Threadless Body Jewelry 101: Press Fit Posts Explained
The jewelry industry and the body piercing industry have much more in common than some may realize. While high-quality, hypoallergenic metals such as implant-grade titanium and surgical steel (and, unfortunately, low-quality nickel-based alloys) have dominated the industry, fine gold body jewelry has been on a sharp rise in recent years. If you thought all body jewelry was created equally, think again.
Just as all rings aren’t created equally, neither is body jewelry. As education grows awareness, so too does this golden opportunity. Precious metals command a far higher price point than both titanium and steel, which is great news for both retail jewelers AND body piercers.
Stuller is proud to expand our offerings in this area, starting with our new threadless Press Fit posts and backs made from 14-karat gold.
But to get this deep dive started, we need to start with some basic terminology and explain why threadless body jewelry is so great to begin with.
Stick around to the end for a free downloadable ear piercing chart you can print for your store, for personal reference, or for customers to take home.
Externally Threaded vs. Internally Threaded Jewelry
To help you understand Stuller’s new Press Fit body jewelry, it helps to know about the two other types of body jewelry: externally threaded and internally threaded.
View the chart below to see the difference in their construction:
Many piercers consider externally threaded body jewelry unacceptable. They are often made from nickel-heavy “mystery metal” that can cause skin reactions — even in people who don’t typically react to nickel.
Externally threaded jewelry doesn’t smoothly pass through the piercing. When the jewelry is removed, the threads can cause trauma to the skin and let bacteria grow in the micro tears.
Internally threaded body jewelry, by contrast, is safe for all piercings. Since the threads are inside the post/barbell, the jewelry can harmlessly pass through the piercing. Stuller carries a modest assortment of internally threaded styles.
But there’s an equally safe alternative to internally threaded jewelry — one with some key advantages over internal threading — and Stuller is proud to add this type to our ever-growing assortment of findings. Enter Press Fit, Stuller’s new threadless body jewelry system.
“You just went over internally and externally threaded. Now you’re talking about threadLESS? What’s that?” you may ask. And I’m glad you did.
What is Threadless Body Jewelry?
Unlike externally and internally threaded styles, threadless body jewelry is exactly as the name implies: it has no threads at all.
These pieces are held together via tension created when the pin (sometimes called the post) is slightly bent and fully pressed into the tube back (in the body piercing industry, this part is typically called the post). Read on for an infographic that demonstrates how this works.
This unique construction offers an array of benefits for body piercings.
Why Choose Threadless Body Jewelry?
Threadless body jewelry’s key benefits are safety, security, comfort, and ease of changing up one’s look. Here’s are five reasons why you should choose this style:
- Threadless jewelry is safe for piercings. The post’s smooth, threadless construction provides a clean, harmless pass through any piercing.
- It keeps your jewelry secure and in place. Held by tension, threadless jewelry can’t accidentally fall out. It requires a bit of effort to remove, actually!
- Threadless jewelry is comfortable. No more is poking an issue. Because threadless styles have a disc back, the stud rests comfortably and flatly against the skin. In select piercings, such as the tragus, this means the wearer can keep using earphones.
- You can mix and match to explore your personal style. You have endless ways to mix and match a variety of decorative tops: ball ends, trims, diamonds, gemstones, and even dangles.
- Wearers need only one back for one piercing yet can have a variety of decorative ends. This lets them create a versatile, ready-to-wear collection.
How Does Threadless Body Jewelry Work?
While Press Fit posts and backs may seem complicated, they’re actually quite simple once you understand the fit. Using tension created when the two components are pressed together, threadless jewelry secures into place.
Unlike traditional friction-back studs — which you insert from the front of the piercing, starting with the earring’s post — threadless jewelry works in reverse. That is, you insert the Press Fit back from behind first, and then you insert the pin from the front.
How to Take Off Threadless Jewelry
Hold both ends of the jewelry, and pull them in opposite directions. You may need to add a slight twisting motion. And don’t do it over your bathroom sink without a plug — these pieces are tee-tiny, and you don’t want to lose your precious jewelry down the drain.
Press Fit Posts and Backs
The newest addition to our immense findings selection is this Press Fit system. You can buy just the back, just the post, or both*. Solder a tiny trim or stone setting onto the post for a look your customers can quickly mix and match.
At the current time, we sell the posts and decorative ends separately.
Joining them together requires a smidge of soldering. These are not currently able to be ordered as a ready-to-wear style — but keep an eye on our site, as exciting things are coming for Press Fit!
- Made in-house from SCS-certified 100% recycled metal
- Back assembly is a 2.5mm struck disc with 18-gauge tubing
- Available in 14-karat white, yellow, and rose gold
- Two post lengths and four back lengths:
- 4mm post fits the 5mm and 6mm back
- 6mm post fits the 7mm and 8mm back
* Please note that at Stuller, we refer to the pin as the post, and the back is the tube + disc end component.
A Few Notes
First, know that Press Fit posts and backs are compatible only with each other. You cannot take a regular earring stud’s post and fit it inside a Press Fit tube. They will neither fit nor bend, unlike the Press Fit pin (post), which is ultra thin and moderately flexible.
Second, Press Fit posts and backs can be worn only in piercings that use straight jewelry. We recommend wearing these in select piercings:
- Ear lobes
- Ear cartilage piercings (helix, forward helix, flat, tragus, anti-tragus, conch)
Consult with a professional piercer to learn about which gauge thicknesses and size posts are best for which piercings. Piercings are not one-size-fits-all since all bodies are different.
Can I Use Press Fit With Other Piercings?
Body piercings that use curved or circular jewelry — such as navels, daiths*, snugs, rooks, eyebrows, and such — are not suitable for Press Fit posts and backs.
Why? A straight bar used in a curved body piercing puts pressure on the piercing, and the piercing may heal improperly — or worse, the wearer’s body may slowly reject the piece. This can leave them with a nasty scar and potentially affect whether they can have that specific location repierced.
- Check out our assortment of nose stud screws, jump rings (perfect for captive bead rings), and internally threaded straight and curved barbells.
- You’ll also find the tiny trims, accented trims, and micro settings you need to make each piece ready to wear.
- Hoops? We have a large assortment of trending and classic styles. Hoops are great for healed nostril piercings and select cartilage ear piercings, like helixes and orbital conches.
* Despite its spelling, daith is actually pronounced doth. It rhymes with cloth, trough, and cough!
Download This Free Ear Piercing Chart
Share the knowledge! With this chart, you can inspire customers to get their next piercing, or maybe even open them up to one they didn’t know was possible.
Hand it out to customers when they buy a Press Fit post and back from you, or keep it near your Press Fit jewelry to show customers some options.
Note: If customers ask you where they should go to get a piercing, I recommend sending them to the Association of Professional Piercers (APP). This will help them locate a professional piercer who has passed the APP’s strict guidelines for membership.
Personally, I’m a fan of the triple-forward helix and the double tragus, both of which I had at age 19. However, my craziest piercings were the three-stone vertical industrials I had in each ear. I was a body modification aficionado back in college and still retain a lot of fondness for piercings.
A huge part of the appeal for me was that piercings allowed me to explore my creativity and change up any look within seconds. At my piercing peak, I had 22 and was just getting into 14-karat gold for them.
Who knew I’d end up at Stuller someday and discover we’re the supplier to many of the fine body jewelry creators I adored back then?
Oh, and yes — I used threadless jewelry in most of my cartilage piercings back then. I can attest to how secure, safe, and comfortable these styles are. In fact, the first time I tried taking one out my tragus, I thought the pin was stuck in the post for good!