A beading awl has several uses. It is primarily used in knotting. Instead of using tweezers, the silk is knotted around the awl's tip which is held against a surface to prevent the knot from slipping off. The end of the silk is pulled until the knot is next to the bead, and the knot is slipped of the awl and tightened. It is also a very useful tool in undoing unwanted knots. A beading awl can also be used like a bead reamer to clear the hole of a bead, to roughen the bead hole prior to the application of glue or to punch holes in materials like leather and paper.