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Guide to Beading Tools And Jewellery Making Tools

If you are new to jewellery making it is well worth acquiring the following tools for your bead tool kit as they are the considered to be the basic beading tools needed to produce professional looking jewellery. From experience we favour the American beading tools supplier Beadalon as they are well made, are widely available, have a good reputation, and are keenly priced. Beadalon tools division also produce higher end ergonomic beading tools, as well as designer bead and wire jewellery tools, but the items detailed below will provide a good starter beading tools set for the novice beader, as well as forming a core set of beading tools for a seasoned jewellery maker.

Beadalon Bead Pliers

  • Round Nose Pliers – have tapered jaws and are used for putting smooth bends and forming circular loops and curves in wire. Perfect for finishing off head pins and eye pins when making earrings or charm dangles. The tapered round jaws of these Beadalon round nose pliers can be used for making jump rings, or simply opening and closing them.

Beading Tools Round Nose Pliers

  • Chain Nose Pliers or Flat Nose Pliers – both of these plier types have flat inner jaws. The Beadalon chain nose pliers have a rounded tapered outer jaw, whereas the Beadalon flat nose pliers have straight sided outer jaws. You will need the flat inner jaw for squashing shut crimp tubes, folding down ribbon ends, keeping a good hold of wire when the need arises (wrap your jaw ends in plastic tape to avoid scratching the metal) and to bend wire at right angles. The advantage of the chain nose over the flat is that the tapered jaw allows you to get into smaller spaces, so again good for opening / closing jump rings. They are the jewellery makers version of needle nose pliers.

Beading Tools Chain Nose Pliers Flat Nose Pliers

Beadalon End Cutters And Beadalon Snipper Tools

  • Cutters – For cutting most wire Beadalon end cutters or Beadalon side cutters will put a neat finish on your wire (sand the end of the wire for a super smooth finish). However, memory wire is a different kettle of fish as it is so tough, and needs to be cut either with specialist memory wire cutters, or a pair of sharp household pliers. Use your jewellery pliers and risk ruining the jaws. Lighter weight Beadalon Snippers are good for quckly and accurately trimming thread and cord.

Beading Tools End Cutters And Snippers

Beadalon Crimper Tools

  • Crimping Pliers – This is a specialist tool that will give a neat finish to your crimp beads. A pair of flat nose pliers will flatten a crimp bead – perfectly functional – but a Beadalon crimping tool will produce a rounded shape to the crimp that looks better and more professional if you are leaving them exposed. Beadalon has two designs – the standard crimping tool and the micro crimping tool. The micro crimping tool should be used very tiny crimps.

Beading Tools Crimping Pliers

Beadalon Bead Boards

  • Bead Boards – This is a jewellery design tool that also you to plan a jewellery piece before you string it, as well as providing a work surface and individual storage areas to organise and place your beads and findings whilst working. Single and multi channel beading boards allow you to create single or multi strand necklaces whilst handy measurement rules allow you to determine the length of your finished design.

Beading Tools Bead Boards

Two other jewellery beading tools worth considering for your beading tool kit, entirely depending on the type of jewellery you are making, are:

Beading Awls

  • Beading Awl – This is a multi-purpose beading tool which can be used, amongst other things, for helping to create knotted designs, clearing clay release blocking glass bead holes, or for making indentations, holes and fine line engraving in polymer or precious metal clays.

Beading Tools Bead Awls

Bead Reamer

  • Diamond Tip Reamer – The Reamer is used to clean, neaten and enlarge the holes of glass beads, ceramic beads and stones, ensuring that a bead will fit onto your chosen wire or thread. It is particularly useful if you are working with semi precious gemstones for enlarging the holes. These are often drilled from both sides to a centre point within the stone which can leave a burr which over time may cut through the stringing wire used.

Beading Tools Diamond Tipped Bead Reamer


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Anna Weller of Big Bead Little Bead

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