11/20/12

Jewelry Tools



 Common Jewelry Tools:

  • Chain nose pliers:


 
These are very similar to needle nose pliers. These are flat in shape with a pointed tip.

  • Flat nosed pliers:

Flat nosed pliers are similar to chain nosed pliers except they tend to be a little wider and instead of having a tapered or pointed tip they have a wide flat nose.
 
  • Bent nose:

 
These pliers are basically a pair of chain nosed pliers with a curved or bent nose. They make it very easy to get into tight spaces and often work like a second pair of fingers.

  • Round nose pliers:

 
These have to rounded tips that tapper into a cone shape in their jaw. The size and type that you want depends on the type of jewelry that you want to make. These allow you to make loops and curved shapes in your jewelry wire or head pins.

  • Split ring pliers:

They are very narrow with a notch or tooth at the end which allows you to hold open a split ring.

  • Nylon jaw pliers:

 
These pliers look very similar to flat nosed pliers with a soft nylon jaw. These are used for straitening bends in jewelry wire. They allow the user to straighten the jewelry wire without leaving messy kinks or scratches in the wire s surface.

 
  • Wire or ‘flush cutters’:


A good pair of wire cutters can be your best friend. This is why I recommend having a separate pair of cutters. They allow you to make clean strait cuts very close to the jewelry you are working with. They also allow you to put chain or any other wires or stringing materials you may be using.

There are also different sizes of these based on the gage or (size) of wire you are working with. The smaller the gage on the wire the thicker around it is. Ex: 18 gage wire would be much thicker and stronger than say 24 gage. If you are having trouble determining which cutters you need you can always ask. I recommend shopping in bead specialty stores rather than large chain stores because they will be more available to answer your questions.

  • Crimping pliers:


If you are going to be doing a lot of bead stringing I recommend a good pair of crimping pliers.

These are basically just like they sound. When you finish a string of beads a good way to close it is to use crimp beads. (I will post more on this later) These pliers not only flatten the bead but it neatly folds it. This creates a stronger hold. If you just simply flatten the bead it will be much easier for the strand to come apart. You flatten the bead first by using the biggest opening in the crimpers ( at the back of the pliers) this will give you a flattened bead with a slight ‘dip’ or bend in the middle. You then turn the flattened bead so that it is now vertical and flatten of crimp it again so that it neatly fold the bead in half. (A detailed tutorial to follow)

There are also different sizes of crimpers. If you plan on doing very very small bead work you might want to look into a micro crimper. This works with much smaller crimp beads.  If you have a heavier strand you’re going to want a bigger crimp bead, much lighter strands can use smaller crimp beads.

  • Jewelry files:

There are many different variations when it comes to jewelry files. Basically they work just like a nail file to flatten down sharp ends in your jewelry.

  • Tweezers:

There are many different types of jewelry tweezers. These can come in handy for holding jump rings or split rings, working with very small beads, and also to knot thread or a string of pearls. (high quality pearls usually have a little not between each on to keep the beads from getting loose if the necklace breaks and also to keep the pearls from rubbing against each other reducing the luster).
There are both straight and bent jewelry tweezers and I recommend having both if you can afford it.
 
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If you need help when your shopping you can alwasy ask for help. I recomend going to beading specific stores at least once because there staff is usually very knowledgable and can help you answer any questions you may have. Remember you can always find help and tutorials online and I will post some more myself so you can get more from your new tools.

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