There is an old saying, “Use the right tools for the right job” because it really does matter. Not only do the right tools make the job easier and less time consuming, but they make the end result look more professional. This saying can be applied to many areas of your life, even jewelry making.

Take pliers as an example. You may think that they are all alike, but as you take a closer look and as you begin to use them, you will see that each type is quite different. Each plier has its own characteristics and job that it is best suited for. Here is a brief description of each type of plier and the jobs that they are suited for when it comes to making jewelry.

Bent Nose: The end of these pliers is curved upwards, which gives them their unique shape. This shape allows the pliers to easily pick up and manipulate fine wires into loops or coils. The shape also allows the pliers to get into difficult to reach areas that straight nose pliers cannot get into it.

Chain Nose: Are used to close bead tips and they are able to crimp in tight spaces. You are able to both shape and bend wire when using these pliers. Since the edges of the jaw are beveled, this prevents wire from becoming marred.

Crimping: These pliers are first used to curl and then flatten crimp beads. They make a very smooth curve in the bead so that you can’t feel any sharp or rough edges. When choosing your crimp bead, keep in mind that there are two basic kinds. The first kind is either silver or gold filled tubes and the second kind is a round base metal. Both work well and choosing one over the other is a matter of personal preference.

Flat Nose: Are used to make right angles and sharp bends in wire. They can also be used to grip flat objects or to straighten out bent wire.

Precision Round Nose: They are used to form loops and curves in wire so that the wire can be used for beading or wire wrapping designs. Their main characteristic is that both jaws on the plier are long and conical in shape, which allows you to easily form curves.

Ring Shank or Ring Bending: These pliers have a solid build and are used to hold and reshape rings with the help of their specially shaped jaws. The bottom jaw has a concave shape and the top jaw has a convex shape. The edges of the jaws are usually rounded, so that the jewelry will not be scratched.

Side Cutter: These pliers allow you to cut wires and metal sheets, leaving the cut edges smooth and even. The rest spots on the plier for your thumb and finger are positioned close to the jaw, making it easy to do any fine manipulations on jewelry.

Split Ring: They are used to easily and quickly open split rings. To use, place the tooth jaw between the overlapping split ring. Then squeeze and the split ring will pop open, making it ready for the jewelry maker to place the ring on chains or wires.

Stone Setting: They come in a few different shapes, but in all models the bottom jaw is notched and the top jaw is smooth. This allows you to easily hold the stones in place without damaging them, while closing or opening the prongs that keep the stone securely attached to the piece of jewelry.

Wire Wrapping: There are so many different types of wire wrapping pliers, that these pliers should have their own page dedicated just to them. They come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. The job of each one is the same – to bend or wrap wire. Since wire comes in many different strengths and diameters and it must be wrapped in different ways or shapes, there is a different wire wrapping plier for each possibility.

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