Using 6 Step Barrel Pliers

By on November 6, 2015
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by Judy Ellis,

Wire Jewelry Tip for November 6th, 2015

Using 6 Step Barrel Pliers G2-503

By Judy Larson

Today we take a look at a tip about using the 6 Step Barrel Pliers.


Judy Says: Round nose pliers are great, but sometimes it is difficult to grasp the wire in exactly the same spot when you need to make the same sized loop or curve.

Once you use the 6 step barrel pliers, they will be the most versatile tool in your workshop.  Whenever you need to make consistent sized loops and curves, the 6 step barrel pliers should be your go-to tool.

Consistent sized loops are not only important in making wire wrapped loops and jump rings, but in many other jewelry designs as well.

Knowing the sizes of the steps can be helpful when using tutorials that refer to metric or standard measurements.   The following are approximate measurements of each step of the barrel pliers:


Step 1                   2.33mm                3/32”

Step 2                   3.25mm                1/8”

Step 3                   4.5mm                  3/16”

Step 4                   6mm                      1/4”

Step 5                   8mm                      5/16”

Step 6                   8.75mm                scant 3/8”

If you need to make a few jump rings, use these pliers to make the size coil you need.  The 6 steps make the sizes you will use the most often.

Here are a few projects that Judy has created with her 6 Step Barrel Pliers:

Perfect French Hook Ear Wires are a snap to make and they are all exactly the same size and shape.  They stay in the ear better than any other ear wire my daughter and I have found.


Don’t just think jump rings and ear wires.   The Heart Link is made using the 6 step pliers.  Connect the links to make a bracelet.  Hang a single link from an ear wire and add dangles for a pretty little earring. CLICK HERE for Judy’s Pattern.

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The Heart Earrings With Drop are made in a manner similar to the Heart Link but use different steps. CLICK HERE  for this beautiful pattern.


The Scarab Bracelet is made with coil wrapped interlocking links formed on the 6 step barrel pliers.


I hope that you enjoyed this quick tip from Judy. Keep watching for more great tips like this from all of our contributors!

Happy Wrapping

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  1. avatar


    November 6, 2015 at 6:49 am

    I love my six step pliers. I find it much easier to use than a jig to get consistent bends. I have also used it as a jig by using the the steps together. The bends are consistent and clean. This helps especially when I matching links or earring styles. Just suggesting this method.

  2. avatar

    Deborah Carlson

    November 6, 2015 at 7:25 am

    I love Judy’s work. Thanks for sharing.

  3. avatar

    Judi Morningstar

    November 6, 2015 at 8:01 am

    Great tutorial. Thanks Would love to see threes pliers in an oval to make oval jump rings

    • avatar


      November 6, 2015 at 3:35 pm

      Wubbers makes pliers in all shapes. So far i haven’t seen a Wubber shaped pliers with graduated sizes. Check out Wubbers. They are wonderful.