The three most important tools to own

April 9, 2015

There are about a billion different pliers for jewelry making! But if you are just getting started, there are really three tools you need. I use these three tools for about 90% of all my jewelry making. You need round nose pliers, chain nose pliers, and flush cutters. So let me give you a little run down on the different uses of these three tools.

1. Round Nose Pliers

Round nose pliers are a must if you are stringing or working with wire. The tips are round (cone shaped) on both sides, tapered from large to small. They make simple and wrapped loops with wire or on headpins. They are also great for feeding stringing wire back through crimps. My favorite use for them is to shape wire. I like to make swirls with wire, then hammer them to make connectors for my own clasp.

Round nose pliers in action, making a loop with some copper wire.

 2. Chain Nose Pliers

Chain nose pliers are a lot like needle nose pliers, but with smooth tips, not grooved ones like the ones you get from the hardware store. Smooth tips are less likely to scratch your wire – always a plus! They are also great for shaping wire. They can be used by the beginner to flatten crimps onto stringing wire. Later, if you do a lot of stringing you can upgrade to crimping pliers. They are also ideal for tucking clipped wires when you care making wrapped loops. My chain nose pliers are basically attached to my hand at all times.

Chain nose pliers in action. Use them to crimp down the cut end so that it is flush.

3. Flush Cutters

Flush or semi-flush cutters are a must! If you are working with wire or stringing cable, you will need some. They cut through soft wires with ease in a variety of gauges. When you’re ready to buy wire cutters, check the product details of each tool to see what gauges each is designed to cut.

Flush cutters in action. Cutting 18 gauge solid copper wire.

Here are a few of my favorite jewelry pliers sets, in case you want to get all these cool tools as once! They are all great kits.

EURO TOOL Glitter, Four-Piece Set.


EURO TOOL Ecco, Four-Piece Set


I especially love the Zebra tool set and the BeadSmith mini travel tool kit (both pictured below). The travel kit is small enough to take on an airplane and it is a great price! ~Tiffany


Tool, Set, Zebra Stripe, Six-Piece Set


The BeadSmith Beader’s Mini Travel Kit


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