For your convenience, I have provided links for all of the tools I show here in the Wire Wrapping Tools Buying Guide.
I have divided the topic of tools into three different categories, based on my own experience.
The first is the Must Have Starter Pack – at a bare minimum, you really can’t get by without chain nose pliers, round nose pliers and flush cutters (which many wire wrappers, including me, affectionately call “snips”).
So, these are just regular wire cutters. They can certainly be used for many things, but they are just not as precise as flush cutters. You can see here that the wire cutter jaw is pretty thick and straight, while the flush cutter jaw is slim and bent. This allows you tons of maneuverability, which is very valuable when you’re doing fine wrapping work. I actually don’t even use my wire cutters anymore because my flush cutters do everything.
I actually also strongly recommend that you have two pairs of chain nose pliers because many designs require connecting jump rings, and you need one tool in each hand for this – it’s easiest to open and close jump rings with these. In a pinch, you can get away with using your chain nose and round nose pliers for this, but it’s far from ideal!
Just a note about the jaws of your chain nose pliers: Ideally, you will want flat, non-marking pliers as opposed to pliers with ribbed or serrated jaws. You can see the difference here between the two surfaces.
Using pliers that have toothy jaws is a sure fire way to mar the smooth appearance of your wire. Pliers with a smooth inside surface have a much smaller chance of damaging your metals while you work.
And finally, the irreplaceable round nose pliers! These guys will be your go to for pretty much every beginner project. They are priceless when it comes to easily making loops, which, let’s face it, is most of what wire wrapping is all about.
On to the next category, which we will call Optional but Very Convenient. This
category includes everything in the Starter Pack, but also includes three additional tools, the first of which is the ring mandrel. If ring sizing isn’t that important to you, you can certainly use anything to shape your wire, but this is a pretty inexpensive item and I use mine all the time, and not just for rings, either.
Nylon jaw pliers are another really convenient tool to have. These replaceable little nubbies are perfect for working out kinks and bends in your wire. The more advanced your wire wrapping becomes, the more you will need to straighten your wire. Of course, you can always use your fingers, but again, not exactly ideal.
And the last tool in the Optional but Very Convenient Category is the Bail Making
Pliers which, of course, are good for so much more than making bails. This is
definitely my tool of choice when making many of the techniques you see in this
course, including Earwires, the Scribble Link, the Infinity Link and the Hook Clasp.
This particular pair of pliers has an 8mm jaw and a 5mm jaw, both of which I use all the time.
And finally, we have The Spoiled Wire Wrapper Package, which includes all kindsa fun stuff. This is generally not where a wire wrapping newbie starts out, but if you’re anything like me, you will start accumulating almost immediately and in like, five minutes, *poof* you’re a Spoiled Wire Wrapper. This is where things get much more personalized, based on your own experience and preferences, but I’ll just show you a few of mine.
I use this little file when making earwires or hook clasps mostly, but you can certainly just as easily use a nail file.
Every hands-on video I make has one of these bead mats as the background. It’s made of a super soft fuzzy foam that’s comfortable to use and also keeps little pieces/parts like beads, crystals and jump rings from rolling away.
I love these tapered flat nose pliers, just love them. It’s partially because I do a lot of micro chainmaille and these babies are perfect for it, but also because they have 1mm tips and they can maneuver into ridiculously small spaces.
I am also super spoiled by this set of interchangeable mandrels. I’ve got tons of
different sizes of round, oval, triangle and square options. I mean, the possibilities are endless here.
While I am totally on board with everyone being a Spoiled Wire Wrapper, I am also a complete and total supporter of resourcefulness! So here are some GutsyHacks for using household products as mandrels:
2. Glue Stick
3. Salt/Pepper Shaker/Spice Bottle
4. Kitchen Utensils
5. Cup or Mug
Seriously, guys! Don’t be afraid to experiment!