Blue Buddha Boutique offers a variety of the best pliers for making chain mail as well as other tools needed for making chainmaille jewelry. Great tools are crucial to a happy weaving experience – find yours below!
About the Pliers: We offer several types of pliers at a variety of price points. We suggest using two of the same pliers so your hands receive the same "workout", however, some students prefer using the Jump Ring Tool in conjunction with pliers. We strongly recommend coating your pliers with Tool Magic for a better grip and to prevent scratching your jump rings.
Not sure which pliers are best for your project? Visit out FAQ for tool recommendations and information.
BeadSmith 1-Step Loopers
Create wire loops for adding beads and crystals to your chainmaille in a snap! This is one of our new favorite tools. Just as the name suggests, the 1-Step Looper bends and trims wire loops in one simple squeeze of the tool. This is a must-own tool if you like adding crystals and beads to your pieces using wire or headpins. Try it with our Zig-Zag Byzantine or Floating Bead Necklace projects.
NEW! We now sell the 1-Step Looper for 1.5mm loops as well as the big version that easily creates 3mm loops. Select your looping pliers carefully below!
VIDEO DEMO: See this tool in action! Watch the video below to see how this tool works and make sure to visit our YouTube channel for more chainmaille tips and techniques.
EuroTool Ergonomic Pliers, flat-nose
These EuroTool pliers are our all-around favorite pliers. True ergonomics at very reasonable pricing. The handles are longer than normal, but closer together. This means less carpel tunnel stress and more comfortable grip with less fatigue and better control. Double leaf springs and cushion PVC grips. Length 5 3/4"
Recommended as "all-around" starter pliers. Particularly good when working with 20g - 16g base metals, 20 - 18g steel, and 19g - 14g silver.
EuroTool Ergonomic Pliers, chain-nose
Chain-nose version of the pliers above, recommended for those who prefer using chainnose pliers. Particularly good when working with very small rings. You'll probably need to slide way up on the pliers for leverage (resting the jaw of the plier on the crook of your index finger.)
Euro Tool Round Nose
This series of pliers offers the user true ergonomics at very reasonable pricing. They feature precision heads and well-tapered jaws for fine or delicate work. Moreover, the handles are longer than normal but closer together when plier jaws are closed. This means less carpel tunnel stress and a more comfortable grip with less fatigue and better control. All have double leaf springs and cushion PVC grips.
EuroTool Ultra Ergo Pliers
This line from EuroTool features a truly ergonomic plier with handles that are slightly larger and curved. These are suitable for a variety of gauges, from about 22g to 16g basemetal (21g to 14g sterling)—they're our favorite pliers to use with 18g stainless steel. This gives you greater leverage and comfort when using the pliers. Increased handle width provides greater surface contact which means less fatique. High grade stainless steel and double-leaf springs. Length 5 3/4"
EuroTool Ultra Ergo Pliers, chain-nose
Chain-nose version of the pliers above, for those who prefer using chainnose pliers. Particularly good when working with very small rings. You'll probably need to slide way up on the pliers for leverage (resting the jaw of the plier on the crook of your index finger.)
BeadSmith Flat Nose Pliers
These economical pliers are especially comfortable for folks with tiny hands. The ergonomic handles distribute pressure well; your thumb and index finger can rest nicely in the curves at the top of the handles. These pliers measure 4 3/4 inches long, with 3/4" stainless steel jaws.
BeadSmith High Tech Series, 5.5" Flat-nose Pliers
Designed for precision work, these pliers offer a black comfort grip and excellent micro tips. A black oxidized finish, springs, and an amazing price make this plier series exceptional.
• Professional jeweler’s tool
• European quality
• Comfortable grip
• Extra-fine tips
(click to enlarge)
Ring shown in picture for scale is size L16 - L = 1/4", 16ga = 1.6mm
BeadSmith Heavy Duty Series: Box Joint, 5" Flat-nose Pliers
BeadSmith 130mm economy pliers are for customers doing heavier work. Box joint construction, double-leaf spring, 5" in length with white PVC grip. These pliers are a great economical alternative to our wide-nose Wubbers.
Here is a comparison picture showing:
Wide Wubbers, BeadSmith Heavy Duty White PVC, and Baby Wubbers side by side.
(click to enlarge)
Wubbers Apprentice Flat-nose Pliers
The newest line of Wubbers Pliers, the Apprentice Series is engineered to provide superb mastery and control of wire and metal. They are made from high quality steel and are finished beautifully. The Apprentice Pliers have ergonomic grips with a non-slip suede-like coating. Each plier is hand-finished to help prevent marring, and rated to work with 16-gauge wire or lighter.
- Total Length of Pliers: 5.75 inches
- Width of the Jaw at the Tip: 6.0mm
- Length of Jaws from Tip to Box Joint: 22mm
What Makes These Pliers Different?
You may wonder what makes the Wubbers Apprentice Pliers different from the Classic and Baby Wubbers. The handles on the Apprentice Pliers are mid-sized, shorter than the Classics, yet longer than the Babies. In addition, the Apprentice Pliers offer a completely different “feel.” The slimmer handles have a built-in grip that is noticeably different. The grip features a turquoise, suede-like coating that allows jewelry makers' hands to better feel their work, thus offering great control.
*Comparison photo courtesy of Wubbers.
Newly Redesigned! Wubbers Pliers. These pliers were created by the folks at Wired Up Beads and were specifically designed with wire-workers and chainmaillers in mind! They are extremely comfortable and require little pressure. Though the jaws are smooth, they have an amazing grip on jump rings. The ends have been carefully filed, to prevent marring your rings. With the purchase of two of the same pliers, receive a complimentary mini-bead mat.
Wubbers Narrow Flat Nose Pliers
Super comfortable pliers with padded handles and a very responsive spring. These pliers are heavy-duty enough to handle heavy wire gauges (such as 14g), but due to the narrow tips, we recommend them for 18g and smaller. They measure 6.5 inches long, jaw width is 3 mm.
Wubbers Medium Flat Nose Pliers
These are our favorite jaw-width for all-purpose chainmailling—not too small, not too large. Super comfortable pliers with padded handles and a very responsive spring. These pliers are recommended for heavy wire gauges (such as 18g-12g). They measure 6.5 inches long, with a 5 mm wide jaw.
Wubbers Wide Flat Nose
Super comfortable pliers with padded handles and a very responsive spring. These pliers are recommended for heavy wire gauges (such as 18g-12g). They measure 6.5 inches long, with a 7 mm wide jaw.
Wubbers Chain Nose Pliers
Super comfortable pliers with padded handles and a very responsive spring. These pliers are recommended for 16g and smaller, but they'll work best for squeezing into tight spaces in a weave. They measure 6.5 inches long.
Wubbers Bent Nose Pliers
Super comfortable pliers with padded handles and a very responsive spring. These pliers are heavy-duty enough to handle heavy wire gauges (such as 14g). If you're using them for larger gauges, we recommend flipping the pliers around and working with the curve of the pliers. For gauges 18 and smaller, you can use the tips of the pliers instead. They measure 6.5 inches long.
Wubbers Round Nose Pliers
Super comfortable pliers with padded handles and a very responsive spring. They can handle making loops in 12- to 14-gauge wire, but will also work with precision when using finer wire, such as 26-gauge. The long handles are easy on the hands, providing extra leverage and control. Pliers measure 6.5 inches long.
Wubbers Wire Looping Pliers
Super comfortable pliers with padded handles and a very responsive spring. These pliers have a unique jaw specially designed for creating wire loops and are very helpful for many of the CHAINED book projects that use crystals. Unlike pliers primarily used for weaving, you only need one pair of these pliers to create wire loops.
Baby Wubbers Flat Nose Pliers
Baby Wubbers have smaller tips and handles and are especially suited for finer, more detailed work. They work very well with wire gauges ranging from 18 to 28. They measure 5 inches long, with a 3/4" jaw.
Lindstrom Rx Pliers, flat-nose
Without a doubt, the most comfortable pliers I've used. Ergonomic handles mean that your palms aren't subjected to excessive pressure. The spring is adjustable; on the easiest setting a light squeeze is all it takes to work the pliers. These pliers are essential if you're going to be working with small rings. (Rebeca used them when making her micromaille cuff.) As soon as you use them, you'll understand the price tag, and know that they're worth every penny.
If you are using these pliers with small rings, you may not want to coat the jaws. The layer of coating may be as thick as (or thicker) than the wire gauge of the ring, making it very difficult to work with the ring.
You'll save a few bucks by purchasing two pliers at once, and get a free replacement spring, too. In our experience, springs can last upwards of 3+ years, but if at some point, you do need to replace the spring, you won't have to spend time and money trying to track one down!
Duck Bill Pliers
These pliers were custom made specifically for Blue Buddha and Spiderchain Jewelry. They are perfect for working with large rings, and are Rebeca's favorite for 12 gauge anodized aluminum and 10 gauge sterling. She sometimes even uses them to pre-close larger 16g stainless rings, as they have really great leverage. High grade stainless steel and double-leaf springs. Length 6 3/4"
Xuron Short Nose Pliers
Looking for pliers to create micromaille? These are it! These short nose pliers from Xuron have extra-fine tips (just slightly over 2mm wide)! perfect for working with micro-small rings in tight places. They are made of high carbon steel so while they're slim, they're also strong. Try these made in the U.S.A. pliers for all your small ring projects.
Tips: .083" (2.10mm) wide x 1/2" (12.7mm) long
Handles: 3.8" (96.65mm) long
Shown above, is a pair of Xuron short nose pliers holding size B20 - 3/32" (2.4mm) 20ga .032" (0.8mm) Stainless Steel.
Xuron® Wire Cutters
Xuron® wire cutters can effortlessly cut wire up to 12ga AWG. These cutters are heavy duty, and they create clean, flat cuts. They're made of high-grade carbon steel with PVC grade carbon steel. Use them for precision cutting of wire or chain such as our base metal cable chain.
Length 6 inches (150mm).
Made is the U.S.A.
Blue Foam Tubing for Pliers
Use this foam tubing to cover your plier handles for more comfortable weaving! Tubes come in 12" lengths and are easily to cut to size to fit your pliers. The blue tubing has a larger opening and is best for tools with larger handles like Wubbers and Duck Bills.
Scroll down to the Red Foam Tubing to learn more about how and why to use these cushions and check out a product video!
Red Foam Tubing for Pliers
Use this foam tubing to cover your plier handles for more comfortable weaving! Tubes come in 12" lengths and are easily to cut to size to fit your pliers. The red tubing has a smaller opening and is best for tools with thinner handles like the Euro Tool Ergos. Tubing can also be split along the edge to fit slightly larger handles that are not quite big enough for the blue tubing. These foam cushions are also great for adding to sharp edges on your workspace table (see video below for demo.)
This tubing is a favorite of B3 Owner & Founder Rebeca Mojica. She started to use this cushioning when she realized that after weaving for long periods, her smaller fingers were becoming numb. Using the foam has allowed her to weave for much longer without pain/side affects.
Learn more about how to use, cut, and apply this tubing in the video below!
The best way to keep from marring rings—especially those anodized ones!—is to coat your pliers with Tool Magic. We've found that Tool Magic also helps to keep a grip on slippery steel or silver rings.
The 2 oz jar includes enough Tool Magic for up to a year's worth of applications. Each application lasts for appoximately one to two projects, at which point Tool Magic peels cleanly off and a fresh coat can be applied. We recommend applying two thinner coats (allowing each coat to dry inbetween applications) instead of one thick coat to maximize the life of each application.
If your jar of Tool Magic becomes thick, you can thin it out using a bit of Naptha, or apply it to your pliers using a wooden skewer instead of dipping them.
PLEASE NOTE: Tool magic must ship in a box and due to its size can only go via USPS priority mail which adds on an additional shipping fee.
Jump Ring Tool
With a pair of pliers in one hand and this ring tool on a finger on the other hand, you can easily open and close jump rings. The ring tool has four different size grooves to fit various jump rings. We find it works best for 18g base metal but it can handle up to 16ga SWG (14ga AWG). Many maillers like to use this tool for pre-opening or -closing rings.
Keeper Boxes - Small, Medium, and Large
Get organized using Keeper boxes! These containers are good for holding all jump rings, beads, and components in one neatly organized space. Each keeper box comes with a lid that snaps tightly shut. The lid touches each compartment wall to keep any spillage into other compartments from happening. Choose from 3 available sizes:
Small Keeper box – 9 compartments 7 3/8” x 5 ¼”
Medium Keeper box – 20 compartments 10 ¾” x 7 ½” (shown left)
Large Keeper Box* – 20 compartments 13 x 7 ½”
Note: Medium and large keeper boxes have the same number of compartments, but they are different sizes, click the image to the left to see side by side comparisons.
*SHIPPING: Large keeper boxes will automatically upgrade shipping to priority mail. All keeper containers must ship in a box.
Though these felt-like mats were originally intended for beaders, they work great for chainmaille. You can dump out your rings on the mat, and—with just a little bit of practice—easily scoop them up with pliers, rather than trying to pick them up with your fingers. I prefer using several mini-bead mats at a time, each with its own project. Some students, however, prefer the larger surface of a full mat. (Purchase a full-size mat and cut it in quarters to create four mini-mats!) Be aware that stray fuzzies from these fabric mats sometimes stick to coated pliers.
Check out the video below to see how using a bead mat can help you when making chainmaille:
3M Tarni-Shield Tabs
Store your jump rings and finished pieces in sealed plastic bags along with one of these anti-tarnish tabs. Highly recommended for copper and sterling silver. Can also be used with bronze, brass, nickel and gold. Each tab is 1" x 1" and will last for up to 6 months (up to 1 year in a sealed environment).
EuroTool "Brilliant" Polishing Cloths
"Brilliant" cloths are treated with a newly developed product that cuts through tarnish better than other cloths and inhibits tarnish from reappearing. You can polish brass, chrome, copper, silver and gold brilliantly without getting rouge on your hands. Never polish anodized metals with this cloth, as it may remove the color from the rings! Choose from two sizes of blue cloths.
NEW! Digital calipers
Looking to get exact measurements on your rings? Use digital calipers for accurate and easy-to-read results. Use the top scale for inner diameter and the bottom scale for outer and wire diameters. Convert mm to inches with the touch of a button. Measures objects with an accuracy of +/- 0.001" (0.03mm). Large, easy-to-read display with automatic shut-off feature.
Uses one 1.5V button battery. Comes with two batteries and a carrying case (shown in the lower left-hand part of the picture). We have long been looking for better calipers and we think these are great!
Rotary Tumbler by Lortone
Keep your chainmaille jewelry tarnish-free, smooth and shiny by tumbling your finished pieces. Designed for years of trouble free service, these tumblers are real workhorses. The 3-lb barrel has a quick-seal closure and is made of hard rubber to minimize noise. Purchase a single barrel, or do twice as much in the same amount of time with the double barrel tumbler.
Due to size and weight, an additional $16 shipping and handling fee applies to the single barrel tumbler, and an $18 fee applies to the double barrel. Our tumblers will be shipped directly from the manufacturer; please allow 7-10 business days. We're sorry, but at this time we can only ship to customers within the 48 contiguous states; we cannot ship tumblers to our customers overseas and those in HI, AK and PR.