Leather is a tough and durable substance, and it can be very difficult to cut. The various ways to cut leather include a straight edge, a utility knife, a leather shears, a rotary knife, a mallet cutting die, a clicker die, or a laser cutting system.
A pattern is the first step in precisely cutting leather. To make a customized pattern, draw a design on paper with a pencil or use a computer drawing program. Lay the paper pattern on the leather piece. Start out cutting with either a straight edge utility knife or a rotary cutter. A rotary cutter is effortless to use and if used the right way, it results in a clean edge. Safety warning: This tool has an exceedingly sharp blade and should be used with care. Keep the rotary cutter, and all sharp cutting tools away from small children. Cut your leather using the rotary cutter, using a self-healing cutting mat beneath the leather. These mats keep your table or counter surface from being damaged by the cutter.
A Leather shears is a industrial scissors that usually has serrated blades, and it is able to cut soft or even heavy strap leather. A good quality leather shears will cut through most leathers with simplicity.
The razor utility, swivel knife or hobby knife pertains generally to cutting tools and more specifically to cutting tools that are engaged in leather craft. Conventional hand cutting tools that are generally utilized by hobbyists and others occupied in the art of decorative leather tooling typically consist knife-like blades fixedly and permanently mounted within a holder that is accommodated for manual operation by the user.
Strap cutter is an adjustable wooden cutting tool that cuts parallel strips of leather from a piece of hide. It works equally well with heavy strap leather or soft garment leather. It is capable of cutting 16 oz. leather into 4″ straps or soft suede into ” strips.
A clicker press is a machine that cuts shapes out of rolls of soft material, such as rubber, cardboard, or leather, using a sharp metal piece called a die. A metal tool and die shop will take a pattern, and bend, weld and form pre-sharpened steel into a die. A cutting die is commonly a steel cutting tool to be used with a clicker press. Cutting dies are appropriate for cutting paper, leather, rubber, plastic and more including envelope cutting dies, label cutting dies, clicker dies, window dies, punch dies, gasket cutting dies, washer dies, trimming dies, high dies, threaded punch dies, rotary panel cutters, corner blades, strap dies and more.
Leather is increasingly cut by laser. Laser leather cutting is a highly skilled job. The operator will program the design to be cut by the laser cutting machine. Cutting leather in this method may be a time consuming exercise. The leather cut by laser is extremely accurate, and true to your pattern.
There are many different techniques for cutting leather, which is a tough, durable, and hard to cut material. For the small manufacturer a clicker or mallet cutting die would increase production. The larger manufacturer usually uses clicker dies or a laser cutting system for its leather cutting. For the home craftsman, the most effective ways to cut leather would include the leather shears, the utility knife and straight edge.
Leather craftsman and author Ethan O. Tanner explains the different varities of leather cutting tools and explains the best tools forcutting leather of various types.. Unique version for reprint here: Most Dependable Ways to Cut Leather.
Author: Ethan O. TannerThis author has published 4 articles so far.