This is a post that I previously published on the Objects and Elements blog and thought you might enjoy here:
Here's the scenario: You're in your studio, working away in a creative fugue. The piece you're creating is completely inspired and everything is going smoothly until you decide to add a string of wire wrapped pearls to the piece. The pearls are lovely but, darn!...those tiny holes are way to small for the gauge of wire you want to use. Not to worry...grab your electric bead reamer and the problem is easily solved.
The electric bead reamer is one of those tools that, at first glance, you may think is not absolutely necessary for your studio but, I promise you, you will use it...a lot! This tool is not a drill, so you won't be creating a hole where there was none but it's a must-have for beads that are drilled too small or holes that have been clogged. It's especially handy for enlarging the holes in pearls, which are always drilled very small. The diamond coated bit works easily and quickly. It's very important when using the electric reamer to work under water. I know this sounds scary...water and electricity...but it's necessary in order to keep the bead and bit cool and to contain those tiny flying particles that can be toxic.
I use a shallow plastic container and fill it with an inch or less of water; just enough to cover the bead I'll be reaming. You won't be immersing the motor of the reamer but just the tip. I repeat: do not immerse the motor!
I have a dedicated pair of small, inexpensive pliers that I use for reaming. I've used the very high tech method of wrapping the jaws in masking tape to prevent my beads from being scratched. I'm sure there are fancier ways of holding your bead but, this is my quick fix. As you can see from the photo above, there isn't much water in the container. Insert the tip of the reamer into the bead before turning on the power. It may be easier to hold the bead against the side of the container so that it doesn't wiggle and spin. I usually ream through one side of the bead, flip it, and do the other side.
You'll get a considerably larger hole (bead on the left) by using the reamer and your choices in wire gauge won't be limited any longer!