Getting Started in Jewelry Making

You want to begin jewelry making but one look at the jewelry section of your local craft store and you are overwhelmed.  Pliers, cutters, and crimpers, of every shape and size, all tout that they are essential to making jewelry.  Whether you are doing this for fun or for profit, it would be easy to become discouraged by the thought of the initial investment needed to make jewelry, but take heart.  No need to invest in every tool right away.  While there are specialty tools for every task, there are several basic tools that you really need and it won’t break the bank.

There are four tools that are must haves for jewelry making.  Not every project will use all of them but you will use some combination of these tools for every project.  With these four basic tools you are ready to begin making beautiful jewelry.

Cutter Pliers
First, you will need a heavy duty pair of cutter pliers.  They have a sharp edge and will be used to cut wire and pins in most projects.  They come in several varieties, and are rated to cut different metal hardness.  A heavy duty set will cut whatever wire or metal that you need.

Needle-Nose Pliers
Another basic tool is the needle-nose pliers.  Their jaws are flat on the inner sides and come to a point.  The flat inner side is important so that they don’t scratch the jewelry.  They are used for bending wire or pins, holding and opening jump rings.  The flat inner side is also useful for straightening and smoothing edges.

Round-Nose Pliers
The round-nose pliers have jaws that are long and, as the name suggests, round.  Their curved edges are perfect for creating eye loops.  They are also useful when working with wire.  They are an essential tool for most projects.

Crimp Bead Pliers
The final tool that I consider essential is a pair of crimp bead pliers.  While every project may not require you to use crimp beads, these pliers are also useful for holding jump rings and other jewelry components.  This tool serves a dual purpose.  Not only does it crimp beads but it also acts as a second pair of needle-nose pliers.  This makes them a great multiple use tool.

As you become more skilled in jewelry making, you may find that you need other tools.  Once you begin making jewelry, you will add to your tool box.  However, initially, with these four tools on hand you will be able to make most any project.

Filed under: Jewelry Making Tips

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