Some of my favorite tools...

I've been wanting to share some of my favorite tools -- the ones that go with me everywhere, and that make life oh so much simpler. I'd love to see other people post theirs so none of us are missing out on handy gadgets. Tool slut -- that's me. I'm not ashamed.
Included would be my Lindstrom RX pliers, but I didn't take a photo of those. So.. here it goes: (By the way, I'm not endorsing any company, just showing a link to where I got them in case you are tempted; I suspect that they can be found through a variety of sellers.)

Okay.. I LOVE these! These stepped pliers make 3 different size loops on each pair. I went without them for a long time, but now that I have them, the same size bail or earring wire is a cinch. They're so very handy.

I've just realized that I can't give direct links to most of these because they are from Rio Grande, which requires you to join before looking at their vast catalogs. So, I'll put a link in here for their site and list item numbers for the products.

Their website is located at: and, by the way, I've had great service from them. This photo is a close-up of the above pair so that you can see them better. They are from RioGrande and their item numbers are:

111106 for the smaller pair, and sorry to say I can't find the
larger pair right at the moment, but I'll look for it another time.

Below is a mini needle file set also from Rio. These little things are so handy and compact. Being on a key ring is perfect for the likes of me who might just lose a few otherwise. Their item number is

The next set of photos show a round anvil with rubber base. It's a pretty nifty thing that has two sides to it - metal and nylon. I haven't found mine to be as flat as a steel block though --it actually has a little indented dome shape. I'm not sure if it's a mistake or not, but even so, It's a great thing to tote around and have an anvil at my disposal. The rubber base cuts down a lot on that noisy hammering sound that we all love so much. Off the top of my head the anvil is 3-4" in diameter. The item number for it is 112493.

Okay, two more tools for now. One is the hammer in the above photo and the second is a simple brass sliding gauge for measurements. I have a few and use one of them regularly just to get an idea of bead sizes when I read their dimensions online. It's really helped me to get some standard mm and cm sizes memorized. The item number for the sliding gauge is 116075 (from Rio Grande). Just a note -- I have purchased this sliding gauge from a couple of sources and found that it's worth it to have the higher quality German made one. It slides like... hmmm.. what's the phrase... "a knife through butter"? Did I make that up or is that really a phrase? Oh how the memory is trying to leave me. Sigh...
The hammer is a really simple chasing hammer. I can't tell you from a metalsmith's perspective what exactly one is supposed to do with a chasing hammer, but I use mine to bang the heck out of wire - for work hardening and flattening. I actually have a much more expensive hammer that I got elsewhere and I like this one (12.99) more. I got it from Szarka at MagpieGemstones ( Szarka is a fellow wire worker and a sweet person as well. Check her out:)
Okay... the brass gauge and hammer. Oh.. direct link to hammer is This one is slightly different than the one I got from her, but I'm sure just as good if not better.

Alrighty then - I think that's about it for my posting today, but I'll add more tools as I think of them. Peace (and I mean that!)


K S Jewellery Designs said...

Thanks for sharing your tools - it's always useful to see what others are using. I love those pliers with the large circles.

I have one of those anvils with the rubber bases (not used it much as I prefer my steel square)- but I never realised it had a nylon side - duh!

Cheers, Kristin ☺

Swati Nigam said...

Thanks for this post. You know I had bought that stepped/tiered plier and then promptly put it away somewhere. I should go find it. Because as you say, making the same size earwires will not require me to take out my ring mandrel. LOL!

Shay said...

Kristin.. you've got me LOL, although it's doesn't surprise me that you wouldn't know it has 2 sides. I'm sure I only knew because of the product description. It hides itself well;)

Shay said...

I'm right with you. When I bought my first pair I really hesitated thinking, "I don't need a tool to do something that I can achieve with my mandrel" but I do SO love it!

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