- half round,
- flat nose,
- chain nose,
- ring bending pliers.
These are extremely useful for a number of jobs and it's great to have at least two flat nose pliers that will help you with precise handling of the small pieces, like jump rings.
2. FLUSH CUTTERS or STRAIGHT SHEARS: you will need them to cut your metal - solder, wires, bezel strips etc.
3. BENCH PEG: is a must have, this tool may not seem like it, but it's used for so many jobs, including sawing, forming, shaping, drilling and many more.
4. SAW FRAME: speaking of sawing, you will absolutely need a jeweller's piercing saw. There are many types available, some are adjustable, some are fixed and they are perfect for your sawing needs. You will be cutting out shapes out of the metal sheet, bezels, wires, the list goes on.
5. SAW BLADES: your saw frame will need saw blades! Don't buy cheap ones - they will break and cause you frustration, making learning much harder. Get some good quality saw blades, Swiss ones or Nano saw blades, which are excellent and very well priced. You can start with these grades: 2/0, 4/0 and 6/0 for various metal thicknesses. Refer to charts to check what saw blades you need.
6. LUBRICATION: for saw blades is necessary, you can use beeswax, artificial wax or a handy blade butter, which will last you a loooong time.
7. CHASING HAMMER: for a variety of jobs like flattening, shaping and adding textures, it's the most basic and useful hammer you can get.
8. RAWHIDE or RUBBER MALLET: is another necessary hammer for forming and flattening. This one doesn't leave any marks or patterns on the metal and won't enlarge your rings on a mandrel when shaping.
9. BALL PEEN HAMMER: which you can get additionally for textures.
10. RING MANDREL: with sizes is another essential tool, you will use it for making rings and overall shaping of the metal. Go for the one with sizes - it will make your life much easier and you won't have to purchase another mandrel.
11. STEEL BLOCK: is worth getting for many forming jobs - like stamping, shaping or flattening the metal. You will use it quite often. It doesn't have to be large.
12. FILES: are a must, but you don't need many of them when starting out:
- HAND FILES: get a couple in cut 0 and cut 2, which are coarser,
- NEEDLE FILES: in several shapes: flat, half round and round. You can get some coarser and some finer grades. I have some very coarse ones that I bought at a hardware store and I found 4 cut jeweller's needle files very useful and versatile.