Daily Wire Tip Dec. 30: Flat Nose Pliers

By on December 30, 2010
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
December 30, 2010


I’m trying to make first bracelet in the Beginner DVD series. My flat nose pliers make too large a bend. I saw where you mentioned buying the more expensive 1mm tip flat nose, but can I just do hand bends? Or is there another plier I can use? Many thanks!

-Ruby in East Dublin, Georgia


Ruby, many wire artists begin with the tools that they already have, but in the long run, investing in a good set of jewelry tools is a good idea.

While Wire-Sculpture has many flat nose pliers to choose from, my favorite flat nose pliers are Swanstrom pliers. I know they are a bit more expensive, but I have to tell you that the pair I use were purchased in 1995 and I use them constantly!!

Swanstrom Flat Nose Plier Tip

These flat nose pliers have the perfect tip width across, to give a good surface area to wrap about anything, including small items like rings; the jaw width at their tip is perfect for making hooks on wrap wires that stay on your bundles more easily, and the longer handles mean you don’t have to use as much power to get a firm bend, so they are great on the hands and wrists too! They are also completely flat, meaning they do not bulge or dip along their jaw, so nice 90 degree angles can be created continuously.

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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  1. avatar


    December 30, 2010 at 11:51 am

    I agree totally. Although I am relatively new at this, I now own a full set of good tools, purchased one at a time. As I practice, I’ve found the GOOD tools make an incredible difference, both in the finished product, and in the process itself.

  2. avatar


    December 30, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    I agree completely with having a set of really nice tools. I am also a hairdresser and my scissors cost in excess of 250.00 on sale! And that is for one pair! Your work can only be as good as the tools you use to produce it and if you are really serious about the art then you will find there is a huge difference in using good tools.

    A word of caution though, never use them on wire that they were not meant for, such as craft wire. Take care of them, and they will take care of you.

  3. avatar

    Sherrie Lingerfelt

    December 30, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    Hi Ruby,
    When I first started in wire wrapping I went to a flea market to buy my tools. I was content with them until I took classes with Dale and used “real” tools….there Is no comparison with the quality or the “feel” of “real” tools. I bought one or two at a time until I have a set of good quality tools to work with. Now I look forward to finding a new tool!
    Good luck,

  4. avatar


    December 31, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    As Sherrie and the other ladies have stated, good tools make a big difference. Making hand bends is no better than using the pliers you are using now. Yes, they are expensive. When I bought my set of Swanstroms years ago I saved up for them because back then they were $128.00 a set. I am still using that same set because they have held up to the useage I have put them under and more. Seriuously, would you want a surgeon working on you with bad tools?

  5. avatar

    Jane Elizabeth

    January 2, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Though I have been doing wire work since the seventies the bulk of my work has been concentrated in the last 10 years or so. During all of these years I have gone through many many different sets of pliers. Two years ago I discovered a line of tools created and manufactured by German engineers. They are not only perfectly balanced they are the most precise pliers I have ever used. Though very pricey I would not change brands for any price! If you are doing eight hours per day or more you may want to save up for these!