Learning Center

Small Tools

Jewelry makers use many small tools for projects of all sizes. Our Small Tools section covers the equipment you’ll need for delicate procedures.

65 ARTICLES 3 VIDEOS 21 PRODUCTS
Product
Hydrogen Torch System, Single Torch

Soldering with power generated by this hydrogen torch system is a terrific alternative to using pressurized fuel and oxygen tanks in your shop! This state-of-the-art system, designed to meet a full range of jewelers’ needs, is extremely…

Product
Fretz® Hammers

Created especially for jewelers by expert metalsmith and tool designer Bill Fretz, the Fretz® line of tools is precisely designed for excellent ergonomics, maximum durability and impeccable results…

Article
Accessories for Small Part Pickling

Ever spent way too much time trying to retrieve tiny jump rings, links, or other small parts out of a hot acid bath using too-large copper tongs? If you make a lot of chain or work with a lot of findings, the time you’ll save using these tools is…

Video
How to Harden and Temper Tool Steel

Learn to harden and temper your own custom-shaped jewelry tools. By master goldsmith Charles Lewton-Brain. Filmed in full HD 1080p. IMPORTANT NOTE: Hardening and Tempering is a two step process, the steel MUST be tempered (softened) after…

Video
Method to Quickly Identify Tool Steel

Learn to be able to quickly identify what quality of steel a tool is made of and whether it’s low quality or worthwhile to use. By master goldsmith Charles Lewton-Brain. Filmed in full HD 1080p.

Video
Preparing a Hammer for Foldforming

One of the most frequent foldforming questions Charles Lewton-Brain gets is that someone’s forging hammer isn’t working well for them. See how Charles changes a commercial forging hammer to be useful for foldforming. Filmed…

Product
Cotter Pin Assortment

Five pieces each in 36 different lengths: 4.5mm to 22.00mm in 0.5mm increments. All in 0.9mm diameter being the most commonly used.

Product
Adjustable Saw Frame, 3″ Deep (German)

For use with piercing flat and spiral saw blades. Serrated clamps hold blades firmly. Strongly constructed with flat steel frames hardwood handles and thumbscrew locking devices. Most common depth is 2 1/4″ (57mm). Others are used…

Product
Hastings 18mm Oval Plain Grip Triplet Loupe

These are high-quality Hastings Triplet Loupes. Hastings lenses are constructed from three lens elements cemented together to form a single lens. The unmatched clarity of these triplet loupes is further enhanced by black outer lens edges…

Product
Oval Set

Cup-shaped cutters used to form a decorative bead or fine row of cuts on any piece of jewelry. Set of six contains sizes 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, and a chuck holding handle.

Product
Ring Setter’s Inside Ring Clamp

This unique tool allows you to access the entire circumference of your ring. Includes nine plastic sleeve inserts marked clearly in U.S. sizes from 2-13 and in millimeter sizes 13-22. Firmly grips ring from the inside without marking, which…

Product
Dazor Hi-Lighter Black (1.75x) Magnifying Desk Base Lamp

Uses a 13-watt compact fluorescent tube (included) located behind the magnifying lens. The unique placement of the bulb casts light at an angle for highlighting object details. This unique shadowing feature makes details of uneven surfaces…

Product
Garland Rawhide Mallet 6oz.

Heads are made of the finest quality specially treated rawhide which will not mark or scar metal. Handles are made of hardwood. Made in the USA.

Product
Brass & Nylon Mallet with Detachable Face 4.2oz

Faces can be changed to provide any combination desired. Faces can also be replaced when worn. Sold with two different faces and a wrench to tighten or remove collars. Faces are brass and nylon.

Product
Pocket Digital Gauge

This Compact (pocket) digital gauge measures from 0 to 25mm and 0 to 1″. Millimeter accurate to two decimal points and inch fractions to three decimal points. Stainless steel with high-impact plastic housing. Inside and outside measurements.…

Product
A&D – EK-1200i Scale (Trade Legal)

– Gold and precious stones scales – Multiple weighing units: carat gram troy ounce pennyweight pound ounce grain and tael – Large LCD display (16mm height) with backlight – Control zero mode selection and data output…

Product
Foredom Jewelers Kit with H.20 Handpiece

The 1/6 HP reversible SR Motor with FCT foot-operated speed control H.20 Hand piece and 43-piece accessory kit offers superior performance and combines all of the features expected. H.20 Handpiece comes with a 1.5mm allen wrench to adjust…

Product
24pc Panther 90 Hart Bur Set (.90mm – 4.5mm)

Made in Germany. Panther has earned a reputation for the highest standards in precision tool production in the world. Our burs and tools are manufactured on the most technically advanced computer assisted machinery in existence. Only the…

Product
GRS Microblock Ball Vise

Use for engraving stone setting and other precision work. The Microblock’s stainless steel low-profile body stainless steel jaws and compact design are especially suited for microscope work or other situations where the size of…

Article
Bench Tools for Jewelers

This article lists the following useful bench tools for jewelers including contact information where they can be purchased or ordered. Grobet USA LED Bench Lamp Suitable for use at the bench or on the sales floor, the Grobet USA LED Bench…

Article
Modified Super Tools

Down on your bench, look: It’s a file. It’s a bur. It’s Super Tool! At first it seemed so ordinary. You went to use it for a project you were working on, but for some reason it didn’t work so well. Maybe it didn’t allow you to get at the……

Article
Green Bench Tips – Part 1

This is the first in a two-part series on green bench tips shared by jewelers who are taking an eco-friendlier approach in their shops. Small changes at the bench can make a difference. Window to the World Jennifer Dawes, Dawes Design, Santa…

Article
Selecting the Correct Saw Blade

This article provides and describes the useful tips for selecting the correct saw blade by Alan Revere including some important things to consider for blade selection. Sawing is a fast and easy way to cut and separate a piece of metal into…

Article
3 Jewelers, 4 Tools Testing

Editor’s Note: Want to know how to make a bench jeweler’s day? Send him a box full of new tools and tell him that if he plays with those tools for a month, you’ll let him keep ’em. That’s just what we did. When planning…

Article
Customized Mini Clamp Tool

I like to hold small pieces of metal with a clamp that allows me to file hands free. I feel it gives me better control, which means faster jobs and better fits. I took a plain mini hand vise and a 3/8 inch fine thread nut for the first part…

Article
Tube Setting Faceted Stones

When beginning to do tube settings, the first thing anyone should do is buy a “Setters Tube Holder” which appears in many tool supply catalogues. I have two of them for easy access. Expose only the very top of the cullet in the tube…

Article
Creating and Sharpening Gravers

This article is about creating and sharpening gravers before using for your work or project as described by Tom Weishaar. Before beginning a discussion on creating a graver it might be helpful to identify the different parts of a graver.…

Article
Customized Peg Head Holder & Stone Holder

Steve Satow shares his procedure on customized bench tools such as 3 prong or peg head holder & wax stone holder used for stone setting and prong works. 3 Prong or Peg Head Holder Many times I have needed a way to hold a 3 prong earring…

Article
Customized Loose Head Holder

With these pliers you can pre polish platinum and gold peg heads of any shape. Remove any nicks one prong at a time at your bench with a pumice wheel then off to the polisher and right into the sonic, them steamed all while clamped in the same plier.…

Article
Bud Bur Tool

Of all the burs used on a setters bench, my one good true friend is the bud bur. Why? Because it’s one of the most diverse tools at our disposal. It is used for opening holes, cutting azures, cutting
seats, as a mini-file.
scalloping…

Article
Basic Milling Technique

In working on jewelry there are many tasks that seem simple – you just do it and don’t think about techniques. Milling is a prime example. You stick a bur in your flex-shaft, step on the pedal, and away you go. However, as simple as…

Article
Small Bench Tools Descriptions

This selected list describes a number of small, easily made tools which can improve efficiency, speed and ease of working at the bench. While by no means a complete listing of the tools one has at one’s bench or of vernacular goldsmiths tools…

Article
Notes on Files for Jewelry Making

When one gets a new file one traditionally dips it in alcohol and sets fire to it to burn off any grease (this could be dangerous-use great care). Get the longest files you are comfortable with as the long stroke is very efficient. 20 cm or longer…

Article
How to Make Prong Notching Pliers

These pliers notch round prongs easily to a given depth and replace a bur for the job. They are made to suit a specific size prong and one makes similar pliers for different prong shapes, but all based on this idea. One obtains a pair of chain nose…

Article
The Kinds of Hammers

Hammers are an essential part of silversmithing and goldsmithing. While one can buy hammers ready made one can also do a lot with home-made versions and adaptations. Ordinary hammer heads may be reshaped providing they have not been cast.…

Article
Polishing and Finishing Aids

For polishing it is recommended to use primarily bristle brushes for most of the removal work and to follow up with a buff where necessary. Feel free to use a lot of compound, it is the compound that does the work, not the buff. Old polishers would…

Article
Frequently Used Wax Tools

Dental probes and knives make good wax tools. Your local dentist or dental hygienist or school for the same can supply you with used tools for free. If they don’t.

Article
Suggested Tools from Karl Fischer

Ask for a catalog with an English supplement. Order by surface if a heavy order as shipping from Germany is very expensive by air. For best speed send them a money order in Deutsch marks with your order and open an account with them as the normal…

Article
Stakes and Swages Shaping Tools

Stakes are objects used for shaping metal over, on and into. Hammers or mallets are used to form the metal over the shape of the stake. Stakes can be made of various materials. A wooden stump can be considered a kind of a stake. Usually in the West…

Article
Modifying Tools as Dapping Tools

Dapping tools are punches with a ball shaped end. As they are used to dome metal discs and making halves of beads they are sometimes called doming punches. They are usually used with a dapping block, a square or rectangular block of steel or wood…

Article
Basic Chasing Tools

As well as being used for chasing they may also be used as punches to make textures. A stamp or texturing punch can be struck onto an annealed blank tool to get a negative impressions of its end. Each texturing tool can then produce its own negative.…

Article
Goldsmithing: Pitch Options

Pitch is used all over the world by goldsmiths and silversmiths to hold metal in place while working it with hammers, punches or chisels. It should be hard enough to fill the requirements of the chasing work done on it. Most chasers will therefore…

Article
Rules for Tools

While it is clearly impossible to give a set of rules for each tool and procedure that goldsmiths use, this section gives some examples of the kinds of rules that may be helpful to review when using powered equipment. hand tools and processes…

Article
Radial Bristle Discs Excites Jewelers

how one of 3M’s radial bristle discs to a non-jeweler friend, and you are almost guaranteed to get a lukewarm response: ‘This is what you’re so excited about?’ But to the jewelers who have eagerly adopted them, these simple circular brushes…

Article
Reconditioning Beading Tools & Dot Punches

Beading tools and dot punches lose their form and become dull as you use them. You can recondition a tool at least ten or twelve times, or you may need a special size, or perfect polish for a particular job. They can be reconditioned fairly easily.…

Article
Tweezers Tips and Tricks

Tweezers are a constant in a jeweler’s life, particularly in these safety conscious times. Tweezer use can help reduce your contact with nasty dermatitis causing chemicals. For example, when used for handling objects in solutions such as…

Article
Suggested Gem Setting Tools

This article lists the basic tools someone learning stonesetting might want to have around. One would of course add to this list..

Article
Modified Setting Bur with Safe Edge Tool

Here iss a nice little tool that makes use of an old setting bur. If you take the bottom teeth off a setting bur and polish the surface, you will have a tool that allows you to get right up next to the wall of a bezel and work on it without harming the metal…

Article
How to Modify Plier Tools

This is a great modification of pliers to give you a tool that mimics the shape of your thumb and forefinger meeting, but can get into places where your fingers are too large to go.

Article
Jewelers’ Gripping Tools

Euro Tool, Inc. offers a wide variety of innovative and standard holding device’s to make working at the bench easier, safer and more productive. Here’s an overview of a selection.

Article
Wax Tools Update

Euro Tool, Inc. has developed five wax tool kits and a cordless wax pen for the overall improvement of wax working projects..

Article
3M Radial Bristle Discs Proficiency Advantage

3M Radial Bristle Discs were introduced to the jewelry industry in 2000. Additional discs and end brushes have been added to the selection and over time and with the extensive selection I’ve reinvented how I semi-finish castings and perform…

Article
Channel Setting Tools Designed For Wax

Stone-in-place casting is growing in practice with manufacturers and retail manufacturing operations taking advantage of these labor saving techniques. Stone-in-place casting requires gemstones be properly set in the wax model prior…

Article
Steps for Graver Preparation

Gravers are small cutting tools used for stone setting, texturing, de-burring and applying decorative embellishments and traditional hand engraving. Steps required to prepare new gravers include mounting, sizing, shaping, sharpening…

Article
Tru-Seat Setting System

Hoover ‘ Strong, Inc. in Richmond, VA provides a line of Tru-Seat settings that include solitaire earrings, pendants and solitaire rings in yellow, white and palladium white gold alloys. By using Tru-Seat mountings and the system outlined…

Article
3M Bur and Polish Wheels

3M XR wheels, formerly known as XK wheels are ideal for sprue removal and smooth deburring with minor surface reduction. A channel can be created in the wheel for repetitive multiple part processing. They replace stone wheels, have superior…

Article
Sheet Metal Tool Modification

Sheet Metal Tool Modification, Look for: WISS Hand Seamer (as LAST resort BRAMEC or VISE-GRIP) sheet metal bending tools and modify as shown. Recommended for quick, tight crimping! I prefer the Wiss Hand Seamer Model HS-1 or as a LAST resort…

Article
Polishing Tools and Tricks

The mantra of polishing jewelry is the shinier the better – and obtaining polishing perfection takes skill and practice. It also helps to have the right tools in your polishing arsenal. The following are some suggestions for tools and tricks…

Article
Turning Burrs Into Stonesetting Tools

Stonesetters frequently convert and and reuse tools intended for other purposes. Often when a tool is needed they will cast around the bench looking for raw material – and as every setter knows, used burrs abound. There are a number of tools…

Article
How to Modify Tools for Carving Wax

Casting is the most important method of commercial jewelry production. Even for small workshops, lost-wax casting is often the fastest method for creating a jewelry piece, especially if there is any complexity to it. However, one of the things…

Article
Stone Setting Tools FAQs

Tim McCreight answers 13 of the questions about stone-setting tools most frequently asked by his metalsmithing students.

Article
How to Make Foredom Handpiece Shield

This paper describes two simple methods of creating a shield to be used on the end of a Foredom handpiece. The shield will prevent grindings and dust from being slung into the face. Always wear eye protection when using the handpiece.

Article
Pitch Bowls and Alternatives for Jewelers

Chasing and repousse is carried out on various surfaces using steel punches to strike and manipulate sheet metal or cast objects. Flat pattern chasing or stamping sheet metal can be done on an anvil, or the bottom of an old iron which makes an…

Article
Foredom Redesigned Series SR Flexible Shaft

Foredom has redesigned the popular Series SR Flexible Shaft motor. It has more power/torque and is rated at 1/6 HP versus 1/8 HP of the former series SR and S. It also has 33% more power over the variable speed range from start up to full speed.

Article
Perfect Finishing Tools and Techniques

Our castings can be flawless, our assembly precise, and our settings secure — but let any surface go a bit rough, a little uneven and wobbly, and the jewelry is judged to be inferior. Ironically, even the ultimate finish begins to deteriorate…

Article
Using Coils To Bend Tubing

Many tools sold in model/hobby stores can be used for jewelry making. During a recent visit to a hobby shop, I found these tube bending coils, which model makers use to build models that require bent tubing. Jewelry makers will find these coils…

Article
Handling Stakes and Anvils

Shaping a bezel on stakes is a process of forming the metal by stretching. First the metal is bent with pliers to fit the gem, forming a shape smaller than the stone while following its contour. The gauge of the sheet metal chosen is slightly thicker…

Article
Fold Forming Tool List

These are some of the metal ‘ tools that you will find useful in fold-forming. Ear muffs or plugs and safety glasses.

Article
Japanese Chasing Tools

Japanese chasing tools are made from steel blanks available in Japan called tagane. Japanese chasing hammers are lightweight with long straight handles and smaller faces than European styles. They balance beautifully in the hand and are…

Article
Beading Tool Tips

Like most bench jewelers I do a lot of bead setting and like most
bench jewelers I take pride in my work. When I bead set I want crisp
and clean beads. Recently, I was setting one pointers into white
gold skirts that would become…

Article
Magnesia Blocks Myth Debunked

Myth: Magnesia blocks are superior soldering surfaces to charcoal blocks: A topic that seems to raise a fair amount of spirited discussion and strong opinions is what is the best soldering surface: firebrick, charcoal, magnesia, solderite…

Article
Creating a Rotary Burnisher

Jewelers have been going green for many years by recycling old or worn-out tools into something new and useful. Setting burrs, normally used to cut seats in prongs, can’t be used once they become worn or damaged. But instead of throwing them…

Article
Using Acid Bath on Used Tools

Bench jewelers hate to throw out used tools. By training and by nature we try to conserve the materials we use. An unfortunate side effect is that old burs and dull files tend to collect on our benches. All is not lost, however. There is life in those…

Article
Make Your Own Wax Tools

I make all my own wax carving tools and hot wax tools.I have done this since the early 1970’s when I could find only dental tools ready-made on the market. I was told a bent nail would suffice, but thought I could do better. So my tools and techniques…

Article
Modified Split Mandrel for Finishing Round Bezels

A bench jeweler typically uses a split mandrel to sand and finish the inside of a ring. Various grits of abrasive papers can be cut to size and inserted into the slit of the mandrel, where they are held by friction during the rotary filing process.…

Article
Giving New Life to Old Burs

By Old burs can serve a number of useful purposes in daily bench work. Here are two tips from jewelers at Chris Ploof Studio in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, for giving new life to old burs.

Article
How to Sharpen Drill Bits

Small, fine drill bits used for jewelry making will become dull with normal use. Worn cutting edges make tasks more difficult and time-consuming and can cause costly accidents, including damage to jewelry and gemstones or even injury. Maintaining…

Article
How to Modify a Goldsmith Hammer

Jewelers and metalsmiths have had to make their own tools throughout the ages to accomplish different tasks at the jeweler’s bench. One tool a jeweler can’t do without is a hammer. Today, many styles of hammers, made in a variety of shapes and…

Article
Ergonomics for Bench Pin Modifications

Ergonomics is the safe and effective relationship between a worker and the work environment. For the bench jeweler who spends hours working with a bench pin, it is important to make it work efficiently and effectively for you. There are many…

Article
Graver Detailing and Sharpening

A sharp graver can improve cutting performance at the bench. There are several approaches to use when detailing a graver, including the following.

Article
How to Modify Wooden Ring Clamps

One persistent daily challenge a bench jeweler faces is trying to figure out the best way to hold onto tiny, delicate objects while performing mechanical operations such as sawing, filing or burring bearings for stone setting.
There…