JamieIf I had to pick only one tool, I'd pick the hoop mandrel. I call it the desert island tool. Not only is it useful for self defense, but also it can be a makeshift hammer LOL! Best of all, I can make findings, components, hoops... Anything. I bet I could even substitute the hoop mandrel with the bracelet and make cute baby bangles! Anyway, that's my favorite tool. Email me (email@example.com) to get your hoop mandrel! It IS heavy though, so if you live on the Oahu island, I highly suggest you come in the shop and pick it up :)
JasonMy favorite tool is one we use in the store DAILY. Well, what's a bead store without being able to put holes into things to make beads? Without a flex shaft, I wouldn't be able to drill the holes for my Tahitian pearl bangles or even ream out beads to fit stretchy cord! With the flex shaft, you can make anything into a bead - beach glass, shells, gemstones, and more. The motor is super strong on the flex shaft. I'm not going to get into semantics, but it WON'T let you down.
Here's a before and after of a freshwater pearl :) in case you're curious.
MichelleI really like my small 3-step and 6-step wrap and tap. With that, I can make lots of components like clasps. It's super awesome because on the 3-step, one jaw is covered with nylon so there isn't any marring from using the plier. The 6-step is smaller so I can even make earwires if I'm desperate. Also, it's good for eyepins because every loop will be the same exact size. Just don't forget which "jaw" you're using! Haha.. But, if I got to pick another one, I'd go for the mini Fretz chasing hammer... #401. I use it aaalllllllll the time. After I make the component with my wrap and tap, I need to hammer and the baby chasing is my GO TO! I don't think I could make jewelry without it... I recommend using the Fretz line because it is made with quality steel, not like the cheap-y ones with a zinc coating. These are my two favorite tools (but how can you pick...?!).
AnnaMy favorite tool is the parallel jaw pliers. It clamps instead of pinches so it has a super good grip and I use them every time I make my stars. They're the best! There's no slippage and I don't ever worry about breaking my tool when working with large gauge wire. I didn't think I needed one until I tried it, but now, I can't imagine making stars without it! Parallel jaw pliers are great for arthritic hands like mine.
CassTweezers are super awesome because not only can they create tight knots, but also they can take them out! Finding tweezers with super sharp tips are key, that'll give you the ability to get into the tiny spaces of the knot to undo it. But be careful! Don't poke yourself with them... To make super awesome knotted jewelry, you need quality tweezers.
CaliMy favorite tool is my work bench (wait.. does that count as a tool?). It has an adjustable height and can take a pounding, also a number of tools can be attached to it. Mine is super special because Jason-san made it for me :) Buuuuut.... If that doesn't count as a tool, it has to be my MagEyes because I'm blind and I can't work without 'em! If you struggle seeing the holes of seed beads or the texture you're putting into your metal pieces, you definitely need these. With them on, I can use them to get the gap in my jump rings nearly invisible (but if I didn't have MagEyes or magnifying glasses on, it'd be "perfect" anyway...). I wear mine like a headband because it keeps the hair away and is much more comfy than on the forehead!
Colleen S.My favorite tools... My Lindstrom plier set!! Once you get Lindstroms, you can never go back. I got mine with TBG and they're re-condition-able meaning if my cutters get dull and such, Jason will send it back to Lindstrom and get it all fixed up and new again :) Super happy and it has made beading much more fun (and easy!). The flush cutter is a true flush cutter. No filing if I don't feel like it. Saves time! Remember, always cover when you cut ;)
Gayle L.I've been a customer since the shop opened on Kapiolani so many years ago... My favorite tools are my Fretz hammers. They give my pieces a finished and professional look (because the Fretz line is what the pro's actually use!). My jewelry always comes out pretty and I get to hit and bang things (which is great when you're a middle school teacher... If you know what I mean).
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