What are Some Things to Know About Stainless Steel Craft Wire?
At Arcor Electronics, we sell everything from coaxial cables down to stainless steel craft wire, so we know a lot about the different alloys, gauges and uses of our wire. One of our more surprising markets is not part of electronics at all and is instead centered on jewelry and craft making. Specialty wire and cable, such as rich low wire (brass wire) or our craft wire made from stainless steel, find a lot of use in wire wrapped jewelry as an affordable and durable wire choice. So to help you decide if stainless steel is right for your jewelry needs, here’s some useful information on this great alloy!
Benefits of Stainless Steel Craft Wire
Stainless steel wire offers a sleek and sometimes even rustic and weathered look for jewelry. Because the steel is made with trace amounts of chromium, stainless steel is well known for not staining, tarnishing, or rusting like steel or many other specialty wires used as jewelry metals.
Stainless steel wire is also very affordable and low maintenance due to its high corrosion resistance. It’s also very easy to find many different gauges in places outside of your local craft stores, such as hardware shops or with online shops like Arcor making it even more affordable without the extra label!
Stainless steel is a very tough metal, making it a wise choice when you need a tougher alloy. That makes it great for men’s jewelry or for creating pieces that look great and can last a long time too.
For those who carefully select their stainless craft wire, finding nickel-free stainless steel wire is a great material to use for hypoallergenic jewelry. (Nickel is often one of major culprits of allergic reactions in jewelry.)
Many jump rings used in chainmail jewelry are made from stainless steel for its durability. And by getting a spool of stainless steel wire you can make your own jump rings by coil cutting your own wire for a fraction of the cost of ones sold at jewelry wire stores.
Things To Be Aware Of:
You’ll want to be careful with stainless steel craft wire, especially with higher gauges. Steel is a very tough metal, so you will want to use much hardier tools, especially when it comes to your wire cutters, files, hammers and even your bench block. A good heavy-duty pair of wire cutters can make quick work of it and a metal needle file can handle any burs from the metal, but you will want to invest in a second set of tools that can handle steel’s hardness or risk wrecking your current set.
You will want to be very careful using a jump ring maker with steel wire! Many jump ring makers are not designed to handle stainless steel’s tensile strength, meant for much softer specialty wire or cable such as gold or rich lo wire. However, a durable pair of cutters, or even a pair of coil cutting pliers made to handle steel can make quick work of the task.
Unless you find 100% nickel free stainless steel, remember that steel is not a hypoallergenic wire! Choose your material very carefully, or request a nickel-free stainless steel if this is a concern for you.
If you want a high shine on stainless steel, you’ll want to look into steel shot tumbling techniques if you want to shine up jump rings or finished pieces.
As long as you keep in mind that stainless steel is a much tougher metal, it is a useful wire for making durable jewelry that is sure to last for years.