What’s Your Favorite Tool?

Mar 29, 2010
Leslie Rogalski

What’s your favorite tool?

I have to agree with the authors, editors, and Beading Daily readers who answered my “What’s your favorite tool?” poll—it’s hard to pick just one. Is it the pliers you use most, your most expensive hammer, or an heirloom pair of scissors that you have hanging on your wall? So what’s my favorite tool? I can’t see making jewelry without these!

Here’s what a few folks had to share:

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Jean Campbell, contributing editor, Beading Daily
"Hands down, it's my thread burner. My beadwork became so much cleaner after I started using this baby. I actually have a few of them sitting around, just in case I misplace one–wouldn't want to go without it!"

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Kerry Bogert, Bead Fest teacher and author of Totally Twisted
"I love my mandrels! Not only do I use them for making beads, but when it comes to wire working, they are great for making coils! If you don't have a coiling gizmo, you can grab a beading mandrel and wrap your wire around it." All the different size mandrels make for lots of wrapping options, too.

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Lisa Niven Kelly, Bead Fest  teacher and author of Stamped Metal Jewelry
"I don't dare attempt any jewelry making without my trusted Razor Flush Tronex cutters. These babies (yes they have their own crib in my studio) provide the perfect flush cut, and that lovely sharp tip gets into tiny spots to trim wire tails. If they were to go missing, I would post white 'lost' signs on every phone pole!"

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Danielle Fox, editor of Stringing
"I love my $10 Target melamine tray. I simply place a Vellux mat inside for a lap-size portable beading surface. Works great when I'm sitting on the couch, beading in front of the TV!"

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From BD members:
Jsmaz (one of your BD Moderators!) raves about her ergonomic tools but says, “At the moment I just have cheap pliers but I'm planning to upgrade sometime this year, at which time I expect to have new favorites.”

Billy uses ergonomic tools with extra-long handles because it helps him overcome arthritis. He also found another way to help with sore handsweightlifting gloves. “Doing wirework, you really need your fingertips. Weight-lifting gloves . . . are padded in the palms and have the fingertips open.”  (Photo courtesy of Soft Flex.)


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Kmarie0218 says, "The Chain Stä is one of my favorite tools!  Can't live without it!  I love making dangly bracelets, necklaces, earrings, etc., and this stabilizer is an invaluable tool to suspend your chain so you can use both hands to attach links and drops. I use it all the time now." (Photo courtesy of Chain Stä.)

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I also like using alphabet stamps to give special meaning to my work. Look for the myriad ways letter punches are used in Stamped Metal Jewelry by Lisa Niven Kelly!

Of course you have to share your favorite tools with us! Tell us what you’re most attached to on Beading Daily.

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bylynette wrote
on Mar 29, 2010 10:24 AM

My favorite tool must be my magnifying visor - I use it whether I'm beading, soldering, doing polymer clay, wireworking or sewing. Although asking us tool-aholics to choose a favorite tool is a bit like choosing between your children (my torches, my bent chainnose pliers, my dad's old hammer, the old print type drawers holding my stone beads....) my visor helps in all mediums. Then there's always the next tool I'm saving up to buy!

on Mar 29, 2010 11:04 AM

I'm with you, Lynette--my mag specs are my fave tool. Without them--I'd be lost no matter which medium or technique I'm using

KarenH@140 wrote
on Mar 29, 2010 11:26 AM

Kmarie0218, thank you for posting the Chain Sta! I had no idea it existed, and it looks like a fabulous tool. I have just ordered one. I'm a beading novice, and my favorite tool is the crimping plier.

dottiem6 wrote
on Mar 29, 2010 11:50 AM

My absolute favorite tool, at the moment, is my new bench.  My hubbie bought a woodworking bench for me at Harbor Freight and it has four big lined drawers for tools and plenty of work space on the top.  I've attached lights, vice and magnifing glass to it and it is a glorious work space.  Just this morning, after reading my Beading Daily email and seeing the Chain Sta tool, I put two of the provided eight inch wooden pegs in two of the holes on the bench top.  Proceeded to nail a finishing nail in the top of both and voila!  A quick Chain Sta that is removeable and moveable on the bench.  There are also six holes on the top and six pegs provided.  What a great helping hand!  If I can figure out how to do it, I'll post pics.  

bjnich1 wrote
on Mar 29, 2010 1:48 PM

My favorite tool are my tweezers. They are bent at the tips and I've used them for picking up everything from my work table to hundreds of teeny-tiny beads that were dropped on the floor next to my...work...table... What a mess! bjn

jurgbarb wrote
on Mar 29, 2010 5:51 PM

I have to agree with Lisa on this, the first time I used these pliers in a class I knew I had to have them. Razor Flush Tronex cutters.  That Chain sta is looking pretty good too.


April GW wrote
on Mar 30, 2010 8:08 AM

My favorite tool hands down would have to be my magic crimper. I love how it can make my crimp beads round. Looks great.

on Mar 31, 2010 8:29 PM

My pasta machine!!!  Her name is Dora. :D :D