There are more beading tools on the market than you might realise. It’s very easy to put together a basic toolkit which will see you through the majority of projects, but once you discover the techniques that you love, you may find you need more specialist tools. On top of that, there are more tools coming onto the market all the time.
There is one general rule that I would recommend keeping when dealing with beading tools…buy the best you can afford. For every type of tool (even needles or scissors) you will find there is a greater range of choice than you might imagine. It is tempting to just buy the cheapest, but in almost every instance, this is a false economy. A cheap pair of scissors will soon blunt and become frustrating to use, or start splitting thread which leads to even greater frustration. A cheap needle will bend and break more quickly than more expensive brands. However, these items are relatively inexpensive, so perhaps worth the risk of continual replacement, especially if you are starting beading as a new hobby and you’re not sure whether it’s something you will pursue for long. I would recommend taking a little more care over pliers and wire cutters – even the ‘cheap’ offerings aren’t that cheap and when they break after a couple of uses (yes, I have had a pair of wire cutters literally fall into two pieces as I tried to persuade it to cut a slightly thicker than normal piece of wire), it becomes incredibly frustrating. I’m not suggesting that you necessarily buy the top of the range, all-singing, all dancing beading tools when you are still not sure what you’re doing or whether you’re going to do it more than once. However, you are going to make it more difficult for yourself if you try learning new techniques using poor quality beading tools. If you are just experimenting and don’t want to buy everything at once, you will usually find that classes and workshops allow you to borrow beading tools to use on the day, or perhaps you are learning from a friend who can lend you some tools to try before you invest your hard-earned cash. It’s also a really good idea to haunt beading forums to find out which brands people recommend if you’re not sure what you’re doing.