Jewelry Making Tip of the week:
During the past week, I have received several questions about nylon jaw round nose pliers. The companies that produce these pliers are doing a good job of generating demand for this relatively new product. Currently, we do not sell this product for one simple reason. We don't use them.
We have tried them and absolutely don't like them for several reasons. First, we find that the nylon is more slippery than regular steel round nose pliers and with 1/2 hard wire, it can be very difficult to maintain a good grip on the wire with the jaws of the pliers. Second, our experience is that the nylon jaws have a larger diameter than the jaws of the metal pliers. This is necessary because there has to be room for both the nylon and the metal core to the pliers that holds the nylon. (The best round nose pliers have smaller diameter tips to allow making loops of all sizes including very small.) The last reason is that we believe that there are better tools available, made in steel, to allow you to make loops with minimum marks on the wire.
The tools that we use to make loops are round nose pliers, round-flat pliers, and/or step jaw pliers. Of these three, all will mark the wire, but the last two only mark the inside of the loop where it can't be seen. The flat jaw of the round-flat pliers and of the step jaw pliers spreads the gripping force enough that it does not leave marks on the outside of the loops. I personally use the Fine Step Jaw Pliers extensively since they allow me to make loops of consistent sizes. The first increment on the jaws makes loops that just fit over Delphi pegs. The second increment makes loops that fit over Olympus pegs. The final increment makes even larger loops.
The one technique where I prefer round nose pliers is in making a wrapped loop. This technique can be done with round-flat pliers, but it requires a modification to the approach for making wrapped loops and I have been too lazy to perfect this modified technique. Since most of the wrapped loops that I make are small and made with smaller gauge wire, the tool marks from the round nose pliers essentially do not show.
Fine Step Jaw Pliers Jewelry Tool
Round Flat Pliers Jewelry Tool