Hello bloglandia! There was a “hit” product at last week’s Bead & Button show in Milwaukee: the new wire-looping pliers from Wubbers. Our booth sold out – then our website sold out! Wow. It was “wub – twue wub.” We just got more in stock, but they could be gone soon!
What makes Wubbers wire-looping pliers so special? Well, instead of having two tapered jaws (like round-nose pliers), the Wubbers wire loopers have one straight round jaw, and one concave jaw that rounds the wire over the first. Simply insert the wire and squeeze to get perfectly rounded loops that are always the same size. Consistency has never been so easy to achieve!
Wubbers has an excellent YouTube video demonstrating their use (the video is also included on CD with each pair). Go ahead and watch. This post will still be here when you are done!
Ok. Welcome back!
When I tried the Wubbers wire-loopers for myself, I instantly liked how easy it was to make eye pins. With round nose pliers, it can be hard to grip the very tip of the wire. Not an issue with the Wubbers!
Next: wrapped loops. I had a bit of trouble with this until I realized I was using the wrong gauge wire. Wubbers wire-loopers are designed specifically for 20-gauge round wire. I was using 18-gauge copper and just did not have enough room between the pliers and the bead to make my wraps. Once I switched to 20 gauge I was fine, although it took me a few tries to replicate the Wubbers technique because I am so accustomed to using round-nose pliers.
Wubbers wire-looping pliers are the perfect choice for the jewelry maker who:
- Works primarily with 20-gauge wire. (20 gauge fits most gemstone, crystal, glass and metal beads, plus large-hole pearls.)
- Wants to create loops that are exactly the same size, easily, over and over again.
- Values economy of motion and good ergonomics.
Rings & Things sells two similar (but definitely not comparable) wire-looping pliers – #69-026 and #69-027, by Beadalon and Eurotool, respectively. Each of these has one tapered jaw (not straight like the Wubbers) with a concave jaw. These pliers will bend and hold the loop while you make the wire wraps, but they should NOT be used with the technique shown in the Wubbers video. If you repeatedly squeeze the wire in an attempt to round it, you will end up with lots of ugly bite marks in your wire. (Wubbers are “meticulously hand finished to minimize marring and to ensure that Wubbers’ quality is incomparable” – this little experiment proved it to me!)
To avoid this, only squeeze once – and gently. Manipulate the wire ends with your fingers or chain-nose pliers to complete your loop instead of re-positioning the wrapping/bending pliers. The benefit of these pliers (besides their low price tag!) is that you can vary your loop sizes. However, given the popularity of the Wubbers loopers, it seems many people view this “feature” as a liability!
With practice and patience you can create consistent loops with round-nose pliers. (Many people mark the jaws of their round-nose pliers with a marker so that they always bend their wire around the same spot.) Since I switch wires gauges and loop sizes so often I’ll probably stick with this tried-and-true method. But if wire wrapping is a headache, Wubbers wire-wrapping pliers might be just the solution you’ve been looking for! Wubbers truly are made to make jewelry. ~ Cindy