When deciding to start making jewelry as a hobby or a business, you want to be sure you have all of the tools you need. There are a variety of tools necessary for different types of jewelry making, such as beading, wire wrapping, metal stamping and basic metalworking. If you are a beginner, start simple and work your way up to more advanced jewelry-making methods as you gain practice and experience.
Pliers are a necessity for basic jewelry projects such as beading and wire wrapping. You may be surprised to learn how many types of pliers there are. When you first start jewelry making, you want good pairs of round-nose pliers and chain-nose pliers for making loops, opening and closing jump rings and other basic jewelry-making techniques.
A good pair of wire cutters is also essential to any beading or wire jewelry project. There are a variety of wire cutters out there for varied uses. You want to choose wire cutters that cut the maximum gauge of wire you intend to use; the maximum gauge should be listed on the cutters' packaging. While you can purchase wire cutters for under $10, you need a good, sturdy pair if you plan on using them regularly.
Tools used for metalwork include a bench block, piercing saw and blades, bench pin, needle files, emery papers, high-speed rotary tool and drill bits, metal hole punch, metal stamps and a ball-peen hammer. These tools will get you through beginner "cold connections" (no heat involved) metalworking projects.
For projects such as making sterling silver rings or closing jump rings, you need tools for soldering. These include a soldering iron, torch, firebrick, soldering chips, flux and an electric cooking pot for pickling (clean off residues). If you are a beginner to soldering, it is suggested you take a course in the basics of soldering or pick up an instructional book or DVD to explain the process. When using a torch, be sure to wear safety goggles and work in a well-ventilated area.
Other Jewelry-Making Tools
Aside from basic jewelry-making tools, there are others that are a little more costly but that can help you with more advanced projects, and specialty tools that make certain techniques more simple. Consider adding a jig, metal files, ring mandrel, crimping tool, bead knotter, bead reamer, jump ring maker and bead gauge to your jewelry-making supplies.
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