Tools And Consumables

The Point and Purpose

To keep this more to the point and less cluttered, I will cover the stuff I've tested and know to work. For some things,like Acetone, brand doesn't really matter. For other things like drill bits and blades, they matter a lot. I'll spend time and space accordingly

To avoid any uncertainty or guessing, I will specifically identify the brands (and model where relevant) that I use. Though sometimes critical, I hope you will find the candidness refreshing. If you have a reasonably priced alternative that you believe deeply in, let me know and I'll give it a try.


Acetone dissolve CA glue (super glue), which is very important for removing patterns, or cheat strips of wood from the coin. If you are not cutting out patterns, and don't need a cheat to handle the coin, then you will not need the acetone. Buy whatever brand you big box store carries. You can start out by buying a small container, but if you get into this craft in a big way, you will go through a lot of this stuff.
Pour the Acetone in a very small Kerr (or other jar) with a good lid. (The stuff evaporates quick). After a few uses, the CA glue that has been relased from the coins start building up in the acetone, and the coins will start coming out with a milky residue. When this happens, you will want to throw that batch out and pour in some new. If you decide to not use Polyethylene disposable gloves (and directly use your fingers instead), you can also use the acetone to remove the CA glue from your fingers.

CA Glue

I currently use "Gorrilla Super Glue Jel." I have tried many CA adhesives, and though I've had the best luck with Gorrilla's CA, I'm still not totally happy because I still get pattern lift, which is highly annoying. If you find something better, or know a better way to prep/clean the coins, please let me know.

Drill Bits

If you are just starting, the beginner (Kanji) patterns can be drilled with a 1/16 bit that you can get from the hardware store. However, as the detail becomes smaller, you will want to take that size down a notch. If you get the wrong bit, it will self-destruct and cause a huge mess for your coin. For example, Flying Dutchman drill bits were a nightmare. The bits that I have found to be very good is the #72 from sloans woodshop.

Drill Oil

Trust me, you need to use oil in the "divits" when you drill. I use the common 3-in-oil, but, brand shouldn't matter.


The blades that you will want to use to cut coins are called Jewelers blades. In getting a feel for sizing, the larger the number, the smaller the blade, so #4/0 is smaller and more likely to break than #1/0. Important Note: #2/0 is not the same as #2. If you are just starting, I would recommend you start with #2/0. I highly recommend standard Pike brand, and use that brand exclusively now, currently favoring the 3/0. The backs of these blades are round, the the quality of the teeth are exceptional. I search and buy from the vendor with the best price. I undestand Hercules Brand blades are very good, but too expensive for my taste. Pike Platinum falls in that same category. I may buy a small sample of these to test at some point in the future to satisfy my curiosity.

Polyethylene Disposable Gloves

Unless you don't mind superglue on your fingers, you will want to get "polyethylene" gloves because they stand up to superglue. I use "Handy Guard" brand from, but don't know that brand really makes a difference here. Don't try this with Nitril gloves.


Mothers Mag & Aluminum Polish seems to be the standard for this type of application. I've not tried anything else. You can get this at your local big box store.

Spring Punch

Without creating a divit (recess or dent) where you want to drill, your bit may walk, messing up your coin/pattern. I have purchased several spring punches, but I really favor the "General 89" punch because it has a good adjustable stroke. When the detail gets very small, you want a light stroke so that you don't rip a big hole in your pattern. I got my 89 from Home Depot, but it is also available from

Jewelers Saw

Because jewelers blades break easy, and because fretwork means constantly changing holes, it is important to find a saw that makes clamping in the blades, and tensioning as quick and efficient as possible. Although there are many saws that "can get the job done" available for less than $20, for me, the value provided by the "Knew Line" of jewelers saws is worth the extra cost. There are several models of these saws out there, but as you shop, you want the "cam lever tension" which allows you to quickly and easily tension the blades. You should shop around for the best price, but here is a link that will give you an idea what to look for: Link