Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Bead Stylist: Review of Flex-Rite Beading Wire by Bead Smith

Flex-rite-Bead-Jewelry-Wire-24k-Gold-024 I was asked about Flex-rite beading wire as an alternative to SoftFlex beading wire, or Beadalon beading wire and found that information was not easy to come by, so I got a few samples and here's my review, and a reference chart I created of colors and sizes.

I had some SoftFlex on hand and some Soft Touch, also made my SoftFlex, but much thinner for bead weaving; however, even before I got the Flex-rite I didn't like the Soft Touch for bead weaving.

What I noticed immediately was that the Flexrite is quite soft to the touch, certainly not a 'wire' like the Soft Touch, and SoftFlex.

Since I was looking for something to replace the Soft Touch for bead weaving I got the 7 Strand Clear (Stainless Steel) Micro-Wire .007" (.18mm) the thinnest diameter they had, and it was MUCH thinner than the Soft Touch .10 diameter.

I then got the 49 Strand and 21 Strand and the first noticeable difference was the softness.  Now the term 'supple' is used in most of the Flexrite descriptions and I'm not certain if this is interchangeable with 'soft' or if it means something different.

The 7 Strand and 49 Strand offer the most variety. While the 7 Strand is being compared to Tiger Tail as being more flexible and softer.

I can imagine that the subject of beading wire must be confusing for the the beginning beader and more experienced alike - I know it is for me, so I will try and compile more information over time; but for now here' is the reference chart of sizes and colors that may be of some use to you.

Pricing seems to be very competitive too. So hopefully Flexrite is a better quality beading wire without the high price of others I have purchased. 

Please post your experience about the beading wire you prefer and if you have tried the new Flex-rite wire by Bead Smith.


  1. Hello,

    It is so nice of you to start some dialogue about beading wire. It is always good to try several brands to see what works best for you. As with anything, choice of beading wire can be very personal. With multiple manufacturers and each manufacturer having several types of wire to choose from, I know it can be very confusing. Soft Flex was the first 21 & 49 stranded beading wire to come to market. We are a small company that started out of a garage but have turned into a worldwide recognized brand due to our ardent quest for quality. We create and distribute products that we like to use in our designs because we design too. I hope that everyone will try our wire and try the others too. We have the largest color selection, most flexible metallics line in our new "green" Extreme and lots of other great goodies to check out. Good luck & happy beading!

    Sara Hardin
    Soft Flex Company

  2. Hi I am a die hard fan of Soft Flex, but because the company doesn't offer any gold color wire in their professional line that has a test strength over 20lbs. I can no longer use their products. I am entirely working in low brass which looks like 14 karat gold and have found Flex Rite as the best alternative. Until Soft Flex catches up to what now is the new trend as the market has headed toward gold. I had to find the best substitute. Flex Rite is not as good as Soft Flex but it is better than the other too brands. I know this from taking apart projects and studying the condition of the wire. You can really tell then whose product is superior.