Respect your Tools: Pliers

Caring for Jewellery Making Pliers

Every jewellery maker must have the right tools to get the job done. Almost all jewellery making techniques can be executed using any of these types of pliers.
Knowing how to properly care and maintain your jewellery making pliers will ensure that they last you a very long time and keep in optimal shape for future projects.
Use these following tips to care for jewellery making pliers for years to come.

1. Using Pliers for the First Time

When you start off with a new set of pliers, it is best to prep them first before handing your wire or any metal. Use a fine sanding stick to soften the edges of the nose or tip of the pliers. Next, shine the surface of the pliers by polishing them to give them a high shine.E0003 Grit

2. Store in a Cool Dry Place

You want to protect your pliers from conditions of extreme heat. This can cause the metal to expand and incite structural problems that can damage them or expose you to dangerous operating conditions. Stop rust by putting silica gels balls in the same draw to absorb the moisture.

3. Get Comfortable Grips

Your pliers should fit comfortably in your hand. A person with larger hands may find it awkward to use short handled pliers. Make sure your tools have the right feel for the palm of your hand.

4. Oil Their Joints

Lengthen the lifespan of your pliers by occasionally putting a drop of oil at the joint. This will keep them in easy operation for a long time.

 

5. Store Correctly

Pliers are not something you want to throw all on top of one another in a box or drawer. Keep your tools separated and stored upright with an organiser. Many jewellery makers may have a special plier rack or draw unit intended to rest your pliers on top of or you can hang up a dowel rod on your bench that you store your pliers on with the noses facing upright. Some beginner plier sets can be purchased in storage cases with foam inserts that provide a designated space for each pair. Or use a magnetic tool holder, a great idea for those operating in limited spaces or want their set ready for using on the go.

7. Operate Your Pliers The Right Way

Never situate your fingers between the grip and keep your wrist straight when using. Make sure the jaws and teeth stay clean. Greasy jaws are more likely to slip. Lastly, use your pliers for their intended function. Do not use lightweight pliers to perform a heavy duty job. This may cause them to become damaged or broken. 

8. Choose the Right Metal

Pliers can come in carbon steel, stainless steel or hardened tool steel. Stainless steel is rust resistant and a good option for bench work, however they will require maintenance on the nose as nicks appear from use. Stainless steel pliers also can not be forged. Hardened metal is the hardest, strongest, and most preferred for a long lasting life. These require less finishing and product cleaner work. However, moisture can lead to rusting in the long run. Keep these types of pliers lubricated with an oil like WD-40 .