Making jewelry requires tools. That is why every jewelry maker requires a jewelry making tools kit. Filled with the most essential items for creating a wide variety of jewelry, this kit will help you to craft beautiful projects of all kinds, especially with the holidays right around the corner. Here are the 10 most important items that any jeweler should have ready to make gifts and adornments for all.
Tool 1: Jewelry Pliers
Most jewelry making involves the use of wire. Unlike string, wire is tougher to manipulate. Fine wire and delicate projects also require precision control of the wire and beads.
In order to create the shapes and patterns you need for your project, you will want jewelry pliers. These tools allow you to grip and manipulate the wire in specific ways. Here are some of the most important jewelry pliers to have in your jewelry making tools kit:
- Round nose pliers for bending wire into circles
- Chain nose pliers for gripping wire without leaving rough edges
- Flat nose wires for holding beads, creating angles, and manipulating jump rings
- Bent nose pliers for bending wire ends into beads
Tool 2: Wire Wrapping Pliers
These jewelry pliers require their own spot on the list because of their specialized function. They possess a stepped lower jaw that allows you to wrap various diameters of wire. The largest pliers can provide up to 6 different diameters, although 3 or 4 diameters is more common.
As a result of this stepped design, wire wrapping pliers make it easier to create consistent looped jewelry pieces like earrings and jump rings and pieces that use wire wrapping as a decorative element. These pliers are often also referred to as looping pliers.
Tool 3: Jewelry Ruler
When making jewelry, you will often need to measure wire length, bead diameters, and so forth. You can use a regular ruler. However, a jewelry ruler can help you accurately take any jewelry-related measurements.
These rulers typically come not only with inch and millimeter measurements but also with ring and bracelet measurements. A transparent jewelry ruler will work best because you can measure without blocking your view of your work.
Tool 4: Wire Cutters
As with jewelry pliers, there are a variety of wire cutters to help you handle any wire cutting task you have. You may be able to get away with a toenail clipper or scissors for very thin wire, but specialized wire cutters offer greater precision. Here are a few of the types of wire cutters to consider adding to your jewelry making tools kit.
- Diagonal cutters for tight areas
- End cutters for right angle snipping of wire ends
- Flush cutters for straight cuts against other items like beads and crimps
- Memory wire cutters for cutting the tougher memory wire
Tool 5: Crimp Tool
When you need to join two pieces of wire together for your jewelry project, you will need a crimp tool. This tool is particularly useful for finishing off clasps or placing crimp beads into a project. Its two notches allow you to both crimp and shape the bead with a single tool.
Tool 6: Variety of Wire
Wire forms the basis of many jewelry projects. The exact types of wire you keep in your jewelry making tools kit will depend upon the types of projects you most like to do. The important thing is to keep a variety on hand. Here are a few suggestions for wire to keep in your kit:
- 26-gauge wire for wrapping
- 24-gauge wire for a wide variety of jewelry-making tasks
- 28-gauge wire for delicate beading work
- Practice wires made of material such as copper
Tool 7: Beading Needles
When you are working with particularly small beads, called seed beads, you will need beading needles. They are particularly useful for beadweaving in a jewelry project. They differ from regular sewing needles in that they are thinner and usually have smaller eyes.
There are many types of beading needles from which to choose. Here are a few of the most common:
- English Beading Needles – which are popular in part because they come in a wide variety of sizes to handle any type of bead
- Japanese Beading Needles, with a rounded point to reduce split threads
- Big Eye Needles – whose eyes extend down the length of the needle
- Twisted Beading Needles – are super flexible an easy to thread
Tool 8: Soldering Irons and Torches
Occasionally, you will want to solder pieces of metal or wire together for your jewelry project. Adding a soldering iron and/or torch to your jewelry making kit can help you complete this task more easily. Soldering irons work for soft solders, which use tin to join base metals like copper and brass together. Soldering torches work for hard solders, which use different alloys to fuse metals like silver and gold.
Tool 9: Kumihimo Braiding Disk
Braiding string and beads into beautiful patterns and jewelry will require a Kumihimo braiding disk. This disk makes it simple to achieve the Japanese braiding method called Kumihimo braiding.
Tool 10: Bead Spinner
Stringing beads can be a time-consuming process, particularly if you are using seed beads. You can make the process easier and less labor intensive by using a bead spinner. You use this tool by filling the bowl with beads, and placing a threaded needle just under the surface of the beads. As you spin the tool, beads automatically thread onto the needle.
In order to stock your kit, check out what Austin Bead Gallery has to offer you. Our gallery provides you with ideas for your own work. Our inventory offers you beads, wire, and other jewelry making supplies so you can complete any beading project you feel like taking on. We can help you stock your kit, and enjoy the process of creating whatever jewelry pieces you desire.