When you are starting out in jewelry making, you may not know which tools to use and when you perform a Google search, thousands of pliers will appear. When you first step into any craft store and walk down the aisle, you are usually met by walls of colorful pliers and slapped in the face with a set of tools (some of which you will never use).
Sometimes there is a floor attendant to answer questions but since the store isn’t a full jewelry supply shop, you are just hoping and praying that he/she knows what they’re talking about. The last thing you need as a beginner is to buy the wrong pliers. You will lose money & time and gain frustration in the process.
Well in this blog post, your mind will be put to rest and you will know exactly which types of pliers you need for your project.
Don’t get me wrong, not every tool in jewelry making is used for everything but regardless of the media, here’s four types of pliers you should have:
- Chain Nose Pliers - Similar to round nose but inner jaw is flat, which is good for gripping wire and working in tighter spaces. Chain nose pliers are commonly used to open and close jump rings.
- Flat Nose Pliers - Not essential in jewelry making as Chain nose pliers but flat nose pliers work well with chain nose pliers. Flat nose pliers have a wide jaw which is also great for wire gripping. Can be used in chainmaille when working with jump rings as well. Think of flat nose pliers as a holding tool.
- Round Nose Pliers - Good for making wire loops (wrap bracelets) and also wire wrapping (wire wrapped around stones). Round nose pliers jaw ranges from smallest to largest. The jaw area you use to make wire loop determines the size of your loop. It’s best to pay attention to where on the jaw you are forming loops if you want to be consistent in terms of size. You can use a small piece of tape or a marker to ensure consistency in your wire loops.
- Wire Cutters - Good for cutting headpins, eyepins, and stringing wire. Wire cutters are different from memory cutters. Memory cutters come in handy for cutting coil wire because of the hardness of wire.
Now that you have a better understanding of the basic plier types in jewelry making, here’s a tip: the quality of pliers does make a difference. Not to say that you should start off with $50 pliers (yes such pliers do exist) but since you will be working with pliers in your new hobby/craft, it’s smart to invest in quality from the jump. A bad pair of pliers will be painfully uncomfortable and if the spring in the pliers is unstable, DON’T BUY THEM.
How do you know if you have the right size pliers? They will fit comfortably (notice I didn’t say forcefully) within the palm of your hands.
Here’s another tip: To prevent your jump rings or wire from being scratched or color loss, use tool magic.
We would like to know your thoughts about this blog post. Share your comments below!