All About Crimps


The importance of good quality crimps:

Crimps are so little, it is easy to forget just how important they are. Often times, they hold an entire design together. It is important to find a dealer that will stand behind the quality of their crimps. Our crimp tubes are double the wall thickness of most and are also seamless. Crimps are often manufactured with soft metals, such as sterling silver - so it is important that there is enough metal in the crimp tube to withstand the force used when crimping.


How do I crimp? 

We suggest using a pair of crimping pliers.
3 step crimping instructions using standard crimping pliers
5 step crimping instructions using magical crimping pliers

The most common error we see when using the regular crimping pliers can be easily fixed.

  1. Don't use a lot of force with the crimping pliers. It doesn't take much force to compress a crimp tube. 
  2. Also, after you round the crimp tube, go around the crimp several more times rounding the crimp and gently compressing. This will allow you to mold it into the perfect shape and make sure that the crimp is snugly attached onto the wire.


Should I use crimp tubes?

At Soft Flex® Company, we love our crimp tubes. Unlike other crimp tubes on the market, ours have a double-walled thickness and are seamless. This means they are extremely strong and do not have a seam. The hidden seam is the real reason so many cheaply made crimps fail. They do not offer proper hold, no matter how hard you crimp them. Our crimp tubes are sterling silver, gold-filled and copper which means they are durable, but soft enough that they won't damage the wire. We have found that a lot of crimp tubes on the market are made from base metal, which is hard and can be harmful to your stringing material.


Do I need crimping pliers?

We suggest purchasing a pair of crimping pliers if you have not yet done so. A crimp finished with crimping pliers is aesthetically pleasing as well as very secure, if crimped correctly. The crimp will have a pleasant, round surface and can be incorporated into your designs as a spacer bead. If you are using needle nose pliers to finish your crimps, the end result will never be a uniform finish, each crimp will be unique since needle nose pliers will not close the crimps in the same manner each time. Needle nose pliers will also cause irregular surfaces on the closed crimp which can irritate or abrade the skin. The patented crimping pliers allow for your design to be secure, while allowing the crimp bead to look and feel smoother. When using with Soft Flex Beading Wire and the patented crimping pliers, your crimps will be safe and secure.

Why do my crimps keep breaking?

Nobody likes to crimp that final tube on the design only to have it break. Crimps can fall apart for lots of reasons; here are a couple of pointers. Never smash your crimp harder than you would shake your grandmother's hand. Smashing too hard will just work-harden the crimp and make it brittle. Make sure you are using high-quality crimps. Cheaper crimps might save money, but you may need to restring often if they are not up to the task.

Do I need to double-back through beads after crimping?

A long favored way of designing a necklace or bracelet was to take the wire and double-back through the last beads nearest the crimp. The idea was this: if a crimp failed, the doubling back would save the necklace from falling apart or give the wearer enough time to recognize the problem before the design fell apart and save it. Here is the problem - in order for the wire to fit through the final beads again, it has to be small enough for the beads to accommodate it a second time. In effect, you are now opting to make the ends more secure by making the entire piece less so. We suggest you use the largest diameter you can fit through the beads once for a more durable design. If the crimp is done correctly, it will be secure enough without having to worry about doubling-back through.


Should I finish my piece by knotting it or crimping it?

Soft Flex® and Soft Touch™ beading wire has been designed to be the most flexible wire on the market. All of our wire can be knotted. We do, however, suggest crimping your designs for a more professional finish. If you decide to finish any piece strung on Soft Flex beading wire using a knot, we suggest using a figure-eight knot. Special-T glue is a great way to secure your knots, it is non-acidic and will dry pliable.


What size crimp tubes do I need for my Soft Flex® Beading Wire?

Each diameter we carry will have a variation on the size crimp we suggest. For a typical one-strand connection, you will want 1x1mm crimps for .010, 2x2mm crimps for .014 and .019 and 2x2mm or 2x3mm .024.

We have created an easy chart to figure out which crimp will work for each diameter if you are working on a multiple strand design. Example: 4 strands = a 2 strand necklace running through the crimp twice to attach a clasp.


Soft Flex Tube Crimp Table

 Size  Dia.  Will Fit  Crimping Pliers
 1x1mm tube  .010  4 strands  Micro (PLR-586.00)
 2x2mm tube  .010  14 strands  Regular (PLR-585.00)
 2x3mm tube  .010  16 strands  Regular (PLR-585.00)
 3x3mm tube  .010  66 strands  Mighty (PLR-584.00)
 1x1mm tube  .014  1 strand  Micro (PLR-586.00)
 2x2mm tube  .014  8 strands  Regular (PLR-585.00)
 2x3mm tube  .014  8 strands  Regular (PLR-585.00)
 3x3mm tube  .014  31 strands  Mighty (PLR-584.00)
 1x1mm tube  .019  1 strand  Micro (PLR-586.00)
 2x2mm tube  .019  4 strands  Regular (PLR-585.00)
 2x3mm tube  .019  4 strands  Regular (PLR-585.00)
 3x3mm tube  .019  20 strands  Mighty (PLR-584.00)
 1x1mm tube  .024  1 strands  Micro (PLR-586.00)
 2x2mm tube  .024 2 strands  Regular (PLR-585.00)
 2x3mm tube  .024  2 strands  Regular (PLR-585.00)
 3x3mm tube  .024  10 strands  Mighty (PLR-584.00)
 Most Typical:
.010-1x1mm tube
.014-2x2mm tube
.019-2x2mm tube
.024-2x3mm tube