Beading tools

Essential tools:

There is a huge range of beading tools available which are very useful but not always essential. Let’s look at the most important tools for making beaded jewelry.

beading pliers

A: Round nose pliers
Round nose pliers are used for bending wire and making loops. This will probably be one of the beading tools you’re going to use most. It is important that you buy jewelry making pliers and not hardware store pliers which are too big for jewelry projects. If you’re going to use your round nose pliers for many projects then it’s worth investing in good quality pliers.

B: Chain or flat nose pliers
They are used for almost everything else, from holding your pieces to opening and closing chain links and jump rings. These two pliers can do more or less the same job. I prefer chain nose pliers or longer flat nose pliers which can get into tight spaces. If you have to decide between the two then I would definitely recommend the chain nose plier.

C: Wire or side cutters
They are used to cut stringing material and light gauge wire. (Never cut memory wire with side or flush cutters, use memory wire cutters instead).

Useful tools:

Crimping pliers:
Crimping pliers are specially designed for crimping beads. This comes in handy when you want to make sure your beads are securely in place.

Bead crimping pliers

Small sharp scissors can be very useful for all beading projects.

An awl is a beading tool used for knotting. The awl makes it easier for you to make consistent and tight knots.

Beading awl

Bead board:
Bead boards have a curved groove with a measuring scale alongside with compartments in which the beads can be held while you work. This will end your frustration of all the beads ending up on the floor!

Resin based glues are ideal for use with metal, china and glass. All purpose clear, strong adhesives are useful for sticking non-metal items such as wooden beads.

Tweezers can be one of the handiest tools for picking up tiny beads when stringing.

A hammer can be used to flatten wire which will harden the wire and will therefore keep its form better.

Beading needles:
You will need a beading needle when you are working with thin thread and tiny beads.

Measuring stick:
Some or other form of measurement is always useful. I use a metal ruler with inches on one side and mm, cm on the other side.

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