Though it may come as a surprise when we need leather tools, we actually tend to need them for more jobs than we realize. Whether you’re making a hole in your new belt or you want to tidy up the seam of a coat, leather tools can be useful for everyone.
More often though, people looking for leather tools are interested in the crafting field. The cost and quality of leather tools vary and understanding that can help to ensure you find a set that suits your needs. Take a look at our guide for more information on the best leather tools.
Best Leather Tools Comparison Chart
Leather Hole Punch by Skilled Crafter
Leather Hole Punch Set for Belts
Wood and Leather Pyrography Pen
Leather Craft Basic Stitching Sewing Hand Tool Set
Leather Sewing Tools SIMPZIA 24 Pieces Leather Tool Set
Why do People Need Leather Tools? What Kind of DIY Projects Require the Use of Leather Tools?
Leather tools have a whole host of specific jobs. Some tools are designed for cutting, whereas others serve as chisels, and some to bevel edges. While these seem very specific to leather crafting workshops, you’ll find tools similar to these in woodworking workshops too.
Beveling tools can be used to create more rounded edges of tables and other types of furniture, while rotating saws are similar to the rotating blades found in leather crafting. If you’re looking to punch holes through fabric, you’ll need a leather punch - a great tool for any workshop that may need to work with leather fabrics.
In the household, you may find you need a punch for making a new hole in a leather belt or for fixing a handle back on to a handbag. Equally, you may find that leather cutting tools are great for neatly trimming peeling back leather from couches or on clothing.
For those with antique leather furniture, you know you need to polish and oil it to ensure it stays healthy. However, what do you do if the leather starts to fray?
A burnisher can be used to prevent fraying on your sofa, maintaining and preserving it. You can also use it to prevent fraying on sleeves of leather clothing and on the bottom of handbags.
What are the Most Common Types of Leather Tools?
There are many tools used for different effects, especially as you become more of an expert in leather crafting. The basic tools, however, are not only useful to a leatherworker but also in an everyday workshop or even your home.
- Edge Bevelers - These are for Rounding Out Edges of Leather for a Softer Look
- Rotary Cutter - A Rotating Blade That Cuts Leather
- Round Knife - Tool Used for Cutting and Skiving
- Diamond Chisel - This Chisel Punches Holes All the Way Through the Leather
- Stitch Awl - Used to Create Holes for Stitching and Widening Those Holes, if Necessary
- Groover and Creaser - These Tools Cut and Widen a Channel in the Leather, Making it Easier to Stitch
- Burnisher - To Remedy Frayed Edges
- Stitching Needles and Horse - The Horse Holds the Leather and the Needles are for Sewing Leather Specifically
- Punches and Hammer - Used for Punching Holes in the Leather
What is the Best Way to Store Leather Tools?
Storing your leather correctly will keep it supple and durable. When leather is stored incorrectly, it becomes stiff and unmovable, making it nearly impossible to work with. Moreover, when stored badly, the leather starts to become brittle, flaky, and dry, which results in a poor-quality finished product.
Instead, when leather is stored well and correctly, it is flexible, soft-to-the-touch, and durable. It won’t develop a bad smell and will remain easy to work with.
Try to prevent wrinkles by laying leather flat or hanging it. Hanging it with acid-free paper will help to keep it in a neutral state - just like how our own skin likes the atmosphere.
Leather is breathable, so think about ensuring that fresh air can get through it. Stale musty air will sit in the material and degrade the leather. If the storage place has fungus, dampness, and/or mold can get into the leather if you are not careful.
Store in a cool, dry place that has a flow of air coming through. Make sure that there isn’t a chance of dampness and that the leather won’t get wet, which can cause it to rot. That said, you don’t want the air to be too dry at the same time, as this will dehydrate the leather.
Remember if you have a lot of leather to store, you can always contact a professional leather storage company.
Are Leather Tools Easy to Use? Do You Need Specific Skills or Training to Use Leather Tools?
While leather tools don’t need any specific training to use, watching a few training videos to come to grips with the techniques will be useful. Many of the tools are sharp, so understanding their purpose and where to apply them will give you a leg up.
Stitch Awl - You can use a stitch awl for making holes in leather, which is great for extending belt loops and lace holes. You need to put the pointed end against the leather and flex the leather back over the awl while pushing it through. This creates the hole. You can also use this when you need to stitch something to leather.
Bevel - If you have an item of leather clothing with a rough edge, you can use a bevel to give it a softer, curved edge. This is particularly useful for a handbag edge that rubs against your arm or leather trousers. Dampen the leather first as this makes it easier, and run the bevel slowly and smoothly along the edge of the leather.
Round Knife - A round knife is a great guide for anyone sewing fabrics, not just leather. You can use the knife to press into the fabric to show where you need to stitch and to make the process easier. Just press and rock the knife back and forth and then move it along.
Punch and Hammer - If you are looking to make larger holes, you may need to use a punch and a hammer. This may be true if you are looking to hang leather on a rod, for example. Lay the leather flat on a surface and position the punch. Slowly and firmly tap the punch on the top with the hammer.
What Makes Leather Tools Good/ Sturdy/ Durable/ Valuable?
Leather tools are designed to last a long time. They are made from industry-strength metals such as steel and iron and are usually bound in hardwoods or durable plastics. The tools tend to last longer when they are more expensive and have wooden housing over cheaper plastic casings.
That said, higher prices don’t necessarily pertain to good quality. Look for tools that are made by brands with a good reputation, and consider reviews when making a purchase. Equally, a long guarantee or warranty shows a company’s faith in its product, ensuring the quality of the components that make up the tools.
Leather tools last longer if they are maintained. They need to be cleaned frequently and polished to ensure that none of the oils from the leather leave residue on the tools. You should also make sure you sharpen all blades. If they are kept clean, tools should last at least ten years and should work perfectly the whole time.
How to Choose the Best Leather Tools for Your Needs?
When you’re choosing leather tools, it's not a one-size-fits-all solution. While there are basic tools that most people start out with, your particular requirements will determine the tools you will need to purchase.
Firstly, try to think about the job at hand. Is this is a one-off leather job or are you considering taking up leather work as a hobby? If this is a simple job, you only want a cheap set of tools to get the job done. If you’re looking to progress in leather work, you want a durable beginner’s set, which will last as you learn and use them for practice.
Secondly, think about your budget. While higher priced tools tend to be of better quality, we can’t all afford to splurge endlessly. Think about how much you can afford to spend and look for something in that price bracket.
Consider the materials. Wooden and metal tools are more durable and tend to not break as easily. Plastic can smash on the floor or break if stepped on and tends to become brittle over time. Wooden tools are also easier on the hands.
Look at reviews online, as people who have had bad experiences tend to let the world know. Look for the issues with any products and keep an eye out for leather tools which specifically mention your requirements.
Quick Take: The Best Leather Tools
Before you get any further, here are our recommendations for the best leather tools:
- Leather Hole Punch by Skilled Crafter Easily Punches Perfect Round Holes. FREE Ruler & Awl Tool + 2Yr Wrnty
- Best Leather Hole Punch Set for Belts, Super Heavy Duty Rotary Puncher, Multi Hole Sizes 3 Yr Warranty
- (STAGE 1) Wood and Leather Pyrography Pen - Best Woodburning and Leather Crafts Tool Kit - Includes 21 Different Tips - Dual-Power Mode
Reviews of Best Leather Tools
This hole punch is designed to punch through fabric and leather and comes with a free ruler and awl tool. It is easy-to-use and comes with six different size punches.
This is a good hole punch for leather and can handle many different thicknesses. It has different punch settings and is very durable. The wheel can be a little stiff, but the ruler and awl make the job simple and comes with the free punch tool.
This is another hole punch for leather, It also has adjustable hole sizes and can be used for a variety of materials. It comes with a 3-year warranty and a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
This is a good quality hole punch for leather. It can be used for many materials, making it a versatile tool around the home, while anyone can use it as the spring is easy to squeeze. The punch opens quite wide so repeated use can be a little achy, so beware of this.
This pyrography pen can be used with wood or leather and comes complete with an instruction manual. It has a range of tip patterns for different effects and a dual power mode to heat quickly and more evenly.
You have to be a little careful with this as it is quite delicate. Aside from that, it comes with a great instruction manual to improve your designs and variety of nibs. It is well-priced and can be used on both leather and wood.
This basic, crafting leather tool set comes with everything you need to get started in the leatherworking game. A good value for money, this set comes with all the tools for hand stitching, beveling, and punching.
You may want to invest in a case for this set, but aside from that, it is a great beginners outfit. Including all the basic tools you need to get started, this kit is a great value for money and allows you to begin right away.
This 24 piece set is a great starter kit for anyone wanting to invest in leather tools. It comes with four types of awls, a groover, two pressure cloth teeth (a 2mm and a 4mm), three colors of threads, needle kit, thimble, scissors, a fingerstall, and beeswax.
Although you will have to guide yourself due to the lack of instructions., this is a great beginners’ set, giving you all the tools you need to start. The awls are a little fragile but everything else seems to be sturdy and are made from wood and steel.
Watch Videos of How to Use Leather Tools
If you’re more of a visual learner, you may benefit from having a quick look at some of these videos. They can help you get to grips with what the tools are and how to use them for leather work.
This video runs through some of the most popular and useful leather tools and shows you how you can apply them to your work.
This video runs through some of the best tools and why you should be using them in your home. It will also give you a quick tutorial on how to use them.
This video is geared specifically to the everyday use of leather tools. It runs through the most essential tools for your day-to-day leather crafting and why you need them.
This video dips a little more into the maintenance of tools, focusing on the round knife. This video will show you why you need leather tools and why they need to be maintained correctly, as well as how to do this.
For leather crafters of the future, a decent leather toolkit is imperative. Cheaply made tools produce shoddy work and make the process a whole lot harder - not to mention all the money and time wasted. That said, look for sturdy tools made of wood and steel. Consider options with the best reviews, a good guarantee or warranty, and a shining reputation!
Remember that when you’re looking for leather tools, you need to find something that meets your requirements. Say you have small hands, make sure to search for tools that accommodate for this.
Equally, if you need safety guards due to having kids around, look for leather tools with secondary locks. Keep your own needs in mind and you’ll find the best leather tools to fit your budget.