Investing in a few basic jewelry tools doesn’t have to be expensive, or designated for valuable items, but can save a lot of frustration when working with such small parts.
In my household there’s a regular occurrence where jewelry repair is needed for a broken clasp or jump ring on a necklace or bracelet. Even though the jewelry isn’t always expensive, the pieces are well liked, and salvaging them seems to be somewhat of a priority. Patch-up repairs were done to the best of my ability using standard pliers and various other tools, but they weren’t suitable for small pieces and proved difficult for an appropriate fix. I needed specific jewelry repair tools that were compact, less cumbersome to work with, non-marring, and allowed a proper repair instead of a cobbled mess.
Jewelry Repair Tools to Buy
When looking for tools that can help with random repairs, middle of the road instruments found at local craft stores – Hobby Lobby or Michaels – can work fine. If regular jewelry making is your passion; premium precision tools may be preferred.
- Pliers– There are several pliers designs for addressing specific uses. (i) Chain Nose Pliers – Resembling a needle nose pliers, it’s ability for the work it can do is the same. Most useful for making bends, close and open jump rings, and certain types of forming. (ii) Round Nose Pliers – With the round shape jaws, you can now create radius parts in single quantities, like: jump rings, eye pins, loops, and clasps. Great for those quick fixes, and only needing one or two parts made. (iii) Bent / Curved Tip Pliers – Can allow better comfort and visibility for certain projects.
- Jump Rings / Chain Maille Rings – Unfortunately I am not aware of jump rings / chain maille rings that can be bought in an assortment package of different colors and sizes. If replacement jump rings are needed for repairs, they are packaged in 50 pieces or more on average.
- Wire and Jig – An alternative to buying pre-made jump rings is buying a jump ring maker, along with a spool of wire for making replacement parts to your exact needs. These can come in a variety of variations and cost. (i) A jump ring saw will make a cleaner cut, allowing the ends to mate together more precisely compared to a cutter that may not leave perfectly flush end cuts.
- Jump Ring Opener – A very economical tool that slips over a finger like a ring, and has several slots varying in thickness (see image below). This gadget adds a helping hand for easy opening and closing of jump rings. Avg. Retail = $2.
Available at Amazon >
Jewelry Repair Tool Brands and Fixes
The links below have a host of how-to videos, articles, and supplies needed.