People frequently ask about what type of tools we use, what our favorite tool is and how we use it. Other than the obvious things like our torches and mandrels, many of us use either custom tools made specifically for lampwork or, as you will see, common household items.
My most used tool (and also the cheapest I might add lol) is a small paring knife. I use it to move glass, to make creases, to even up a lopsided bead. Its the one tool that I use each and every time I torch.
As Sonja stated, my favorite tool also is a paring knife. It's the tool I can't work without. It took time to find just the 'right' knife too. I even marver my beads on knife!
A second favorite is a tail stock holder. It is a tube on a wooden handle with an opening on the side of the tube. I put the end of my mandrel in that opening as I turn it in the flame, and it helps me hold the mandrel steady.
I love my Round Bead Roller graphite tool from CG Beads. I use it all the time! It's great for making sure I create consistent bead sizes—even for non-round shapes like cubes and barrels.
I love my razor blade set! I can't live without it! I actually have one designed for woodcarving but the shapes and styles are perfect for glass work!
I also love my crunch press! I use it for marvering, pressing, and evening out beads I think I use it more than my graphite marver!
I couldn't live without my dental pic tool. It's two sided and has a slight curve, perfect for getting into small corners, and pulling leaves, vines, and petal tips.
I have a pair of 12 in long tweezers that I think is my most used tool. I use it to pick off glass mistakes and to steady those big disk beads when they get a little too hot. I also use them to tidy up the bead ends on the RARE OCCASION (lol) that they get wonky.
A close runner up (so close that it may actually be first) is my masher pliers. I use that to make my Silvered Ivory Stringer - which is on almost every bead that I make - and to mix glass colors.
Use an old paring knife the most, then my favorite smooth tipped tweezers. As for weird, have nails in a board for a murrini mold. The wood only stinks for a minute, lol.
Going to find the set of wood razor knives I have laying around and try them too after seeing Michelle mention it.
My favorite inexpensive (read free) tool is a small stainless butter knife. My husband did some electrical work at a hotel and brought home a bunch of these knives for me. They were throwing them out! I LOVE my little butter knife. I use it for everything...shaping a bead, cutting into a bead to create patterns within the glass, burnishing silver onto the bead. I could not manage without it.
My absolute favorite expensive (read paid for) tool is my Jim Moore large lentil press. I absolutely love to create the large lentil focal beads and this tool is ideal.
As you can see, we each use a variety of things that perhaps you wouldn't necessarily think of when you think about making glass beads. Sometimes, its the simple things that work the best.