Crimping Pliers

Written by Sarah Provost
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A good pair of crimping pliers is one of the most essential tools for bead work. They are used to attach the crimp beads that start and end a piece strung on wire. You can't use regular pliers for this job, because they would simply crush the crimp bead rather than compressing it into the proper shape.

Crimping pliers have two oval holes in the nose. The oval closest to the handle also has a depression in it, for keeping the wire round. To finish a beaded piece, put the wire back through the crimp bead and then compress it in the second oval, the one with the depression. Turn it over and compress it again in the first oval, then either tuck the extra wire back into the bead or trim it closely so that it doesn't scratch the wearer.

Care of Your Crimping Pliers

Scratching is a major problem for tools and beads, as well as wearers. Be sure to keep your jewelry-making tools for their specified purpose alone. Don't use your crimping pliers for household repairs! Not only will it scratch the tool, but it might leave a residue that would damage your beads. For extra protection against scratching, wrap small pieces of masking tape around the nose of your pliers.

Crimping pliers are easily found in any bead store, whether brick-and-mortar or online. Prices generally run between $12 and $20. As with any kind of tool, it's recommended that you buy the best pair you can. The investment isn't large, and will be well worth it.

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