Recommended Leather Tools

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People often ask me which leather tools I recommend that they buy if they would like to get into leather work themselves.

I have created a video outlining the items that I recommend and why and below you can find the list of tools contained in the video. These are all tools which I use personally, there are both cheaper and more expensive versions available in lots of cases.

You can watch the video here.

This list is for beginners so I don’t think you need to spend more, however I have included cheaper alternatives for some tools in case you’re trying to spend less. You are welcome to print this page so you can scribble some notes and your own prices on.

If you’ve found this video and list useful why not buy some of my patterns to make with your new tools :)

Please note:

  • Prices are in UK pounds, if you’re not in the UK these may be more or less expensive for you (if you’re in America they may be a lot cheaper). Prices don’t take into account any delivery or import costs.
  • The Tandy prices listed are elite club prices. This is because if you are going to buy lots the tools listed to get set up you will save money with at least one years worth of elite membership (£96 currently). If you don’t have the membership cards the prices may be up to double what you see here. Tandy also frequently have sales with good discounts on selected items or sometimes everything they sell.
  • Links and prices are correct as of November 2016, this page will only be checked periodically for updates so may become out of date but the list of tools is always valid.
  • This is not everything you need to start leatherwork as it is a list of tools only. No consumables such as leather, dyes, finishes, glue, thread, hardware etc. are included.
  • The recommended tools are all what I class to be acceptable quality, if you want to save money and buy cheaper tools you can but you might end up buying them again later on.
  • I am not affiliated to the listed companies, the recommended items are there because I use them and they work for me.

Books

In addition to the tools I would also highly recommend the books below if you’re starting out, the Valerie Michael one is excellent and the Stohlman ones are also very useful:

Tools

recommended item link price cheaper alternative link price
1 cutting mat

— any A2/A3 self healing
buy (Amazon) £8.50
2 thread snippers

— Tandy 3044-00
buy (Amazon) £2.19
3 diamond awls

— Kyoshin Elle S
— Kyoshin Elle M
buy S (Goods Japan)
buy M (Goods Japan)
£13.00 ea.
4 pricking irons

— Seiwa 3mm
— Seiwa 4mm
buy 2tx3mm (Goods Japan)
buy 6tx3mm (Goods Japan)
buy 2tx4mm (Goods Japan)
buy 6tx3mm (Goods Japan)
£15-20 ea.
5 wing dividers

— Tandy 3607-00
buy (Tandy) £13.78
6 turbo lighter

— Turboflame Ranger or similar
buy (Amazon) £11.00
7 parallel pliers

— any
buy (Amazon) £13
8 cobbler’s hammer

— Tandy 3307-00
buy (Tandy) £32.14 vintage hammer from eBay (check face is in good condition)
9 thread melter

— Beadsmith Thread Zap II
buy (Amazon) £7.20
10 bone folder

— any
buy (Amazon) £5.40 Tandy 8116-00 buy (Tandy) £4.42
11 v-gouge

— Tandy 8082-00
buy (Tandy) £16.53
12 skiving tool

— Tandy 3001-00
buy tool (Tandy)
buy blades (Tandy)
£5.00
13 roughing tool

— Tandy 83005-00
buy (Tandy) £16.50 scratch awl or sandpaper
14 edge bevelers

— Craft Sha Deluxe #1
— Craft Sha Deluxe #3
buy #1 (Goods Japan)
buy #3 (Goods Japan)
£25.00 ea. Tandy 8076-xx buy (Tandy) £6.89 ea.
15 maul

— Tandy 35062-01
buy (Tandy) £96.40 ea. nylon dead blow hammer

— Thorace 1414 2lb
buy (Amazon) £20.00 ea.
16 groover/creaser

— Kyoshin Elle Pro Set
buy (Goods Japan) £24.50 Tandy 88081-00 buy (Tandy) £13.78
17 strip and strap maker

— Tandy 3080-00
buy (Tandy) buy blades (Tandy) £22.04
18 Black River Laser templates

— handy gauge
— strap end master template set
buy (BRL) £34.00
19 edge slicker

— Pro Edge Burnishers hand slicker
buy (PEB) £23.00 Tandy 8121-00 buy (Tandy) £7.82
20 hole punches

— Tandy drive punches 3777-xx
buy (Tandy) £5.00 ea. Tandy mini set 3003-00
Tandy maxi set 3004-00
buy mini (Tandy) buy maxi (Tandy) £19.29 pair
21 scratch awl

— Tandy 3217-00
buy (Tandy) £3.04
22 heavy knives

— Stanley knife e.g. Dynagrip
buy (Amazon) buy blades (Amazon) £15.00
— Clickers knife Tandy 3595-00 buy (Tandy) buy blades (Tandy) £24.80 you can manage without this but they are very useful
23 light knives

— Rotary Cutter e.g. DAFA 60mm
buy (Amazon) buy (Amazon) £5.19
— Scalpel e.g. Swann Morton #3 buy (Amazon) buy blades (Amazon) £4.79
24 rulers

— 30cm steel rule (any)
— other sizes as needed 6" to 1m
buy (Amazon) £12.50
25 poly board

— Tandy 3464-01
buy (Tandy) £4.60 kitchen chopping board from the supermarket
26 stitching pony (not in video)

— Tandy 3132-00
buy (Tandy) £16.53
total £550-600 £350-400