Cutting You Off: Beading Tools for Cutting Your Beading Thread

Sep 5, 2012

So before I go making all kinds of jokes about cutting you off, cutting it out, and cutting to the point, I just want to say this: the beading tools that you use for cutting your favorite beading thread can be serious business!

Depending on what type of beading thread you prefer to use, there are many different beading tools that you can use for cutting that thread. I used to be a die-hard Nymo fan, but in the last three years, I've started using more Wildfire and Fireline in my bead-weaving projects. And if you've ever tried to make a clean cut of Fireline using a pair of embroidery scissors, you know that which beading tool you choose for cutting thread can make a big difference between getting that beading needle threaded on the first try or the tenth attempt.

Over the years, I've amassed quite a collection of beading tools just for cutting my beading thread.

In a pinch, an ordinary pair of craft scissors is a good way to cut your Fireline or Wildfire beading thread. You can find these kinds of scissors at your local craft store, sometimes in the kids' crafts section, for around two dollars a pair.

When using these scissors, I found that I had to pull my beading thread tight over the blade before actually making the cut. Even so, it didn't always leave me a clean cut on the end of my beading thread.

Another disadvantage of these scissors is that they are most definitely not airline-friendly for traveling.

When I purchased a Lisa Peters Art ring kit a few months ago, included in the kit was a handy little thread cutter, meant so that you could sit down and start beading on the kit as soon as you got it! While I loved the concept of instant-gratification beading, these thread cutters left a little to be desired.

I found that I had to draw the thread tightly over one blade before making the cut, and the mechanism wasn't kind to my hands. I can see where someone with arthritis or weak hands might have a problem using these to make lots of cuts to beading thread.

On the other hand, the tiny blades make it pretty darn easy to zoom in when you need to get a close cut in a tight space between beads.

My Rapala scissors for cutting Fireline were a gift from none other than NanC Meinhardt! And what a brilliant idea -- after all, Fireline is fishing line, and what better to cut fishing line than the same scissors that are sold in sporting goods stores specifically for cutting fishing line!

These scissors are easy to use and small enough that I can pack them along whenever I travel with my beads.

The only downside to these scissors is that I can't always get in close to make a neat cut in tight spaces.

My new favorite beading tools for cutting thread are these heavy duty Fireline scissors from Xuron. Not only are they extremely easy to use and make a clean cut every time, but those tiny, sharp blades are perfect for getting into tight spaces between beads. I love the spring-loaded action on these scissors, and find that they also make beautiful cuts of S-Lon for kumihimo projects and even my old favorite, Nymo.

If you're looking to invest in a pair of quality scissors, these heavy duty Xuron cutters retail for around twenty dollars. Yes, they cost more than the other options for cutting your beading thread, but these are some serious beading tools that are truly built to last!

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Do you have a favorite beading tool for cutting your beading thread? I am in love with my Xuron cutters! Leave a comment and tell us what you like to use to cut your beading thread, plus any tips for getting clean cuts on your Fireline or Wildfire beading thread, here on the Beading Daily blog!

Bead Happy,


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vertlaw wrote
on Sep 5, 2012 2:14 AM

I use inexpensive nail claippers to cut Fireline.  When they get dull, throw them out. And you can take them on the airplane with no problem.

vertlaw wrote
on Sep 5, 2012 2:15 AM

I use inexpensive nail claippers to cut Fireline.  When they get dull, throw them out. And you can take them on the airplane with no problem.

ssandeelee wrote
on Sep 5, 2012 2:58 AM

The best way to cut fireline is with Berkley fireline scissors!!! - just pop into the fishing shop....they are quite inexpensive and always cut!! While you are there you can pick up more fireline of course, but also a handy container especially made to fit the rolls or fishing line in :)

on Sep 5, 2012 3:56 AM

I use a pair of suture scissors that I've had for years and years. Tiny blades are super sharp. If you have a nurse or doctor friend, they may be able to snag you a pair!

Seacone wrote
on Sep 5, 2012 4:53 AM

I also use nail clippers for all of my threads.  They not only can fly but they also are great for getting into tight spaces.  I've used them for years and as vertlaw says," When they get dull, throw them out" and buy a new pair.  They are super cheap and last a good long time.

I also wanted to throw in my two cents on thread.  I was a Nymo baby for years and years.  I tried every new thing that came along but nothing was as good as Nymo....that is until I tried the G-one thread.  There just is no equal for me.  It never frays and it flows easily thru my curling iron for straightening/stretching and retains it's stiffness for a long, long time.  If I am making something that is all bugles and/or all crystals I will use Wildfire/Fireline, but they aren't my first choice for anything.  The G-one is expensive but worth the price for the newest pleasure in beadweaving.

Thanks for letting me share my way :-).

Allpatches wrote
on Sep 5, 2012 5:00 AM

Nail clippers are the best tool for cutting fireline type thread.  They are inexpensive  so you can easilly replace them when they get dull.  All cutting tools will get dull after a time when you cut this type of thread.

Anne Gately

on Sep 5, 2012 5:42 AM

I have been using a pair of Fiskars spring assist micro tip, #5 scissors for 4 years. They have held their edge all these years like no other scissors I've used. Love them....for cutting thread on my beadwork I use a Thread Zap thread burner, I can get into a tiny spot a burn the thread leaving no tail.

on Sep 5, 2012 5:43 AM

I have been using a pair of Fiskars spring assist micro tip, #5 scissors for 4 years. They have held their edge all these years like no other scissors I've used. Love them....for cutting thread on my beadwork I use a Thread Zap thread burner, I can get into a tiny spot and burn the thread leaving no tail, my favorite tool.

MaryW wrote
on Sep 5, 2012 6:43 AM

Which model number of Xuron do you use?

Tonya K wrote
on Sep 5, 2012 7:38 AM

I use a good pair of embroidery scissors but appreciate the info on the Xuron scissors!

bec95beads wrote
on Sep 5, 2012 7:43 AM

i use thread snipper's i love them and i sometimes use small embrodriy scissors .

on Sep 5, 2012 9:10 AM

I have a small set of "Chinese" scissors that I got from "Real Deals" Dollar Store and they are very sharp and pointed, so I can get into tight spaces.

The 1 George wrote
on Sep 5, 2012 9:11 AM

I have found that a side cutter will cut Fireline well. Or a flat ended finger nail clippers works great. You can get in close and they can be taken on airlines.

Shaktipaj wrote
on Sep 5, 2012 9:16 AM

Since beading was my first love and wirework is my *true* love, at home I use the tips of my Xuron flush cutters, which as it happens, are shaped pretty much like the Fireline shears. LOL On the airlines, it is nail clippers for me! I am an exacting girl who plays with fire(and Fireline!) - if the area is *really* tight, I use an Exacto knife - just the tip.

But the way I cut my Fireline will pretty much allow it to be cut cleanly with nearly anything. Although Fireline doesn't technically stretch very much, it *does* kind of plump up just a teensy bit when not under tension. So if you pull the end tightly, and bend the work away from it slightly to add even more tension, the first sharp edge that it touches will sever it. Because it was longer when you pulled it, the end pops back into the bead it exits.  

And yes, I save all those cuts for last and wear a bandaid around my fingers to pull on it. :^)

on Sep 5, 2012 9:35 AM

Love the Cutter Bee scissors - very sharp (come with a protective hard case that fits over the blades.  The ends are tapered into little angles so they are easy to get into tifhgt places

beadlesaz wrote
on Sep 5, 2012 9:53 AM

I use my 16-year-old Gingher embroidery scissors. I bought them when I was an embroiderer (before I saw the light & took up beading!!) They've held up beautifully. Clean cuts and nice sharp points for getting into tight places.

Lila@18 wrote
on Sep 5, 2012 10:36 AM

There's always a threadburner for tight spaces. Berkley, the Fireline maker, makes a great thread burner, aka line cutter for fishermen. It's only $10 at the tackle store with a spare tip & easy to change battery. I got this tip from Laura McCabe.

joymjoslin wrote
on Sep 5, 2012 11:26 AM


 I love myheavy duty Xuron cutters.  I, also, like to look at the magazines etc in my hands as I relax while reading etc. I do not like reading etc on the website.  I am retired and maybe it was cause I was a software engineer and spent too much time on the computers.

D.M.Z wrote
on Sep 5, 2012 1:10 PM

When I went to replace my mixed mess of pliers and cutters I wanted to go "made in USA" and found Xuron. I also found that they make some of the tools marketed as Beadsmith. I bought them all through my local bead store, the Beadsmith brand where I could and she ordered the rest from Xuron direct.

I have used my micro shears for EVERY cut of Fireline and Wildfire from that day to this and there is no sign of wear or dullness at all. I cut apart a project if it is not going right, so I cut a lot. The Micro Shears are light weight, easy to hold and use and I absolutely adore them.

For Nymo and cloth or threads, I use a pair of stainless steel scissors that I got free and second hand, they have been cutting just fine for years now. But I am not the type of person who goes out and spends repeatedly for things, I want to buy something once and have it last forever.

And with that, I'll CUT myself off.........Donna

Cpi wrote
on Sep 5, 2012 6:36 PM

I've found my Fiskars ?4" scissors will cut fine if I use the end closest to the hinge and pull the thread tight across the blade. As long as I don't jiggle the thread across the blade(s), I get a clean cut that's easy to thread.

Thanks for all the great tips, especially the nail cutters for travel. Best ideas are often the simplest and least expensive.

on Sep 6, 2012 12:00 PM

My favorite pair of scissors are from Bead Smith, they cut fireline cleanly and have a great edge to them.  They run about $4-5 a pair and are about 8" long and very sharp.  Look for them and try them out, I think you will like them.


on Sep 6, 2012 1:58 PM

I use Fireline scissors.. They are easy to use and quite sharp.. One does not need to hold the thread tight to cut it which is the case when using normal scissors. I got it from the shop where i got my first jewellery making kit. It was not a beaded jewellery i was working on at that time.. I was working on costume jewellery that women wear here in India with their sarees on festivities. The neat cuts don't let a scrap of wire hanging, which might further scratch the wearer. I just started beading and realized that the tools to be used are same hence this scissor is still handy..

slykitti wrote
on Sep 7, 2012 2:35 AM

In researching the Xuron cutters, I find this particular cutter comes with a plain edge and a serrated edge.  Which are you recommending?

michalk wrote
on Sep 7, 2012 9:05 AM

It would be helpful it you could tell us which model and edge -plain or serrated you are recommending

on Sep 10, 2012 1:37 PM

I use nail clippers too! I have never found anything better or more efficient cutting right down to the the bead with a straight cut.

Cpi wrote
on Sep 21, 2012 7:57 PM

After reading your article, I searched online and found a wonderful cutting option.

For a whopping $7.35 (total, no S+H! from, I purchased the Rapala Ez Stow Braided Line Scissor which hangs on a cord around the neck. So now I have the right scissors for the job and I never have to search for them again.  I've been using it for about a week and, after a few practice snips, it's cut perfectly every time without crushing the braid or making a lump which makes it hard to thread needles.

Thanks for the recommendation.

gnhuber wrote
on Oct 20, 2012 2:26 PM

5 Secrets for Great Bead Embroidery will not download. Every other e book downloads just fine. Says something about javascript error. thank you