There have been several questions about the tools used for this craft and I thought it might be helpful to have a commentary here about the different tools available for use and what their intended uses are.
Jewelry tools are a little different from the tools you may find in the garage. They are different in they are intended not to mar the surfaces of the pieces you are working on. So even it is cost effective to start with the tools in your garage, remember these have indentations in the opening of the pliers and they can mar your work.
When I began making jewelry, I couldn't afford to buy the set of tools I have now so I had to improvise. If it is necessary for you to do the same, there are two solutions to the ridges inside the pliers. First, file down the ridges with a metal file, but you will find it difficult to use those pliers again for any thing other than jewelry making. Second solution, cut a piece of felt small enough to fit the opening and rubberband them into place. This is a crude way to get the job done but it will work for a while. However, if you intend to do this craft for any prolonged period of time, you will need to invest in some tools. Here is a run down of those tools.
I couldn't go a day without this tool now. When I began, no one told me that it would be smart to use this tool to finish off my pieces so imagine the mess I created when my first couple of creations fell apart. If you are creating pieces just for fun, and really don't have any expectations of them staying together for a long time, you can forgo this tool. However, if you would like your pieces to last as close to forever as possible, you will need this tool. I have included a picture of tool so you know what you are looking for, but be aware there are many different types of styles of this tool and you will need the choose the one best suited to you. The photo depicts the most common crimping pliers and their price ranges from $12.50 to 15.50, depending where you purchase it.
This tool works best with the 2x2 crimps because there is enough surface available to get a good purchase on the crimp. This tool does not work well with the 1x1 crimps.
Be cautious when you are purchasing this tool - although they all look alike, they are not. Some have much bigger teeth and are meant for much larger crimps then you will commonly find out there for sale. If you are not sure whether you have the correct size, ask the salesperson if it will work for 2x2 crimps.
This handy dandy tool is for a lot of different uses.
Most common use is for opening and closing jumprings but this is not the only use for them. They can be used for squishing the crimp down (but as previous paragraph stated - the piece will not last forever with this method), wrapping headpins to finish earrings, adding toggles onto pieces, adding lobster claws onto pieces and bending wire to be at 90 degree angles, finishing off a wire wrapping piece, etc. You get the idea, this tool is used on pretty much every piece of jewelry you will create.
This tool has a long tapered nose and is intended to get into spaces your fingers will not fit. Another use for them, is pulling needles through on stitched pieces of work. This tool most resembles the needlenose pliers found in your garage and like the needlenose pliers it provides leverage when your fingers aren't strong enough or small enough to work a piece. These tools range from $5.00 to $10.00 depending on the size of the nose, and handles. There smaller versions of this that are not as expensive as the ergonomic type.
This tool has conical shaped jaws that allow you to bend and shape wire. Its primary function is to make exact loops for finishing off earrings, chain links but it can be used to make flair on wire wrapping as well. I use this tool to create lots of different shapes with wire. The conical jaws start small and become larger, this determines the size of the loop you are creating.
So if you are creating a bail - you would move the wire the bottom of the jaws so it is a larger loop to slide necklace chain through. If you are creating earrings you will use the smaller end of the jaws so the loop on your earrings is smaller, more delicate looking. This is also the tool you use to create spirals, coils and jumprings.