To succeed at leatherworking, you need to know how to effectively cut your leather to have the correct measurements, dimensions, and as little fraying as possible. While learning how to cut leather isn’t difficult, mastering it so that your cuts are perfect can be trickier. With a little bit of experience and guidance, however, anyone can learn how to do it. Here are a few helpful tips for cutting leather like a pro to get you on your way.
Gathering Your Tools
Before doing anything, you must ensure you have a good set of leather crafting tools. Many tools are available to help you cut and design your leather, but we’ll go into what specific tools you need for different kinds of leather soon. You must realize there are no substitutes if you want to cut your leather correctly.
You’ll need the following essential leather tools: a utility knife, a rotary cutter, a hobby/craft knife, hole punches, heavy-duty scissors, head knives, swivel knives, and a handy ruler. Furthermore, you might want to consider getting a self-healing cutting mat to work on so you have a flat surface to cut your leather and don’t damage your workstation or your knives.
Cutting Thin Leather
If you’re working with thin leather (one millimeter or less), your primary tool will be the rotary cutter. A rotary cutter allows you to apply even pressure to a larger area without pulling or creasing the leather. Provided you’ve kept your rotary cutter sharp and in good condition, you’ll be able to smoothly push it along a ruler for a nice straight cut with minimal mistakes.
Because thin leather pulls so much when cutting, absolutely avoid using scissors on thin leather.
Cutting Thick Leather
Surprisingly, a helpful tip for cutting leather like a pro is remembering that thick leather is easier to cut than thin leather. For thick leather, all you need is a sharp hobby knife. When used with a ruler for guidance, you’ll be able to get a nice clean and straight cut without much hassle, creasing, or pulling.
If you want smoother curves to your cuts, you can use a coin or a washer to guide your cut instead of the ruler.