Some of the leathercraft supplies we stock are hole punch tools, leather shears, rawhide mallets, leather belt strap cutter tool, rotary hole punch tool, leather slot punch, cutting boards and leather edge beveller tool.
Firmer leathers such as tooling leather can be cut with a utility knife on a cutting board. You can also use pro super shears for cutting pointed belt tips or for trimming the length of a belt. Softer leathers such as garment leather stretches easier and therefore it is easier to cut it with super shears as opposed to a utility knife. To cut belt strips from tooling leather, you first need to straighten the skin. After that, it is easy to strip out the belts with a strap cutter which can be adjusted for width and different thicknesses of leather.
You can use a rotary punch or a punch you hit with a hammer. I find the rotary punch great if you just need to grab a punch for the odd hole. It seems to work best if a piece of scrap leather is put under your leather piece as a cutting pad as opposed to grinding the cutting tube into the metal anvil on the rotary punch. Using a piece of scrap leather will make the punch last longer.
However if you are punching lots of holes, it is too tiring on the hand squeezing the tool all the time. It is much easier to use a hole punch that you hit with a hammer like our mini hole punch tool set or maxi punches for round holes or our oblong hole punches for buckle slots. However you need a sturdy solid surface that will not bounce. That is why you see in a lot of custom leather shops, a tree stump, as it makes an excellent solid work bench for which to pound. You will also need something under the leather you are punching such as a poundo board or scrap leather to prevent the punches from becoming dull.
It is also best to use rawhide mallets, wooden mallets or poly mallets as opposed to metal hammer when striking punches. Metal hammers will cause the end of your tool to mushroom after frequent use.
Although it is not required to round the edges of leather, using a beveller tool to remove the square edge gives a more finsihed look to the leather piece. The bevellers will not work on soft leathers but work great on firm leathers, mainly tooling leather. Sometimes it provides more comfort to round the edges of the leather. We prefer to do this on the leash handle or the underneath side of a dog collar where it will be rubbing against the neck.
Another handy leather craft tool is the the safety beveller which thins leather. Often the portion of the belt that gets wrapped around a buckle is thinned so it is not so bulky. The razor blade in this tool is replaceable so you can always keep it sharp.
The lace maker leather craft tool is interesting to watch being used. It will not work on soft leather but works fantastic on firmer leathers. First you cut a round circular piece of leather. Then you cut a round hole hole in the center about the size of a silver dollar. You put the inside hole against the proper thickness slot on the lace maker and then start to cut into the leather. When a little bit of lace comes out, grab the end of the lace and keep pulling. The leather will continue to spin quickly around the lace maker tool making one continuous strand of leather lace.