What is an awl tool?
While they are used for various sorts of crafts, including bookbinding and woodworking, awls are perfect for many purposes in beadwork.
Paired with a hammer, the awl makes a great hole punch tool. All you have to do is slam the awl into the surface being pierced.
Alternatively, if you have a bead that needs to be removed from your work, an awl is a good way to solve the issue. Just stick the sharp end inside the bead and keep going until the bead breaks off.
See also: The Illustrated Guide to Jewelry Making Tools