hold the pin firmly and pull it out to take the links out.

  • Put the Links Back

    Once you’ve removed the necessary number of links, you can connect the remaining links back. Simply push a pin inside between the two links. This time, you must insert it the opposite side that you pushed it out. You can use your hammer again to push or your pliers to squeeze it in.

You can now enjoy your newly adjusted watch after you take links out of a watch without tools.