Daily Wire Tip Nov. 8: Jewelers’ Saws and Jump Rings

By on November 7, 2010
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
November 8, 2010


Hi Dale, to saw 20-gauge silver for jump rings, what gauge and type of saw and blade would you suggest?

-Debbie in Nakusp, BC, Canada


Good question, Debbie! Jewelers’ saw blades come in a variety of thickness from very fine through very coarse (8/0 to 6). The size (#) of a blade describes how many teeth there are per inch; the more teeth there are the finer the blade is. Of course, the wider the blade is, the more kerf (the part of the material that is lost when cutting). For cutting 20-gauge wire, you can use blade size 2/0 through a 1. Most folks (including me) like a size 1/0. Just be sure to keep the blade lubricated by using a product such as beeswax.

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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  1. avatar

    Jane Elizabeth

    November 8, 2010 at 8:56 am

    Thanks Dale, I didn’t realize beeswax was necessary! I have been making my jump rings on a “as needed” basis. For the smaller size rings, I use my center barrel on a three barrel pliers to create a 3mm ID and a 5mm OD. For larger rings, I use the largest barrel on the three barrel to create a 5mm ID and a 7mm OD. Of course if I wanted to do some chain maile I would definitely save myself some time and money trying your way!

  2. avatar


    November 8, 2010 at 10:37 am

    What is the advantage of using a saw as opposed to a flush cutter?

    • avatar


      November 9, 2010 at 12:43 am

      Becky, Judy and Dharlee,
      If you are using just a few jump rings, I find it easier to just make a few at a time by using the 3-step round pliers and my Xuron cutters – I just double cut them so I have a flush seam when I close the ring. The benefit of using a jewelers saw is when you are using a LOT of jump rings as in chain maille designs. Often folks want to make their own and by making a long coil or wire and placing it in a vise and then cutting it with a saw – it is much quicker to make a lot of them! (You also do not have one flush cut and one angle cut because the saw will cut straight.)

  3. avatar

    Lorraine Brooks

    November 8, 2010 at 11:14 am

    Considering the price of wire now days, it’s actually cheaper to buy jump rings already made.

  4. avatar

    Judy Hansen

    November 8, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    I am new to this …. What is OD? Does cutting jump rings with the wire cutters damage them?

  5. avatar

    Elle Mae

    November 8, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    One way to be sure you are using the right size blade is to place the blade on the item to be sawn, if there are at least two teeth on the surface of the item then your blade is small enough. This may require some magnification. If there isn’t enough teeth, the saw will pull and brake

    • avatar


      November 9, 2010 at 12:28 am

      Nice Elle – thanks!

  6. avatar


    November 8, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    I have never used a saw to cut jump rings so is it ok to use flush cutters to cut jump rings (I don’t make chain maile)? Is there a difference with the cut? Should I learn to use a saw for jump rings.

  7. avatar

    Suzy Nash

    November 9, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    Judy, OD is outer dimension and ID is inner dimension.

  8. avatar


    January 3, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    What type of vise do you use when sawing the coil for jump rings?