Jewelry Making Tools: Pliers Sets | Needle Nose | Round Nose | Crimping | Flat Nose | Chain Nose

by lakeerieartists

As a jewelry artist, I can tell you that having the right pliers when designing and creating jewelry is crucial.

As a jewelry artist, I can tell you that having the right pliers when designing and creating jewelry is crucial. I have some pliers that I have owned for almost 20 years, and they are still as good as they were when I first got them. I use them constantly, and I love them.

I spent about $12 per pair of pliers when I first bought them, but they were well worth the price. Depending on what kind of jewelry you are making, there are really only a few different types of pliers that you will need. If you think you will be using them more than just a few times, you should spend between $10 to $20 per pair in order to have them last. Cheap pliers will rust or break easily, and need to be replace through regular wear and tear. Good pliers won't.

Buying the Best Jewelry Pliers for Your Budget

needle nose pliers

Jewelry pliers cannot be bought at a hardware store. You need to buy them from a jewelry supplier. Pliers made for jewelry making are smooth on the surface so that they won't ding, scratch or dent the soft metal like silver or gold. Hardware store pliers have ridges to help grip. This will damage jewelry.

If you are just starting out, you may want to buy an entire jewelry plier kit.  However, check to make sure the kit has all the pliers you need, and not a whole lot of pliers that you don't need.  The absolute basic pliers you will need are needle nose pliers, round nose pliers, and a cutter.  You main need flat nose pliers, chain nose pliers, and other specialty pliers.  If you are making chain maille, you will need two pairs of chain nose or flat nose pliers.  For my own use, I use the needle nose and round nose pliers the most, and I have two types of cutters I use, which I will talk about in another article.

Choosing Needle Nose Pliers

My favorite pair of pliers I have owned for about 20 years since I started making jewelry.  It was a medium priced pair, but I am glad that I paid extra at the time, because they have never broken.  The only damage they have sustained is a gradual wearing away of the handle grip, however it is not even close to enough to need replacement.

Needle nose pliers are basically all purpose jewelry pliers.   They have a long pointed nose with a flat surface on the inside.  My husband has a pair of similar pliers that he uses for electrical work except that his are ridged inside.  You do not want the ridges.

If you are going to buy cheaper pliers, then don't do it on your needle nose pliers.  Spend less on your speciality pliers.  These will get a lot of usage.  You should have a pair that feel comfortable in your hand when you grip them, and they should not rust.  Needle nose pliers are used to hold things, pick up things, and open and close jump rings and other similar jewelry findings.

Using Round Nose Pliers

The other kind of basic jewelry pliers is a round nose pliers.  Round nose pliers have a shorter nose, usually about an inch or so, with a tapering round nose.  The closer you get to the end the smaller it is, and it is also smooth.

Round nose pliers are used to make wire round.  Creating loops for ear wires, or connecting chains, and similar techniques.  The round nose pliers are used almost as much as the needle nose pliers, and therefore, you should not skimp on these.  Although they do not need to be quite as tough because you won't be flattening things with them.  Again, they should fit comfortably in your hand when you hold them.

Specialty Pliers

All of the rest of the pliers on this page are specialty pliers. Depending on what type of jewelry work you are doing, you may or may not need them.  For instance, I have a crimper, but I no longer use it, I crimp beads with my needle nose pliers.

Split ring pliers are only for opening split rings, chain nose pliers are for working with chain.  These pliers will be much less used if you choose to get them, and this is where you can spend less money.  The only exception to this is if you are working with a lot of chain, and jump rings, then you will want at least one good pair of chain nose or flat nose pliers.  My friend who does chain maille always works with two pair of chain nose pliers.

This is a decision you have to make on your own, but you can start with a cheap pair and buy better tools if you continue to use them or when the cheap pair breaks, because they will.

Whether you are a jewelry designer, or just a person looking for the right chain to hang a favored pendant, choosing the right chain can make your necklace stunning, or just so-so.
Pearls have a timeless, classic quality, and beauty that cannot be matched by any other jewelry component, stone, glass, or metal.
One of the easiest ways to freshen up your jewelry design is by changing the bead thread or bead cord that you are using to string the beads on.
Updated: 10/07/2014, lakeerieartists
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?


Only logged-in users are allowed to comment. Login

You might also like

Jewelry Findings: Choosing Head Pins Eye Pins

The most common use for head pins is making earrings, but head pins can be us...

Jewelry Findings: Choosing Jump Rings Split Rings

Jump rings are a basic building block of many types of jewelry, and are the m...

Disclosure: This page generates income for authors based on affiliate relationships with our partners, including Amazon, Google and others.
Loading ...