About Chainmail Rings


There are many different vocab words and concepts dealing with rings that are important to understand in order to be knowledgeable in the art of making chainmail. These ideas will increase your ability to make consistently better chainmail. Here are some other pages that have to do with jump rings:

How to Measure Jump Rings

How to Open and Close Rings

Types of Rings

There are three different types of rings that you will run into when making butted chainmail: Closed: rings that are butted together flush, so that they are smooth to the touch. Open: rings that are pulled apart far enough for another ring to be able to be put on. Semi-Open: rings that are neither open nor closed. It occurs when you first cut the rings, and the two ends of the ring are just barely touching.

Closed Ring

Chain mail rings and aspect ratio on thechainmail101.com

Open Ring

Chain mail rings and aspect ratio on thechainmail101.com

Semi-Open Ring

Chain mail rings and aspect ratio on thechainmail101.com

Ring Measurements

There are only two measurements necessary to take when determining the size of a ring. These measurements are the Inner Diameter of the ring and the Gauge (diameter)of the wire. The inner diameter of the ring is the measurement straight across a ring, measuring from the inside of one side to the inside of the other. The gauge of a wire is a scale used to describe the diameter, or thickness, of an actual wire. The gauge system is opposite of what seems correct. The larger the gauge, the thinner the wire. The lower the gauge, the thicker the wire. The reason that the gauge system is used is because wires tend to have a very small diameter. It is easier to express a wire as "16 gauge" than ".0508 inches in diameter". Below is a gauge chart and graphics showing how to take the measurements.

Inner Diameter of Ring

Chain mail rings and aspect ratio on thechainmail101.com

Diameter of Wire

Chain mail rings and aspect ratio on thechainmail101.com

Wire Gauge Conversion Chart

These values are for the SWG gauge system. The approximately equivalent AWG gauge for these values is at the bottom of the chart.

Chain mail rings and aspect ratio on thechainmail101.com

Aspect Ratio (AR)

One of the terms dealing with chainmail that you will run across a lot is Aspect Ratio. It may seem intimidating, but it really isn't that complicated. All it entails is dividing the Inner Diameter by the Wire Diameter. Like this:

Aspect Ratio = Inner Diameter ÷ Wire Diameter

or AR= ID/WD

It is easy, but it is very important to remember one thing. The Inner Diameter and the Wire Diameter must be in the same unit. For example, if you have a ring diameter in inches, and a wire diameter in millimeters, it won't give you the correct aspect ratio. If, however, you have both the ring diameter and the wire diameter in inches, or the ring diameter and the wire diameter both in millimeters, you will get a perfect answer.The Aspect Ratio of a ring is important for a couple reasons. If you are attempting a weave for the first time, and the tutorial tells you that the max aspect ratio you can use is a 4.9, but you attempt it with a 5.5, you will be sadly disappointed. The aspect ratio is used to make sure that the weave isn't too loose or too tight, and prevents you from having to struggle with putting rings together that just aren't the right size.

Chainmail Ring Aspect Ratio Calculator

To use the Chainmail Ring Aspect Calculator, just type in the values for wire diameter and ring inner diameter (they don't have to be in inches, but they have to be the same unit). If you know the gauge but not the wire diameter, confer the chart above.