Crimp tubes are amazing little titans of the jewelry-making world. They are metal and mighty--holding stringing materials and beads together. They are THE finding to keep your stringing projects intact; they are the "glue" that keeps a design together (without the need for glue); they can even be counted on to add flash to a design. And crimps have come a long way from the days of the little round piece of metal you "crush flat" to secure inflexible beading wire (not to mention the advancement of beading wire--but that is another story for another day).
Crimp tubes, or crimp beads as they are often called, are sections of tubing (typically seamless) that are intended to be used when finishing beading wire, like Accu-Flex® professional-quality beading wire. The end of the beading wire is passed through a crimp; through a loop on your clasp, or other finding like a soldered jumpring; passed back through the crimp and then drawn taut. Crimping pliers are then used to crimp the bead to secure it. These pliers are expressly designed for use with crimp beads, utilizing a 2-step process for creating a very secure finish to your design. The crimp is compressed in the rear section of crimping pliers which forms the crimp into a crescent moon shape as well as compresses the crimp over and between the wires captured inside; then in the second step the crimp is rounded with the front notch of the pliers to round the crescent-shaped tube into a "bead."
Crimp tubes are measured length by outside diameter (OD), i.e. 3x2mm means 3mm long by 2mm around. You will also see the inside diameter (ID) measurement noted which indicates the inside space of the crimp and how much room there is for your stringing material. In most cases, a larger ID indicates a larger opening, where the smaller the opening indicates a thicker crimp wall and a stronger crimp hold, i.e. 2x2mm sterling silver crimp with a 1mm ID has a thicker wall than a 2x2mm crimp with a 1.3mm ID. You want your crimp to succeed so choose the right size but also the thickest metal possible.
Another professional finishing option is to string your beading wire through an Accu-Guard™ Wire Protector as it passes over your finding. The Accu-Guard protects the wire from abrading as well as blends the crimp seamlessly with the clasp or other findings in your design.
- ''How To Crimp a Crimp Bead/Crimp Tube'' how-to video and illustrated instructions
- ''Crimp Ends with Cording'' how-to video and instructions
- ''Riveting With a Tube or Crimp Tube'' how-to video and instructions
- ''Using Crimp Tubes with Accu-Flex® Beading Wire'' how-to video and instructions
- ''Using Crimp Tubes with Cording'' how-to video and instructions
- ''Using Crimp Ends with Accu-Flex® Beading Wire'' how-to video and instructions
- ''Crimping with Screw-Tite Crimps™'' how-to video and illustrated instructions
- ''Using Crimp Covers'' how-to video and instructions
- ''Crimp Resource Guide - All About Crimps'' article
- ''Using Accu-Guard™ Wire Protectors'' how-to video and illustrated instructions
Inside opening = inside diameter (ID)
1-inch = 25.4mm
1mm = .0394 inches
Crimp Tubes/Crimp Beads
We would like to share some of the customer comments we received in response to the article, "Crimp Tubes," featured in an email exclusive. Please keep in mind that the comments expressed below are those of our customers and do not reflect the views of Fire Mountain Gems and Beads.
"This was a great chart!! I don't know how many times I have messed up my design by using the wrong crimp tube.
"Excellent. I want to print it out and preserve the information.
This was a very informative read, please carry on giving us this type of info.
"The "crimp" article was very helpful! Thank you!"
"I love this lesson as well as any others that you have offered. Great job.
I would like to know how to consistently crimp the beads on the second (or Last) end of your project. When I am doing the first end I can keep the two strands of the beading wire separated, crimp and then move on to the other end. It is at this point that I haven't yet figured out how to assure that I do get a good crimp to separate these two wires. Any ideas? Thank you,"
"Excellent information, I'm always in need of tips and ideas for my beading... Thanks
This was a good beginner tutorial. I have read reviews from beaders that base metal crimps do not work as well as sterling silver or gold filled crimp tubes. I've read that the base metal crimps break easily and do not create a secure finish. I would love a little discussion on the topic of which metals to use to most securely crimp a piece. Is this one area where scrimping on cheaper materials is a mistake?"
"Great info. Thanks. Wonderful pictures.
I learned stuff I didn't know..."
"No question, just some feedback: Thank you! I have a Fire Mountain crimping tool, but never knew how to use it correctly."
"Did I like it? I loved it! So clear and informative.
From now on crimping should never go wrong again."
"This is just what I have been looking for. I needed info. on crimping ends for necklaces, but what for silk cords? How thick do I need the crimps to be? Thank you"