A pin vise is a tool used by wire workers to twist wire or simply grasp the wire while working on it, sort of like an extra hand. This is often done to create a decorative effect on the ends of wire such as when wire wrapping a cabochon.
How Is a Wire Pin Vise Used?
Using a wire pin vise is not that difficult. To use if for twisting wire, simple slip the wire into one end of the vise, tighten the jaws of the vise down on the wire to keep it in place, grasp the other end of the wire with a pair of pliers, and begin to screw the jaws tighter and tighter. You'll see the wire will twist. To use it to secure wire, follow the previous instructions but just don't tighten the jaws any more after you have the wire secured.
What Should You Look for in a a Wire Pin Vise?
There are a variety of pin vise configurations available, so you may want to look at a few before you select the one that is right for you. The pin vise pictured is a four-jaw pin vise, which is one of the more common vises found available from jewelry tool suppliers such as Rio Grande. This vise is pretty small, just about 4 inches long, and fits easily in your hand when working. Other vises can be larger, which may be a good idea if you work with thick wire such as anything larger than 18-gauge.