How to Remove and Replace a Watch band Without Tools

blue and red strap watch

Are you a frequent watch wearer and wondering how to remove and replace your watch band? 

We want you to enjoy our collection of watch straps and switch up your bands regularly to match your outfit if you like even without the right tools.

Here’s what you need to know.

Using a spring bar tool is one of the most effective ways to remove or replace your watch band but if you don’t have one, worry not. We’ve got you covered.

We’ll show you how to use three alternatives which are a flat-head screwdriver, dental floss, and a razor blade.

We’ll start by looking at the anatomy of a watch and then take you through a step-by-step process of carefully removing your old watch band and replacing it with a new band—without damaging your watch.

The process is simple, practical, and learnable, so even if you’re a first-time watch wearer, you’ll be able to do it without proper tools. 

The Anatomy of a Watch

To understand how to safely remove the band, we first need to know the different parts of the watch. Our main focus here will be the band, lugs, and spring bar.

The spring bar is a tiny little bar with springs inside it. The edges of the spring bars attach inside the lug holes, holding the straps in place.

To remove the watch band, you have to remove the two spring bars to release the straps.

Note that watches come in different designs and the removal methods we’re going to discuss are only viable for straps without links just like our CanvaSoft and Cordura collections. 

How to Remove A Watchband With a Flat-head Screwdriver

In this process we’re going to use a flat-head screwdriver and a microfiber cloth free from dust or dirt particles that might cause scratching. Suitable for simple bands found on smart watches like Apple or Samsung watches.

Flathead Screwdriver

Step One: Setting up the Workspace

You’ll need a flat surface like the coffee table, desk, dining table, or countertop. Make sure it’s a sturdy level, for stability. Clear the surface and place a soft cloth or a towel on top to protect your watch from damage.

The strap has two pieces; the short end which is attached to the buckle and the long end which is punched with holes for the buckle. Together they make up the band that goes around the wrist. 

Step Two: Removing The Strap

This step requires removing the spring bars from each strap, thereby releasing the old band from the watch case.

Place the watch facing down, flat on the surface, parallel to your body with the straps unbuckled. Work or one strap at a time.

  1. Starting with the long piece, firmly hold the watch with your non-dominant hand.
  2. Use your dominant hand to hold the screwdriver as you would with a pencil, with the flat end positioned between one side of the strap piece and the lug.
  3. Push it downwards to exert pressure on it, giving you a better grip.
  4. Gently push the screwdriver outward, releasing one end of the spring bar out of the lug hole and take it out and release the strap from the watch case.
  5. Pull the spring bar out from the hole at the end of the strap piece and set it aside.
  6. Exercise caution so that the spring bar doesn’t fly off. They are small in size and easy to lose.
  7. Turn it on the other side and repeat the same process for the second old strap. 

Step Three: Replacing the Straps

You’ll be inserting the spring bars into the new straps and installing them into the lug holes in this step. Once the old band is out, take out the new band. Work on each strap at a time.

The holes are positioned at 12 o’clock for the short strap and 6 o’clock for the longer strap. This positions the buckle comfortably on the wrist and makes it easier to wear and take off. 

As the wearer, you can switch the straps according to your preference.

Note that the holes won’t be visible during replacement, so remember to visualize them.

The spring bar is wider than the width between the lug hole. It expands when removed so to replace it, you’ll have to compress the spring bar for it to fit back inside the lug holes.

Here’s how to do it.

  1. Position one spring bar in the replacement strap, balancing the length on both sides of the strap equally.
  2. With a steady hand, place one of the protruding ends of the spring bar into the lug hole with the other end resting on top of the opposite lug.
  3. Insert one end of the spring bar into the lug hole. Use the screwdriver to push the spring bar edge inwards, compressing the spring bar and then release it, so that the spring bar can snap into place.
  4. Again, work slowly to make sure the spring bar doesn’t fall or fly off.
  5. You should hear a clicking sound when spring bars snap into place.
  6. Rotate the watch and repeat the process for the second strap.
  7. Once you’re done, use a microfiber cloth to wipe the watch face clean.

You’re good to go! 

How to Remove a Watch Strap Using Dental Floss

The process of removing bands from watches is similar to the one previously discussed. We’ll just summarize and highlight the key differences going forward. 

This method is most suitable for watches without drilled lugs. You can also use a double-stranded thread in place of dental floss as shown in the image below.

The process:

  1. Set up the workspace as we mentioned before, sturdy and clear.
  2. When you get to step two, cut a piece of dental floss about 12 inches long.
  3. This time, hold the strap slightly above the surface to give you a clear view and allow for space to pass the floss through.
  4. Starting with the short strap, the one attached to the buckle, slip in the dental floss through the gap between the lugs and the watch strap.
  5. Run the floss twice on one end of the spring to create a loop, holding the spring bar inside, then pull it to make it firm.
  6. Yank the floss to get it around the spring bar and pull it away from the lug hole to release. 
  7. Be careful once again as the spring bar might fly off.
  8. Step three, when replacing the band, after inserting the spring bar into the replacement strap, flip to the side of the watch.
  9. Insert the spring bars into the band and place one end of the new spring-loaded strap inside the lug hole and push it in. Use your fingernail or a pair of tweezers to compress the edge inside the hole and release the spring bar into position.
  10. Turn the watch to the other side and repeat the process on the second strap which is the one with small holes.
  11. Try on your watch to ensure everything is attached to satisfaction.

There you have it, a well-replaced watch band. Wasn’t that easy?

The great thing about using dental floss is that it’s a readily available tool and it poses no risk of scratching on the watch band or watch case. 

How to Remove Watch Strap Using a Razor Blade

First thing to note is that the blade should be slightly dull to avoid accidents like cutting through your hand and to protect your watch against scratching. 

Other tools that would work similarly to this razor blade method are a credit card or a small knife. 

Removing the watch band using this method is pretty much the same as the others so let’s go ahead and check out the differences

The process: 

  1. Set up the workspace as before, making sure it’s sturdy, clean, and clear.
  2. Unclasp the watch from your wrist if you’re wearing it. 
  3. Place it flat on the surface, watch face down with the bands lying on either side.
  4. Slip the blade precisely in the space between the watch band and the lug, making sure it’s only touching the spring bar. 
  5. Applying a bit of downward pressure, push the blade away from you. This will set the spring bar free, releasing the watch strap from the watch case.
  6. The parts might fall or fly off, so watch out for that.
  7. Repeat the process for the other strap.
  8. To replace the old band, take out the new watch band and unclasp it to separate the two straps.
  9. Starting with the first replacement strap, insert the spring bar inside the hole in the strap and place one side in the lug hole. The other side should be on top of the other lug.
  10. Place the blade facing outward on the edge of the opposite strap, then push the spring bar inward to compress it and snap it into place.
  11. Gently pull and twist the strap to make sure it’s fully installed and secure. If it slips off, just repeat the process until it’s secure.
  12. Proceed to work on the second half of the replacement strap by repeating the process.

Removing and replacing the band is a simple and easy process. It should take you about five minutes to complete. 

BluShark Straps

The perfect solution to replacing a broken strap or completely transforming your watch’s look is to change out the straps. 

At BluSharkStaps we strive to provide our clients with a consistent level of unmatched quality bands and straps while tailoring their offerings to our clients’ individual needs.

CanvaSoft collection
CanvaSoft collection

Stand out today by investing in our range of unique product lines and unique collections which cater to the essential needs of all watch wearers. We have complete trust in our brand and as such, we offer a lifetime guarantee on most of our product lines.

A great watch is more than just an accessory. It’s a statement!

Featured Image from: Pxhere

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