What every best has:
The BeDazzler is a device that resembles a stapler, designed to make it easy to attach rhinestones and other studs to fabric. The BeDazzler has a wheel-shaped base with various settings for affixing studs to fabric. Once you select a design, you place a plastic plunger on the base and a stud or rhinestone at the top of the BeDazzler. The fabric is inserted between the plunger and the base. When depressed, metal spikes on the underside of the stone penetrate the fabric and affix the stone to it. It's difficult to be sure of what's included with the BeDazzler; on the official As Seen on TV website, it says it includes "50 studs, 25 Rhinestones and settings." At Amazon.com, the description says it includes, "over 150 brilliant rhinestones and studs."
If it's the former, as stated on the website, that's not very many included rhinestones and studs. If it's the latter, that's a decent amount. You can also buy additional rhinestone packs, such as the Be Dazzler Rhinestone Refill Assorted Colors (Est. $10) or the Be Dazzler Rhinestone Refill Clear (Est. $5). Both refill packs have 150 rhinestones.
Still, the BeDazzler may not be your best choice if you seriously want to bling up your clothing, especially your jeans, which are a popular choice for bedazzling devotees. The best results seem to be easier to achieve on thin materials such as paper (for cards and scrapbooks) and thin fabrics like cotton T-shirt blends. Reviewers say applying studs to heavier fabrics like denim and leather is a lot trickier. Even if you succeed in making your design on a piece of clothing, the studs or stones may fall out when the item is washed.
Some reviewers say the BeDazzler works if you have enormous patience and can follow directions very exactly, but note that results may be inconsistent. It's hard to apply even pressure, and the plunger and baseplate are often misaligned. For both reasons, the studs and rhinestones often aren't securely attached and have to be pried off and redone. A number of users say the BeDazzler only folded over two of the four prongs on the rhinestones, and they had to fold the remaining prongs by hand (or pliers) to keep from getting scratched up.
Most of the complaints we saw, however, are that the BeDazzler is made very cheaply (which could also explain the misalignment issues) and broke almost immediately. The positive reviews we saw were from parent or grandparents who bought the BeDazzler for a child between the ages of 7 and 9 or so. This age of kid doesn't seem to mind the BeDazzler's limitations; older children, such as teenagers, quickly discard it, however.
The BeDazzler costs $19.95 through the official As Seen on TV website, with an additional $6.95 shipping and handling. If you decide you want to try it out, we recommend purchasing it from Amazon.com, where it's also $19.95, but with free shipping. Amazon.com will also take it back with no fuss if it breaks; the As Seen on TV website gets poor reviews for resolving customer complaints.
Even better, if you want to jazz up your jeans, we recommend taking a look at the Darice Rhinestone Setter (Est. $15). It's basically a hot glue gun that's specifically designed for bedazzling. It gets great feedback from customers who say it's very easy to use and works extremely well. There are also surprisingly few complaints of rhinestones coming off in the wash, in spite of the fact that they're basically just glued on. When they do come off, user say, it's super easy to just reattach them.
AllStarCo.com specializes in crafting accessories, particularly items specific to bejeweling. This review compares the BeDazzler with the similar GeMagic, as well as three more expensive tools. No testing is documented, but the differences among the five tools are discussed in detail, with helpful information about sizing replacement studs. Both the BeDazzler and GeMagic are described as "toys" that are poorly made and tricky to use. An update to the original review notes that one of the five items has been discontinued.
In just under 100 reviews, the BeDazzler earns an overall rating of 3.5 stars out of 5. Reviews are mixed, with some saying it feels very cheap and junky; others saying it works well and is easy to use. Quite a few of the happier reviewers seem to have bought the BeDazzler for a child and are reporting on the child's feedback, not their own. We read a number of reviews that the studs do not fit in the holder.
There are just a few reviews of the BeDazzler at Walmart.com, less than 15, and it earns a lower overall rating of 3.1 stars out of 5. As we see elsewhere, there are complaints about the studs not fitting properly and cheap construction. A few reviewers mention that their child is pleased with it.
The BeDazzler doesn't fare well here, with just 1.5 stars out of 5 in fewer than 10 reviews. Again, it's reported as cheap and flimsy, with poorly fitting studs. No one has anything positive to say, except for one reviewer who hopes it works better the more she uses it.