Tools Glossary

Crimping Pliers

Crimping pliers are used specifically for securing crimp beads to the ends of flexible beading wire such as Soft Flex and Beadalon. Crimping pliers, used with tubular crimp beads, create smooth, rounded crimps with a two-step process. Check out our technique page for step-by-step instructions. Crimping pliers come in several sizes appropriate for use with various crimp bead sizes. The Micro Crimper is used with 1.1x1mm crimp beads, regular crimping pliers are used with 2x2mm and 2x1mm crimp beads, and the Mighty Crimper is used with 3x3mm crimp beads.

Chain Nose Pliers

Chain nose pliers have flat, smooth, tapered noses for gripping, bending and manipulating wire. The tapered nose is ideal for reaching small spaces and maneuvering the wire with precision. Chain nose pliers are available in several grades and levels of quality. Higher-quality tools such as Lindstrom brand tools come with ergonomic grips and adjustable tension, which will make your beading experience more comfortable and enjoyable.

Round Nose Pliers

Round nose pliers have smooth, tapered, conical noses used to create loops with wire. The conical nose enables you to shape the wire around it to create perfect circles. Round nose pliers are available in several grades and levels of quality. The differences are obvious in the quality of the grip, tension and size range. Higher-quality tools such as Lindstrom brand tools come with ergonomic grips and adjustable tension. Lindstrom round nose pliers have very fine tips, which enable you to make small, delicate wire loops.

Wire Cutters

Wire cutters have sharp blades that cut wire, with different styles using different mechanisms. With a wide range of options, you can find everything from basic economy sets to much more expensive precision tools. The highest quality will snip wire with a clean, close flush cut that leaves no burrs to snag or scratch. Cutters are rated for use with a specific range of metals and wire gauges. In order to avoid damange to the cutting edges, it is important to use only appropriate gauges of wire for each set of wire cutters.

Side Wire Cutters

Side cutters are wire cutters that get their name from the fact that their beveled cutting edges are located to one side, not centered like scissors or other cutters that use a shearing action. Sometimes referred to as semi-flush, basic side cutters are the perfect general-purpose tool for cutting precious, plated, or basic craft wire. Side cutters used for jewelry and crafting are usually small, with a slightly tilted oval or tapered head. This allows for more ergonomic handling and easier access to tight spaces. Side wire cutters should NOT be used for cutting memory wire, heavy stainless steel, or cable-type wire.

Flush Wire Cutters

Flush cutters are a type of side cutter which provides extra precision and gives cut wire a close, clean edge, free of burrs or marks. Most cutters that produce a true flush cut are labeled as such, though some very high quality, basic side cutters will give a clean cut with only a minimal mark. Because flush cutters are designed to have such an exact and delicate touch they are easier to damage than more basic semi-flush side-cutters and even greater care should be taken to only use the appropriate wire gauges.

Memory Wire Cutter

A memory wire cutter is a heavy-duty wire cutter that usually uses a shearing action, like that of scissors. They are made especially to cut clean smooth edges in memory wire, a strong, hard steel wire that will damage the cutting edge of other lighter-duty cutters, like semi-flush and flush cutters. Memory wire cutters are not appropriate for making clean cuts in other lighter-weight wire.

Metal Shears

Light-duty shears are a handy tool when cutting metal with intricate curves or lines. Use the straight-blade to cut fine, straight lines. The German shears are made of the finest European steel. The shape of the shears, the grips and the 1½” blades give you precise control.

Saw and Sawing Supplies

These saws are ideal for cutting sheet metal. The high quality well-balanced saw is strongly constructed with hardwood handles and is adjustable to accommodate broken blades. The serrated lugs hold the blades tightly in place to prevent the blade from snapping. The blades provide an accurate cut while the cut lube does an excellent job of lubricating the blades for cutting. Use the high-tech cut lube for most cutting applications from sawing and drilling to drawing wire – you’ll have cool, clean cuts every time.

Disc Cutter

The disc cutter cuts perfectly round discs from sheet metal. Each set of disc cutters will cut a range of disc sizes and will cut through sheet metal up to 12 gauge in soft metals.

Metal Hole Punch

The hand-held metal hole punch, which works like a pair of pliers, will easily punch through copper or silver sheet metal up to 18 gauge. The two-hole metal punch is made of tool steel. The punch is tempered for making precise holes in soft metal up to 24 gauge. Shop punches here.

Hammers

Use hammers for metal stamping, shaping, and creating texture and other metalworking details.

Mallet

The mallet is ideal for use with a nylon bench block when you want to harden wire or metal without flattening it.

Bench Blocks, Sandbags and Rubber Blocks

Bench blocks are useful for flattening, laying out and chasing. Constructed of tool steel, bench blocks are ground flat, polished and case-hardened. Sandbags conform to the contour of your piece to provide a base or work surface when forming, chasing, stamping or engraving. The rubber block is extremely handy for your bench work. Made of tough vulcanized rubber, it gives you an excellent work surface. Remove dents and straighten metal without the fear of scratching or distorting. Use it to secure parts during filing, too. Shop for these tools here.

Letter Stamps

Make unique, personalized jewelry by stamping metal with words, phrases or even a phone number. These U.S.-made premium stamping set work with our sterling silver stamping, copper or natural brass charms and links as well as sheet metal. Shop alphabet stamps here.

Design Stamps

Use the design stamps along with alphabet stamps to add decorative touches to unique, personalized jewelry components. Use these stamps with our sterling silver, copper or natural brass charms, links or sheet metal. We suggest practicing stamping with the design stamps on a piece of copper or other scrap sheet metal before using stamping on sterling silver. Shop design stamps here.

Dapping Block

Use dapping blocks and punches to create perfectly concaved surfaces in sheet metal. The doming punches, available in a range of sizes, have ball-shaped ends that fit into the corresponding holes in the dapping block.

Metal Files

Metal files are used for filing and smoothing rough edges of metal work after sawing or cutting with shears.

Metal Brushes

The bristles on the steel brush are ideal for a first-pass polish on harder metals. The brush can also be used for cleaning pieces after they've been removed from a kiln. Do not get the steel brush wet. Use the brass brush to produce satin or brushed finishes and to clean metal surfaces.

Polishing Pad

Use the polishing pads to remove tarnish from metals such as sterling silver and gold-filled pieces, as well as cleaning finished jewelry. The convenient size makes these pads perfect for highlighting once you have used Liver of Sulphur. These pads do not leave any residue and are made of a thin tight-bond foam with permanently bonded micro-abrasions. Shop polishing cloths here.

Tumbler

This 3-pound rock tumbler is a great tool for any jewelry maker who works with silver. Use stainless steel jewelry polishing shot to polish, de-burr and harden your silver. Do not put pieces with stones or glass in the tumbler - they may break or chip. Add a pound of shot to the tumbler, fill it with water to about a half-inch above the shot, add your piece of jewelry and add a couple drops of Dawn dishwashing detergent. Seal the barrel and put the barrel on the tumbler. Plug in the tumbler for about 30-60 minutes. When finished tumbling, rinse and dry the polished piece. Clean and dry the steel shot well before storing. US Standard 110-volt plug-in. Shot (TL0644) is not included with the tumbler.

Shot

Stainless steel shot is used with the rock tumbler to polish, de-burr and harden silver jewelry, chain, beads or findings. When tumbling is complete, rinse and dry your polished piece. Clean and dry steel shot well before storing.

Butane Torch

Use this torch to fuse fine silver or make ball headpins that can add an extra element of artistry to your piece of jewelry. Using fine silver wire, you can make headpins from 20 to 26 gauge. Fill your torch with butane or triple-refined butane. Fill your torch away from the area you are planning on working. Hold your torch upside down and press the butane bottle nozzle firmly into the valve. Your torch is full when liquid begins to sputter out of the valve. When full, place your torch right side up and let it rest for 5 minutes before using. This will allow the gas to settle and the fumes to dissipate. Our butane micro torch burns at a maximum temperature of 2,450 degrees Fahrenheit for between 60 - 70 minutes.

Quenching Bowl

This little metal bowl and tweezer set is perfect for quenching your silver after you have heated it.

Liver of Sulfur

Use Liver of sulfur to give a lovely patina to your sterling silver jewelry and components.

Wire Rounder

Use a wire rounder to finish the ends of cut wire. Place the tip of the wire rounder over the end of the wire. Rotate the wire rounder several times or until the end of the wire has a slightly curved shape. The wire rounder is especially helpful if you make your own ear wires.

Bead Reamer

Use the bead reamer under water to enlarge holes in predrilled beads, semi-precious stones and pearls.

Mandrels

Use the finely polished mandrel to shape, measure, and enlarge rings.

Ring Clamp

Use this hardwood ring clamp with leather jaws for holding rings and other objects.

Coiling Gizmo

An economy coiling tool to help create and design jewelry from coiled wire. Make a coil spring with wired coiled around one of the two crank rods. A core wire is inserted into this spring. Coiling it again will produce a bead.

Wrap and Tap Pliers

Use wrap and tap pliers to shape uniform rings, toggle clasps, ear wires and other findings easily and efficiently. These pliers will enable you to make consistent loops in a variety of sizes. Very little tapping is necessary, and half-round wire will not twist, scratch or deform. Made of stainless steel, wrap and tap pliers feature cushion grips.

Wire Twisting Pliers

Twist wires up to 18 gauge with these wire twisting pliers. A single-pull action and automatic return creates an unraveling, twisted strand of wire.

Draw Plate

The draw plate is designed to reduce soft chains or woven chains. Made of hard rosewood, the tool includes 12 smooth holes. Simply pull the material through consecutively smaller holes to reduce the size of the chain.

WigJig

A sturdy board with holes and pegs, a WigJig is an amazing wireworking tool that enables you to bend wire into curling, swirling shapes consistently and evenly.

Solder Iron

This light-weight hobby soldering iron is to be used with the Simply Solder Creative Art Kit and Supplies. Use the iron to melt lead-free solder onto edges of copper foil-wrapped glass to create jewelry, decorative items & much more.

Solder Iron Stand Coil Spring

This solder iron stand has a coil spring that holds the iron nicely. It is important to have a safe place to rest your iron while you are working. Soak the sponge with water and use it to continually wipe your tip on while you are soldering. This will insure your tip stays nice and clean.

Burnisher

This highly polished steel burnisher with curved tip with hardwood handle and metal ferrules for a long life is oval shaped for smoothing metals or bezel settings around stones. It is also ideal when smoothing down copper foil tape for soldering.

Heat Resistant Solder Mat

Protect your work surface from solder, ink, paint, glue and other craft materials with our reusable, Heat Resistant, Non-Stick Solder Mat. Nothing sticks to it, not even melted solder! Clean up is a breeze, simply peel off dried materials and wipe with a paper towel.

Helping Hands Tool

The Helping Hands tool is great for soldering and working with small items. Features 2 1/2" glass lens magnifier. Heavy cast iron base. 2 alligator clips mounted on 4 way swivels.

Beading Needles

Beading needles come in various sizes – 10, 12, 13 and 15 are the most popular. The smaller the needle size, the larger the needle. Beading needles, which come in two sizes, about 2 inches and 3 inches long, are longer than typical sewing needles so that large quantities of beads can be scooped and strung at once. They are the most popular length for loom and off-loom beadweaving techniques.

Sharps

Sharps, which are about 1 inch long, also come in various sizes – 10, 11, 12 and 13 are the most widely used. As with beading needles, the smaller the needle size, the larger the needle. Because they are shorter and less likely to bend, they provide better leverage for piercing fabric, making them ideal for bead embroidery. They are also useful for off-loom beadweaving stitches.

Thread Heaven

Keep your thread knot-free and reduce fraying and tangling with Thread Heaven, a synthetic thread conditioner. It straightens, strengthens, and weatherizes beading threads such as Nymo and Silamide.

Bees Wax

Natural beeswax applied to beading thread is an excellent conditioner for reducing fraying and knotting. When using a doubled thread, its slightly sticky consistency keeps the strands together, which also reduces tangling.

Looms

Beading on a loom is a fun and easy way to make small beaded items such as belts, keychains, jewelry and headbands.

Knotting Pliers

Use these bead knotting pliers for traditional or contemporary bead or pearl knotting designs, the fine tip on the jaws makes knotting easy.

Knotting Tool

The knotting tool gives you the ability to place tight, consistent knots between beads when you are making pearl-knotted designs. Working double-duty as both a tweezer and a beading awl, this professional-quality knotting tool can be used in either hand.

Tweezers

For grasping and placing beads and other small items, tweezers are essential. The fine tips of bead knotting tweezers help you get into tight spots.

Needle Threader and Cutter

Use the threader with cutter to thread your needle and cut the ends of the thread when you are done. The threader is on one end, while the safely recessed cutting blade is on the other. To use the needle threader, pass the wire loop of the threader through the needle eye. Pull the thread through the wire loop. Pull the needle off the loop. The thread will pass through the needle eye.

Thread Cutter

If you misplace your scissors easily, this thread cutter pendant combines the cutting edge of scissors with the convenience of a pendant.

Thread Burner

With a heating element tip that melts and cauterizes thread, the Perfect End Thread Burner is a bead weaver’s best friend. Use it to trim thread ends and keep them from fraying. This handy tool is ideal for use with K.O., FireLine, Nymo, Superlon and other synthetic beading threads. It runs on one AA battery (not included). You can get replacement tips from us too!

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