Anyone who has served in the military has heard the speech during at least one safety brief: “Rings are dangerous.” Sure, if you work in admin, the chances of your ring getting caught in a keyboard are slim. But for tankers, sailors, aviators, beat cops, and anyone else out there working with their hands, the threat is real. Wearing a wedding ring can cause serious injury, including the loss of a finger (just ask Jimmy Fallon). But not wearing your wedding band can cause you to lose something just as important – the ability to sleep anywhere but the doghouse.
Are Silicone Rings Worth It?
The answer to this safety hazard? Silicone rings. You’ve seen them for sale and maybe even on your buddy’s finger. But are they as good as everyone claims they are, or is it akin to wrapping electrical tape around your finger? (A solution I have seen more than one grunt try!)
Since day one of boot camp, I had heard the warnings about how dangerous rings could be. Of course, as a 17-year-old recruit, it didn’t matter much; I wasn’t a big ring wearer anyway. Even after I got married, wearing the ring was limited to special occasions – my wife understood as she served as well. It usually sat in a jewelry box, only to come out for date night or vacation.
I did wear it to work one day, a day I didn’t think would involve any dangerous labor – that is until Murphy struck and I nearly took my finger off when I caught it on an exposed rivet while jumping out of a boat I was inspecting. It was the last time I wore that ring at work.
But today there are options. You can now wear a silicone ring instead of the traditional metal version. Show your commitment without risking a digit.
QALO is the original silicone ring maker. They use a medical-grade silicone known as Q2X material. This allows the rings to be more than a large “O” ring on your finger. Some other features of QALO rings:
• 10 times more resistant to gasoline, oil or solvents than the competition
• Tolerant of extreme changes in temperature – hot or cold
• Durable enough to withstand even extreme outdoor elements
• Resistant to most automotive or household chemicals
• Less rigid than traditional silicone, meaning it is more likely to do what it is designed to do – prevent snags
QALO rings offer many different designs and color options. The model I tested was their standard Men’s Step Ring. This model has a wide, flat band with a stepped-down edge. I chose a modest charcoal grey color, although there are many options available – black, pearl, jade green and even a silver version. It also came with a small zippered storage bag, with a clip to attach to your bag or belt loop. I guess this would come in handy to store your other ring or the QALO when switching out.
QALO also supports numerous non-profit organizations, including National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Fund, National EMS Memorial Foundation, and National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.
As you would expect, the ring is very lightweight and does not seem like much. I honestly thought it would never hold up to day to day activities, never mind the banging and tugging it is expected to withstand. But I was wrong. The Q2X material is very durable, and the added flexibility, meant to allow it to release if snagged, makes it very comfortable. Plus, the flat, wide design and step-down edge make it look like a real ring.
So, the next step was to put it through the paces. Granted, I cannot control what might happen during a normal day so I had to get creative.
- Swimming – do you take off your ring when swimming, fearing the water will cause it to slip off and be lost forever? No such problem with QALO rings. Stayed secure and in place no problem.
- Working on my daughter’s car – if there is a time when a ring will be lost, damaged or snagged, it is when working on today’s cars. Confined spaces with lots of sharp, hidden edges, and the usual grease, oil and lubricants mean wearing a normal ring is a definite no-no. The QALO performed perfectly. I never actually experienced a snag, but a few close calls did pop up and the ring never left me hanging. At the end of the day, I still had my QALO ring, all of my fingers, and with a little bit of soap and water, both were good as new.
- Hot and Cold – not wanting to wait for the seasons to change, I decided to improvise. I put the ring in the freezer and then in the sun to see just how durable it really is. Again, no problem. Although it did get cold when frozen, it never hardened or showed signs of damage. After transferring to the direct sun, at over 90 degrees, it quickly thawed and returned to original conditions – again with no signs of damage.
In the end, I still prefer my traditional ring, at least for formal functions, especially since it is a custom design my wife picked out. But when it comes to a safe alternative for work, sports, or even hunting, I think the QALO has found a permanent place in my wardrobe.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.