Thought it would be a good time to update what I have at my bench! I'm not getting any younger, so work friendly tools are getting more and more important for my handmade jewelry business, Peggy Li Creations. Here is the latest snapshot of some of the tools near my jewelry workbench -- pliers, wire cutters, hole punches. Nothin' too fancy. I will say, if you're working a lot with these tools (and I am!), don't skimp on the quality. You will pay more for quality tools, but they will be more durable and last you much, much longer than the cheaper tools. Plus, your hands and forearms are your MOST important tools, so treat them well with good equipment to use (and remember to stretch and not get locked into the same motion for too long).
When I look for quality in jewelry tools, I look for tools that spring back open, have ergonomic features for your hands and replaceable parts. I prefer Lindstrom over Swanstrom, two of the biggest jewelry tool brands. I find that Lindstrom tools, which are made in Sweden, are smaller in size, which fit my smaller hands, and they are lighter overall. Lindstrom tools are made in the USA and feature longer handles and heavier construction.
I've always said, have a pair of needle nose flat (no teeth!) pliers and a pair of wire cutters, and you're in business.
Armed with these basics, I have all I need to create most of my handmade jewelry designs for you!
Essentials at my bench:
- Lindstrom Rx 7893 pliers
- Lindstrom Rx 8141 wire cutters
- Swanstrom S512E flush cutters (I use these sparingly to keep blades sharp)
- Xuron wire cutters (for thicker wire ie over 20ga)
- Eurotool nylon jaw pliers
- Wigjig Centaur
- Punch pliers (round, 1.8mm size punch)
- Bench block (for hammering against)
- Hammer (chasing)
- Rawhide hammer
- Metal ruler at least 18" long
Great suppliers like Rio Grande or Beaducation will carry a wide variety of jewelry making tools, probably more than you ever thought you needed!
What do you have at your jewelry bench? What jewelry tools can you not live without?