About Jewelry Pliers

Learn about jewelry pliers and other tools of the trade

by Joshua LaBenne

There are many different kind of jewelry tools; an essential need, are “jewelry pliers”. There are a large variety of pliers meant for different purposes. Each kind of plier has a different shaped nose and jaw shape which allow for a unique movement or purpose.

Flat Nose Pliers

in the terms of jewelry making, are useful due to their perfectly flat, rectangular shaped jaws. A flat nose plier has a wide variety of uses, namely being able to bend wires and sheets at different angles, holding small beads, bezel wire, and being able to open and close jump rings. Most of the time, they can be used to hold wires and other parts as you work with other pliers.

Round Nose Pliers

have rounded, cone-shaped jaws, which serve the purpose of bending wires for jump rings more easily than flat nose pliers, making chains, wire wrapping, and filigree work. The thinned tip cone jaws of the pliers are good for getting into tight spots.

Shaping or Concave and Convex Pliers

serve the purpose of bending gentle curves into wires and sheets for shaping rings and making bezels. The jaws of the pliers are equally matched with consistent widths. The top jaw is the concave jaw, which is paired with the lower convex jaw.

Diagonal Cutter Pliers

are one of the most common variety of cutting tools in jewelry making. They have tapered ended jaws, which make them good for getting into tight spaces. They are primarily used for cuttings wires and small pieces of sheet stock. Diagonal Cutter Pliers are available in three different forms: bevel cut, flush cut, and super flush cut.

Bevel Cutters

create a larger pinch on the chopped wire, as it needs a larger amount of force in order to cut through metal, but are highly durable. Flush Cutters creates a smaller pinch on the chopped wire, and requires less force in order to cut, but is less durable, and more likely to wear out. Super Flush Cutters and Double Flush Cutters both require very minimal amounts of force in order to cut through, and leave almost no pinch in the cut metal.

Chain Nose Pliers

Chain Nose Pliers are best suited for working in tight, small spaces and for its precision. It is excellent at opening smaller jump rings, holding small beads, and bending thin gauge wire into different shapes/forms. The jaws of the Chain Nose Pliers are tapered to a point, while the outside section of the nose is rounded, while the inside is flat where the two parts of the jaw meets.

 Wire Wrapping Pliers

Wire Wrapping Pliers are best suited for creating small variation jump rings, and wire wrapping (hence the name). Unlike similar concave/round pliers, the lower jaw is “stepped” instead of tapered like other pliers, which allows for easier traction for low gauge wires to wrap and shape.

 Compound Parallel Jaw Pliers

Compound Parallel Jaw Pliers are tools meant for ensuring that the jaws hold an object or piece in place, remaining parallel through the process. This allows for holding certain parts within worry of the piece moving directions during the jewelry creation process. This is particularly useful for working with round beads. Compound Parallel Jaw Pliers are available in both flat nose, and chain nose variations.

 Bow Opening Pliers

Bow Opening Pliers were created for the easy access and opening of bows, loops, and rings. There are small grooves along the jaws of the pliers, which allow for easy connection of the wires to the jaws, which helps for a secure hold. The pliers have a specifically designed joint which allows for the pliers to open the wires/rings when the grips are squeezed, and a spring in the design returns the pliers back after it is done.