Rhinestones are a timeless beauty. Their sparkle adds oomph to whatever apparel or craft, be it shoes, hats, bags, clothing, nails, picture frames, or handmade cards.
But before you can bask in the shining glory of your bling, there’s the application process, which is not always a smooth ride for new DIYers.
Rhinestones are shifty and pose a bit of a challenge to newbies. Adding rhinestones to your project can get really sticky, messy, time-consuming, and exhausting, especially when doing it the manual way with bare hands or tweezers.
Thankfully, there’s now a hoard of rhinestone applicator tools out there that changed the game entirely.
So what is the best rhinestone applicator tool? The best rhinestone applicator tool picks and sets rhinestones effectively, is easy to use, comfortable, saves time, and is compatible with various stone sizes. Pickers and wands are especially useful.
If you are looking to refresh your craft tools collection, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve reviewed the 5 best rhinestone applicators that halve the labor and double the output.
But before heading to our top picks, here are a few things to ponder over before you make your final tool choice.
What To Look For In Rhinestone Applicators
Application Method – There are two primary methods for applying rhinestones to crafts: gluing and hot fixing. Each has its own specific tools for the job.
If you are going to use flatback rhinestones, then you will opt for a gluing or jewel picking tool. Hotfix applicators are designed for hotfix rhinestones, the kind that comes already layered with glue.
Rhinestone Size – The size of rhinestone crystals range from ss4 to ss48 (1.5mm-11.3mm). The size ss4 is the smallest. Some applicators work with only small and medium-sized rhinestones while others will fit medium and large crystals. The best rhinestone applicators are versatile enough for rhinestones of all sizes.
Accessories – A good rhinestone applicator comes with some accessories. For example, nozzle attachments are especially helpful for giving the tool versatility, while replacement parts extend the life of an applicator. Even a sleeve or storage case is a wonderful addition.
Ease of Use – Above all, a rhinestone applicator should be easy to use. That’s the whole point of buying it – to make your life easier. It should, therefore, enhance your picking speed, simplify the application, and with minimal effort.
The 5 Best Rhinestone Applicators
There’s a mammoth of rhinestone applicators. We saved you the laborious process of sifting through dozens of them by picking the most user-friendly, versatile, and durable options.
|1.||Hotfix Applicator Wand And Kit||Heat-setting wand, tweezers, stones (kit)|
|2.||Darice Rhinestone Setter Heat Applicator Wand||Heat-setting wand, works for larger sizes|
|3.||Silhouette Pick-Me-Up||Tacky wax-filled, glue-setting applicator|
|4.||Tatuo Double-Ended Rhinestone Picker Set||Double-ended picker set|
|5.||GeneralCare Two-Head Rhinestone Picker||Wax and steel headed multipurpose picker|
There are different applicators for glue on and hotfix rhinestones, so we included the best of both. Let’s take a look:
1. Hotfix Applicator Wand And Kit
Even if you already have a box of rhinestones, you can get this rhinestone applicator kit just for the amazing hotfix tool. (Plus you’ll probably be happy to have the extras later.)
The device, which comes in purple or pink, meets different needs. With its 7 nozzle tip attachments, it is ideal for use with a range of rhinestone sizes.
It utilizes a long 4.6-foot power cord that won’t limit your movement. There’s a switch button to turn it on and off when taking a break.
A red LED light indicator helps let you know the status when plugged in.
The applicator comes with a ring stand where you can rest the tool before it cools off to avoid damaging surfaces.
Bundled with the hotfix tool are two tacky pencils and a pair of tweezers for picking and placing rhinestones in the desired pattern before heating them vertically. Other additions are a cleaning brush, hundreds of shiny crystal and colored rhinestones, and a simple storage pouch.
You can actually still use these for glue-on flatback rhinestone applications making this tool kit a multi-functional choice regardless of the type of crystal.
This is a wonderful rhinestone applicator toolset with great value. This kit is comprehensive, super versatile, and has a lot more to offer than what you pay for.
2. Darice Rhinestone Setter Heat Applicator Wand
Darice is a trusted art and craft supplies brand. You can also trust that this rhinestone applicator will perform highly.
It is so easy to use. You can pick up the crystals with the tip, or just place the nozzle on top of them already placed in a pattern.
It heats up quite rapidly so you only need a few seconds per rhinestone to secure it firmly.
The wand has a narrow middle section that widens at the end to be ergonomic. It utilizes an extra-long 6-inch cable for the convenience of distance.
The tool comes with 7 different attachment tips that work with several crystal and stud rhinestone sizes. Specifically ss6, ss10, ss16, ss20, and ss34 for crystals and 4mm and 9mm for studs.
Once plugged in and turned on, the power button switch lights up so you know it is on. You can place it aside on a holding stand that accompanies the tool while hot to avoid direct contact with your surface and possible scorching.
This is a decent and affordable hot-fix rhinestone applicator that gets the job done.
3. Silhouette Pick-Me-Up
Unlike other crystal picking pens that need to have the tip replaced after a while from breaking or losing tackiness, the Silhouette works differently.
It is filled with tacky wax that oozes out of a fine tip. A little amount goes a long way, therefore, it will definitely last really long.
You just have to twist the tip a little bit to dispel out some more tack once the adhesive tip becomes defective and cut out that part. When all the tack is used up, you can refill the stylus with any tack or putty.
The handle is ergonomic and contours to the hand for a comfortable grip.
You’ll love the precision of the pick-up tip. It is tapered to only target the rhinestone, which is an advantage over the other common round bulb. It won’t collect the dust and lint around the rhinestone.
The tool comes with a really tight cap that prevents air from drying out the putty during storage or between applications. It also keeps away particles suspended in the air or on surfaces from sticking on the tip.
You only need to pull off the cap to remove it. It is not as fragile as it looks and won’t break.
A pull-out lucite insert has a pointy end and a chiseled opposite end for making a variety of designs and adjustments to your craft. It will also hold down the rhinestone to let it free from the tacky end.
Clearly, this is no straightforward rhinestone applicator. But the manufacturer includes a short easy to understand video that clearly shows how to use it. You’ll be surprised how simple it is to master.
This stellar quality tool comes packaged nicely, has excellent craftsmanship and the necessary mechanics for hassle-free rhinestone application. You will love and enjoy using it for the longest time once you get the hang of it.
4. Tatuo Double-Ended Rhinestone Picker Set
Tatuo rhinestone applicator is a stylish 2-pack pen that gets the job done effortlessly for an unbeatable price.
The pink and white metallic body is glammed up with sparkly decorative rhinestone fillings (no, you cannot remove and use them as embellishments).
One end is a pointy stainless steel adjustment tip and the other a white waxy tip.
This tool works as brilliantly as it looks. It picks up rhinestones pretty easily and lets them go the same way cutting back the usual application time by half.
The pointy end comes handy for spacing and pushing stray rhinestones into the pattern or making minor adjustments for a neat finish.
You need not apply too much pressure when using the tool as the tips are pretty fragile. You only need to touch the rhinestone lightly to lift it and press gently to secure.
Two see-through PVC boxes are provided for the storage of applicator duo. It is one of the best rhinestone applicators for glue-on flatbacks but not so great for heavy-handed users. If you have a light touch, it will serve you best.
5. GeneralCare Two-Head Rhinestone Picker
You don’t have to struggle to pick rhinestones or deal with sticky tweezers – not with this rhinestone picker that works exceptionally well for nail art, diamond painting, and other crafts.
The handle is built sturdily out of acrylic and designed beautifully. It has a waxed and steel end plus two extra screw-on replacement wax tips.
The sticky end will pick different sized rhinestones with ease, and the pointed steel end helps you push and secure them firmly precisely where you need them to be.
It comes in a fancy, highly portable, padded case with a cover. Inside are slots cut out for each component to sit securely when not in use.
This is a high quality, straightforward tool with nice aesthetics and fairly priced. Totally worth checking out.
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