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Bending Wire

Instructions for bending jewelry wire using commonly available jewelry tools:

When bending jewelry wire for jewelry making, one needs to consider the finished piece.  Quite frequently, you will just need to bend the jewelry wire to make an angle in the wire.  This is one of the steps in making many jewelry wire components -- making a sharp, crisp bend in the wire.  Making a crisp bend in wire is done by grasping the wire firmly in the jaws of chain nose or bent chain nose pliers.  Hold the wire so that it is essentially perpendicular to the jaws of the pliers.  Then push the wire against the jaws of the pliers.  Push by pressing the wire as close to the jaws as possible. 

The jewelry tool called "chain nose pliers" have smooth, flat jaws so that they can hold the jewelry wire while spreading the gripping force across the flat face of the pliers and thereby leaving minimal marks on the wire.  The needle nose pliers used by electricians are not an acceptable substitute for jeweler's chain nose pliers because they contain grooves sawed into the jaws of the pliers which leave marks on wire.  Also round nose pliers are not acceptable for holding the jewelry wire while bending it because the round jaws of the pliers will also leave "tool marks" on the jewelry wire.  In general, the better chain nose pliers have thin tapered tips (about 1mm at the tip).  This feature becomes important when making the bend in the wire necessary to complete the wrapped bead link out of jewelry wire and beads as described here

Bending jewelry wire is a very basic jewelry making skill.  We also have detailed pictures of how to perform this technique in our online jewelry making "Wire Design Basics". 

You can view the two steps in bending jewelry wire below:

Free instructions for bending jewelry wire step 1 showing gripping the wire with bent chain nose pliers.

Free instructions for bending jewelry wire step 2 showing the resulting bend in the wire.
Bending Wire --
Grasp the Jewelry Wire
Bending Wire -- Push the jewelry wire
against the jaws of the pliers.




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