Review: the “man” thread burner

The “man” thread burner was introduced to our bead society by NanC Meinhardt. She calls it that because its bigger and more powerful (and needs 2 AA batteries instead of just one). I got mine in a group buy with the Dallas Bead Society.

thread burner

Now I have to admit, I’ve never used the regular size thread burners, but I LOVE my “man” burner. I just gave it a really great test drive while creating a freeform peyote bracelet. Threads stick out everywhere when I do freeform, and since beading freeform creates so many tight akward spaces , it can be hard to get in there with scissors and clip the threads short enough. This thing heats up quickly and cauterizes threads very efficiently. No more clipping a thread shorter and shorter, watching it fray, and then still being able to see it sticking out of your work!

freeform peyote bracelet work-in-progress

Freeform peyote work-in-progress


I googled “Max Wax” the brand, and many places to purchase them came up. This is my first thread burner. I know others in my bead society have used the smaller version, and I was told they tend to burn out sooner. They all love the upgrade. Now I never bead without my “man” next to me! (Think of all the jokes you could come up with, hehe). I don’t know how I ever lived without it!

Using a Thread Burner

Just press the button, which causes the tip to heat up instantly. You can see it turn red hot in seconds! Then, touch the hot tip to your thread and it will shrink and melt right up against your work. Its normal to see light wisps of smoke. The small tip allows for precision placement to the thread you wish to burn. I use Nymo, but it also works with other nylon and fishing-line type threads. Finally, no more “hairy” beadwork!

What do you think? Do you use a thread burner? What has your experience been like? Please share with us in the comments!

{ 13 comments… add one }
  • avatar Aleta January 4, 2011, 2:24 pm

    I’ve started to use a thread burner too. It was a little strange at first, but I’m getting used to it. :)

  • avatar Mandi Ainsworth January 5, 2011, 7:47 am

    Aleta, Thanks for your comment! It was a little weird for me at first, too. Now I’m getting to the point where I don’t how I ever beaded without it, hehe.

  • avatar Judy Botts January 7, 2011, 5:36 am

    I have used a thread burner for quite awhile now. This is the first time I have heard about a newer, bigger, and better version! Where can I find one?

  • avatar Ralonda January 7, 2011, 7:09 am

    I missed out on that group buy and just haven’t resolved to buy one yet. I think that will be a near future purchase for me! Thanks for reminding me of a bead something that I do NEED.

  • avatar Mandi Ainsworth January 7, 2011, 3:28 pm

    @Judy I sent you an email with some links :)

    @Ralonda That’s what I do 😉

  • avatar Teresa January 7, 2011, 4:25 pm

    I too use a thread burner (per se). I love it. I purchased The Berkley TEC HotWire line cutter; it’s used by fishermen to cut braided line (fireline, etc.). It gets hot (1200 degrees) and it has an led light so you can see just where you are burning. And it has a replacement tip included. Cost was around $25.00.

  • avatar Mandi Ainsworth January 7, 2011, 5:23 pm

    Thanks for sharing that Teresea!

    I had a comment come in on twitter from @DoeEyesBeadery about tips for using a lighter:

    “I use clear fishing line often, and found that holding the lighter at the end of the “thread” starts it melting down the line. Just blow on it to stop it. That way you don’t get too close to work and it all stays together.”

    Thanks for sharing ladies! I love discussing what works best for others so I can improve my own methods ; )

  • avatar Grandma Marilyn January 8, 2011, 3:16 pm

    I use a thread burner and love it. Haven’t tried the “man” thread burner yet though. That sounds cool

  • avatar Ruby January 18, 2011, 5:39 pm

    My first experience was with a “Perfect End” thread burner ($22.95). I was disappointed with its short battery life (1 AA). A friend told me about the Berkley (think Bass Pro Shop / fly fishing section) which forever changed my beading! I just checked their website and it is now listed for $9.99 and uses 2 AAA batteries.
    A word of caution – be very careful when trimming a thread which is near other threads, as you may inadvertently melt/weaken the other threads. This happened to me right in the middle of a tubular piece which caused it to unravel in all sorts of ways you just can’t imagine. I don’t recommend using a lighter as it is much hotter, harder to control and seems to cause the thread to melt inside of the beads!

  • avatar Mandi Ainsworth January 19, 2011, 9:36 am

    Thanks for sharing your experience, Ruby!

  • avatar Patricia Williams April 17, 2011, 3:54 pm

    I recently took my thead burner with me on the Bead Cruise. I was very surprised that while in class many very experienced beaders had never seen one. Until they saw mine (and used it). They all left class that day saying they were going to get one the first thing when they got home. They loved, as I do, how easy it is to get to threads coming from tight places; and how quick it is to do away with them (as I also do). I will never leave home (or my beading-where ever it may be)without my thread burner!

  • avatar Ellen Biddle July 10, 2013, 7:39 pm

    I would like to know where can I buy the maxwax cord burner. I need it to burn 0.8 to 1.0 wax cotton cord.ty in advance

  • avatar Mary Trillich July 13, 2013, 2:40 pm

    wouldn’t burning threads cause them to unravel into the beadwork you are doing…how do you do it so that it doesn’t damage the beadwork you are making/working on…?!!!~~~ii have obviously never used one either…please do tell me how to do it properly if i do decide to get one…..?

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