Crimping pliers are essential if you want to use crimps. They have a specific set of teeth that allows you to close a crimp and then squash it into shape. I have seen people close crimps with flat nose pliers, but these do not work as well if you wish to create an attractive finish for an exposed crimp.
If you look closely at the teeth on crimping pliers, they have two sets of edges. The set nearest to the handle have a single curve on one side and a double curve on the other. This is used for squashing the crimp flat to trap the two pieces of stringing material.
The set of teeth nearer the end is a simple curve on both sides, so these are designed to squeeze the crimp into an attractive round ball that, at a glance, will look like a tiny seed bead.
Using Crimping Pliers to Secure a Crimp
Slide your crimp onto the threading material and move it into place. Align the inner set (double groove) of the crimping pliers on either side of the crimp and squeeze them so that the crimp is squashed into place. If you have two pieces of thread through the crimp, then you will see at this point that the two strands have been pushed to either side of the crimp and it is flat in the middle of them, so your crimp should now be a long, flat-ish shape. Turn the crimp ninety degrees, so that the longer side is vertical. Place this between the outer set of grooves on the crimping pliers and squeeze them together. This should force the crimp to fold in half so that it now appears to be a neat round piece of metal, securely holding the threading material in place. Using crimping pliers is a skill that can take a little time to develop, so if your first attempts are a little unattractive, don’t give up! In the worst case scenario, you can always hide untidy crimps under crimp covers.