The Mosaic Tile Pick-Up Tool is a 5-inch long spring-loaded gripping tool for positioning small pieces of tile in mosaic art designs. The Pick-Up Tool is superior to tweezers for many tasks because its spring-loaded arms hold the tile securely in until the end of the handle is pressed. This can be particularly helpful for people with hand tremors or motor control issues or for people working long hours. Also, the arms which grasp the tile are thin wires with minimal surface area that can be contaminated by glue, unlike tweezers which are more prone to accumulation.
Pick-Up Tool or Tweezers?
Basically, the Pick-Up Tool has the same purpose as as a pair tweezers: taking the frustration out of detailed mosaic work. Don’t use your fingertips to manipulate small mosaic tiles. Use simple tools instead, such as tweezers and this tool. Keep in mind that you might use both tools in the same mosaic depending on the different sizes of tile used in the design.
The Pick-Up Tool can pick up whole mosaic tile and pieces smaller than approximately 1/2-inch. It would not be of much if any use with whole 3/4-inch tile, but it is very useful with pieces cut from 3/4-inch tile. Like all metal tools, the Mosaic Tile Pick-Up Tool is easily corroded and oxidized by caustic grouts and mortars, so keep them clean and expect them to age with use.
How to Reduce Frustration
Tools like tweezers and the pick-up tool can save hours of tedium and reduce frustration by allowing you to position tile without disturbing tile that you have already positioned. They are also useful for dipping the tile in mosaic adhesive or thinset mortar without contaminating your fingertips. With these simple tools, you will be able to attempt more detailed designs than you would consider if using only your fingertips.
How To Make Mosaics
For more advice on designing your mosaic project or mounting, cutting, and grouting tile, please see our page of Mosaic Frequently Asked Questions or our Mosaic Information Guide, which lists instructional pages described by topic. We also post new articles about making mosaics at our How to Mosaic Blog.