I’ve written a before about what quilling tools I prefer, but I’ve never delved really deeply into why.
But lately, I’ve gotten a few comments and emails with questions about quilling equipment.
And since there seems to be lots of questions about needle tools and slotted tools, let’s talk specifics about which quilling tool is right for you!
Although there are a few other alternatives, most paper quillers use either a needle tool or a slotted tool to roll their paper strips.
Both tools are essentially made up of a handle with a thin, metal attachment on one end. The main difference is that while the needle tool has one long, pointed rod. The working end of a slotted tool is shorter with a slit through the center.
This slot in the metal holds the end of the paper strip as it’s being rolled. A lot of quilling paper artists find this to be a huge benefit of the slotted tool, especially when first learning the craft. Once the end of the strip is in place, turn the tool so the strip continues to wrap around the end.
Since the needle tool does not have slot to hold the end of a strip of quilling paper, it is up to the artist to keep the strip on the tool when rolling it into coils. This might take a bit of practice. One tip is to moisten the end of the strip slightly, then use your index finger and thumb to roll the strip around the needle, holding the tool still.
Both tools will result in similar finished coils.
The main difference in the coil made on each tool is that the slotted tool will leave a tiny bend in the very center of the coil. Some quillers don’t mind that at all. I prefer the cleaner look of those coils made with needle tools.
Besides rolling the majority of my quilling shapes, I also find that I use my needle tool for other uses.
I use it to smooth my glued edges and to slightly stretch my coils. My needle tool is essential in making swirls made from multiple strips of paper.
There are kits that include both, try them to see which you prefer. Or try a dual ended tool. I’ve never used one of these tools, so I can’t speak from experience how they work. I can imagine that the end that is not being used might aggravate the palm of your hand when you are rolling lots of coils in a row. But, if there are any quillers who have tried one of these tools, I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Do you have a quilling tool that you prefer? Or are you using your quilling tool in unexpected ways? Tell us about it! Leave a comment below and share your thoughts!