Metal Clay Tools

Beginners  Alternative

Shopping Guide

Tools - The "Good & Better" Starter Aternatives

Starting metal clay can seem overwhelming and expensive. This shopping guide is aimed at showing you inexpensive alternatives to investing hundreds of dollars in tools to get you started. Creativity is not restricted to having the best tools!


As you progress, you can view our "Best" options for the tools that will give you the information to gradually enhance your metal clay home workshop. view my "Best" tool options here

Please note that links in this guide point to websites that sell the tools or products in this guide. Please consider that these links are provided as a reference only and not meant as a recommendation to purchase. We are not affiliated with the sites referenced and cannot provide any assurance of the best pricing or service of the websites included.

Note: If the product button indicates "LOCAL", this means that no online link has been provided as local shopping is recommended. Usually this is due to low cost items costing more due to shipping costs or special shipping requirements due to carrier restrictions. Prices on this page are approximated.


Good - light occassional user, beginner, budget limitations. Usually an alternative to more expensive products.

Better - frequent user x1-2 times month, serious hobbyist, entry level tool.

Best - advanced user, artist / artisan, essential tool. (NOT AVAILABLE ON THIS PAGE CHECK "BEST" TOOL OPTIONS)

Self Healing Work Surface

$ 5.00

A great all-purpose work surface for metal clay. Both sides of the mat are made with self-healing material so less marks imprinted on your clay. This surface has a very slight texture that can mean a little sanding is required.


Rating: Better

Home Made Work Surface - Document Protector

$ 3

You cna use a full sheet of heavy duty plastic (Document Protector) taped to a magazine. The plastic provides a smooth waterproof surface and the magazine protects against damaging your desl / table top when cutting.


Rating: Good

Home Made Hydrator

$ 4

Make your own metal clay Hydrator. Using a small airtight jar, cut x2 circles of household cleaning sponge to fit the bottom and the top. Glue x1 piece to the top and place the 2nd in the bottom. Add distilled water and voila!

Needle Tool Substitute


A crafting knife (scalple) can be a good substitute for a needle tool. Readily found in 1$ / discount stores, this option works better with the self healing worksurface.


Rating: Better

Homemade Needle Tool


Using a large sewing needle and a piece of polymer clay you have a personalized needle cutting tool! Click the View Product button to view a "how to" YouTube video.


Rating: Good

Thickness Spacers - Playing Cards


Using playing cards to provide the thickness when rolling clay is a good alternative when starting. Consider x1 card as 1mm, but you may need to add a card to get your desired thickness.

Metal Clay Drill - Drill Bit


Check you hardware store (or hubbys' tool box;-) for this little electric drill bit attachment. They are readily available and the fitting makes it easy to use.

PVC Pipe Roller


1" PVC piping can be found in the plumbing section of any hardware or department store. They may even cut the length to 8" - 12" for you...You now have a metal clay roller!


You may find the roller a little light, but you can add flour in a plastic bag pushed inside the pipe. Tape the ends and it feels like a purpose purchased roller. 

Homemade Tapered-Point Chisel Shaper


Make your own chisel shaper by purchasing these pencil eraser ends. With a scalple you can shape the end into different points.

Rio PMC Torch-Firing Kit


Although we do not promote torch firing, it is possible with the right technique. This little kit comes with a very good torch and the firing frame adds just 10$. Just keep in mind that this option is fine for occasional hobbyists, but may use a lot of PMC / Fine silver clay while practicing. This method is only recommended for small flat Fine silver only.

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Metal Clay Adventures | Nanaimo | British Columbia | Canada
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Metal Clay Adventures - Jewelry Making Lessons by Award Winning Metal Clay Artist Rodi Frunze