Now although both brands of tools are a bit pricey, I firmly believe that having one good pair of flat nose pliers is imperative to executing great traditional wire jewelry techniques (using a majority of square and half-round wire). As a wire jewelry instructor for more than 16 years, I have seen many students struggle in my classroom with what I would consider the wrong tool for the job. It doesn't matter how expensive the tool is, but it must do what you choose it to do! I then loaned these students what I consider a good tool for the job and the difference was amazing!
(Here are Dale's frequently-used flat nose pliers. The Swanstrom pair is in the middle.)
As you can see in the photo, I personally use a LOT of different pliers, including 5 different flat nose styles. Traci, I do appreciate your question and I guess my summary would be to use whichever brand that suits you, for the specific job at hand!
How about my fellow wire jewelry artists? Will you share your favorite tool with us, and why it's your favorite? (This could be fun-Thanks!!)
Answer contributed by Dale "Cougar" Armstrong