Craft

Beadsmith Thread Zap II

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Trim, burns, or melts thread with one touch

When sewing, dealing with the thread ends can be a hassle. Tying a knot to finish a stitch you often don‘t want too much leftover thread, but you also don‘t want to cut it so short that the knot can be undone when under a bit of tension. Fraying ends of braided threads are also generally undesirable.

A common solution for synthetic threads is to take a lighter and melt the end of the thread. This will typically result in a blob bigger than the thread diameter so knots won‘t easily become undone and also prevent fraying as the individual strands have melted together. The problem is that the heat of a flame is hard to control and can easily melt or burn more thread than you wanted, or damage whatever you‘ve sewn.

The convenient solution is a Thread Zap. It comes with a resistance wire tip that heats up at the push of a button, allowing you to not only cut the thread precisely where you want but also to manipulate and shape the melted blob as you see fit without risking damaging the material around.

I have mostly been using it for leatherworking, dealing with waxed synthetic threads, finishing knots without branding the surrounding leather. I‘ve had great success melting the ends of knots together and pushing the half-molten treads down so the knot becomes almost invisible while making it basically impossible to become undone.

Beadsmith did introduce a successor which uses 2 AAA batteries instead of one AA one and some other minor upgrades, but I‘ve never felt the need to upgrade as the Thread Zap II performs admirably well.

-- Kristian Reinhart 02/26/21