Straight Barbells – The most famous
Tongue piercing is most famously done with straight barbell. Tongue piercings are most often done with a straight, 14 gauge barbell style tongue ring. The tongue ring used to perform the tongue piercing should be at least to allow for swelling in the tongue. The piercing once healed can be replaced to a shorter barbell of 9/16″(14mm) which is the most common size. Wearing a shorter tongue ring barbell after the piercing is healed is suggested.
Barbell style body jewelry, including tongue rings, is made up of a straight bar with a bead on each end that can be unscrewed. Often one of the beads is united, either via epoxy or welding, so that only one bead is used to install or remove the body jewelry. Barbell threads on body jewelry are most often right handed.
There are roughly five types of popular barbells used for tongue rings. The internally threaded barbells are slightly more expensive than externally threaded barbells as there will be additional labor involved. However, they are considered superior because this type of body jewelry is less likely to cause damage, especially when using the body jewelry during initial piercing. The bead in an internally threaded barbell has a receiving tube machine into it with a threaded post extending from the center, which mates with the threaded receiving tube on the bar.
The externally threaded barbells has become less common for use with all types of body jewelry, including tongue rings because the overall popularity of the internally threaded body jewelry has increased. It is so named because shaft of the bar has threads at both ends to allow beads with internal threads to be attached.
In naval piercings, it is much more common to use a curved barbell, named for its curvature, and in tongue ring piercings it is much more common to use a straight barbell. Curved barbells, often used for naval rings are mechanically identical to straight barbells, often used for tongue rings with the exception of the curvature. Curvature on a curved barbell can range from almost straight to circular, with some barbells actually being spiral, with the ends overlapping but departed to allow the insertion of the jewelry. Curved barbells can either be internally or externally threaded.
A variation in this body jewelry design is a J-bar, a slightly curved barbell (sometimes referred to as a bananabell or banana barbell) with a 90 degree bend near one end, used in vertical navel piercings to position the decorative end of the body jewelry more
appropriately. The J-Bar style of body jewelry can be either internally or externally threaded.
Circular barbells, also known as horseshoe barbells are commonly used in many types of piercings and body jewelry. They are named so due to their shape.
In surface piercings, a type of body jewelry called surface bars is used. In order to used this barbells for surface piercing it has a pair of 90 degree bends in the same direction. Using this type of body jewelry relieves the pressure that is often caused by other body jewelry and allows for a faster healing time.