How are Pliers Used in Jewelry Making?

Learn which pairs of pliers you'll need to make jewelry. Flat nose, round nose, chain nose, etc. We review the pros and cons of each type.

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HomeLearning CenterJewelry and LapidaryHow are Pliers Used in Jewelry Making?

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Pliers are essentials for gripping, bending, and shaping metal and wires. Pliers should be constructed of stainless steel with rubber coated handles for comfort. They should be smooth jawed and hinged with box joints. There are numerous types of pliers, but the main ones needed are: round nose, flat nose, chain nose, flat and half round, and parallel.

  • Round nose pliers have two round jaws that taper to a point. They are excellent for gripping and bending wire into round shapes. They also come with extra long jaws for better leverage in gripping. Shorter jaws are an excellent starter pair. Amazon, Gesswein and PepeTools have round nose pliers. PepeTools also has the ones with the longer jaws.
Round Nose Pliers
  • Flat nose pliers have flat jaws that slope to a blunt, straight end. They are excellent for shaping and bending flat metal and wire. Gesswein and PepeTools also have flat nose pliers for sale on their websites.
Flat Nose Pliers
  • Chain nose pliers have jaws that are round on the outside and flat on the inside and taper to a point. They are great for manipulating metal in tight areas. Amazon has an ergonomically designed pair with thicker handles for added comfort. Gesswein also sells them on its website.
chain nose pliers
Chain Nose Pliers
  • Flat and half round pliers have one jaw that's round on the inside and one jaw that's flat on the inside with both being flat on the outside. They are helpful with rounding wire and metal, for instance, into rings. Amazon and Gesswein sell flat and half round pliers on their websites.
flat half round pliers
Flat and Half Round Pliers
  • Parallel pliers have jaw that are flat on the inside and always open parallel to each other. They are excellent for hold wire or metal securely at one end while it's being worked on at the other end. The jaws have no springs (unlike the other pliers listed above) and remain stationary when released. They are to be tough and durable so spend a bit more for the better quality. Amazon and Gesswein have the pliers available on their websites.
parallel pliers
Parallel Pliers

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Megan Coward, Graduate Jeweler Gemologist, GIA, Graduate Gemologist

Megan Coward is a graduate of the GIA with Graduate Jeweler Gemologist and Graduate Gemologist accreditations. She has 20+ years in the retail jewelry industry in various roles including as a diamond buyer and gemstone appraiser.

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