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Great Ways to Cut Leather

Aug 7, 2008
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 accurately cutting leather. To make a custom pattern, draw a pattern on paper with a pencil or use a computer drawing program. Place the paper pattern on the leather piece. Begin cutting with either a straight edge utility knife or a rotary cutter. A rotary cutter is easy to use and if used properly, it results in a clean edge. Safety Alert: This tool has an extremely sharp blade and should be used with caution. 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 prevent 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 refers generally to cutting tools and more specifically to cutting tools that are employed in leather craft. Conventional hand cutting tools that are generally employed by hobbyists and others engaged in the art of decorative leather tooling typically comprise knife-like blades fixedly and permanently mounted within a holder that is adapted 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 every bit 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 usually a steel cutting tool to be used with a clicker press. Cutting dies are desirable 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 processes for cutting leather, which is a hard, durable, and difficult to cut material. For the small manufacturer a clicker or mallet cutting die would increase production. The greater manufacturer usually uses clicker dies or a laser cutting system for its leather cutting. For the home craftsman, on the other hand, the best ways to cut leather would include the leather shears, the utility knife and straight edge.
About the Author
Leather expert and knowledgeable Ethan O. Tanner explains the different varities of leather cutting tools and discusses the dependable tools forcutting leather of various types.
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