by Joan

Hi..I have been having problems with bracelets coming apart ( after I’ve given them as gifts!!)

I’ve been using 2-3mm crimp tubes..just went to our local bead shop & the teacher there had me use 1.5 crimp beads and they seem perfect!! Isn’t that too small, though? (I use 49 strand .18 wire).

I am totally confused as to what size wire and crimp tubes or beads to use!!!

Hope you can help with this.



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by: Joan

Hi…I still don’t know how to tell what size crimp beads or tubes to use.

I use .018 or .019 wire, and have been using 2-3mm crimp tubes but my bracelets come apart. Is it the crimps??

The local bead shop owner said I should use 1.5 crimp beads but I’m afraid they are too small
anyone have any suggestions?


by: Kristi

Hi Joan,

I don’t think you should have anything to worry about using a 1.5mm crimp tube with .018 or .019 wire, especially if they’re good sterling crimps and not just a base metal crimp.

(Base metal crimps are more likely to fail than precious metal crimps). Tubes are also more secure than beads, in my opinion.

Personally, I use .019 wire with the majority of my projects and I use sterling silver 2mm crimps. I would not use a 3mm crimp with .019 wire. A lot of experienced beaders even recommend using a 2mm crimp with .024 wire, even though that usually calls for a 3mm crimp (and I agree).

The most important thing, in my opinion, is making a secure crimp. You can do this by making sure that the wire does not cross while you’re making the first crimp (keeping each side of the wire on opposite sides while compressing the crimp) and then making sure to fold your crimp once again after that step for the extra security. I’ve seen many people crimp just once and not fold the crimp again to complete it and, hence, secure it properly.

This probably goes without saying, but make sure to use crimping pliers as opposed to Flat-nose pliers as they are designed specifically for the job and make a stronger crimp.

Sorry to go over the basics, which you probably already know, but just wanted to be thorough! Hope this helps!

🙂 Kristi

by: Anonymous

Hi Joan,

I too have experienced this problem, and It not a good feeling when you find out your work broke after one time of wear. I know first hand.

One thing I learned is if when it comes time to fold the crimp, if you squeeze with all of your might you risk severing the wire.

This to me never made sense. I think to my self… the chances of this happening are too high!

I recently started stringing on silk. I found knotting the ends/ super glue knot, cupping a finding over it works better for me, however that may not suit your style of work.

Sometimes I put a security bead or crimp at each end before the clasp findings, that way, if it does break beads don’t go flying every which way.

I make more of a high end jewelry line and when making my friends free items I also tell them, this isn’t bowling gear, its meant for a nice evening out. I have a more durable line as well to cater to the more active person.

And last but not least, are you stringing on single strand or double strand?

A few times I have strung with thin strand and used 3 crimped 2 together and the single one by its self and then covered with a larger crimp bead this way, should one sever, you have another one as a back up.

Have you tried any other techniques since your post? How is it going?


About the Author

Christine Gierer

I'm Christine Gierer and I'm obsessed with making jewelry and teaching others how to do it too. I've been a creative person all my life, and I've done all kinds of things like art, sociology, and counseling. But nothing makes me happier than playing with beads, wires, and tools and sharing my tips and tricks with you. I have two awesome websites where you can find tons of tutorials, courses, and workshops on how to make jewelry and how to sell it online.

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