Jewellery making is no different to any craft or art when it comes to having the right equipment. Often, having the right tools for the job in hand will not only make the process easier, but the final result will also be superior.
However, as we know, not all tools are equal. Take consumables, such as abrasive mounted tools for example; in recent years the market has been flooded with low quality versions of these tools. Many jewellery maker’s favourite accessories aren’t fit for the job, and normally end up in landfill having added no value whatsoever. The same applies when it comes to power tools, consumables, hand tools and mounted tools.
We’ve used many suppliers over the years, but more often than not, we return to some of the most established suppliers of jewellery making equipment. Here’s our list of the best suppliers that will suit everyone from professional jewellery makers, to hobbyists turning their hand to jewellery making for the first time.
Moleroda Finishing Systems
Moleroda is hands down our favourite jewellery making tools and equipment supplier.
The company manufactures much of what they stock from their Wiltshire based factory (in the UK). But they also supply everything else you need too. In fact, Molerods is the UK distributor of many products and tools you find for sale in other stores.
What sets Moleroda apart is the sheer volume of products on offer. This is because they don’t just sell jewellery making equipment. They manufacture and supply abrasives, polishing and finishing tools and equipment to the entire manufacturing sector. The products are all made to the highest quality, which is why medical and aerospace companies purchase from them.
The downside of Moleroda is that they supply such a vast range of jewellery making equipment, it’s not always easy to decide what you need. Whilst other suppliers might give you a single option that is suitable for most jewellery making applications, Moleroda provides many options and grades. Sometimes there are too many options, especially for the novice.
It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the products on offer, but don’t worry, the team at Moleroda are absolutely brilliant (it’s a family run business), and they will tell you exactly what you need if you’re unsure.
Polishing Jewellery is worth mentioning here. It’s actually run by Moleroda, so not it’s not really fair to put this at number two on the list. However, this site only displays products specific to Jewellery making, so you won’t get too bogged down in the product choice.
You can find all of the jewellery making equipment you’d expect here, at the same wholesale prices, and of the same high quality.
The only downside is that the range isn’t as vast as on the Moleroda site. This is both a blessing and curse, depending on how niche the tools you require are. Professional jewellery makers may still prefer using Moleroda in order to get the full choice of abrasives and finishing tools.
Cookson Gold is another well established supplier. Whilst they don’t manufacture their own tools, you can buy materials such as metal and stones here, which can save you time and effort if you want to buy everything in one place.
We find the prices a little bit high on Cookson Gold, but you can normally find everything you need for creating great jewellery pieces.
It’s worth mentioning that we found the customer service and advice isn’t as good as Moleroda for example, so make sure you know what you want to order.
This entry is included for those shopping at the budget end of the market. Hobbycraft supplies a good range of essential hand tools at competitive prices.
The products are aimed more towards the hobbyist end of the market, rather than professional grade tools. This can sometimes be reflected in the quality of your end product. However, they are a good choice for someone starting out, or as a gift for children interested in jewellery making as a hobby. Some of the tools on offer are a good choice if you don’t want to spend too much money at the outset.
Obviously the downside is that you won’t get the quality on offer from the higher grade products sold elsewhere.
HS Walsh & Sons
If you prefer a physical store in which to browse the products and jewellery making tools on offer, H S Walsh & Sons have two stores. Branches can be found in the famous Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham and in the heart of the UK’s jewellery scene, Hatton Garden in London.
The company has been serving jewellers and horologists since 1947 and is a leading supplier of tools, equipment, clock and watch materials to the jewellery and horological trades.
HS Walsh & Sons serves clients from individual designer makers and independent retailers to large industry groups such as the Company of Master Jewellers, the Signet Group and Rolex.
What to look out for when buying jewellery making equipment
As mentioned at the beginning of the article, whilst there are many sellers of jewellery making equipment entering the market, sadly there is an awful lot of inferior goods hitting the UK shelves.
The proportion of tools and equipment ending up in landfill after little or no use is a sad reality across all industries and hobbies.
When purchasing anything required for the process of jewellery making, be sure to check its origins and quality where possible. High quality products will stand the test of time, and result in a better finish.
It’s not always easy to determine the quality of anything when buying online, and reviews can be false or misleading in some cases. If you buy from a reputable company, such as the ones listed above, you can easily return items if they are not up to the standards you expect.
We hope you find this guide to buying jewellery making equipment useful. Happy jewellery making!