|by Katie Hacker|
You don't need a lot of tools to make jewelry, but there are quite a few tools that will make beading easier. The four tools used most for basic beading projects are round nose pliers, chain nose pliers, wire cutters and crimping tool.
Round Nose Pliers have tapered round jaws that are used for making loops and curves.
Chain Nose Pliers are a jewelry maker's version of needle nose pliers. Use them to bend wire at right angles and for opening and closing jump rings or wire loops. Bent nose pliers have bent tips, which make them useful for reaching into small spaces between beads.
Wire Cutters . For beading, use a flush cutter with small tips to ensure a smooth, close cut. Use these to cut flexible beading wire and wire up to 16 gauge.
Use a crimping tool with crimp tubes or beads for a secure, professional-looking finish. There are two patented designs - the regular crimping tool and the micro crimping tool. Use the micro crimping tool with very tiny crimps.
Choose beading scissors or snips with very sharp blades and small tips for cutting in tight places. Use these to cut beading thread and cord.
A bead reamer is a round file that you can use to smooth any rough edges around bead holes. It's important to make sure that your bead holes are smooth because abrasion can cause your stringing materials to break.
If you're working with memory wire, it's essential to use hard wire shears. Memory wire will ruin ordinary wire cutters.
Nylon Jaw Pliers are used for wire working. The nylon tips protect the surface of the wire from scratching or other damage.
If you're looking for tools that do more than one job, check out combination pliers. Rosary Pliers are a traditional version that have round nose tips and a side cutter. Beader's Delight pliers have round nose tips, side cutter and a flat area inside the jaws for making right angles or opening and closing jump rings.
Last but not least, you want to make sure that your work area has good lighting. To ease eye strain, look for a task lamp with a built-in magnifier.