Guide to Leather Working Tools for Beginners

Guide to Leather Working Tools for Beginners

Leatherworking is one of the easiest trades to start if you’re unsure where to start. The good news is that this guide will provide you with all the information about leather working tools required to jump into your first leather project confidently and competently.

How to Start Working

Starting with something you like is excellent. This keeps you motivated and lets you focus on a few leather-working abilities instead of getting overwhelmed. Choose something simple to construct to test your leatherworking skills before investing a lot and having trouble developing a project. Try these: a wallet, card holder, watch strap, notebook cover, bracelet, sunglasses case, belt, or dog collar.

Step-by-Step Guide for Leather Working Tools

Cutting Tools

Cutting is a fundamental aspect of leatherworking, and having the right tools is paramount for clean and precise cuts. A utility knife is a versatile option for various cutting needs, while a rotary cutter is ideal for straight lines and curves, minimising effort and enhancing accuracy. Additionally, specialized scissors are designed for cutting leather, and leather shears are perfect for trimming edges and intricate details.

Measuring and Marking Tools

Accurate measurements and markings are crucial in leatherworking to ensure the seamless assembly of your projects. A steel rule is an essential tool for measuring and accurately marking straight lines, while a wing divider is invaluable for marking even distances and creating consistent lines. For shaping curves and creating unique patterns, a flexible curve ruler is an indispensable tool.

Punching and Hole-Making Tools

Creating holes in leather is a common requirement for various leather projects. Round hole punches, available in various sizes, are essential for rivets, snaps, or lacing. An oblong punch is useful for creating elongated holes, commonly found in belts and straps. The diamond chisel, a multi-toothed tool, facilitates the creation of consistently spaced stitching holes.

Edge and Finishing Tools

Achieving a polished and professional look for your leather projects involves using edge-and-finishing tools. An edge beveled smooths and rounds the edges, while an edge burnisher slices them perfectly. Applying gum tragacanth to the edges enhances their shine, providing a refined finish to your creations.

Stitching Tools

Stitching is a fundamental skill in leatherworking, and the right tools can make the process more manageable. Harness needles, with their strong triangular points, are ideal for stitching leather. Waxed thread ensures the durability and longevity of your leather projects, while a stitching awl comes in handy for making holes and starting stitches, especially in intricate designs.

Setting and Riveting Tools

When it comes to attaching elements securely, setting and riveting tools play a crucial role. A mallet with a soft head is essential for pounding and setting rivets without damaging the leather. A rivet setter ensures a clean and professional finish, while a snap setter is indispensable for attaching snaps and fasteners to your leather items.

Stamping and Embossing Tools

Adding unique patterns and designs to your leather projects involves stamping and embossing tools. Decorative stamps, available in various designs, can personalize your creations. An embossing wheel facilitates the creation of consistent patterns, and a swivel knife is a versatile tool for carving intricate designs and adding personalized touches.

Dyeing and Finishing Tools

To add vibrancy and protect your leather items, dyeing, and finishing tools are essential. Wool daubers aid in applying dye evenly, and a range of leather dyes allows you to choose colors according to your preferences. Finish and sealant protect and enhance the appearance of your leather items, providing a long-lasting finish.

Tool Storage and Maintenance

Keeping your tools organized and in good condition is essential for a seamless leatherworking experience. Invest in a sturdy toolbox to keep your tools easily accessible. Regularly sharpen cutting tools using sharpening stones to maintain their precision. Apply leather conditioner to keep your leather tools in top condition, ensuring they last for many future projects.


Working with leather is rewarding, but you need the correct equipment. Good leather working tools will help you improve as a beginner. This guide helps you go through the world of vital tools and start your leatherworking journey confidently and creatively, whether making personalized accessories intricate designs, or just starting.

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