Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Tool Review: Bead Buddy 1-Step Crimper Tool

Photo from its Amazon listing.
Before I get to the review, let me clarify that I am in no way, shape, or form affiliated with the makers or sellers of the Bead Buddy 1-Step Crimper Tool. I am merely a user of said tool with some opinions on it. :)

Let me tell you how I found this tool. It was a few years ago (two or three, maybe?) and I was just getting serious about stringing. I had just been using fishing line and tying knots in the end when I started, and I had moved on to crimping tubes but didn't have any actual crimping pliers. I was using just regular chain-nose pliers to flatten the tubes, and while it looked better than knots, I wanted the tubes to look nice. Professional. Tubular, one might say. Also, because the flattened tubes left sharp, pointy corners. So anyway, I was in the market for a pair of crimp pliers, but I also wanted something easy to use, and simple. I happened to see these in the jewelry section of my favorite big-box store, and I was sold.

I don't have any photos of me using the Crimper Tool, but I did find an instructional video on Youtube. I couldn't catch what-all the person in the video said (kiddo's sleeping and I couldn't find my headphones), but the video shows how to use the tool.

I chose the 1-Step Crimper Tool over a regular pair of crimping pliers because I noticed that the regular pliers have multiple spaces to put the crimping tube, and that would have confused me. Like I said, I was looking for something simple, and I know me - after a while of using the pliers, I just know I would suddenly have a brainfart and forget which part of the pliers are used for which part of the crimping process. This makes me sound like a total ditz, I know, but I do have a tendency to blank after being on auto-pilot.

Enough about my foibles - here are my pros and cons about this tool:

  • Pro: Easy to use. There's only one spot to put the crimp bead, and the tool does the rest. You do have to remember to not cross the wires while crimping, but that's the same with any crimping tool.
  • Pro: Quick. Three movements, and the piece is crimped! 
  • Pro: Professional. You don't have to worry about proper squeeze pressure like you would with regular pliers - the tool does all the work, and the crimps come out uniform and neat, every time.
  • Con: Size. I have dainty little hands, and the movement between one set of handles and the other is a little awkward for me. Your mileage may vary. 
  • Con: Doesn't put on crimp covers like regular crimping pliers can. To offset this, however, I have been able to successfully place crimp covers with my chainnose pliers, so I don't find this to be a dealbreaker.
On the whole, this is my most specialized tool, but also one of my favorites. It's everything that I was looking for in crimping tools, and the two downsides to it aren't that biggie (for me, at least). If you're in the market for a crimping tool, I recommend giving the Bead Buddy 1-Step Crimper Tool a look. :)

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