Are you ready to learn how to use crimping tool and make jewelry like you see in retail stores? It is easier than you think. If you work with beading wire, you’ll have to crimp your fasteners onto the ends of the necklaces and bracelets you’re making. This tool is going to be one of the most important tools in your box. You can purchase it at any craft supply store in the jewelry making supplies section.
The crimping tool also known as pliers has two notched areas that are used for fastening tubes and beads onto beading wire. The notched area furthest from the tip end of the tool is used to squeeze the crimp onto the wire. The notched area closest to the tip end of the tool is used to fold the crimp over into a tube shape and keep it secure for your fastener.
These pliers come in different sizes for the different sizes of tubes you plan to use. I usually use the regular pliers.
CRIMP TOOL SIZE CHART
Crimp Tube Size (mm) Crimping Pliers Size
1x1mm Micro Pliers
2x2mm Regular Pliers
2x3mm Regular Pliers
3x3mm Mighty Pliers
3x4mm Mighty Pliers
3x5mm Mighty Pliers
Source: Soft Flex
Crimping tubes come in a variety of colors and sizes.
Below are two more neat little charts that will help you choose the right size crimp for your beading wire. I always use standard on my jewelry.
Crimp Bead Size Wire Diameter Crimp Tool
#0 .010″ – .013″ (.25-.33mm) Micro
#1 .010″ – .021″ (.25-.53mm) Micro
#2 .024″ – .026″ (.60-.66mm) Standard
#3 .024″ – .036″ (.60-.91mm) Mighty
Crimp Tube Size Wire Diameter Crimp Tool
#1 .010″ – .013″ (.25-.33mm) Micro
#2 .013″ – .024″ (.33-.61mm) Standard
#3 .024″ – .026″ (.60-.66mm) Standard
#4 .026″ – .036″ (.66-.91mm) Mighty
Soft Flex Beading Wire Size (Inches) Crimp Tube Size (mm)
Step by Step Instructions on How to Use Crimping Tool
Step 1. Measure and cut your beading wire with your wire cutting tool to the appropriate length you want. String a crimp tube onto the wire and then string on a jump ring. Put the end of the wire back through the jump ring.
Step 2. Pull your tube snug up against the jump ring but loose enough the ring can dangle and move.
Step 3. Place the crimp tube inside the second notch of the crimping tool and gently spread the wires out so they are side by side in the tube. Gently but firmly squeeze the tool to crimp the tube onto your wires. Be careful not to squeeze it too hard because it can make the fastener weak.
Step. 4 Your crimp should be nice and flat with the wires squeezed in two sections beside of each other.
Step. 5 Turn your crimp onto its side and place in the first notch of the crimping tool. Squeeze down firmly. This will join the crimp together.
How to Use Crimp Covers
Some people do not use crimping covers but most do. I like them because they hide the not so attractive crimp tube that you learned in the how to use crimping tool tutorial above. You can use most any type of pliers to fasten down your cover, but I recommend using the same crimping tool that is used to add the tubes.
Crimp covers are similar to regular beads except they have a cut out on the side and are shaped like the letter “C”. The hole in the side is where you slip the cover over the tube on your beading wire.
See how easy it is to slide them onto the tube? It is even easier if you have a steady hand. I have had my fair share of dropping them. If you cannot place them onto your wire by hand, put the cover into the jaws of your tool and gently hold it and slide it over the wire that way.
Place the crimp bead in the jaws of your crimping tool and gently press down so that the open ends of the crimp bead connects with each other. Do not squeeze too hard or you will smash your cover. Once you have crimped the cover down, use the sniper tool to cut off the excess wire. Now you are ready to start stringing beads onto your beading wire now that you know how to use a crimping tool.