I'm the kind of person who likes to learn how to do things the primitive way before utilizing newer (and faster) tools. In a way, it forces me to understand the "whys" behind the process. But in a business where time is money, having the right tool for the job sure saves tons of time - therefore, tons of moolah.
As a jeweler, your basic tools save time the more you become familiar with them. Your favorite hammer feels better in your hand, so it saves you time to use it because it starts to feel like one of your limbs.
But new (even if they are just new to you) and modified tools have their place too, in a metalworker's world. These tools help you create the same things faster or easier. Even obscure tools such as Clare Stamp's $3 pair of chain nose pliers and tiny tape measure from Crate and Barrel, MetalRiot's concrete cinder block that provides a coveted texture, Tamara's triangle scraper, Bijougirl's metal fingernail file or Experimetal's torch lighter and table shear, have a very important place in helping produce productivity.
The top jeweler's basics from people questioned on the Etsy Metal team are:
Followed closely by:
The Flex Shaft
and Rolling Mill
Contributing Jewelers include:
Hedy Parks, Rachel Sudlow Jewelry, Jessi Taylor, Tre Anelli, The Muse's Jewels, Danielle Miller Jewelry, Duck Duck Goose, LP Jewelry, Wildflower Designs, Nina Gibson Designs, Sara Westermark,
Nina Dinoff, Beth Cyr Jewelry, Kathryn Riechert
Click here for a list of tips from the MJSA's Journal on how to use and/or modify tools to speed up your productivity.