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.

1 Minute Read

IGS may receive customer referral fees from the companies listed in this page.


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

Jewelry Pliers Recommendations

PhotoNameTop Reviews on Amazon
WORKPRO 7-Piece Jewelers...image WORKPRO 7-Piece Jewelers Pliers Set

"I'm a beginner with jewelry making and needed good tools to help with my creations. These are very sturdy and I appreciate the spring that reopens them. (I wad initially using a borrowed set and I don't know if they were just old or never had that spring, but it was pretty awkward using them). The case is very nice and the entire product is easy to useread more

Jewelry Pliers 8Pcs...image 8 Piece Mini Pliers Set Professional with Wood Rack

"These pliers are actually pretty cool. I was a little skeptical at first, as I like to see my pliers in person before buying, but these are great. Better than some of my current pliers. They have good bounce and are super sturdy, plus the handle is very comfortable. I also love the organizer, it helps so much in trying to be organized in my craft room. Just as a test I made the pendant pictured in the last photo to see how strong these' pliers could be without chewing up the wire. They did great. Would recommend. Fantastic pliers for the price."   read more


5 Pc Jewelers...image 5 Pc Jewelers Pliers Set Jewelry Making

"The pliers are quite excellent. I was looking for something mid-range, and am very pleased with the quality. I know the $20 sets are pot metal junk, but I didn't want to spend nearly $200 for top German and American pliers. This would be 5 stars except for the zipper case, which was already split. I will be doing something else anyway. Overall very more


Jewelry Pliers (Set...image Jewelry Pliers (Set of 5)

"Being just an amateur jewelry designer for friends and family, I don't require fancy tools. This set gets the job done for me at the right price. I can separate pieces, pull them apart, put them back together, cut, and grab what I need.

The tools certainly don't scream "artisan" as the ends of the prongs often aren't even finely balanced (see 2nd photo), but as I said these aren't meant for high-quality professionals.
read more

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases referred from our site.

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.

Never Stop Learning

When you join the IGS community, you get trusted diamond & gemstone information when you need it.

Become a Member

Get Gemology Insights

Get started with the International Gem Society’s free guide to gemstone identification. Join our weekly newsletter & get a free copy of the Gem ID Checklist!