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Deciding On Size and Type of Crimp Beads to Use

If your jewelry wire is like a nylon coated wire that cannot be knotted at the end, you use a crimp bead in place of the knot.  These are soft beads made of metal, and while these are very tiny, their role in completing a beading project is big. You will need different kinds of pliers to use the crimp beads this will be discussed later in the article.

To do the crimping, you thread the crimp bead onto the wire.  This wire should be looped around the jump ring or clasp at the end of the wire. Close the loop by passing the wire end through the crimp. Make sure that the loop is pulled tightly enough, as it will be fixed after you are done crimping.  You have two options in using the crimping pliers (1) use the specialty crimping pliers; these come with instructions upon purchase, and (2) use the flat-nosed pliers.  With flat nosed pliers, you need to line up straight the crimp bead on the pliers tip.  Holding your pliers at a right angle, gently squeeze it down to flatten the crimp; the loop is then permanently secured.

If the crimp bead is not put in line with the pliers tip before crimping, it may result in the crimp not gripping the wire, or bend the beading wire permanently, or may be subject to breakage.  You should also avoid crimps with inside diameters that are too large or too small for the beading wire. If too large, the wire may not be gripped adequately by the crimp, so it slips and may lead to failure of your design. Often, large crimps deform after quashing. On the other hand, for too small crimp beads holes, the wire may not align properly even if you were able to fit it through the crimp.  This may result in strand failure.

To decide on the size of crimp beads to use, there is no outstanding rule about it, although you can refer to the guidelines provided by some beading wire producers.  The crimping pliers to use should also depend on the size of the crimp beads.  For example, very small crimps should be flattened by micro crimping pliers; the medium crimps by regular or standard pliers; and the large crimps by mighty or extra-large pliers.

When you need to choose between a crimp tube and a crimp bead, maybe it would help to know that many designers of jewelry prefer crimp tubes. These tend to be stronger, so it is less likely that they will break or crack.  Crimp tubes can better grip the beading wire than what crimp beads can do, as tubes have surface areas that are larger.  However, crimp beads are more price friendly, so they are suitable to use for casual jewelry designs, or when you are working with a beading budget that is a bit tight. For some bead workers, though, the choice between a crimp tube and crimp bead is a personal preference, so use whatever it is that makes you comfortable working with.


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