A good pair of pliers is an essential tool for wire work and jewelry projects and an excellent addition to any hobbyist’s or professional’s tool kit. Whether you need a precise tool for gripping delicate wires, closing a pesky jump ring, or creating perfect loops, pliers are the answer. While there are numerous shapes and styles, the three types we’ve rounded up here— needle-nose, square, and split-ring—fulfill a plethora of crafting needs. Needle-nose pliers have a long, serrated tip that’s ideal for gripping and closing hard-to-reach wires. Square pliers are used to make uniform square jump rings on your jewelry. And split-ring pliers, with their pointed jaws and hooked tips, are perfect for keeping stiff loops open as you work. To help you find the perfect tool for your wire work and jewelry, peruse our list of top picks.
1. Excel Blades Soft Grip Needle Nose Pliers
If you’re looking for just one tool, go with this sturdy option. These 5.5-inch-long needle-nose pliers are the most versatile type, as their thin tips facilitate detailed work while their strong grip allows them to handle larger objects. Made of stainless steel, the tempered jaws can be used for holding, pulling, and bending wires in tight areas. The spring-loaded action helps lessen hand fatigue, cramping, and pain, and the tool’s cushioned handles afford a comfortable and secure grip.
2. Beadalon Round Nose Pliers
These round-nose pliers are designed with ergonomics in mind, making them a wonderful tool for looping and shaping all kinds of wire for jewelry and other crafts. The handle is very comfortable to hold, and the smooth finish will leave your wire unmarked. This tool features a box joint and double-leaf spring construction, making it durable and strong. The precision tip on these pliers can lead to professional, refined results.
3. Cousin 4460 Craft and Jewelry Making Tool Kit
This affordable three-piece set includes round-nose pliers, needle-nose pliers, and a side cutter. Both pliers measure 4⅞ inches from end to end, and the cutter is 4⅜ inches. These tools are ideal for wire work, beading, and jewelry making. The round-nose pliers are for creating loops and curves; the long needle-nose pliers are excellent for picking up, shaping, and holding objects; and you can use the side cutter for hard-tempered wires such as floral and memory wires. All the tools have attractive grips in different pastel colors for easy identification.
4. The Beadsmith Square Rite Plier
This precise tool is designed for making square loops in jewelry wire. It is super durable and can be used on a wide variety of materials including copper, brass, half-hard wire, and dead-soft wire. In just one step you can create error-free loops with the seven calibrations, ranging from 2 to 8 millimeters, on the pliers’ jaws. Our one caveat: If you have arthritis or joint pain, these brawny pliers may be too heavy for extended sessions.
5. ImpressArt Split Ring Pliers
Working with split rings can be frustrating, but these pliers are here to make your life easier. The 5-inch-long tool can be used for easily opening split rings of any size. The jaws are nylon so your materials will not be damaged. Your grasp will be reliable and pain free, as the handle is designed with comfort in mind.