Leather Tools




Straight Edge:
Used to run a cutting tool along and create a straight cut; Heavy duty ruler is perfect for this.

Cutting Mat:
Used with rotary cutters and knives to protect table from cuts. Often has a preprinted ruler included.

Rotary Cutter:
Tool with a circular blade, used for cutting leather. The blade is very sharp, and has a protective guard.

           Sharp cutting implement.  Can have replaceable blades.  Exact-O knives and Utility Knives are the
           most common types.

Head Knife:
Semi circular blade with attached handle. Useful for cutting and skiving (thinning leather).

Heavy duty scissors to cut leather.

Makes round holes in leather and removes a portion of the leather. There are 2 types of punches:
Punch with handles, including Rotary Punch:
  • Has cutting tubes that can be different sizes. Tubes can be replaced on some models.
  • Can only be used along the edges of the hide.
Drive Punch:
  • Looks like partially hollow nails. Punch is set in place, and then hit with a mallet to make the hole.
  • Can be used in the center of the hide as well as along the edges. 

Thonging Chisel:
Makes small square holes, but does not remove leather like a punch; Different styles have 1, 3, 4, and 8 evenly spaced prongs. Used to make evenly spaced lacing holes. Comes in a variety of styles and sizes.

Used to thin leather pieces.

Strip and Strap Cutter:
Used to make long even cuts in leather. Often has a gauge to make parallel edges. Used for straps, fringe, lace, and thongs. Usually has adjustable blades to make a variety of widths.

Used to make folds in box type leather items. The cut allows the leather to bend easily at 90 degrees.

Used to shape and smooth the edge of leather items. Often overlooked by amateur leatherworkers.

Adjustable tool that leaves a groove in the leather parallel to the edge. Good for marking stitch lines and borders.

Overstitch Wheel:
Marks stitching line on leather.


Swivel Knife:
Knife designed to make cuts around curves in designs.

Tool to imprint a picture or design into leather. Hit with a mallet or hammer. Multiple stamps can be combined to form complex pictures.

Hammer with rubber head; used to hit stamping tools and imprint the leather; the rubber head prevents damage to the stamping tools.

Modeling Tools:
Used to shape and mold leather carvings without removing any leather.

Embossing Wheel:
Imprints a repeating pattern on the leather.

Marble Slab:
Used as an anvil for stamping.


Rivets and Rivet setter:
Cap - Two part rivet consisting of a cap and a post. Cap is driven onto post with a concave rivet setter and a mallet. Weakest type of rivet.

Tube - Single piece rivet. Hollow cylinder with round cap. Cylinder is split and driven down to leather using peening tool and mallet. Usually made of stainless steel or bronze. Extremely strong, but very hard to set without special machines.

Burr - The traditional copper rivet consisting of a tapering solid cylinder with a flat head, and a washer. The washer is driven down to the cylinder to the leather, then the cylinder is beaten down to a mushroom shape, securing the washer.

Snaps (all snaps require a snap setter):
Segma - Small, 4 part snaps; Usually used in belts.

Line 20 and line 24 - Industrial sized; Used in pouches, wallets, and other heavy duty applications 

SPECIALTY (Mostly for purses, pouches & wallets)

Screw Posts:
Screw and bolt combo that has smooth heads that look like rivets. These are extremely strong and versatile.

Glue and Cement:
Rubber cement - Used to temporarily connect leather for sewing, attaching hardware, etc.

Contact cement - Used as a more permanent attachment than rubber cement.

Specialty cement - Cements like NeoWeld, used for special applications such as flexible hold.

Machine - Industrial machines capable of handling several layers of leather and thick thread. Uses sharp needles that can pierce the leather.

Hand - There are special needles that are designed to cut the leather, facilitating sewing. When sewing stiff or thick leathers, holes should be pre punched with an awl or thonging chisel.

Uses leather lace to attach leather with a decorative pattern on the connecting edges or parts. This always requires pre punching of holes. Special lacing needles are designed to hold the flat lace and improve the process. Suede is unsuitable for strong lacing projects.
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