If you're searching for the perfect men's wedding ring, you've likely come across tungsten rings. Unless you already have a working knowledge of metals, then you might be asking yourself: What is tungsten carbide, and can it be cut off your finger?
Tungsten carbide rings are made of the hardest metal on earth. This is what gives it its scratch resistance, but this durability also means these rings resist cutting tools. Because these rings are so strong, many people worry about whether or not they can be cut off in case of emergencies like finger swelling.
So, can tungsten be cut? While tungsten rings cannot be literally cut off, they can still be safely removed in case of an emergency. If you've researched tungsten rings, you've probably seen a lot of videos and articles about them being indestructible. You've maybe even heard of men's wedding bands taking a diamond saw to cut off. Don't let these sources scare you off from tungsten rings. Even though they can't be cut off, they don't require something like a diamond saw to remove. In fact, the most common method of removing tungsten rings from your finger is by using a simple pair of vice grips, which apply enough pressure that the tungsten ring fractures safely.
A full video tutorial on the proper removal of tungsten rings can be found on the Larson Jewelers YouTube page.
Any ring can be removed in an emergency. It does not matter what metal the ring is made of. Most rings will have to be cut off, but extremely hard materials like tungsten carbide and ceramic rings will need to be "cracked off" rather than cut off. This might sound scarier than cutting off a ring, but it is actually faster and easier to do than cutting off a ring.
While other metals can be removed with a wedding ring cutter, tungsten rings are a type of ring that can only be "cut" with vice grips or any kind of locking pliers. Most emergency personnel have this common tool, as well as your local emergency rooms. If you're worried, you can call your local hospital to check ahead of time and ask if they have a vice grip wrench or locking pliers that can crack a tungsten ring off.
Once you have a vice grip wrench, simply close the wrench and adjust the jaw of the wrench until it clamps down on the outside of the tungsten ring. Next, release the vice grip and turn the screw in the handle a half turn to tighten the vice grip just a tiny amount. Then clamp down on the outside of the ring again. This time the vice grip will apply more pressure because it is tighter. If it does not crack, then release the vice grip wrench and tighten the screw another half turn. Then try clamping down the outside of the ring once again. Keep repeating this step and until the ring cracks. If you have a wider ring, then you may need to rotate the ring after the first and repeat the process.
As the ring cracks, there is a risk of shards flying, so it's highly recommended to take extra precautions such as wearing safety glasses. You can also place your hand in a plastic bag while fracturing the ring to prevent pieces from shooting out across the room.
Once cracked, we advise people not to slide the ring up and down their finger as this can lead to injury. If your tungsten carbide ring has a precious metal inlay, then the band's inlay portion may be cut away. This entire removal process should take about 30 seconds to complete. Please make sure you get at least some of the large pieces of the ring back, so you can send them back in to get your ring replaced by using the manufacturer's lifetime warranty.