Daily Wire Tip Sept. 1: Dale’s Fave Flat Nose Pliers

By on August 31, 2010
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
September 1, 2010


I would like to know what tip width on flat nose pliers you prefer. I have been using a 6mm, but it seems a little wide for some projects.

-Sonia in Salisbury, North Carolina


Yes, flat nose pliers with a tip width of 6mm would be great for working on specific projects using a bundle made of 18-gauge wire and larger. As you are asking me what I prefer, my favorite flat nose pliers are the Swanstrom flats.

Swanstrom Flat Nose Pliers
Swanstrom Flat Nose Pliers

The width across the tip is 3mm and the thickness of the jaw’s very tip is less than 1mm. This makes them the perfect choice for traditional wirework; wide enough to push up to 14-gauge square wire, yet small enough to work in little areas like rings. The tip’s thickness is about the same as that of a 22-gauge wire, making it the perfect choice when wrapping a bundle of like width.

I also like the long handles, allowing the tool to do more of the work for me, thus saving my hands. Thanks for asking!

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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  1. avatar

    Regena Brooks

    September 1, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    I’m glad someone asked that question! Dale’s reply was very helpful. That information would be great as part of the description of the pliers. Based on what’s there now, I wouldn’t have known what size they are. A full photo would help too. Can’t tell the length of the handle with only half a picture. Just my opinion!

    • avatar


      September 1, 2010 at 2:44 pm

      Regena, the total length of the Swanstrom flats is 6 1/8-inch (still legal to take on a plane). The total length of the blue handles is right at 4-inches.

  2. avatar


    September 1, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    I also love the Swanstrom flat nose pliers. They have made my life so much easier when working with wire. I had been using some “Cheap” pliers and I was having a hard time getting my projects to look the way I wanted them to look. The right tools make all the difference. I have also purchased Swanstrom’s other pliers, the needle nose chains and the round nose. I highly recommend Swanstrom’s products especially for those of us who are just starting out. I have found these tools essential to get the results I’m looking for. They also make fixing my mistakes much easier. Wire is far too expensive to “start over” on projects, with the help of the right tools I have been able to “save” all my “less then perfect” bends.

    • avatar


      September 2, 2010 at 9:39 am

      Hi Barb, yes! The difference in your work since you began using the Swanstrom tools is amazing! Tools don’t have to be expensive, but they do have to do the job : )
      I have to share something with everyone reading this today. While in Russia and Ukraine for the past two weeks, I wasn’t allowed to bring my own tools. If it hadn’t been for the loan of one pair of chain-nose pliers and a pair of cutters, I would have been totally lost! I demonstrated 3 different projects using only those two tools, successfully : )

  3. avatar


    September 1, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    This is a wonderful question. I have been struggling with larger flat nose pliers since my first class. I recently purchased another smaller one but it is also too large for my purpose. Now I have an example that makes sense to me. I will be ordering two for my collection. I bought Lindstrom bent nose pliers for their ease of use for arthritis and wish I had bought two. I hope the swanstrom are just as easy…..thanks Dale for sharing….bebe

    • avatar


      September 2, 2010 at 9:36 am

      Bebe, I believe you will come to love the Swanstrom flats as the WS Faculty and I do!

  4. avatar

    Rose Bovan

    September 3, 2010 at 8:30 am

    Hey Good morning Dale, I just received your book as a present to myself, and it’s wonderful, however; I saw that you have scored pliers, did you score it yourself or does the company sell them? Now, I’am going to attemp to make several of these items inthe book in my own creation of course, and by the way my husband say’s your work is just very classy. You are a true Artist. Speaking of Art, that is the key, having an Art background of sorts.

    Rose Bovan Barden
    Tampa Florida
    Staying Bent

    • avatar


      September 3, 2010 at 10:49 am

      Hi Rose, yes I scored my round-nose pliers myself. After marking them where I continuously use them, I just used the edge of a square diamond file. (Please tell your husband thanks!) Have fun!!

  5. avatar


    September 3, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    Thanks to Dale’s advice I purchased Swanstom flat nosed pliers after breaking 2 pairs of Lindstom. I’m not knocking Lindstrom as they are a great pliers and worked well for me, but as my hands gained strength and my projects became more complicated I needed tools that could withstand the extra power needed. I also have large hands and the longer handles are an absolute godsend. Thanks Cougar for all of your advice and mentoring!!!

    • avatar


      September 4, 2010 at 12:47 am

      You are so welcome Mint : ) Your designs are amazing-good luck with your fall shows!