Friday, 24 March 2017

Broken tools...

Broken wire cutters - Silvermoss

The collection of tools that I use for jewellery making has been built up over years on a need-to-have basis. It's also been built up quite cheaply. But I've grown used to my mismatched pliers and wire cutters and have my favourites and others that are consigned to a box for emergency use only. Or when someone wants to borrow one of my tools for a non-jewellery task (this does happen, although thankfully not frequently - I keep my tools carefully to make sure they do their best for the silver).

It's proved quite handy that most of them have different coloured handles (I know which pair I'm reaching for by colour) rather than having a matching set and while I've wondered at times what the difference really is between a £5 pair of pliers and a £50 pair, I've not worried too much because the tools I have work and I'm (mostly) happy with them.

So it was with some consternation that I discovered my trusty wire cutters (yellow, bought circa 2005 in Sheffield, I believe, for around £4) were broken. A quick survey of the damage led me to the conclusion that they should still work for the time being, albeit with a slightly different style of action, and so I wasn't made to either explore my stash of emergency-only tools or dash to the local hardware shop for a rushed replacement.

But it did make me wonder what those jewellers with expensive tools would say the advantages are over cheaper ones. Are they worth the extra expensive? What is the difference? Should I indulge in a branded set of wire cutters when I do replace mine?

Please do leave a comment if you've any advice or even if you just know how it feels when a trusty tool, of whatever monetary value, passes its sell-by date...


  1. I know what you mean about a trusty tool breaking - I had a pair of Linsdtrom flat nose pliers break a while ago. On of the ends just snapped off and they weren't the cheapest pliers to buy.
    I have upgraded the pliers I bought when I first started making jewellery and love the Wubbers range - there is a difference in the quality so I think it's worth spending a bit more.

    I always take the springs off my pliers and hold them so my middle finger is inbetween the handles and use it to open the pliers. I have more control that way so those pliers wouldn't be broken to me :D

    1. Ouch about the Lindstrom pliers; I know they're meant to be a quality (and expensive) brand which much make that kind of thing even worse to experience.

      I've checked out Wubbers and am intrigued so may well try them out; after all, if I don't I'll never know! They do look good too.

      I love that you adapt your pliers to your needs anyway! I must admit, since these have broken I've carried on using them and it just seems a different way of working rather than an end to their useful life, so I'm very pleased about that :)

      Thanks so much for your comment and recommendations, it really is appreciated :)


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