Threaded jewelry is a type of body jewelry where one or both of the ends on a post unscrew. It is a versatile type of jewelry, as it can be removed relatively easily, and often. It’s also a good option for thicker, large-gauge jewelry, which can be awkwardly heavy and difficult to change in non-threaded jewelry styles. Threaded posts and rings are a great choice when looking for something that is easy to take in and out without the help of a piercer.
There are two types of threaded body jewelry: internally threaded and externally threaded. Internally threaded jewelry has the screw threads attached to the ball so that the small screw threads into the end of a post. This allows for a smooth surface on the jewelry being inserted into the piercing. This is the type of threading recommended by the Association of Professional Piercers in their Minimum Standards for Jewelry for Initial Piercings.
Externally threaded jewelry has the screw threads on the end of the post, meaning that the ball screws onto the post. This type of jewelry tends to be more traumatic to put through a piercing, especially a healing one. For this reason, we only use and sell internally threaded jewelry in our studio and in our online store. In fact, In Philadelphia externally threaded jewelry is prohibited from use in initial piercings.
Image courtesy Brian Skellie.
Threaded jewelry is infinitely configurable, in that you can pair different size shafts with the appropriately sized end for your piercing. All threaded jewelry we sell is compatible with other pieces of the same gauge size, e.g. any 14g end from us will screw into any 14g shaft. Be aware that not all threaded jewelry is universal, and pieces from one company may not necessarily fit pieces from another. Lastly, each piece in our catalog is sold separately, so you want to make sure you pick the right sized end for your post.
Choosing the best sizes for jewelry depends on your piercing and your individual anatomy. Every body is different, and the sizes outlined below are only a basic guideline when selecting jewelry. While we try to help with the selection process, there’s no substitute for getting your jewelry sized and installed by a competent professional piercer.
Questions? As always, feel free to contact us.
For nipple piercings on women we typically use 12g straight threaded barbell shafts. Initial jewelry is most often 9/16” to 3/4” long, with healed piercings typically needing ½” to ⅝” posts. A 3/16” threaded end tends to be ideal for this piercing: too small a ball can pull into the piercing, while too large can put pressure on the areola, putting undue forward pressure on the piercing.
For men, a 14g straight threaded barbell shaft is used most often, typically in ⅜” to ½” lengths for the initial piercing, with healed piercings typically needing 5/16” to 3/8” lengths. A 5/32” ball is recommended.
Straight barbell shafts in stainless steel and titanium are sold separately from the matching removable ball ends. For a complete piece of jewelry, shop both straight barbell shafts and ball ends. Barbells with forward-facing gem ends are sold as a complete set.
At Infinite, we typically pierce navels with 12g curved barbells in either 3/8” or 7/16” lengths, with healed piercings typically needing 1/4” to 3/8” posts.
Threaded curved barbell shafts in plain stainless steel and titanium are sold separately from the matching removable ball ends. For a complete curved barbell with balls on either end, choose a 3/16” ball for the top and a slightly larger 7/32” ball for the bottom. Threaded gem ends should be at least 4mm or larger. Curved barbell shafts with forward-facing gem ends are sold as a complete set. If you are picking a threaded gem for the bottom that is not side-facing, choose a j-curve shaft instead of a regular curved post.
Also keep in mind that while we pierce navels at a 12g (to help with healing), 14g navel piercings are still very common. If you’re currently wearing an inexpensive post from a store other than a piercing studio, chances are it has a 14g post.
Septum piercing can be pierced initially with captive bead rings, circular barbells or septum retainers. After healing, there is a huge range of jewelry to select from, including ornate hinged rings and clickers. The diameter of the jewelry will depend on how high the piercing is placed as well as the general shape and size of the septum. The most common diameters used for septum piercings done at our studio are 5/16” to 7/16”. The most common jewelry thickness is 14g. While the thinnest size we typically pierce septums at is 14g, is it still common practice to pierce septums at 16g at many other studios.
When buying a circular barbell for a septum piercing, unless you want to go with a larger look for the ends, it’s usually a good idea to go with as small a ball size as possible, especially with a smaller diameter ring. So for 16g and 14g go with ⅛” balls, and for 12g go with 5/32” balls, and so on.
At Infinite, we typically pierce tongues with 12g straight threaded barbells. Tongue piercings swell initially, so we typically use straight barbell shafts in 11/16” or ¾” lengths for the initial piercing, with healed piercings typically needing a 1/2” to 5/8” shaft. Tongue piercings also tend to heal relatively quickly, so jewelry can usually be downsized in about four weeks. A comfortable size for the final post is usually ⅛” to ¼” shorter than the initial jewelry you were pierced with.
Threaded ends for tongue piercings need to be of a style and size that won’t cause discomfort in your mouth or damage to your teeth. They also need to be large enough that they won’t sink into the soft tissue of the tongue. For 12g jewelry, we suggest ends that are at least 7/32” (5mm) in diameter. For some bling, gems bezel set in ball ends will be the most comfortable and the easiest to clean.
While we pierce tongues starting at 12g, many studios still do use 14g jewelry.
Lip & Labret
We offer labret posts for lip piercings in two different styles: press-fit and threaded. Press-fit labret posts are available in both 16g and 14g, and threaded labret posts in 14g. In our studio we more often use press-fit jewelry in lip piercings, so for detailed information on buying labret posts check out our page on shopping for press-fit jewelry.
If you are looking for a threaded labret post for your lip piercing, you can purchase the full piece as three separate parts: a straight threaded barbell shaft, a threaded disk end for the back, and a decorative threaded end for the front. More commonly, we use threaded labret posts that have an attached disk on the back. Threaded ends are sold separately. For a plain threaded ball end, ⅛” or 5/32” diameter is a good choice of size for lip and labret piercings. For gem ends for a 14g post, go with an end at least 2.5mm or larger for a healing piercing, while a healed piercing is usually fine with an end as small as 2mm. For a full selection, shop our inventory of threaded ends.
At our studio, we typically use press-fit jewelry for earlobe and ear cartilage piercings, although threaded jewelry is an option as well. See our page on shopping for press-fit jewelry for size recommendations.
At Infinite, we typically use press-fit jewelry for eyebrow piercings, but threaded jewelry can be used as well. We usually pierce eyebrows with 16g curved posts in either 3/8” or 7/16” lengths, with healed piercings typically needing 1/4” to 3/8” posts. For a complete curved barbell shaft with balls on either end, choose a pair of ⅛” (3mm) balls in steel or titanium for the removable ends.
For more information on threadless posts for eyebrow piercings, see our page on shopping for press-fit jewelry.
Obviously, there is no one-size-fits-all way to determine the correct size suggestions for the dozens of different types of vulva and penis piercings. If you don’t know what size jewelry you are currently wearing contact us and we can see about helping you shop for something new from our online store.