How to Bend a Fishtail Into a Nose Screw | Painful Pleasures Community

How to Bend a Fishtail Into a Nose Screw

Fishtails are great resources for piercing artists to keep on hand for customers who want custom nose screws made for their nostril piercings. In this guide, we provide step-by-step instructions for using jewelry pliers to bend a fishtail into a custom-fit nose screw that you can use yourself or craft for a client's nostril piercing.
by PainfulPleasures Last Updated: May 13, 2021

Whether you’re a piercing artist interested in learning how to bend fishtails into custom nose screws for your clients’ nostril piercings or you just want to make your own perfectly-fitting nostril screw, these instructions will step you through the process of properly manipulating a fishtail. All you’ll need is a fishtail to practice with and an appropriate pair of jewelry pliers like the nose ring pliers shown immediately below.


Steps for Bending a Fishtail into a Nose Screw

Nose Jewelry Pliers

Before You Begin…

Please Note: It’s important to keep your jewelry clean. If at all possible, wear clean, disposable gloves when you bend your jewelry. If you don’t have gloves, wash your hands well with antibacterial soap before doing the bend, and wash the jewelry with antibacterial soap and warm water afterwards.

Grasp the fishtail nostril jewelry towards the base of the pliers' opening

Step 1: Place the Fishtail

Put the fishtail jewelry into nose ring pliers at a 90º angle to the handle of the pliers. Look at the side of the pliers that appears tiered; you should place the jewelry at the base of the thickest tier (i.e. closest to the bottom point in the V the pliers’ tips make), clasping the undecorated end of the fishtail that will be inside the nostril when the jewelry is worn.

Bend the fishtail up.

Step 2: Make the 1st Bend

Using the side of your index finger, gently begin to push the nostril fishtail up (or towards you, if you’re holding the pliers parallel to your body rather than to the ground), bending it as close to the thickest tier of the pliers as possible. 

Bend the fishtail around the pliers.

Step 3: Curve the Fishtail into a J-Shape

Using your thum, curve the nostril fishtail around the outside of the thickest layer of the tiered plier tip. Make sure the screw is being bent evenly and straight!

Finish bending the fishtail around the pliers.

The nose screw should look like this once bent around the pliers.


Fishtail Bent into a J-curve.

Step 4: Check Your Bent Fishtail’s Shape 

Slide the bent fishtail off of the pliers gently, not pulling at the screw. It should look like the “J”-shape shown above when complete.

Place the J-curve into the pliers in preparation for making the final bend.

Step 5: Prepare to Make the Final Bend in the Fishtail to Make a Nose Screw

Take the J-shaped fishtail and place the curved part back in the pliers as shown in the image below. Place it far enough into the pliers to ensure that when you’ve made the final bend, the wearable area will be long enough for you. Use the following pictures as a guide.


Make the final bend in your new nose screw.

Step 6: Finish Converting a Fishtail Into the Perfect Nostril Screw

Closing the pliers, gently push the straight part of the nostril screw straight down (or away from you, if you’re holding the pliers parallel to your body rather than the ground). Be sure to keep the top part of the shaft (i.e. the wearable area) straight as you put this final bend in your fishtail jewelry to convert it to a nose screw. Keep pushing until the bend looks to be 90º, as shown below. Look at the screw before removing it from the pliers and make adjustments to your bends as necessary.

Nose pliers & nose screw after final bend

Here’s another view of how the nostril screw should look after you’ve made your final bend.

Close-up of fishtail that's been converted to a nose screw

Voila! You’ve just formed the perfect nose screw! Clean it, and enjoy!

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