By Shawna Kulpa
Do you ever find yourself wondering what tools your fellow jewelers are buying? Are they purchasing the latest tools to hit the market or are they sticking with the trusted stalwarts that have been around for years? While there are all kinds of consumer surveys touting the top-selling video games, cell phones, and cars, no one has ever delved into the best-selling jewelers’ tools…until now.
We spoke with several suppliers in the industry to find out which tools have been trending with their customers. Discover what your peers have been buying—and consider if these tools deserve a spot in your own shop.
Price Range: $1,990 - $3,950
Suitable for use on silver, gold, and platinum, the SonoCraft Burnishers were designed especially to help professional jewelers remove porosity and other surface imperfections quickly and easily. They allow users to polish and burnish areas that are nearly impossible to reach by hand. The burnishers offer four modes: single-hit for tightening beads onto stones with minimal touchup needed, intermittent slow for light engraving, intermittent rapid for quickly repeating impacts for engraving, and continuous with constant fast impact for burnishing and polishing.
Price Range: $40.50 - $43.50
Made in Switzerland of high quality ball bearing steel that is hardened to 45 Rockwell, the Supra Swiss Pliers feature rounded ergonomic handles with a soft gripping surface. In addition, they feature a lap joint with a fine-pitched screw for perfect joint adjustment and symmetry, and stainless steel dual leaf springs.
Developed to help increase production, the Marathon Micromotor is a do-it-all system that can be used for polishing and texturing jewelry surfaces, sizing, drilling, stone setting, making beautiful bright-cuts, and more. Available with your choice of collet size, the system includes a compact 110/220V controller with dial speed control and forward/reverse direction switch, 35,000 rpm lightweight rotary handpiece with quick-change collet and flexible curl cord, variable-speed foot rheostat, handpiece cradle rest, and safety glasses.
Made in the USA, the Superior Ring Bending Tool features a base and handle designed to perform at a high level of torque. The 16-piece set comes with a precision machined organizing base and matching post and dies machined from solid steel and then hardened to 45 to 50 HRC. After hardening, each steel post and die is nickel plated for corrosion resistance. Also included in the set are 18 mm post and dies and a matching 18 mm Delrin die.
Designed to last a lifetime, the Premium Disc Cutting Kit includes a precision-machined steel disc cutter and 14 punches measuring from 3 mm to 25 mm. The punches feature 7-degree cutting angles that apply
a shearing action that reduces cutting stresses and produces cleaner cutouts. Included with the kit is an aluminum organizing base that is laser engraved for easy punch identification.
Featuring a compact base, this Combination Ultra Series Power Mill has a powerful motor that allows users to roll thicker material than what is possible with manual mills. Feed tables support milling materials while freeing up the user’s hands. Designed with safety fences and an emergency stop button, the mill offers a delayed start and builds up speed slowly for safety.
Laser Gold Saw Blades are manufactured to ensure that the teeth on every blade are straight, uniform, sharp, and flexible so they cut cleanly and won’t drift while cutting. Available in sizes from 1 to 8, the blades are made of high-grade steel and a special alloy to give them maximum flexibility. They also feature extra metal at the spine of the blade to make them less likely to snap.
Made in the USA, this disc cutter set features tools made of hardened and tempered, shock-resistant tool steel with precision-ground surfaces. It is designed for soft materials up to 16 gauge when using a hammer and up to 10 gauge when using it with a Bonny Doon hydraulic press. The set includes a two-plate cutting block, 10 punches (measuring from 1/8” to 11/4” in 1/8” increments), an allen wrench, and a strong rubber base that acts as a storage container for the cutter and dies.
The Slide & Lock is a height adjustment bracket design-ed to work with the GRS BenchMate that allows the user to adjust the tool position to the optimal working height. It can be used to support up to three separate tool accessories simultaneously. To use, simply slip the plate on the back of the bracket into a BenchMate mounting plate and slide your tools into the bracket plate, which is designed to accept any accessory that fits into a BenchMate system.
Designed to rest comfortably in a user’s hand with finger grip pads of increased ease of use, the GemOro Testerossa Tester can be used to detect diamond, moissanite, and sapphire using its glowing probe tip. After a 10-second warm-up time, the tester will indicate with color the material being tested. It can also deliver a verbal identification in nine languages. Included with the tester is a charging station, test stone magnifier attachment, loose stone holder, AC adapter, and a carrying case.
This ultrasonic uses industrial transducers to create 40KHz ultrasonic wavelengths short enough to clean the finest details of jewelry as well as remove rouge and other compounds. Constructed out of stainless steel for durability, the cleaner features a 30-minute timer, heater, and illuminated on/off switches. It has a 2 quart capacity and maintains a temperature of 150°F (65°C).
This package includes the Acrobat Versa stand and Leica A60 stereo microscope. The Acrobat Versa stand features a rigid frame that makes positioning easy, a magnetic document holder, and ergonomic handles for the best optical experience. The microscope offers a 46 mm object field. Also included in the package are an Optia LED light and control, mounting base, post, and primary document holder.