Basic Wire Shaping Glossary

Wire shaping and wrapping can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be! Like many things, once you break it down into easy to understand pieces, its just a matter of putting them back together:-) One of the most confusing parts of wire working is what tools to use to achieve different shapes. This list is by no means exhaustive, everything here can be altered one way or anther to make it something entirely different, and there are many other techniques that are used that are not covered here. This list is meant to simply show you the most common, most used shapes and names to get you started off right:-)

Right angle bend, use flat nose pliers

Unbroken Loop, use round nose pliers or looping pliers

Broken neck loop, use looping pliers

U bend, use bail making pliers or large looping pliers

Overlap loop, use looping pliers

Fold back bend, use flat nose pliers

Fold back bend tab, use flat nose pliers

Square U bend, use flat nose pliers

Tight spiral, use round nose pliers and then flat nose pliers

Zig zag bend, use flat nose pliers

“Sprung” spiral, use round nose pliers

Coil, use bail making or large looping pliers

Shallow wiggle, use round nose pliers

Open Spiral, use round nose pliers

Teardrop loop, use bail making pliers or round nose pliers

Deep wiggle, use bail making pliers or looping pliers

Double strand broken neck loop, use looping pliers


3 thoughts on “Basic Wire Shaping Glossary

  1. Thank you so much for the great info! Very helpful explanations in a simple format!
    Is it alright to share with my students, or is it prohibited?
    Thanks again,
    Deborah Kelly

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