July 08, 2023 4 min read


Definition of Leather Cutting Knives Leather cutting knives are essential tools for leatherworkers and designers. These knives are designed to cut, trim, and shape leather into desired shapes and sizes. Whether you are a professional leatherworker or just starting out, having the right leather cutting knife can make a big difference in your work.

Importance of Leather Cutting Knives in Leatherwork:

Leather cutting knives are used in a variety of leatherwork applications, including cutting leather pieces to size, shaping leather into specific forms, trimming excess leather, and more. With the right leather cutting knife, you can achieve precise cuts and clean, smooth edges, making your leatherwork more professional-looking and durable.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Leather Cutting Knife:

When choosing a leather cutting knife, there are several factors to consider, including blade material and sharpness, handle material and comfort, and safety. You will also want to consider the type of leatherwork you will be doing, as well as your skill level and experience, to determine which type of leather cutting knife is best for you.

Types of Leather Cutting Knives

Straight Knife (Skiving Knife):

A straight knife, also known as a skiving knife, is the most basic and versatile type of leather cutting knife. It has a straight, sharp blade that is used for a variety of cutting tasks, including trimming and shaping leather.


The straight knife is commonly used for trimming the edges of leather pieces, shaping leather into curves, and cutting leather into specific shapes.

Round Knife:

A round knife is a type of leather cutting knife with a rounded blade that is used for cutting circular shapes in leather.


The round knife is ideal for cutting circular holes, making rounded edges, and trimming leather into circular shapes.

Bevel Edge Knife:

A bevel edge knife has a blade with a bevelled edge that is used for cutting and trimming leather.


The bevel edge knife is commonly used for cutting leather along straight lines, making precise cuts, and trimming leather into straight or angular shapes.

Swivel Knife:

A swivel knife is a type of leather cutting knife with a blade that rotates on a pivot. This allows the blade to move in all directions, making it easier to cut leather into complex shapes.


 The swivel knife is commonly used for cutting intricate designs, creating decorative shapes, and cutting leather into curved or angular shapes.

Blade Material and Sharpness

  1.      Steel Types Used in Leather Cutting Knives The steel used in leather cutting knives can vary, with some common types including carbon steel, stainless steel, and high-carbon stainless steel. Each type of steel has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to choose the right type of steel for your specific leatherwork needs.
  2.      Importance of Blade Sharpness Sharp blades are essential for precise and clean cuts in leatherwork. Dull blades can cause leather to fray, resulting in rough edges and a less professional-looking final product.

Maintenance and Sharpening Techniques:

Proper maintenance and sharpening of your leather cutting knife is important to ensure it remains in top condition. Regular sharpening and honing of the blade, as well as proper cleaning and oiling of the knife, can help to extend its lifespan and maintain its sharpness.

Handle Material and Comfort:

  1.      Common Handle Materials Used in Leather Cutting Knives Leather cutting knife handles can be made from a variety of materials, including wood, plastic, and metal. The choice of handle material will largely depend on personal preference and comfort, as well as the intended use of the knife.
  2.      Importance of Handle Comfort Comfortable handles are important for preventing hand fatigue and strain during extended periods of use. A well-designed handle should fit comfortably in your hand and provide a secure grip, even when wet or slippery.
  3.      Handle Design Considerations When choosing a leather cutting knife, it is important to consider the handle design and how it will fit in your hand. Look for a handle that is ergonomically designed, with a non-slip grip and a balanced weight distribution.

Safety Considerations:

  1.      Proper Handling and Usage Techniques When using a leather cutting knife, it is important to follow proper handling and usage techniques to minimize the risk of injury. Always use a cutting mat or board to protect your work surface and keep your fingers away from the blade at all times.
  2.      Protective Equipment Recommendations Wearing protective equipment, such as gloves, safety glasses, and a mask, can help to reduce the risk of injury when using a leather cutting knife.
  3.      Importance of Regular Maintenance and Inspection Regular inspection and maintenance of your leather cutting knife can help to keep it in top condition and reduce the risk of injury during use. Check the blade for sharpness, cracks, and other signs of wear, and replace or repair as needed.