Add An Awl to Your Tool Bag

By on February 24, 2017
Print Friendly

by Judy Ellis,

Wire Jewelry Tip for February 24th, 2017

Add An Awl To Your Tool Bag

by Marilyn Gardiner

We are always looking for great, new ideas and today, Marilyn gives us a wonderful tip why we should an an Awl to our Tool Bag!

Marilyn Says:


What’s an awl, you ask? Well my non-technical description says that it’s round, and a bit longer and skinnier than a pen. The top section is for holding, and may be plastic or metal, The bottom inch or two is round, thin, pointed, and very sharp—like a long, metal toothpick..

Why would you want one –  is your next obvious question.

1. Chain mail

I use it to find the path for the next jump ring. An easy example is when learning the Byzantine weave.

1.  To start, link 3 pairs of jump rings and add a wire handle.


2. Fold the end pair of rings, one to each side, and then tuck them down between your thumb and first finger.


3. Then separate the rings with blue dots, and push the folded-down rings (red dots) upwards.

4. The next 2 jump rings are going to pass through the opening marked with the blue X.

5. This is when an awl is helpful. Insert it through that space while you pick up the next ring with your pliers and get ready to add it.


2. Knotting

If you are adding a beaded section to your chain mail, you might be using fiber and knotting between each bead. If you insert an awl into the loose knot, you can easily slide the knot along until it is tight against the bead.

As a side note, to finish the ends of a beaded section, use a wire and thread protector. It ends in a metal loop, perfect for adding a connecting jump ring.

3. Photography

You are taking a photo of a piece of jewelry. You’re almost ready when you notice that a ring needs to be flipped in a different direction, or that you need to adjust the piece very slightly for a better shot.

If you use your fingers, you’ll likely make the problem worse.  An awl will give you a very delicate touch, and is a wonderful tool.

4. More Ideas For Using an Awl

More ideas: carving wax, applying solder, working with metal clay.


Tool Suggestions:


This Carving Pick can be found on our sister site –

This beading Awl can be found on


For more great tips from Marilyn CLICK HERE!

Happy Wrapping!

Click to Receive Daily Tips by Email