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Couple of questions about tools

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  • Couple of questions about tools


    I'm new here and completely new to beading. I've just bought a couple of books on making beaded jewellery and I'm dying to get started but first I need to get some pliers and stuff. I know what I need to get but I'm wondering if anyone could recommend any good websites to buy from or any good brands. I keep reading that you should buy the most expensive pliers you can afford but how much is considered expensive, reasonable or cheap?

    Any help would be much appreciated!


  • #2
    Hi and

    I use which are a really good website for all tools and bead supplies and are competitive in price. Ebay is also good for tools etc.

    The one thing I would say when it comes to tools is that although you don't need to spend a fortune good quality products will serve you much better. I made the mistake of buying a 5-1 tool to save myself money but actually found that I couldn't do a lot of what I needed to do and the cutters were useless so ended up buying the 5 tools I needed seperately.

    All of my tools are Beadsmith which seem to be the most popular but I'm sure we all use different products and everyone will have lots of good tips for you.


    • #3
      I bought pretty much all my tools from hardware shops or market stalls, or had them given to me as electronics-work rejects!

      Mini long-nose pliers are mini long-nose pliers, whether you buy them from a hobby shop, a spe******t beading place, an electronics place like Maplin, the hardware shop, the cheapo bookshop, or the tool-stall on the market! I have £1 needle-nose bent-top pliers that are far, far superior to the £15 version that my local craft shop sells.

      But with any tool, make sure you get to try them before you buy them - hold them in your hand, check the smoothness of the movement, check that they're sprung nicely inside so they open again easily in your hand, check that the jaws/blades/whatever meet neatly, etc. The quality of the tool is FAR more important than what brand they are, and brand & price is not really a reliable indicator of quality...

      Scorch's Pyrography :
      Crafts on Flickr :


      • #4
        I also use a mix of branded/un-branded pliers. Along with the basics you need to get you started (roundnose, chain nose, cutters, etc) I also would recommend some crimping pliers and proper memory wire cutters if you are going to use memory wire (otherwise it will blunt your ordinary cutters).


        • #5
          Hi and welcome from another newbie!

          I'd certainly pay the money to get quality cutters - cheap ones just end up at the bottom of a drawer because they don't cut straight or just don't cut. I've my fair share of those.

          I think you can get away with cheap pliers, although like Scorch says, trying before you buy is a good way of knowing if they're a false economy.

          I'd recommend getting some round nose pliers if you're going to be working with metal as they help avoid denting it a little (only a little though!) and the only cheap pair of those I ever bought were too rough anyway, so again, might be worth spending up on those.

          Hope that adds a little to the great advice already been given.



          • #6
            It's Sad!

            It is sad to say that most of the good stuff these days comes from Germany or Switzerland and I am horrified to say Japan but you have to give credit where it is due.
            I am from Sheffield and Sheffield once had an industry making tools and cutlery, unfortunately and sadly most of it now seams to be made in China or India.

            Never be afraid to buy the best, they last and tend to do less damage to the product than the cheaper tools would.




            • #7

              I agree about the cutters, you need the best, I like mine to have pointy ends to get into small spaces. the last pair I got from Maplins, they are nice and sharp but don't last long.
              Chris W.
              Gemstone Jewellery and Gifts


              • #8
                Although I don't sell tools...I certainly agree investing in a good pair of cutters. Beadsmith brand are good. Cheap cutters 'splay' the edges of wire when you cut, which means your wire will sometimes not fit into it's finding.

                You can get away with cheaper round nose and flat nose pliers if you're not doing loads of beading. Better quality ones have stronger joints/hinges so will last longer.

                On-line bead supplier and bead lover


                • #9
                  Beadsmith now offers a few different types of cutters, one for memory wire, one for soft wire, one for flex wire (=tigertail)...

                  Round and flat nose pliers are essential, as are the cutters. Crimping pliers, only if you do a lot of crimping, otherwise you can get away using flat nose pliers.

                  Lindstrom is the top brand for jewellery makers but not many people sell it (about £30 to £40 for a pair of pliers!).

                  I've used Beadsmith for many years and they are very good (which is why I stock them ).

                  Oh and beware of pliers from hard ware shops, check they are smooth and not ridged.
                  Bead Shop, 91 Liverpool Road, Penwortham, Preston, PR1 0QB, Lancashire. Mon-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat 10am-4pm, Sunday 11am-3pm.