Jewelry Tools: Bracelet Gauge

This is one of those tools that I wished I’d bought a long time ago. Measuring the size of a bracelet with a straight ruler is pretty easy when the bracelet is made with small beads or chain. But a bracelet made with large beads is a completely different story. When you hold a large bead bracelet against a straight ruler, you are in essence measuring the circumference from the center of the beads. When the bracelet is formed into a circle when it is clasped, the inside circumference¬†is what has to fit around the wearer’s wrist.

I’ve made the mistake a time or two of making a large bead bracelet too small because I was using a ruler to measure it. Trying the bracelet on doesn’t help much because my wrists are very small. One day, a while back I was reading Lori Anderson’s blog and on her work table she had a cone thing with sizes marked on it and I realized it was a way to more accurately measure bracelets. I don’t know why it took me so long to realize I could use a tool to help me.

I took a look around at what types of bracelet gauges were available and decided on the above model. It wasn’t too expensive and looked like it would do the job. I decide what size I want the bracelet to be and while I’m working on it, I wrap it around the gauge to see how it fits. This way, I am always measuring the inside circumference because the bracelet has to fit around the gauge.

An added bonus – it’s portable and can be tried on just like a bangle bracelet. I have some regular customers who have non-standard sized wrists. I’ve taken the gauge to them, had them try it on and adjusted it until I got the size they felt comfortable with. I keep their sizes in my notes and when they want a bracelet, I know exactly how long it needs to be.

Here’s a closer photo of the size markings.

Thank you Lori!

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6 Responses to Jewelry Tools: Bracelet Gauge

  1. Menka Gupta says:

    Looks like a very useful tool. Yeah you are right, measuring the size of the bracelets is not very easy at times. Will look around for the tool when I go bead shopping next time. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Lisa Faeth says:

    That is the greatest thing>>>> wow…Thank YOU! Guess it shows….I didnt know they made those….
    Thanks.

  3. thebeaddreamer says:

    Hi Menka & Lisa,

    I didn’t know about it for a long time either. It definitely helps.

  4. Paula Rudy Gordon says:

    What an awesome tool! I do seed bead, chainmaille & copper/silver link bracelets. Getting the correct size for each medium is a hassle. This is the perfect tool for me.
    WHERE can I purchase one???

    • thebeaddreamer says:

      Paula,

      I got mine from Rio Grande. Just search for bracelet gauge and you’ll see it. I hope it helps!

  5. Isabel says:

    Excellent tool…might be my next purchase. I’m new to the beading blog scene. I would really love it if you checked out my blog (its a work in progress) thanks!

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