F What Tools Do You Use? | tamdoll's workspace

What Tools Do You Use?

April 13, 2010
Tamdoll's red tool box
We all use tools; from needle and thread, some scissors, sometimes a glue gun.  What kind of tools do you use all the time? Sometimes?
In my workspace I have my:
  • sewing machine
  • jewelry making pliers and cutters
  • wrenches
  • heat gun
  • soldering iron (wiring my art for electricity - want to see, get a laugh?  - go back in time.) 
In the basement workroom there's:
  • a vice
  • Dremel tool
  • screwdrivers
  • hammers, chisels
  • X-acto blades
  • saws (regular & coping)
I've used these all in my crafting adventures.   I'm a hack and tend to grab whatever is nearby for my purposes, making it work somehow (like, here).  I’m not always comfortable using them – layering on the goggles and face masks when I’m unsure what will happen – but when I’m determined to get a project done, there’s not much that will stop me.
I know I have a few readers outside the U.S. - do you tend to buy tools that are made where you live or do you have another preference?  My inclination is to "Buy American" even when I can find less expensive items at the store.
tool box

Why am I asking all this??  Because I've invited Stuart from ToolGuyd to offer a few crafting tool tips and suggestions every Tuesday for the next few weeks.  I thought that it would be best to make this series somewhat interactive, so please ask some questions, send any topic suggestions or requests you have, and tell us a bit about the tools that you use in your crafting projects.
So, give me your feedback and let's get to know our tools a little better.  Be on the lookout for tool shopping and selection tips, usage examples, and perhaps a giveaway or two!


  1. I have a sewing machine, and if I wasn't constantly moving I'd buy a glue gun and soldering iron.

    Although I don't check for country of origin I try to buy things from corner stores instead of big box stores.

    I have two questions:
    1. What's the difference between a heat gun and a hair dryer?

    2.How do you pronounce soldering iron? Is it pronounced different in the US/UK.

  2. Dear Tammy, this is exciting news! I am gonna love this new column you have here! :) I have a lot of tools around my creative workspace..from fabric tools to paper tools to beading tools. :) I am looking for a nice small iron for my little craft projects, any recommendation? :) Have a lovely merry happy day and love to you!

  3. Hey there!
    My favorite tool is my awl. It's got this rounded wooden handle that fits perfectly in my hand and I use it for a lot of poking. I do that a lot--poke holes in things for various projects. I use it when I embroider paper (which I do all the time) and other non-fabric stuff.
    I just got a sewing machine, and we're going to be great friends--as soon as she stops giving me attitude... :(

  4. I don't have many tools... it's always been a needle and thread, and a tabletop magnifier - very important! I used to use small hand tools for my jewelry making. Now with my bookmaking, I use a paintbrush, an awl and bone folder.
    I try to use things around the house - my telephone book comes in handy! And don't forget the computer.

  5. Hmm, let's see...
    Jewelry pliers & cutters
    Jewelers chasing hammer & anvil
    aligator clips
    this tool that I swiped from my hubby's Snap-On tool box that twists wire (he's a mechanic)
    I also have a Dremel, torch & soldering iron, but don't really use them much. I'm kind of scared of them, lol :)

  6. I have multiple paper cutters, scissors and adhesives.
    I also have rulers, exato blades, and even a scroll saw that I hope to perfect using one of these days.

  7. My awl is my lifesaver as a jewelry artist. I do not like to have to add, so I usually use about 9' of string material. Every once in a while a knot forms, and no matter how tight, I can work my awl into the knot and viola, the knot is easily opened!

    Another favorite: light

  8. hmm sounds like I need to get an awl.

    I use:
    jewelry pliers & cutters
    thread, needles, seam ripper
    sewing machine
    and the one everyone is forgetting my hands!

    I'd like to get a "chain sta" for charm bracelets.

    Id love to know more about different jewelry tools and what they can be used to make.

  9. @ Thea,

    Those are great questions! In short, the difference between a heat gun and a hair dryer is the amount of power and level of heat that can be delivered by the tool. A more detailed response is on its way!

    Solder is pronounced like "sodder" in the US, and I have heard not heard it pronounced differently by British-english speakers.

    It sounds like many of you are fond of awls. In upcoming posts, we'll take a look at awls, jewelry making tools, and more!

    Please keep the comments and questions coming!

  10. Jacqueline - not sure Stuart will address this in a future post, but wanted to reply about your request for a small iron. I use my regular clothing iron for craft projects and a mini-one - Clover brand for fine detail ironing.



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