Flush cutters are one of the most important basic jewelry making tools, whether you’re making wire jewelry or beaded jewelry.
These cutters leave the cut end of the wire almost perfectly flat, where other types of cutters leave a ‘bur’ on the end of the wire. Cutting wire or stringing material with flush cutters allows you to get right up close to the work to cut exactly where you want to cut, which minimizes the steps required to get nicely finished wire wraps and neat ends on your beaded jewelry.
The blade cuts in a way which leaves one side almost perfectly flush, while the other side will be pointed. Make sure you cut with the back side of the cutting blade facing the side you want to leave flush...
Here’s a close-up view of a piece of wire cut using a pair of flush cutters:
If you haven’t been using flush cutters, I promise you’ll notice a HUGE difference in the process and I bet you’ll even come back to thank me :)
There are many options available when it comes to flush cutters, as is the case with most tools for making jewelry, but the brand I always seek out is Xuron. They last for years at a time and are lightweight and a nice size to fit comfortably in your hand.
I have also used Swanstrom flush cutters before, which are excellent tools, but are quite pricey due to the fact that they are so well made. If money is no object, then Swanstrom is the top of the line as far as my experience goes, but Xuron, while certainly not the cheapest, are very good for the price. (I choose Xuron flush cutters so that I can splurge on Swanstrom round and flat nosed pliers)
Do NOT use your good flush cutters to cut memory wire or steel wire. It is important to have a separate pair of cutters for cutting memory wire so you don’t damage your good flush cutters! Memory wire cutters are more heavy duty cutters which will not be damaged by the hardness of the steel.