How to Use a Bead Reamer

Published December 2012
Content Supplied by Beadalon

Bead Reamer

A bead reamer is a pointed, round file that is used to either smooth the edges of the drill hole in a bead or to widen the hole itself. Its important to always smooth the rough edges on a bead as they will wear the cord or wire of your design. Widening the drill holes allows for the cord or wire to pass through the bead more easily. Using a bead reamer protects your work from breakage due to abrasion, improves the appearance of your design and, in the long run, saves you time and money.

Bead reamers are available in manual or battery operated models. When using a manual bead reamer, simply hold the bead with tweezers in your non-dominate hand and use your other hand to slide the file into the bead hole. Twist the file in the hole until the edges are smooth. Using a battery operated bead reamer makes the process easier, since the tool does the filing for you.

Beat the Heat: Excessive heat caused by the friction of filing can crack a bead. To avoid cracking, just add water! Hold the bead with tweezers, dip the bead and the tip of the bead reamer file in a shallow bowl of water. Under the surface of the water, insert the bead reamer into the bead and file. The result is cool beads!

A note about safety: ALWAYS wear safety glasses when using a bead reamer, as fragments of the bead can fly during the filing process. Beads can become very hot when filed, so be sure to hold them with tweezers to protect your fingers from burns.