Cheap Beading Tools

by Brenda
(Prince George, BC, Canada)

Will I still get good results from cheap beading tools? There seems to be a wide variety of prices for the basic beading hand tools. I can't see them in person since I am going to mail-order, but I want to know if the cheap sets will do the trick.

Any experiences or recommendations are welcome.


I have been making jewelry for over ten years and believe or not I still use my first set of pliers although I do own 6 or more different sets (I had a bead store and of course kept different sets for myself to test out).

When selecting pliers you need to consider the size of your hands. If you have large hands then a set of small pliers may be cumbersome and may tire out your hands faster. The same goes if you have tiny hands and try to use a large set.

The choice in selecting pliers is dependent on the amount of time you spend on making jewelry. That is where the comfort of holding and using these hand tools will make a big difference not necessarily in the quality of your work but in the comfort of holding and working with them for any length of time.

If you are doing mostly stringing and use your pliers for cutting flexible beading wire, flattening crimps, or making the odd wrapped loop for earrings or dangles then a cheaper set will be all you need.

The quality of your round nose and needle nose (also called chain nose) will not make a difference in the quality of your work. Quality in your work comes in knowing how to use your tools properly.

The only pliers I have HAD to replace over the years are my cutters. Especially cheap ones, they dull fast and get nicks in the blades easily if I use any hard wire.

I now use two different cutters, one for cutting harder wire (28 gauge to 14 gauge) and one JUST for cutting flexible beading wire (also called tiger tail or beadalon). If you use memory wire at all then either use memory wire cutters or an old pair of cutters from your house tool box. Do not use jewelry pliers to cut memory wire or you will definitely ruin them.

I hope this helps.
Gloria :)

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