Discover what’s a thread burner and how to use this incredibly handy tool.
If there’s one thing that completely ruins a piece of beaded jewelry that you’ve spent hours working on, it’s loose bits of thread sticking out everywhere.
It doesn’t look very polished, does it?
To avoid those little tail threads, you’ll need a cutting tool that allows you to get very close to your beads. It also needs to be able to cut through very strong beading thread easily.
A thread burner is the solution to each of those problems. In this post, I’m going to tell you all about what has quickly become one of my favorite beading tools ever and why you need to add it to your toolbox.
An Introduction To The Thread Burner
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What Is a Thread Burner?
A thread burner is a tool with a metal tip that heats up. It’s used to cut beading threads and works well on synthetic cords such as Fireline and nylon threads.
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Its narrow tip allows for the precise application of heat so you can get very close to your beadwork and remove excess thread. This eliminates the cut ends of thread that stick out when you use scissors.
A thread burner is much easier to use than a lighter because you can control exactly where the thread is cut. The heat produced melts the thread and prevents unraveling. When used close to a knot, it also stops the knot from loosening.
How To Use A Thread Burner
The design of thread burners varies slightly based on the manufacturer but they all have a similar method of operation.
On most models, you simply press a button that causes the tip to heat up. Sometimes, the tip may glow red while on other models, there will no indication that heating has occurred. Once the tip is hot, touch it to the thread you want to cut. Then, release the button to switch off the heating.
Some models have a retractable tip e.g. Beadsmith Thread Zap Ultra. To use this thread burner, you must slide a button forward to reveal the heating element. After use, slide the button back to its original position to switch it off and set the tip in the protective enclosure. This is a useful feature as it protects the tip from damage and prevents accidental burns.
If you have a thread burner without a retractable tip such as the Thread Zap II, it’s important to replace the cover once you’ve used it. Doing this protects the tip and yourself or surfaces from burns.
These tools are battery operated so you’ll need to replace the batteries eventually. You may also need to change the tips. Some models are sold along with an extra tip but, in the event that yours does not come with one, they’re also sold separately. Ensure you purchase the correct tip for the model that you own.
A Word Of Caution
When using the thread burner, be careful to only apply it to the thread you want to cut. If you touch other threads holding your beadwork together, you may cut them and ruin your work.
Also, do not touch your skin or work surface with the heated tip during or after use as it could cause burns.
If you do a lot of beadwork, a thread burner is a necessity and I would highly recommend purchasing one.