Guide to Beading Tools And Jewellery Making Tools
If you are new to jewellery making it is well worth acquiring the following tools for your bead tool kit as they are considered to be the basic beading tools needed to produce professional looking jewellery. The items detailed below will provide a good starter beading tools set for the novice beader, as well as forming a core set of beading tools for a seasoned jewellery maker.
Round Nose Pliers – have tapered jaws and are used for putting smooth bends and forming circular loops and curves in wire. Perfect for finishing off head pins and eye pins when making earrings or charm dangles. The tapered round jaws of these round nose pliers can be used for making jump rings, or simply opening and closing them.
Chain Nose Pliers or Flat Nose Pliers – both of these plier types have flat inner jaws. Chain nose pliers have a rounded tapered outer jaw, whereas the flat nose pliers have straight sided outer jaws. You will need the flat inner jaw for squashing shut crimp tubes, folding down ribbon ends, keeping a good hold of wire when the need arises (wrap your jaw ends in plastic tape to avoid scratching the metal) and to bend wire at right angles. The advantage of the chain nose over the flat is that the tapered jaw allows you to get into smaller spaces, so again good for opening / closing jump rings. They are the jewellery makers version of needle nose pliers.
End Cutters And Snipper Tools
Cutters – For cutting most wire End Cutters or Side Cutters will put a neat finish on your wire (sand the end of the wire for a super smooth finish). However, memory wire is a different kettle of fish as it is so tough, and needs to be cut either with specialist memory wire cutters, or a pair of sharp household pliers. Use your jewellery pliers and risk ruining the jaws. Lighter weight Snippers or Scissors are good for quckly and accurately trimming thread and cord.
Crimping Pliers – This is a specialist tool that will give a neat finish to your crimp beads. A pair of flat nose pliers will flatten a crimp bead – perfectly functional – but a Crimping Tool will produce a rounded shape to the crimp that looks better and more professional if you are leaving them exposed.
Bead Boards – This is a jewellery design tool that also helps you to plan a jewellery piece before you string it, as well as providing a work surface and individual storage areas to organize and place your beads and findings while working. Single and multi channel beading boards allow you to create single or multi strand necklaces while handy measurement rules allow you to determine the length of your finished design.
Two other jewellery beading tools worth considering for your beading tool kit, entirely depending on the type of jewellery you are making, are:
Beading Awl – This is a multi-purpose beading tool which can be used, amongst other things, for helping to create knotted designs, clearing clay release blocking glass bead holes, or for making indentations, holes and fine line engraving in polymer or precious metal clays.
Diamond Tip Reamer – The Reamer is used to clean, neaten and enlarge the holes of glass beads, ceramic beads and stones, ensuring that a bead will fit onto your chosen wire or thread. It is particularly useful if you are working with semi precious gemstones for enlarging the holes. These are often drilled from both sides to a centre point within the stone which can leave a burr which over time may cut through the stringing wire used.