Any toolbox meant for jewelry-making must have an assortment of beading tools and supplies, including beading pliers and special knotting tools. Each tool has specialized functions that you can’t replicate quickly with standard tools. While some jewelers begin rummaging through their garage for side cutters and pliers that are often too big, the more severe crafters realize early on that they need special beading tools due to the nature of the work and the size of the wires, threads, and beading supplies.
Remember: professional results may be achieved with high-quality equipment, correct technique, and growing experience. Crafting more beading designs is critical if you want to improve your craft.
Luckily here at Xinar, we have always been fully committed to bringing the best of the jewelry-making world to your doorstep. So shop the best selection of gold-filled beads, sterling silver beads, copper beads, and rose gold-filled beads. Xinar ships worldwide, and we also make it a point to reduce our carbon footprint in the process. Our sterling silver beads and exciting collections of themed sterling silver charms are all hypoallergenic, lead-free, and nickel-free, too—best for crafters who prioritize quality over anything else.
Our beads and findings are also proudly made in the USA.
A toolbox for crafts involving knotting between beads should include glues, needles, scissors, reamers, and tweezers. In addition, this toolbox should be complemented with round-nose pliers, chain-nose pliers, and side cutters.
In addition to this beading equipment, consider getting storage containers, a caliper, measuring tape, a velvet board, and a design board.
Bead storage containers are also ideal for organizing beading supplies. For example, the bead design board is for setting out your project in advance, while a velvet board put in a tray will safeguard fragile beads and prevent them from rolling away as you work.
Getting Started with Beading Tools and Supplies
It is usually preferable to use beading tools and supplies made expressly for knotting between beads rather than hardware store tools for professional results. Awls, cord knotting tools, and tweezers are examples of specialized knotting instruments.
Always verify that the tips of these gadgets are devoid of curves and protrusions that might grab your cord. A snag in a cord might cause it to deteriorate and break in the future.
Awls are used to precisely knot pearls and beads on silk or nylon string. Typically, they are steel and have an excellent, sharp tip. The handles of most awls are made of wood, plastic, or steel, and some even have an ergonomic grip. They are also excellent for untying knots but should never be used to pierce anything since they can bend or shatter the tip.
Cord knotting tools are knotting instruments with a three-pronged tip. Each manufacturer creates a model with subtle differences, but they all function identically. Therefore, this instrument is always designed to create a uniform and consistent knots. In addition, each model has comprehensive instructions on how to operate it.
Very tiny, pointed points on tweezers created particularly for knotting between pearls and beads make it possible to tie tighter knots. The size of the tip indicates the grade of the tweezers. Higher-quality tweezers often have longer and more pointed tips, whereas lower-quality tweezers have blunter tips.
Needles used for knotting cords have specific properties. Unlike beading and stitching, knotting needles must be highly flexible. This adaptability enables stringing beads with small or uneven drill holes to be more straightforward. The needles detailed here also include big, collapsible eyes, allowing pearls and beads to be strung on various thread and cord diameters.
Large-eye needles are many inches long, and the eye extends nearly the entire needle length. Definitely should be part of your beading tools and supplies.
The eye is not immediately apparent but becomes visible when the needle is twisted slightly. The big eye allows larger diameter cords to be threaded for knotting. The lengths of big-eye needles range from 2 to 5 inches.
Fine-gauge steel wire is twisted around itself to create twisted-wire needles, leaving a little untwisted space at the top to make the eye. When threaded into the drill hole of a pearl or bead, the eye of this type of needle compresses and latches onto the cord.
Reamers open or smooth drill hole issues in various bead kinds. For example, pearls and beads hand-drilled from organic materials may have irregular or jagged drill holes.
Other beads may contain small burrs or sharp edges that can snag or cut the cord. It is always essential to use reamers with care. They are incredibly sharp and, if mishandled, can break beads and cause harm.
Bead reamers expand, smooth, and deburr the drill holes in beads besides pearls. For smooth reaming, the tips of bead reamers are coated with diamond dust. Popular bead reamers include interchangeable bits for use with various drill hole diameters. There are also electric bead reamers available.
Pearl reamers are extremely delicate instruments explicitly created for use with pearls. The corkscrew-shaped tip of a pearl reamer is used to widen or level out uneven drill holes in pearls.
The pearl drill creates holes that may be reamed so that two strands of silk cord can easily slip through. However, using a pearl reamer to drill gemstones or other bead materials is inappropriate.
In addition to the equipment specially developed for knotting between beads, other tools are required to transform knotted strands into completed jewelry. Most of these instruments are required regardless of the jewelry-making method.
There are numerous beading pliers that are crucial to your set of beading tools and supplies, ranging from essential tools, often created in Pakistan through intermediate tools made in Germany, to sophisticated tools made in Spain or the United States. The quality of beading pliers varies based on the type of metal used and how the item is constructed. Some beading pliers are spring-loaded, making their use considerably simpler.
Chain nose pliers are beading pliers with a rounded, tapering jaw on the exterior and a flat, smooth jaw on the inside. This wire working instrument is often employed for crimping and grasping wire.
Flat nose pliers are beading pliers with a smooth, flat, and tapering jaw on both sides. This instrument is ideal for tasks requiring a more excellent gripping surface.
Beading pliers featuring a smooth conical barrel and round nose pliers are great for constructing loops. This beading tool is essential for creating earring loops and curved wirework creations. It may also be used to open and close bead tips. However, pliers with a round nose should not be used for grasping.
On one jaw of a split ring plier is a little tooth that holds a split ring open as charms, or another ring are put onto it. This device is convenient for fastening rings to the ends of cords.
Cutting tools are essential for cutting diverse cables with knots. Sharp blades are necessary. Avoid using them to cut cloth or paper to preserve the sharpness of beading scissors or snips. A thread burner may also cut and cauterize nylon and synthetic strands.
Small thread-cutting instruments, like snips, are handy for clipping the ends of nylon and silk cords. Add these to your beading tools and supplies.
Fine-tipped scissors feature thin, sharp blades with pointed ends that enable a precise, tight cut. These little scissors are indispensable for cutting silk, nylon, and other cords with a minimum diameter. Stork scissors are a unique style of fine-tipped scissors with blades resembling a stork’s beak.
To cut and cauterize nylon and other synthetic threads and cords, thread burners are utilized. When the burner is triggered, its tip becomes sufficiently hot to melt and cut the cable end without leaving ragged fibers—batteries power thread burners.
Glue is commonly used to fix the first and final knots in the cord ends of a piece of knotted jewelry. A drop of glue stops the knot from untying itself and keeps it from slipping out of the cord end while worn.
E-6000 is a robust and multipurpose adhesive for the jewelry-making toolkit. It is transparent, has a thick consistency, and is resistant to water. E-6000 cures in 24 hours and hardens in 15 minutes.
Hypo-cement, also known as jeweler’s cement, is packaged in a tube with an excellent tip for precise application that reduces waste. It dries transparently and does not adhere fingers together. When manufacturing floating necklaces, hypo-cement is frequently employed to adhere pearls and beads to the cording.
Zap-a-Gap is a well-known brand of superglue, especially for jewelry-making applications. Other super glue brands have distinct consistencies. Transparent liquid glue and fluid are crucial for jewelry fabrication. Similar to other super glues, Zap-a-Gap sets in 10 to 15 seconds and cures in 24 hours.
Ultra-Super Solvent is a famous brand of solvent that may be used to remove super glue off skin, textiles, and surfaces. After utilizing chemicals and solvents, constantly cleanse the skin with soap and water.
Measuring instruments are essential for calculating the length of a specific jewelry creation or acquiring a precise neck or wrist measurement.
Using a measuring tape and bead board improves the precision of jewelry creation. In addition, beads are commonly marketed in millimeters, although jewelry patterns are typically developed in inches. Having many measuring instruments on hand makes this conversion much more uncomplicated.
Bead boards are lightweight trays with slots for organizing bead patterns before stringing. The exterior channels are designated in inches, whereas the interior ones are marked in centimeters. The bead board’s recessed portions are significant for storing loose beads and findings. Typically, they are constructed of flocked plastic.
Calipers are little metal instruments with a slidable jaw that measure beads and bead holes. To determine the size of the bead, slide the jaw open, set the bead in the jaw, and then close the mouth. Next, refer to the measuring instructions.
Measuring tapes labeled in inches and centimeters are handy for converting millimeters to inches and measuring the lengths of necks, wrists, and completed jewelry.
Creating a Functional, Beading Workspace
Organizing your workspace by keeping your knotting equipment, needles, cable, and scissors within easy reach is essential. In addition, when knotting between beads, it is enormously essential that you work on a flat surface, utilize decent lighting, and sit comfortably.
Work surfaces can change based on the context. The most important considerations when establishing a workspace are a surface that prevents beads from rolling away and a location where equipment and materials may be kept close. For example, a velvet board on a flat desk or table is preferable, but a velvet board on a tray on your lap also works.
Additionally, bead boards, mats, and specialized bead trays are available as work surfaces. Ideal conditions include a sturdy work surface, comfortable chair, enough lighting, and magnification.
Seating should always be considered. Good sitting facilitates correct posture and circulation, hence reducing tiredness. Always choose seating that complements your workspace and satisfies your requirements. The ideal option is an adjustable task chair with adequate support.
Illumination is essential. Good lighting boosts color perception decreases glare and eye strain, and improves your sense of well-being. A highly suggested brand of full-spectrum job lighting is Ott-Lite. These lights are available in several designs, including desk lamps, floor lamps, and magnifying lights.
Magnification might be helpful when threading needles or working on a hard knot. If you’re onto a long project, good magnification will also aid prevent eyestrain.
Several magnification goods are available, including reading glasses with a high magnification factor, magnification visors, and stand magnifiers. Choose the magnification style that best matches your work environment and personal preferences.
Storage is vital for your beads, findings, and tools. These containers safeguard your supply investment, maintain the cleanliness and sharpness of your instruments, and keep everything organized.
Compartmentalized containers are ideal for keeping tiny beads, findings, and clasps within easy reach on your workstation or in your toolbox when traveling. This container is available in several designs, including screw-top stack jars and compartmented boxes with hinges or slide-top lids. Some containers are made of transparent acrylic, while others are made of opaque plastic.
For keeping completed jewelry, particularly pearls, jewels, and precious metals, jewelry boxes and rolls are helpful.
The divisions of a jewelry box or the soft material of a jewelry roll prevent different jewelry pieces from rubbing together.
A jewelry box is ideal for storing at home, while a jewelry roll is convenient for travel. You may select your preferred jewelry boxes and rolls from various sizes, shapes, and designs.
Toolboxes and tool cases are essential for safeguarding your investment and organizing your equipment and materials. In addition, tool cases are essential for safeguarding the blades and tips of your jewelry-making instruments.
Plastic bags with zipper closures help store in-progress creations, beads, and findings. The tight closure prevents loss, while the plastic keeps the contents dust-free and clean. In addition, a tiny strip of anti-tarnish paper in packages containing precious metal findings prevents tarnishing.