If you’re a beginner and have the skill to make your own jewellery, choosing the best tools is crucial.
Remember, making jewellery often involves working with small, hard objects. And since your hands can only do so much, you’d be using tools to make it easier to manipulate and shape tiny materials. You’d be needing tools to help you screw in small objects into another, cut things like wires, and shape and bend different materials. In short, you’re going to be needing specialised tools.
Choosing Tools For Making Jewellery
Since you’d be spending hours using the tools, you’d want your tools to be comfortable and easy to use. Pliers and shears with cushioned hand grips are ideal, as they’d be more comfortable on your hands. Also, select tools that have a spring mechanism between the handles. This feature makes the tool spring back to its open position as you ease up on the handle, making it much easier to use.
Moreover, when choosing jewellery tools, take into account the materials you’d be using and the pieces you’ll be making. You should also be aware of the tasks you’ll be doing in fashioning jewellery. Knowing what’s involved will give you an idea of how to choose the best jewellery tools you’re going to need.
Some of these tools and what they can do are discussed below:
1. Jewellery Pliers
When choosing the best jewellery tools for beginners, you’d have to remember that you’d be shaping wire, forming loops, making intricate patterns, and gripping delicate materials. Regular pliers that you can find in any toolbox wouldn’t do. Those pliers have teeth that could leave marks on the pieces you’re working on. What you need are pliers made especially for crafting jewellery.
Fortunately, there are many jewellery pliers to choose from. Some of these are the Maun Jewellery Pliers. Maun Jewellery Pliers are parallel-action, which means you get a much more consistent contact on delicate pieces, resulting in less damage and a more accurate bend.
Smooth Jaw Jewellery Pliers from Maun
Jewellery pliers have different types and are used for a variety of purposes. Below are three types of jewellery pliers and their uses:
- Round Nose Pliers
Round nose pliers are useful for fashioning simple loops, circles, and other rounded components. The plier’s rounded shape that tapers to a point makes it easier to shape and bend your piece’s wire element. These tools are also extremely useful when you’re wrapping wires on small pieces or making jump rings, which are used in connecting a small part or parts to the main piece, such as attaching a clasp to a chain. Jump rings are used in making earrings, necklaces, bracelets and other accessories.
- Flat Nose Pliers
You’d also have to choose a tool for making angles, sharp bends, as well as for holding tiny beads and other materials. Opening and closing jump rings would also need a specialised tool that you can use for such delicate operations. Flat nose pliers, with their flat surface and jaws that have a much wider surface, are perfect for making angles and sharp bends.
These tools are also useful when you need to hold a tiny piece steady when you’re working on it. Flat nose pliers are commonly used for these tasks by many jewellers.
- Snipe Nose Pliers
Although you can also use other types of pliers like flat nose pliers, you’d need pliers that are better suited for working with jump rings, specifically for closing and opening them. For these tasks, you should choose snipe nose pliers (also called bent nose pliers); their smooth inside won’t leave a mark on your wire like other pliers that have ridges on their gripping surface.
These pliers also have a tapered, angled tip, making them ideal for reaching inside tight, small spaces, which make them perfect for jump rings. This angled tip makes the tool ideally suited for precision work, like shaping earring hooks. While you can use flat nose pliers for making bends and angles, snipe nose pliers are better when extra precision is needed.
2. Wire Cutters
Another thing to remember when choosing jewellery tools is you’d be doing a lot of wire cutting. Wire cutters, therefore, are among the essential jewellery tools for a beginner. With these implements, you can cut eye pins, headpins, and, of course, wires. But remember to also get memory wire cutters. A type of steel wire used primarily in making jewellery, a memory wire is a sturdy wire that maintains its coiled shape.
This trait makes wire designs keeps their shape after the piece is finished, making the material the preferred choice for crafting a quick and easy piece. Using regular wire cutters on this type of wire is a big no-no, as this will create a dent on the cutting edge, rendering the material useless. If you’ll be working with memory wires, it’s best to choose memory wire cutters.
3. Crimp Tools
Making jewellery involves a lot of folding and pressing together the ends or edges of whatever material you’re working with. This action is called crimping, and when choosing jewellery tools, choose a crimping tool that could do this cleanly and efficiently. You can use this tool with crimp tubes or beads for securing a clasp, either at the beading wire’s end or for making sure the beads stay in place.
Using a pair of flat-nose pliers for this task isn’t advisable; you’d end up mashing the metal and creating sharp edges. With crimp tools, the edges are smooth—no unsightly sharp creases that can scratch your skin. Crimp tools or pliers have special notches that make tight, perfectly moulded balls, and at the same time smooth out any sharp edges.
Of course, when making jewellery, you’d also be cutting a lot of materials like sheet metal or pieces of solder strip. That’s why when choosing jewellery tools, be sure to include reliable and durable shears. Remember, you’ll be using them for cutting and trimming wires, sheet metals like silver, and others.
So, make sure they’re durable and tough enough to cut through these materials. If you’re cutting delicate, precise patterns, a proper pair of jewellery shears can be easier to use than the more cumbersome saw.
When choosing the best jewellery tools, it’s important to keep in mind the tasks and actions that you’ll be doing. Making jewellery as a beginner, you’d be doing a lot of cutting, shaping, twisting, bending, trimming, and crimping different materials.
For these tasks, you should consider specialised jewellery tools like pliers, shears, and crimping tools—these are essential implements that a novice jewellery maker should have. Make sure, too, that you choose tools that have cushioned hand grips and with a spring mechanism between their handles. Tools like these are comfortable and easier to use.