Friday, June 20, 2014

Crystyler Review

As you may know, I'm always on the lookout for a way to speed up my process.  I got two Crystylers a few months ago when a friend bragged about them. They come in ss16 (pink tool) and ss20 (blue tool). I spent more time working with the ss16 tool, but I'll review both.

I tried the pink tool with three grades of rhinestones: acrylic from China via Amazon,
Preciosa Czech glass, and Swarovski crystals. I used all of these stones on my boa balls.

I had a bitch of a time loading the tool with acrylic stones at first. When I was ready to throw the damn thing across the room as stones kept falling out, my husband took over. He had no problem loading it. I was pulling back the metal plunger and trying to pick up the stones with no internal tension in the tool. He discovered pretty quick that the tool loaded up pretty easy if you stabbed the stones (gem side up) one after another, much like spearing trash with one of those handy sticks. I calmly took over spearing and stoning duties. To use efficiently, I put down a dot or strand of glue. Holding the tool like I was going to stab someone, I used the thumb tab to release individual stones onto the glue. I recommend using silicon fingertip covers or a toothpick to move the individual stones into the perfect place. I also recommend checking the spearing tip and the plastic area that holds the stones for glue before you reload the tool. Pick that stuff off to make your life better.

I then tried loading the higher quality stones (glass and crystal). The tool would jam, the stones would turn in the barrel, the tip would pop off, I would swear. No matter how many times I tried the better stones, it would jam up and screw up if I managed to load more than 10 stones. I would not recommend the tool for the nicer stones because it becomes a waste of time.  (I think the better stones are cut rounder so they flip easier. The acrylics have a flatter top so they rest on one another very nicely inside the tool.)

I tried the blue tool this week. I attempted Swarovskis, but the tool would jam and the tip would pop. I didn't grind at it as many times as I did with the pink tool. It was easy to see the shape of the top with the larger stones. I had more success with Clarus crystals from Nova in downtown LA. (I've seen a sign that declared these "Real Korean Rhinestone," which is now how I reference them. 10 gross of ss20 for $17.99 was a pretty good deal.) They're not the same quality as Swarovski, but they're not as flat as acrylics. They worked okay in the tool, but I couldn't load more than 15 without the tool jamming. The larger tool has a larger tip, and I had stones falling out more than once. The tip got spread out, and the stones would rest inside the tube like the proverbial hot dogs down a hallway. I don't know that it really saved me time on the project I was doing, but it did keep my fingertips from becoming disgusting from stray glue.

You can get the tools online from Amazon, or you can hit JoAnn Fabrics with one of their fabulous coupons. They cost about $20 with no discount. Don't expect them to be miraculous, but they can help with the rhinestone process if you have reasonable expectations.

1 comment:

  1. I also got the blue tool and I was not impressed. The instructions are vague and it took some trial and error to load it and release the stones smoothly. My Swarovskis also jammed frequently, but I didn't try stones of other qualities.