Top 5 Jewelry Bench Tools

What are your favorite jewelry making tools?? Looking at my bench now I have many scattered about, but there really are 5 tools that I use all. the. time.

1. torch-butane
While you can spend hundreds on some really awesome torch systems (like the smith little torch) created specifically for jewelers, just starting out, if your situation is anything like mine was, you don’t have hundreds to throw around. A butane torch, also called a kitchen torch or creme brulee torch, can cost just a bit and will get you far in your jewelry career. Far enough you can eventually purchase one of those fancy pants torches in the future! If you’re a little too nervous of the flame, start small with a pencil torch. It’s ok. That’s what I did until I was ready for a more powerful flame.

Butane Torch

The Smith Little Torch – for when you’re ready for a more powerful flame

2. pliers
Honestly I still use the same pair of pliers I started with way back when… they’re cheap, I’m sure I could do so much better. But I feel like I just got them broke in and they’ve grown on me haha! Get yourself a pair of pliers that work for you. Round nose, flat nose, square nose. If you’re just starting out, I think it’s ok to start cheap. When you’ve made some cash with some of your pieces, then go out and buy a more expensive pair or set of pairs. For your hands, if you struggle with carpel tunnel as I do, a pair with longer handles will give you more leverage and should be less effort for your hands.

3. metal sheers
I’ve only had my metal sheers for about a year now, and I’m so glad I decided to buy them when I did. A good pair will cut straight on both sides of your metal (it won’t pinch off one side). They can also be called German sheers.

For more awesome tool suggestions, enter your email to sign up for my newsletter and I’ll send you my ebook all about the tools you need to get started making silver jewelry!

4. files
I have one file that I love. I have many files that I look at and rarely use. I found my files on a garage sale binge, kid you not. They’re just a regular metal file, but it makes my silver so smooth, so I always keep it near. You want your finished pieces to be smooth to the touch. No snags. I don’t want snaggy necklaces or earrings or rings, I just wouldn’t wear them. And I definitely don’t want to sell snaggy jewelry, as I love my dear customers.

5. steel block
This tool will save you frustration and time. And it can give your earrings and rings that hammered texture which will set your pieces apart from the rest. Well in reality I guess it doesn’t do it for you, you still have to hammer pound and bang till it looks like you want, but you know.

Bonus #6 ring mandrel
Ok I had to add the ring mandrel in because I use it all the time, and I love it. And it’s not just for rings as you may think. I use mine to form my curvy earwires as well. Works wonders. And will again, be one of those tools you won’t be able to go without once you have it. This is one you want to invest in a steel deal. Get the real thing so you can pound away on it and beat your pieces into beautiful submission!

Leave a comment below and say what you think… what are your top tools you can’t live without?!

May your day be beauty-full!



  • Kris Lowe

    Reply Reply July 8, 2013

    This is the first time I’ve looked at your blog, and really love it! I’ve read a few articles and a book on using the microtorch, but nobody has ever referred to it as a kitchen or a cream brulee torch. Yet that is what I’d been using, and wondered if it was too weak or too strong at times. It is so nice to see that what I had has been perfectly fine, and that if it works for me, I didn’t have to get the expensive stuff. Though I also have a microtorch and a pencil torch that I bought from Harbor Freight… at less than $20 each. One question: why are you doing this (providing such good info for us)? You don’t seem to be charging for anything. And all of this is perfect for us beginners. Thanks so much for having this site available for us.

  • Great thing. all I can say is fantastic work. Hope to get more good posts soon. Want to ask one thing that help in fetching micro pave jewelry.

  • Shoko Sato

    Reply Reply May 1, 2013

    Hi Laura,

    First time coming to your blog, and I already love it! I’m just starting to do silversmithing so your information is so useful!

    With what I have so far, I love one file…it is half round and I used it all the time too. The other thing is my wire cutter and it was $1.00 but I’ve been using it for 8 years for wire wrapping and works great! I don’t think I’m getting rid of it any time soon:)

  • Basel

    Reply Reply April 24, 2013


    This is one great post as always ..

    I got almost all the tools needed ( i never did jewelries or knew how to do them except online), due to an accident that stopped me from being able to stand up for more than a specific time.

    so i said to myself i will bring stainless steel sheet and play around with it … and i did some ( not good ) pieces, but i did something,,

    i went to a place where they have classes , and i saw their student finished products but honestly i didnt like them that much ! but maybe this is their beginning.

    All what i need is an advice how and where to start ! i am a good handy man and very accurate in what i do and i need something so i can spend on my family and stop the Gov disability assistance.

    Thanks and best wishes…

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