Daily Wire Tip Apr. 9: Smoothing Sharp Wire Ends

By on April 8, 2011
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
April 9, 2011


Dale, what can I use to get rid of sharp wire ends? I have used a nail file without much luck.

-Ellie in Mechanicsville, Virginia


Hi Ellie, yes, sharp wire ends have to go! Most of the time, I personally like to use a strong emery board (affordable and easy to replace) on about any wire end. When I am making a lot of ear wires at a time, I use a cup burr in my drill or automatic wire twister. If I am just doing a few, I either use a wire rounder (which is a cup burr inserted into a comfortable wooden handle), or a sharpening stone.

To help you visualize this, I recommend Sonja Kiser’s nice video tip, How to Remove Wire Burrs. Hope this all helps!

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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  1. avatar

    Jill Gentry

    April 9, 2011 at 8:58 am

    I picked up a knife sharping tool in the fishing & hunting department at K-mart. It has a groove that is great for earwires.

    • avatar


      April 10, 2011 at 12:16 am

      Excellent Jill – you never know what use you will find for something advertised differently.

  2. avatar

    Kate Serene Doe

    April 9, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    Hi, I wanted to get my two cents’ in here–because I recently bought an e-book that addresses this irritating problem in detail. In fact, I’m having a bad-wire day right now! Dale is right–I go to the beauty supply store–that national chain (I guess this is moderated so if I cannot mention company names you will delete it). I go to Sally Beauty Supply and get those big black boards used for acrylic nails. They really get rid of big burrs and give you a nice smooth end. I was pleased to see Dale using one in her videos–quite similar. Sometimes I get them free (the boards). You can get different grit. In her most recent book, Dale mentions using Arkenstone. I just got some and found it to be a wonder! I am working like crazy trying to get enough inventory prepared to get my online business up and running . . . so any time-savers work for me! I also have an inexpensive burr remover that Dale mentioned–I usually give any wire a few twists with that just to ensure there are no snags. I am actually making a heavy chain for a long chunky necklace (fingers crossed) and I’m using square wire. I am using my sharpest and best cutters (which happen to be memory wire cutters–Dale, I hope this isn’t a mistake but its either these or my cheapo cutters and these usually give me a clean cut if I ensure I cut with the TIP of the cutters. A good cut (and the proper cutters, I do confess I need to invest in better ones) will help prevent burrs and save time in the first place. Now I have gotten into a couple of situations where I needed to get into a tiny place. Fine sandpaper wrapped around something that will fit in the area works well. I will confess that I broke down and ordered a good set of files today–I needed to order things and I make it a point to buy at least one GOOD tool per order (I needed good double-barrel pliers because I’m making jump rings and I thought it would be a good mandrel for that as well as their ordinary purpose. Cutters are going on my next order–which will probably be soon! I wonder if there are any cutters that prevent burrs more than others–or if it’s just a matter of having good cutters, keeping them sharp, and using proper technique. I guess I’ll have to ask a question, LOL. BTW I highly recommend Dale’s new book, “Wirework.” Read the book and watch the DVD and THEN resume working. You’ll find it’s worth the extra couple of hours. I learned more-even after many of Dale’s instructional videos. It’s quite comprehensive.

    Dale, you are a fantastic instructor (I was an educator–university–I give you an A+ in teaching skills!) Happy wiring to all (and sorry if I deviated from the subject a bit but I always believe sharing information that might help others is important–if something works I would like to mention it!

  3. avatar


    April 9, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    On nasty wire ends I use a crimping pliers. It will secure the wrap or end without mashing the wraps.

  4. avatar

    Kate Serene Doe

    April 10, 2011 at 10:13 am

    I just tried using my crimping pliers–worked like a charm on pieces that stick out–especially on stubborn wraps! Great tip–thanks, D.

  5. avatar


    March 14, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    Just found your site. I am having huge problems with filing the rough edges on split rings. I have tried Sally’s files (I have acrylic nails and buy the course file, 180) with NO luck when trying to file those stubborn edges on the split rings. There are certain projects in my jewelry making that I MUST use split rings and I am at my wits end. Help!!