For the eclectic craft enthusiast, assembling a tool collection makes it easier to attempt different handicrafts. As with any project, having the correct tool can make the difference between a masterpiece and an inferior product. The types of tools needed to complete a handicraft project will depend on what type of project you wish to complete.
The craft knife is an essential tool for many projects, from the scrapbook to model planes or dollhouse furniture. Knives must be razor sharp with some craft knives using razor blades. Some craft knives have sharp, pointy tips. Others have disposable tips, where the user breaks off part of the blade when it dulls.
Hot glue guns are electronic, handheld devices that somewhat resemble the shape of a gun. Hard, waxlike glue sticks feed into one end of the gun. When the gun melts one end of the glue stick, the user pulls the trigger and releases hot glue from the glue gun's nozzle. Use glue guns to quickly affix embellishments to your projects, such as attaching dried flowers or buttons to a straw hat. Because the glue is sizzling hot, handle with care to avoid burns.
Handheld woodburning tools are electric instruments that heat up. After the tip of the burner heats up, press it against leather or wood to burn in a design. Instead of drawing on the wood or leather, the user burns a design into the surface.
While a pair of scissors is a standard handicraft tool, not all scissors cut in the same fashion. For the crafter working on scrapbooks, greeting cards or other paper crafts, scissors with non-straight blades make cuts to create zig-zag or scalloped cut lines. The handcrafter working on quilts typically uses a sturdier pair of scissors than a person working in paper crafts.
While the crafter might use scissors or craft knifes to cut materials, other cutting tools perform specific cutting functions. The circle cutter cuts a circle shape from paper, often used by the scrapbook enthusiast. Rotary cutters cut by a circular blade, making it easier to cut a non-straight line. When using a rotary cutter, cut on a protective mat designed for the tool. Instead of cutting lines or circles, use punches to cut shapes from paper. Instead of cutting out the shape by moving the scissors around the outline of the shape, the punch stamps the paper and cuts the shape instantly.
Miter boxes are used in wood projects, such as when making dollhouse or regular furniture. This means they come in different sizes, from the mini craft saw and miter box, to the carpenter’s miter box. A miter box allows the user to easily cut square corners and achieve a clean edge.
Needle-nose pliers help the crafter hold onto small objects or to bend materials. These are small pliers, with narrow fine tips, which help the artisan grab a firm hold of, or manipulate, tiny objects.