What will you need to get started?
Before we get into details on the different types of tools you want to use, let's talk about the general things you want to look out for.
First, for the most part you want to avoid pliers with teeth. The little ridges will damage the metal and you'll end up with scratch marks!
You will want to get your hands on tools that have a spring in them. This means you don't need to open them manually after each use. Again, this will make using your tools 100% easier and your movements smooth and controlled.
In the top row we've got round-nose pliers. You will want to use these for bending round wire or making simple loops. As they are cone shaped, you can adjust the size of your loops.
These are great for gripping your jewellery and materials without leaving marks. These are excellent for opening and closing jump rings (more on those later). You can see these in the bottom row. The big red boy is in the middle of the kind of like a hybrid between a round- and a chain-nose plier. This is a looping plier. You can use this for shaping wire, and means you don't need to switch between round- and flat-nose pliers.
But Danny, if I'm not supposed to use pliers with teeth, why do you have them in your picture?
Because I am lazy. I don't actually own crimping pliers because I don't need them that frequently.
You use crimping pliers to squash crimping beads. You use crimping beads to stop beads from sliding around on fishing wire. These pliers are rounded to create a round squash.
In the top row you can see three side cutters. Use these to create a clean cut in your wire or head pin. These are great for cutting hard wire.
The yellow cutters on the left side of the picture. These make perfectly clean cuts and are best used for soft wire.
One Step Looper
This is my final tool in the line up. It is a very lazy but very handy thing. You can slide the wire or headpin into the tool, close the pliers and it will create a loop and cut simultaneously. They only create loops of one size but you can buy these in different sizes. I would not recommend using these on soft wire.
Where can I buy my tools?
If you are just starting out, buying a pair of loop pliers, chain-nose pliers, and flush cutters will do you just fine.
Cookson Gold is you best bet for high quality pliers and cutters. Of course, any decent craft store will have a good selection of tools too. A quick Amazon search will also get you a wide range of tools.