Using Crimping Pliers
This guide explains how to use crimping pliers to achieve nicely finished, hand made jewellery. Crimp beads are small metal beads which are used to hold loops in jewellery wire, soft flex and other stringing materials which cannot be knotted. Crimping pliers allow you to shape the crimp beads neatly to give a professional look.
First of all, have a look at your pliers. They have two dips in them: the one closest to the handle has an extra “prong” in it (it looks almost heart-shaped): this is the crimper. The outer dip is round: this is the shaper.
To crimp a loop in the end of your wire:
- Thread a crimp bead onto the wire, and then thread the end of the wire back through the bead to form a loop.
- Place the bead in the inner (heart-shaped) part of the pliers and gently compress it: you should see it fold into a u-shape.
- Turn the u-shaped bead onto its side, and place in the outer (oval-shaped) part of the pliers, and fold the “u” into a nice round-shaped bead.
- Excess wire can now be trimmed off or tucked under the rest of beads on the wire: I do like to leave a small tail on the wire as it seems more secure like that.
- Finally, like all jewellery techniques, this will take practice. Fortunately both wire and crimp beads are nice and cheap, so its worth spending a little time on this until you can do it neatly.