Jewelry Pliers: What’s the Difference Anyway?

Jewelry pliers come in a great variety of shapes and sizes. Each set of pliers has been designed to accomplish a different job.
Chain Nose, Flat Nose, Round Nose, Bent nose . . . what’s the difference anyway?
Well first the basics, there are four main types of pliers, each designed for specific tasks.

Chain Nose Pliers/ Long Chain Nose Pliers
Chain Pliers are the most traditional & popular of pliers. These useful pliers have flat jaws that taper to a point. The inside jaws can be smooth or serrated. The smooth finished ones will not mar your metal and the serrated jaws will hold your work firmly. They are used for making bends, loops, and a multitude of other things. Long Chain Nose are very similar to flat nose pliers but have a longer tapered tip. They offer more reach but less leverage than the Flat Nose. These are perfect when you are making a very intricate spiral.
Flat Nose Pliers
Flat Nose Pliers have wide flat jaws for making angular bends, flattening and forming metal. They are also excellent for bending wire, holding beads and facilitating wire wrapping. They will not mar or scratch beads.
Round Nose Pliers
Round Nose Pliers have smooth circular tapered jaws that are designed so as to not nick or mar the materials they are working with. The nose of the pliers are wide at the base and taper to smaller rounded ends. Round nose pliers are ideal for making loops, circles, and coils from wire or sheet metal, hold small components, open and close jump rings, wire wrapping or making chain.
Bent Nose Pliers
Bent Nose Pliers are similar to standard chain nose except that the jaws are made at a 45 degree angle. Jewelers often prefer the Bent Nose Pliers to the Straight Pliers because the bent jaw allows them to keep their wrists comfortably straight while working. The bent nose of the pliers also allows them to get to more difficult small areas easily. These jewelry pliers are commonly used to pick up extremely small parts.
As you continue to work as a jewelry artist, you will begin to accumulate a variety of pliers and you will also develop a preference for certain pliers. Pliers will soon become the one of the handiest and useful tools on your jewelers’ bench. There are so many types and shapes of jewelry pliers, each with their own function. In the next Blog we will cover some of the specialty pliers available.

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