Flush cutters are one of the most important basic jewelry making tools, whether you’re making wire jewelry or beaded jewelry.
Flush cutters have nice pointed tips so that you can cut wire or stringing material and get right up close to the work to cut exactly where you want to cut. This minimizes the steps required to get nicely finished wire wraps and neat ends on your 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. The blades on a pair of flush cutters cut 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. The wire on the right is the ‘flush cut’ end, which is an important starting point for many wire techniques (including making simple loops).
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 :)
Recommended Brands of Flush Cutters:
There are many options available when it comes to flush cutters, as is the case with most tools for making jewelry, but there are a couple of brands I have tried and can recommend:
• Xuron flush cutters are reasonably priced and they last for a few years at a time. They are lightweight and a nice size to fit comfortably in your hand. The handles are hard rubber so they are not as comfortable as I’d like for long term use, but for beginners or those who don’t use them for long periods at a time (or very often), they are great. Xuron flush cutters, while certainly not the cheapest, are very good for the price.
• Tronex flush cutters are are excellent tools and are extremely comfortable with padded handles, but are quite pricey due to the fact that they are so well made. If money is no object, then Tronex is absolutely the top of the line as far as my experience goes.
It is important to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for which size wire and which metals your flush cutters can cut.
The fine pointed tips are usually recommended only for finer gauge wire (28, 26, 24) and larger gauges should only be cut with the middle or back of the blades to avoid damage. Very thick wire will require a heavy duty pair of flush cutters. Ignoring the manufacturer’s recommendations can damage your tools!
Do NOT ever use your good flush cutters to cut steel wire or memory wire. It is important to have a separate pair of cutters for cutting steel or 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.