Using the right size and type of beading needle will reduce broken beads and make your entire life more enjoyable....trust me on this.
The smaller the number the bigger the needle. For example, a size 10 beading needle is thicker than a size 13.
The size of the needle you choose, depends on the size of the beads that you are using and whether or not you will be doing multiple passes through the beads.
When working with 15/0 seed beads or pearls with tiny holes, use a thinner needle such as a size 12 to make it easier and avoid ruining your work.
ENGLISH BEADING NEEDLES Are the most commonly used type of needle with sizes 10 and 12 being the most popular. They are long, thin and flexible, and come in a range of sizes to fit even the smallest beads.
JAPANESE BEADING NEEDLES Are also thin and flexible but have a reinforced eye and a slightly rounded point. The rounded tip has the added advantage of decreasing the chance that you split the thread as you make multiple passes through beads. They are more durable but cost more.
TWISTED WIRE NEEDLES Are ideal when working with material like ribbon. They are easy to thread as they are made of twisted flexible wire that has a large loop eye. When the needle is passed through a bead, the loop collapses and secures the stringing material.
Because of their flexibility, twisted needles do not work well for off-loom beadweaving. They are however, great for bead crochet and kumihimo.