Read this tip to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Beading Supplies and other Beadwork topics.
To prevent nicks or dents on metal findings or jewelry wire (such as sterling), there are a number of options.
If you do a LOT of wire work, there are special pliers with nylon inserts called Nylon Jaw Pliers.
If you need temporary protection (for just one project or attachment) get some of the "blue tape" that painters use to protect trim when painting. A couple layers of the tape will protect your metal items, yet still be thin enough to not affect the operation of the tool very much. When you are done, just pull the tape off - the "blue tape" does not leave any adhesive residue.
You can also make your own version of the padded jaw pliers. Buy an extra set of inexpensive pliers. Glue pieces of ultra suede or any soft rubbery material (old dishwashing gloves?) to the inside of the nose.