Learning to Use a Bead Spinner

Jul 25, 2012

I know bead spinners are nothing new, yet today was my first time trying one. I've spent hours on various projects stringing one seed bead at a time. This is the tool, I've heard, that would have spared me those hours. Project Editor Kate Wilson and I tried out the Darice battery-powered Bead Spinner. Let me tell you about our experience...

To prepare to use the tool, we first had to insert two AA batteries. Then we filled one of the bowls (the spinner comes with three) with seed beads. The instructions say to fill the bowl one-third to one-half full--the more beads in the bowl, the easier it's supposed to be to string them.

Then we threaded the included large curved needle with some of the included thread. We were ready to start the machine! I turned on the spinner, then inserted the needle into the bowl. Beads started spraying out of the bowl, not staying on my needle! Discouraged, I thought I needed a little better instruction, so I viewed the YouTube video the company put out. Not too helpful as it's hard to see the beads and needle in the video. I returned to the spinner. This time I held the needle a little closer to the curve, and concentrated on skimming the surface of the beads, not poking the needle into them. Better. I got a few beads on my needle. Kate tried. After the needle wiggled back and forth, she was able to stabilize it and get an inch or so of beads on the wire--progress!

The instructions do warn that it may take a bit of practice to find "just the right 'touch'" to pick up the beads. We found this to be true. After several tries, we were able to get more and more beads strung at a time, though no nowhere near two inches at a time--the amount at which the instructions suggest you push the beads down the thread. We agreed, however, that it was worth playing with the tool more.

Have you used a bead spinner? If so, please share your tips!


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MaryW wrote
on Jul 28, 2012 7:28 AM

I tried one and got so frustrated with learning that I quit. Stringing them by hand is more relaxing for me. I listed my spinner on Amazon if anyone's interested!

marci-doo wrote
on Jul 28, 2012 7:59 AM

I love my bead spinner. It did take me a few tries before I really got into the swing of things. It's a matter of having enough beads in the bowl and getting the angle of the needle right. Rather than holding the needle upright,I find if I hold it on a 45 degree angle and with the curved end of the needle turned towards the side of the bowl the beads jump right on and climb up the shaft of the needle in no time.

It's a real time saver.

on Jul 28, 2012 11:18 AM

Love mine!  

SuzyNash wrote
on Jul 29, 2012 4:56 PM

I love my bead spinners too. I love to make my own tools wherever possible so  I made mine myself though with papier mache for the bowl and an old empty ballpoint pen for the spindle. This  sits on a piece of wood with a 2inch screw through it, it just takes a flick of the fingers to set it spinning. It took a while to get the hang of it, but now I can string beads by the yard for projects in minutes rather than hours.

holly132 wrote
on Jul 29, 2012 9:30 PM

I like the hand turn one it allows me to vary the speed and that seems to let me load beads on the needle with more control. If any beads have holes to small for the needle it plugs up so you have to remove that bead from the mix.

Saucy1 wrote
on Jul 30, 2012 6:29 PM

I just posted to FB that it takes a bit to get your angle for holding the needle, but once you do it's great!!

DanielleF@9 wrote
on Jul 31, 2012 11:23 PM

Thanks for your encouragement. I'll keep practicing. Sounds like it will pay off!

Beth N wrote
on Aug 16, 2012 12:39 AM

I haven't tried the electric spinner but I do have 2 manual ones and I think they may be a little easier to control as the speed that they turn at is up to you, the spinner. I bought the second one because just stringing one color wasn't enough for me. I would like to try the three in one though sounds fun.