HERE ARE 9 TOP METALSMITHING TOOLS AND SUPPLIES FOR BEGINNERS
Beginning metalsmithing and making jewelry is as intimidating as it is exciting. So many tools, so many processes, so many things to learn — it’s the paradox of choice. Where do you even start?
With the most essential tools, of course. And we’re going to help you get started by picking out some metalsmithing tools and supplies you’ll come back to time and time again at your bench.
The world of tools is incredibly extensive, but the list below is a solid, surefire place to start your metal forming journey.
1. FLEX SHAFT
Grobet USA® 1/8 HP Motor with Foot Pedal & #30 Handpiece
We can’t recommend the flex shaft enough. This handheld, versatile tool accommodates a range of tasks (drilling, polishing, cutting, carving, and far more) and supplies. Flex shafts use an assortment of burs, drill bits, buffing wheels, and more, but we recommend buying these materials as you need them.
2. A QUALITY BENCH PIN
7” x 3” Wooden Bench Pin
A quality bench pin is necessary for tasks like filing and sawing. Install your bench pin on the edge of your bench.
3. STEEL RING MANDREL
Steel Ring Mandrel with Rubber Grip
This fundamental bench tool is used to measure existing rings and to size rings you’re working on.
4. RING CLAMP
Grobet USA® Jeweler’s Ring Clamp
Use a ring clamp to firmly secure rings you’re working on. Once the ring is secure, you can perform a variety of tasks on it, like polishing.
5. JEWELERS FILES
Grobet USA® Barrette Needle File
In metalworking, files are used to cut away minute amounts of material. Files come in a variety of types, but a good one to start with is the needle file, which lets you file in tight spaces.
6. A HAMMER SET
Fretz® Maker® Insert Hammer Deluxe Set
Ball-peen hammers, nylon-faced hammers, and riveting hammers are three must-have hammers. In general, you’ll use hammers for operations like creating textures, flattening, shaping, straightening, and more.
7. JEWELERS SAW
Pike® Gold Saw Blades #5 - Pack of 144
Jewelers saws are available in a variety of sizes, but they all serve the same general purpose: cutting metal and sawing through wire. We recommend keeping beeswax or a saw lubricant on hand to extend the longevity of your saws and make sawing a breeze.
Grobet USA® 3-in-1 Combination Pliers
Pliers are great for a range of tasks, like wire wrapping, cutting, and beading, but also for general jewelry work. Much like files and hammers, pliers come in an assortment of types. This inclusive tool eliminates the need to constantly change pliers. These three-in-one pliers combine round-nose pliers, crimping pliers, and side-cutting pliers.
9. STAINLESS STEEL FLEXIBLE RULER
6” Stainless Steel Flexible Ruler
Steel rulers are durable and ideal for the initial phase of metalsmithing: preparing, laying out, and measuring your design and metal. We recommend keeping other measuring tools — like protractors, calipers, and scribes — on hand as well.
As your metalsmithing career progresses, you’ll discover which tools are invaluable to the work you do. Once you start other common bench operations — casting, soldering, finishing, stone setting, polishing, and more — your jewelry toolkit will expand exponentially.
And as always, if you need help with a tool or want to know which is best for you, contact Stuller’s Tools Tech Team. Give them a call at 1-800-877-7777 ext. 4300