WIRE CUTTERS-A sharp pair of wire cutters is essential to obtain nice clean cuts on your wire. Wire cutters create both flush and pinch cuts when cutting the wire, leaving one end of the wire with a pinch cut and the other end with a flush cut (see photo below). The top of the cutter is the side that creates the pinch cut while the bottom side of the cutter, the flat side, creates a straight or flush cut.
ROUND NOSE PLIERS-Round nose pliers are used to make loops and jump rings. Round nose pliers have tapered barrels so that various sized loops can be made. I have three pair of round nose pliers, with the barrels being different sizes–basically, small, medium and large barrels. I started out with a medium sized pair.
One thing I love about my small Lindstrom round nose pliers is the recoil can be adjusted or not used at all–just hook the lever into one of the three openings or leave it out for no recoil. I know some wire wrappers do not like a recoil on their pliers, but I always use the recoil on mine.
CHAIN NOSE PLIERS-Chain nose pliers are great for holding wire and jewelry, making bends in wire, and opening and closing jump rings. Needle nose pliers are similar to chain nose pliers, but needle nose pliers are tapered while chain nose pliers square off at the tip. It is best to have two pair of chain nose or needle nose pliers–you need two pair to open and close jump rings. Since I make woven wire jewelry, I use my needle nose pliers more than my chain nose as the needle nose are better for getting into really small, tight areas.
NYLON JAW PLIERS-This pliers is great for straightening wire. I also use my nylon jaw pliers to hold jewelry when necessary as I am making it. This avoids leaving tool marks on my jewelry. Sometimes it is not possible to hold jewelry with nylon jaw pliers as the metal will slip within the pliers, but I always try the nylon jaw pliers first before reaching for my chain nose or needle nose pliers.
The nylon jaws can be replaced, too, so once they are worn out, you do not have to buy a new tool but rather just buy the replacements. As you can see, I use mine A LOT and my jaws need to be replaced very soon! That's it! This really is the bare essentials for tools to get you started with wire wrapping. There are many more tools to choose from, but these are the primary tools that I use on a daily basis.