Wire Wrapping Tools for Survival

Could you survive on a desert island with just three wire wrapping tools?

No, it's not that old television show where a group of mismatched tourists gets stranded on a desert island with enough clothing and accessories to last them for years of misadventures…but it's pretty close! I've found myself stranded in airports and stuck in traffic on the thruway, but never all alone on a desert island with just my wire wrapping tools for company. Although sometimes, that sounds pretty good. 

But the question is: what wire wrapping tools would be the best to have handy if such a situation arose? I know what beading tools I'd want to have handy if I were stranded on a desert island, but it seems that the wire wrapping tools might have some more practical uses for survival on a desert island than a pack of beading needles. And since I'm traveling a lot more lately, I thought I'd ask our resident wire wrapping expert Tammy Jones from Jewelry Making Daily what three wire wrapping tools she'd want on a desert island and why.

Don't be fooled! Even though these tools look simple enough, they just might come in handy if you need to break open a coconut!


Desert Island Wire Wrapping Tool #1: Round nose pliers. Yes, round nose pliers are the workhorse of wire wrapping. Great for making simple loops, wrapped loops, ear wires, coils, jump rings, or pretty much anything else that involves bending wire in a round shape.

Bonus Desert Island Survival Use: Those perfectly round, tapered jaws are perfect for jamming into coconuts. You certainly won't get dehydrated with all that fresh coconut milk to drink, thanks to your round nose pliers!

Desert Island Wire Wrapping Tool #2: Chain nose pliers. You can do pretty much everything else with a good pair of chain nose pliers. Chain nose pliers are great for gripping wire, starting wire coils, opening and closing jump rings, and flattening down those pesky wire ends that stick up when you're making a wire-wrapped loop.

Bonus Desert Island Survival Use: Chain nose pliers are perfect for grasping things, so they'll probably work if you decide to dine on shellfish like crabs and mussels while stranded on your desert island. Remember — you need to keep your strength up until help arrives!

Desert Island Wire Wrapping Tool #3: Stuller wire cutters. If you're going to spend a lot of money on one good wire wrapping tool, make it your wire cutters. You'll be using those wire cutters more often than you think, and you want to make sure that you have a pair of cutters that can both create perfectly flush cuts and stand up to long-term use.

Bonus Desert Island Survival Use: Cutters! We have cutters! Use them to tear down vines and small saplings. Lash the trees together with the vines to make a raft, and paddle yourself right off that island and back to civilization!

how to wire wrap jewelry

Just in case you can't make that vine-and-tree-trunk raft work, you'd better have something to keep you busy while you wait for help to arrive. Good thing that you have your copy of Wire Style 2 eBook with you! Each project gives you practice in coiling, shaping, wrapping and forming wire into beautiful, handcrafted jewelry. It's all the same great instructions, illustrations, and projects as the print version, but available for instant download to your laptop or desktop computer. Download your copy of Wire Style 2 eBook, grab a handful of seashells, and start making some gorgeous wire wrapped jewelry in your own little island paradise!

What three wire wrapping or beading tools would you want with you on a desert island? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and share your ideas with us!

Bead Happy,


Related Posts:


Beading Daily Blog, Wire Wrapping
Jennifer VanBenschoten

About Jennifer VanBenschoten

Born in New Jersey in 1974, I escaped to the Adirondacks for the first time in 1995, making it my permanent home in 2000.  I have been interested in beads, buttons and making jewelry as long as I can remember.  It's probably my mother's fault - she was a fiber artist and crochet historian, and whenever she ordered supplies from one mail order source, she would order a huge bag of assorted buttons and beads for me and my sister!    

6 thoughts on “Wire Wrapping Tools for Survival

  1. Tronex cutters — although I don’t know that they could cut down a tree for shelter — need to see if Tronex makes a Swiss Army knife edition….

    Lindstrom RX chain nose and round nose pliers — need to protect my hands from fatigue if I’m going to be cutting down trees and spearing fish!

  2. My husband says there is someone else out there as weird as I am. This was very cute and I just told my husband the tools I would like for mother’s day and why. I explained how they can multi task if need be. I am currently using his tools and he doesn’t like to share.
    Thanks for bringing a smile to my face this morning.

  3. This is the most awesome post! How about using pliers turned upside down to make a slingshot for hunting or knocking fruit out of trees? I guess you’d need something to be the band that springs it, though . . .

    Did you guys ever see that show Survivor Man with Les Shroud? I’d LOVE to see him do one with only a kit of wire work tools. He would come up with things that are completely beyond our imagination, I’m sure.

  4. This could be fun…wouldn’t you love to see the contestants on Survivor or some other reality show be given a set of jewelry making tools to use instead of knives and hammers? We need more reality shows for jewelry makers!

  5. This was a great article. There seem to be so many kinds of cutters. I found the Stuller site but they have two pairs of pliers similar to the one you showed: 2K flush end cutter and 2K oblique cutter. Could you let us know which you prefer?
    It might be worth doing an whole article on cutters. Which gives the most flat cut?

  6. Okay, I get the tools and their multiple uses….but…did I miss something? Desert Island=no electricity so even if the e-book was on an electronic device…eventually it would have to be recharged….WHY I ALWAYS OPT FOR PAPER = REAL Books!!!