As a jeweler it is essential to have a well-stocked tool kit to handle many different stones and metals. This includes a variety of hand tools that will allow you to create beautiful jewelry. By investing in high-quality tools you will be able to produce stunning results that will impress everyone and save you time learning and perfecting your pieces. Below you can find a selection of reliable jeweler's tools to create your next masterpiece, ranging from hand tools, consumables, and attachments for your lapidary equipment to work metals including Foredom rotary flex-shaft motor kits and a huge supply of accessories, burs, bits, and discs from top-tier lapidary manufacturers including Diamond Pacific, Foredom, Hi-Tech Diamond, Inland Lapidary, Lapcraft, and others.

Making custom jewelry allows you to express yourself creatively and share your unique style. There are plenty of opportunities whether you want to become a professional jeweler or make heartfelt, personalized gifts for your friends and family. Jewelry making is more popular and accessible than ever. With some guidance and practice, anyone can learn this art form and create beautiful, one-of-a-kind pieces.

What Do I Need to Start Making Jewelry?

You will be tackling a lot of varied methods of working with different kinds of metals. You can start and practice with base metals which can include nickel-silver, copper, brass, and steel to build your skills. When ready, you can step up to precious metals including gold, silver, and platinum. When choosing your materials, you will be choosing from several common thicknesses of wire. 24-gauge wire is thick and perfect for securing larger beads, crystals, or cabochons that require more strength and stability. 26-gauge wire is a bit thinner and easier to work with, making it the most commonly used size for beads and other jewelry projects. You may also decide to work with very small 28-30-gauge wire, it is more delicate but can fit smaller beads and make more intricate designs.

Fabrication Tools

A Jeweler's Hand Saw

A jeweler's saw is a core bench tool that can be used to cut tight, intricate patterns accurately. By choosing the appropriate blade size, you can minimize waste and conserve your precious metals such as gold and silver. Jeweler's saw blades can be quickly changed and some saws can even use broken blade pieces to get the most out of your investment.

Pliers and Cutters

Wire wrapping is an incredibly popular jewelry style, and having high-quality pliers is essential to the quality of your work, and you can choose the plier handle length and shape to protect the long-term health of your hands. You can get started with a few types of jeweler's pliers and then continue to grow your collection along with your experience. The different types of shears and cutters are designed for different types and thicknesses of metals, so you will want to know what you plan to make before selecting your tools. To get started you'll want to have the basics covered:

Flat-Nose Pliers

If you're looking to work with jewelry wire, flat nose pliers are your best bet. Their smooth jaws prevent scratches and marks on your finished piece, and they can open and close quickly so you can work efficiently. Plus, they come in various sizes to suit your needs for wire tasks like working with jump-rings or the ends of your wire-work. For example, you may want to get a pair of small flat nose pliers for smaller projects such as earrings.

Wire Cutters

Your cutters will need to be able to handle the thickness of metal you intend to work with. They should be able to provide a clean cut, especially on precious metals. Consider the thickness of wire and metal when selecting a cutter or shears as they all have varying cutting capacity.

Round-Nose and Bending Pliers

Round-nose pliers are an essential tool for anyone working with metal wire so you can construct circular bends in your wire to form hoops and loops around stones and cabochons, or forming your wire into rings or hoop shapes for earrings. You can expand your collection with specialty shapes of bending pliers if your project needs an extra hand.

Flush Cutters

Flush cutters have a number of advantages over standard wire cutters because the shape of cut doesn't create any jagged loose ends. You can use these for thinner gauge wires to save time finishing your wire after cutting.

Jeweler's Shears

Cut shapes and size your sheet metals to form the basis for fabrications and engraving projects. Pay attention to the capacity of shears to ensure they can handle the gauge of metal stock you plan to work with.

Nylon-Jaw Pliers

Pliers with nylon-tipped jaws are an excellent addition to your bench to solve difficult problems as they arise. The nylon tips provide a smooth, frictionless surface to pull your wire across to straighten out any kinks or unintended crimps in your sheet sections. They are available in multiple shapes and the jaws are easily replaceable.

Finishing Tools

After you're done planning and creating the basic piece, you'll need different tools to finish the surfaces and clean up any imperfections. Working with metals always results in some burrs and minor marrings that will get in the way when placing your cabochons or crystals.

A Lot of Different Files

There are many styles and types of files you may need when making jewelry depending on the material you are working with. Extremely coarse and wide-toothed wax files are available for working with jeweler's wax to prepare models for casting, flat files can help with creating flat surfaces by hand, and you can find various width and coarseness files to refine and smooth your metal surfaces.

Burnishing Tools

Burnishers are sturdy, long, thin tools with a sharp curved or straight point that can be run along the grooves and curves of your stone or metal to remove and smooth metal burrs. Slim burnishers can fit into even smaller spaces for precision work.

Prong and Bezel Setters

To lock your stones into your jewlery you'll need to form the bezel around your stone with a bezel pusher, or place the prongs against a faceted stone with prong pushers or stone setting pliers to capture it in a ring or other setting.