When wearing a wristwatch, one of the most important things to consider is the fit. Wear it too loose and it might hit pieces of furniture more easily; wear it too tight and it can squeeze your veins. That being said, it is important to know how to remove watch links or even adjust your strap. Lucky for you, we created a guide so you can do it yourself.
By the end of this article, you’ll learn how to remove watch links by yourself, with or without a watch repair kit.
What are the tools you need?
Fortunately, you don’t need professional equipment to learn how to remove watch links. Here are some of the things you need to get the job done:
- A pin pusher
- Hammer (optional)
- Tray to place the parts (optional)
To make your work a lot easier, it is recommended that you use an uncluttered workbench or a flat surface. Remember that you are dealing with tiny parts here, which are easy to lose when you have so many things on your table.
A Step-by-step Guide on How to Remove Watch Links
1. Measure how many links you have to remove.
First things first. Before removing anything, make sure that you know how many links to remove. To do this, wear the watch and gather up the loose links and count the number of excess ones. If you’re still not sure how many to remove, it’s best to get rid of fewer links first. Remember, it is more convenient to remove another link than to put one back in.
2. Remove the links.
From here, there are two methods you can use — one is by using a pin pusher and the other is by using a watch repair kit. Below are the steps that you have to do for each method.
Method 1: By using a pin pusher
- Place the watch on the table with the push pins facing up.
- Insert the pin pusher into the hole and push the pin firmly.
- Once you’ve pushed the pin enough, it will pop out. Use pliers to remove it together with the link.
- Repeat the steps until you’ve removed the number of desired links.
Method 2: By using a watch repair kit
- Watch repair kits usually come with a watch holder. With this, place the strap/bracelet in one of the openings. Make sure that the holes of the push pins are facing up.
- Place the pusher in the hole and gently tap it with the hammer included in the kit. If your kit doesn’t have one, a regular hammer will suffice.
- Once the pin pops out, use pliers to completely remove it.
- Repeat the process until all desired links have been removed.
3. Reconnect the watch.
Once you’ve removed the excess links, the last thing you have to do is re-attach the other links to connect the watch. That being said, here is what you should do:
- Line up the two ends of the watch links.
- Get the pin and push it inside the pin slot.
- If you have a hammer, you can use it to gently push the pin inside.
4. Enjoy your watch.
Congratulations. You now know how to remove watch links. Now that your timepiece fits your wrist perfectly, it’s time to enjoy it!
Recommended Watch Link Removal Kits
If you have a few dollars to spare, it is always a good idea to invest in a watch repair kit, especially if you want to learn more beyond things like how to remove watch links. With that said, here are a few products that we recommend.
1. EFIXTK 24 in 1 Kit
The EFIXTK 24 in 1 Kit will make you look like a professional watch repairman. In fact, the package includes everything that you will ever need. It has a watch band link pin remover with six extra tips, a double-head hammer, four-pin punches, and 20 pieces of cotter pins.
Apart from the essentials, it also includes a watch holder to prevent the watch from wiggling as you work on it. This makes the work a lot easier and faster for you. Furthermore, the pins in the kit can fit various band sizes up to 30mm. And after adjusting the links, you can use the included cloth to polish your watch.
It is very easy to recommend this watch link removal kit as it is one of the most intensive packages in the market. Whether or not you already know how to remove watch links, this kit will make the chore a lot easier for you.
2. Warmstor Watch Repair Tool
2. Warmstor Watch Repair Tool Kit
While the previous kit has a lot of bells and whistles, the Warmstor Watch Repair Tool Kit focuses on the basics. To illustrate, it only includes a sturdy watch band link remover, six pins, and a cleaning cloth.
Despite not being as intensive as the EFIXTK, this tool kit nails all the things you need as a beginner. The band link remover is small and has an adjustable base so you can use different band thicknesses. You wouldn’t have to worry about fitting your watch whether you’re using a small vintage timepiece or a modern oversized one.
Overall, the Warmstor Watch Repair Tool Kit is great for people who don’t need the extras. It is a no-frills tool kit that you can easily afford. In addition, its simplicity makes it easier to recommend to beginners who are still getting used to tinkering with their watches before exploring other more complicated tools.
3. Autoxel Watch Band Tool Kit
For the more experienced folks, you will certainly appreciate the Autoxel Watch Band Tool Kit. Unlike the Warmstor kit, this one is something that you will find in a professional watchmaker’s drawer. Indeed, it has the fancy tools for not only adjusting your watch but also repairing it.
To be specific, it contains a plastic watch holder, a whopping 108 pieces of watch band pins, a dual-head hammer, two-pin punches, and a watch band link remover. These tools are made with rust-resistant and sturdy material so you’re sure that this will last you for years.
While the tools may seem intimidating, beginners don’t have to be afraid. The kit includes a detailed manual book on how to remove watch links. It also features illustrations on how to correctly do it and a description for each tool to lessen the confusion. To top it all off, the Autoxel Watch Band Tool Kit includes a storage bag. This is helpful if you’re the type who loves travelling around.
4. Coyaho Watch Link Remover Kit
Another efficient tool that you should check out is the Coyaho Watch Link Remover Kit. Simply put, the package contains only the watch link remover and 12 spare punch pins. All of the parts mentioned are made with steel, making it durable.
Apart from durability, this kit is also easy to use. It is also versatile as it is compatible with different watch band sizes. Furthermore, you can also use it for other simple watch repair projects. You will not only learn how to remove watch links but simple repair projects as well.
The Coyaho Watch Link Remover Kit is a great tool that will help you save time and money from bringing your watch to the repair shop. It is convenient and is recommended for anyone, whether beginner or expert.
5. Invicta Watch Sizing Tool
Although this tool is made by Invicta, it does not necessarily mean that it only works for watches under that brand. In fact, it is compatible with most bracelet sizes.
To use the Invicta Watch Sizing Tool, all you have to do is lay the band or strap across the tray. When you have adjusted the correct height, simply rotate the handle. If you’re not sure how to remove the watch links correctly, the package includes a detailed guide.
Overall, the Invicta Watch Sizing Tool will save you trips to the watch repair shop. So, if you want an easy-to-use tool for simple link adjustments, this will do the job.
6. EZTool Watch Repair Kit
If you want something that more than just removes your watch links, the EZTool Watch Repair Kit is the one for you. In fact, it is one of the most thorough kits on this list. It contains a 3-point Jaxa case wrench opener, a link remover tool, a spring bar removal tool, and others.
Apart from the tools, it also includes a 41-page illustrated guide book that will take you through the process of common watchmaking tasks. Furthermore, the tools are secured in a zip-up case so you can easily carry them wherever you go.
Whether you’re a professional watchmaker or you’re just starting to learn how to remove watch links, the EZTool Watch Repair Kit will surely be a good buy for you.
7. EasyTime Professional Watch Strap Remover Tool Kit
Tired of going to the repair shop to have your watch adjusted? It’s time to get the EasyTime Professional Watch Strap Remover Tool Kit. This package gets you a spring bar tool kit, a band link remover, a watch band holder, a hammer, and tools for opening the watch.
The tools included are all made with high-quality materials. This means that it is durable and will last you years of intensive use. Furthermore, the tools come with a nylon zipper bag so you can get the job done wherever you are.
If you’re in the market for something that will cover all kinds of watch repairs and modifications, this kit will suffice. No doubt, this will make a great gift for watch enthusiasts and collectors who want to learn how to remove watch links on their own.
8. Vastar Watch Repair Kit
Lastly, another kit that will make you look like a professional is the Vastar Watch Repair Kit. It contains almost everything you need for repairing or adjusting watches. Moreover, it can also cater to oversized watches. In fact, the case opener is adjustable up to 52mm!
Inside the package, you will find the following: a spring bar remover, anti-magnetic screwdriver, anti-magnetic tweezers, and spring pins in various sizes. Aside from the tools, the whole package also includes an operation manual. It provides guides on how to remove watch links, open watch casebacks, change batteries, adjusting bands, and more.
It also comes with a black nylon case for convenient storage and portability. Truly, the Vastar Watch Repair Kit is perfect for watchmakers, collectors, and beginners alike.
FAQ on How to Remove Watch Links
How should the watch fit?
A rule of thumb is that a watch should not slide more than one inch up or down when you move your wrist. If it does, it means it’s too loose and you should remove watch links to adjust the fit. On the other hand, if it’s uncomfortable and leaves a red imprint on your wrist, it means it’s too tight and that you should add links.
What if I don’t have the proper tools?
If you don’t have the proper tools, then worry not. You can still learn how to remove watch links with a few common household items. For instance, you can use any thin and pointy thing instead of the pin pusher. Likewise, you can also substitute a block of wood for a hammer.
Is it a must to learn how to remove watch links?
Learning how to remove watch links is not required per se. I assure you that no watch snob will look down on you for taking your timepiece to a shop for adjustments. However, it is highly recommended for beginners and experts alike. Apart from saving time and effort, you will also save around $10-$20 for every adjustment.
Lastly, there are times when you have to unexpectedly wear the watch. Instead of waiting for the watch repair shop to open the next morning, you can do it yourself in the comfort of your own home.
Now that you know how to remove watch links, you can then save up on watch services and instantly adjust your watch on your own in case of an emergency. Whether you’re a watch collector or a beginner, it is essential to learn how to remove watch links independently.
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