Jewelry Making 101: Types of Pliers and What They Do

Types of Jewelry Pliers

Jewelry pliers are essential tools used in jewelry making and repair. They come in various shapes and sizes, each designed for specific tasks. Here are some common types of jewelry pliers:

1. Chain-Nose Pliers

Chain-nose pliers, also known as snipe-nose pliers, have tapered, pointed jaws that come to a fine tip. They are versatile and commonly used for gripping, bending, and shaping wire, as well as holding small components during jewelry assembly. Chain-nose pliers are ideal for reaching tight spaces and creating precision work.

2. Round-Nose Pliers

Round-nose pliers have smooth, round jaws that taper to a fine point. They are primarily used for creating loops, coils, and curves in wire. Round-nose pliers are essential for making jump rings, eye pins, and creating wire-wrapped designs. The graduated cone-shaped jaws allow for different-sized loops to be formed.

3. Flat-Nose Pliers

Flat-nose pliers have flat, smooth jaws that provide a broad gripping surface. They are used for holding, bending, and straightening wire, as well as opening and closing jump rings and other findings. Flat-nose pliers are versatile tools and can be used for a wide range of tasks in jewelry making.

4. Bent-Nose Pliers

Bent-nose pliers, also called angle-nose pliers or bent chain-nose pliers, have angled jaws that curve at the tips. This design allows for better access to tight spaces and helps with precision work. Bent-nose pliers are commonly used for wire bending, gripping, and working in hard-to-reach areas.

5. Crimping Pliers

Crimping pliers have special jaws designed for securely crimping and closing crimp beads or tubes. They have two notched or grooved sections that create a tight grip when crimped, ensuring that jewelry components, such as clasps or connectors, are properly secured. Crimping pliers are essential for creating professional-looking finishes in beaded jewelry.

6. Wire Cutters

Wire cutters, also known as flush cutters or diagonal cutters, are used for cutting wire, beading cord, and other jewelry-making materials. They have sharp blades that cleanly cut through various gauges of wire. Wire cutters come in different sizes and designs, including flush cutters that produce a flat cut and semi-flush cutters that leave a small bevel.

7. Split Ring Pliers

Split ring pliers have specially designed jaws with a wedge or notch to assist in opening split rings. Split rings are commonly used for attaching charms, pendants, or other components to jewelry designs. Split ring pliers make it easier to open and close split rings securely, saving time and effort.

8. Nylon-Jaw Pliers

Nylon-jaw pliers have smooth, non-marring jaws made of nylon or plastic material. They are used when a delicate touch is required to hold or shape wire, prevent scratching or marring metal surfaces, or work with soft materials. Nylon-jaw pliers are particularly useful for working with delicate gemstones, pearls, or wire-wrapping fragile beads.


Jewelry pliers are indispensable tools for jewelry makers and jewelry enthusiasts. Chain-nose, round-nose, flat-nose, bent-nose, crimping, wire cutters, split ring, and nylon-jaw pliers are just a few examples of the various types of jewelry pliers available. Each type serves a specific purpose, from gripping and bending wire to cutting, crimping, and opening rings. Having a selection of different pliers allows for greater versatility and precision when creating beautiful and intricate jewelry designs.