Jewelry Tools - The Basics

Craftsman Tools, Jewelry Making Tools, Jewelers Tools, Beading Tools ...

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..Call them what you may, sometimes having just the right jewelry tools for your project is the difference that makes the difference.

There was a time, when I used the seemingly acceptable excuse, that I would not need to get specialized tools. I couldn't spare the expense. I would wing it. I could be lateral thinking and creative. And don't get me wrong - all that are good things. You will be amazed how many things we have around us that can be made to perform other functions when we put our creative caps on.

However though I would never encourage anyone to go out and buy every snazzy, fancy do-da tool that catches your eye, promises you much, and feel that it is (yet another) a must-have, I must confess to having come to a personal experiential understanding why true professionals do have great, quality tools in their arsenal!

Not that I am patting myself on the back here by teaming myself as a "true professional", but I have seen the difference it makes when I use the right jewelry tool and when I don't. And it is not just the difference in outcome, it is also the pure JOY of using a quality tool that makes your jewelry making process sing along as you work. A real joy.

Not Every Tool is Created Equal

Being rather budget conscious, I hate to admit it - but there is quality and then there is just .. well, not! I have had expensive pliers that did not last the distance and I have had, at the same time, economy pliers that have been with me since the first day I picked them up. There is no need to rush out and dump all your budget jewelry tools and dig out your piggy to get Expensive, branded ones, you will find your own favourite working sets as you go.

I know that is a tat contrary to the advice from many jewelry hobbists and artists out there. The often given piece of advice is to fork out for good quality up front rather than buying a bunch of "lesser" quality ones. Even though my quality jewelers tools give me immense pleasure each time I pick them up, I still use some of my budget ones for a lot of things. So I say, get quality tools if:

  • you have the budget for it - or save up till you do
  • if they are recommended to you by other jewerly/craftsman you know and trust
  • you have tried the same economy tools more than once and they don't satisfy (remember that the cost of getting a wrong budget tool is not as high as getting a more expensive one that disappoints)
  • and you know exactly which jewelry tools you need.

There are so many kinds of jewelry making tools, gadgets, and equipment out there. And if you are just beginning with trying out a new kind of tool for a new technique or project, you may not know exactly if the tool(s) you are contemplating are the correct ones for your needs. So if there is a much less costlier version(s), give them a go.

Some of my favourite pliers (after many trials and errors with cheaper pliers) are Wubber Pliers. Zuron pliers, Euro Tool pliers, Beadsmith pliers, Burfitt (

Burfitt is an Australian company and I think that they are only available in Australia.

Which Jewelry Tools Should I Get?

What is the right tool for the right job? Of course, a lot of jewelry tools are extremely versatile (as they should be!) and can be used for a lot of different projects. But below is a shortlist of Tools to Job Types.

General Essentials


Bezel - Setting Bezel

  • Bezel Pusher
  • Burnisher
  • Dental Floss (yes! it will help stones from getting stuck when testing the bezel)
  • painter's tape - to protect the stone while setting

Metal & Wirework - Hammers and Mallets

The information on Hammers, Mallets, Steel Block, and Avils is so much that I have gotten them on the Hammers page for you ...


  • Anti-flux and Flux
  • flux brushes
  • Copper Tongs
  • Firebrick, charcoal brick - as fire resistance surfaces
  • heat resistant (long) tweezers
  • solder (head, medium, easy)
  • torch

This is but a shortlist of all the various jewelry tools out there and that you may acquire (if you have not already) in your jewelry making, splendiferous journey. Don't be overwhelmed by it. After all, you probably won't need them all. And you certainly don't need to get them all right now! Use this as a handy reference, panic not required.

Common Sense Rules with Jewelry Tools

Haha. Common Sense rhymes with Jewelry Tools! There must be a message in that!!!

Many people don't even bother reading the warning advice that comes, by law, with their tools. However it always pays to read it one more time - just in case. It might even save a limb or life! Most of the time, they are pretty commonsense rules but always worth a read to be safe.

Rules with Hand Tools and Power Tools

Most people think that real craftsman power tools can be dangerous but less so jewelry tools. Any tool can be dangerous if not used, maintained, handled well. And with the increasing sophistication of tools used by jewelers, artisans, and hobbists alike - many involving fire, electricity, and power - precaution should be a byword for all of us.

  • The most commonsense one: keep your fingers away from danger! When sawing, do NOT put your fingers in the path of an oncoming saw blade. Do not put your fingers under the onslaught of a hammer.
  • Organize your tools - it will save a lot of frustration that comes with not being able to find your tool when you need it the most.
  • Eye protection - use safety glasses whenever there is danger of high velocity flying particles. Wear safety glasses even when working with wire. They have a tendency to spring back, unseen.
  • Electrical tools - ground them: do not remove the third prong. Do not use in damp or wet environment. And if you have to use an extension cord - use the shortest one possible.
  • Well lit areas - work in well lit areas. You can see what you are doing better. A blind man with a power tool is a dangerous thing.
  • Keep children away - with power tools, keep children safe by keeping them away.
  • Beware of flammables - always use with care and always store away, be their paint, solvers, chemicals, heatable tools.

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