How to Choose Pliers

When choosing pliers, there are many things that a chainmailler or wire wrapper must consider. I will only cover flat nose pliers today, as these are the most used and versatile of all the pliers available and can be used for chainmaille, as well as some wire wrapping projects.

Personal preference is a huge part of any plier choice, but there are some practical points that can help to guide you to the best possible tools for both you and your pieces.

These key points are handle length, jaw width, and jaw length.

Handle Length:

First, we think about the handle length. If you remember from physics, longer handles mean more leverage. This can be a large factor in tool choice as if you work mainly in thinner gauges or with softer metals, you may not want all that extra leverage, as you could dent your wire. Also, a person with small hands may not be as comfortable with long handled pliers as someone with larger hands.

Jaw Width:

Next, you must consider the width of the jaws of the pliers. Wide jaws are ideal for getting a lot of grip on stiff or thick wire or rings. Narrow jaws are better for small diameter rings and getting into tight spaces.

Jaw Length:

The last point to consider is jaw length. This is not as common an option for pliers, but can be very useful. Short or snub nose pliers increase the leverage you can exert and makes it easier to manipulate thicker wires and stiffer rings.

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