When I first began my journey into leatherworking, one of the most pivotal tools I encountered was the round knife. This versatile and indispensable tool, with its broad, curved blade, quickly became a staple in my toolkit. The round knife's design allows for precise cutting, skiving, and shaping of leather, making it essential for achieving clean, professional results. For any newcomer to the craft, mastering the round knife is a rite of passage, offering a blend of tradition and technique that forms the foundation of skilled leatherwork. Its importance lies not only in its functionality but also in its role in connecting artisans to the rich heritage of leatherworking.

As a veteran leather craftsman, I've learned that the quality of your tools directly influences the quality of your work. When I was starting out, choosing the right leather round knife was a daunting task due to the overwhelming number of options available. Many beginners face the same challenge, often wasting time and money on inferior tools that hinder their progress and dampen their enthusiasm for the craft.

This article on the top 5 best leather round knives aims to alleviate these frustrations by providing clear, informed guidance. By sharing my knowledge and experience, I hope to help new leatherworkers make informed decisions, ensuring they invest in tools that will enhance their skills and passion. This article will save readers from the trial and error I endured, allowing them to focus on honing their craft with confidence and ease.

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What do you look for in a leather round knife?

As mentioned in my previous article: introducing the leather round  knife, when searching for the best leather round knife, several critical factors should be considered to ensure you make a worthwhile investment.

Firstly, the quality of the steel used in the blade is paramount. High-carbon steel is preferred because it maintains a sharp edge longer and is easier to hone, allowing for cleaner cuts and more precise work. A knife that dulls quickly can be frustrating and inefficient, interrupting your workflow and potentially damaging your leather.

Another crucial factor is the handle design and comfort. Leatherworking often involves extended periods of use, so a round knife with an ergonomic handle can prevent hand fatigue and provide better control. This comfort is essential for maintaining consistency in your work, especially when cutting intricate patterns or skiving delicate pieces.

The overall size and shape of the blade are also important. A well-proportioned blade with a gentle curve allows for versatile use, from straight cuts to tight curves. The best leather round knife should offer flexibility in its applications, catering to various projects and styles without compromising on precision or ease of use.

Read more: Mastering the Craft: A Comprehensive Guide on How to Sharpen a Leather Round Knife

Lastly, consider the knife's balance and weight. A well-balanced knife provides better control and reduces the effort needed for cutting, which is particularly beneficial for beginners still developing their technique. The best leather round knife will feel like a natural extension of your hand, enhancing your craftsmanship rather than hindering it.

By keeping these factors in mind, you can choose a leather round knife that enhances your work and withstands the demands of your craft. Selecting the best leather round knife is not just about the immediate benefits but also about fostering long-term growth and satisfaction in your leatherworking journey.

Below is a list of the 5 best leather round  knives based on my experience.

1. Al Stohlman Brand Round Knife by Tandy Leather

Al Stohlman Brand Round Knife by Tandy Leather

  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Blade Width: 5"
  • Price: Moderate
  • Features: Named after the legendary leather craftsman, ergonomic handle, versatile blade.
  • Best For: General leathercraft, precision cutting, detailed work.
rating for Al Stohlman Brand Round Knife by Tandy Leather
*D Score? D Score is the proprietary scoring system that helps us evaluate each product on a scale of 1 to 10. The score is based on product features, online popularity, price, brand reputation, and other expert reviews.

I've had the pleasure of using the Al Stohlman Brand Round Knife by Tandy Leather for several months now, and it has truly enhanced my leatherworking projects. This knife quickly became a staple in my toolkit due to its exceptional quality and versatility. Whether I'm cutting, skiving, or shaping leather, this knife delivers consistent performance and makes each task more enjoyable.

The stainless steel blade is polished to a mirror finish, allowing it to cut through even the thickest leather with ease. This smooth cutting action not only saves time but also ensures that each cut is clean and precise. The solid brass bolster adds a nice weight to the knife, providing a balance that enhances control. This balance is crucial when working on larger pieces, as it allows for steadier and more accurate movements.

One of my favorite features is the contoured hardwood handle. It fits perfectly in my hand and significantly reduces fatigue during long work sessions. This comfort is especially important when I'm working on detailed projects that require prolonged concentration and precision. The handle's design, coupled with the knife's overall durability, makes it a pleasure to use for extended periods.

However, it's worth noting that the Al Stohlman Brand Round Knife comes at a higher price point compared to budget-friendly options. While the quality and performance justify the cost for serious leatherworkers, it might be a bit steep for those just starting out or on a tight budget. Additionally, the blade size, while suitable for most general tasks, may not be ideal for very intricate cuts. For extremely detailed work, I often find myself switching to a smaller, more specialized tool.

Overall, the Al Stohlman Brand Round Knife is a fantastic investment for anyone serious about leatherworking. Its high-quality materials, comfortable grip, and versatility make it a standout choice. While it may not have interchangeable blades, its durability and the reputable brand behind it ensure that it will be a reliable tool for years to come. If you're looking to elevate your leatherworking experience, this knife is definitely worth considering.

2. DIUDUS Leathercraft Round Knife

DIUDUS Leathercraft Round Knife

  • Material: High Carbon Steel
  • Blade Width: 4.72"
  • Price: Cheap
  • Features: Suitable for beginners with a limited budget
  • Best For: Great tool to have for normal leather work and for making saddles.
rating for DIUDUS Leathercraft Round Knife
*D Score? D Score is the proprietary scoring system that helps us evaluate each product on a scale of 1 to 10. The score is based on product features, online popularity, price, brand reputation, and other expert reviews.

I've been using the DIUDUS Leathercraft Round Knife for several months now, and it's proven to be a solid and budget-friendly addition to my leatherworking toolkit. For anyone looking to get started in leathercraft or needing an affordable, reliable knife, this one fits the bill nicely.

The blade, which can be either high-carbon steel or high-speed steel depending on where you buy it, comes sharp out of the box. I did give it a quick strop to enhance its performance, and it cuts through leather smoothly and cleanly. The blade's sharpness is impressive for the price, making it easy to cut, trim, and even do some light engraving.

The wooden handle, while basic, is comfortable enough for short to medium-length sessions. It provides a decent grip and control, although it might not be the best for those with larger hands or for extended use. The handle's simplicity is part of its charm, but it's something to keep in mind if you're planning to use it for longer periods.

One of the biggest strengths of the DIUDUS Round Knife is its affordability. It's a great option for beginners who want to try their hand at leatherworking without investing too much upfront. Despite its low cost, it doesn't compromise much on quality, making it a fantastic value.

However, there are a few limitations to be aware of. The type of steel used can affect how well the blade retains its sharpness, so regular maintenance is necessary. Additionally, it's not clear if replacement blades are available, so you may need to take extra care to keep it in good condition. Overall, though, the DIUDUS Leathercraft Round Knife is a reliable and budget-friendly tool that performs well for a variety of leatherworking tasks.

3. Osborne Head Knife

Osborne Head Knife

  • Material: High carbon steel
  • Blade Width: 5-1/2"
  • Price: High
  • Features: Long-lasting sharpness, robust build, classic wooden handle.
  • Best For: Cutting thick leathers, detailed work, traditional leathercraft.
rating for Osborne Head Knife
*D Score? D Score is the proprietary scoring system that helps us evaluate each product on a scale of 1 to 10. The score is based on product features, online popularity, price, brand reputation, and other expert reviews.

I recently got some feedback from a friend who's been using the Osborne Head Knife for quite a while, and he had some interesting insights to share. This knife, designed specifically for shaping and trimming thicker leather, has become an essential tool in his leatherworking kit. If you're looking for a durable and budget-friendly option for heavy-duty tasks, the Osborne Head Knife might be just what you need.

The blade, made from 1075 high carbon steel, is hot-forged and holds a good edge remarkably well. My friend emphasized that while the knife is prone to rust if not maintained properly, the effort is worth it. He recommends regular oiling to keep the blade in top condition. The cutting edge is sharp and precise, making it perfect for shaping and trimming thick leather pieces with ease.

One of the standout features of the Osborne Head Knife is its handle. The oval-shaped American hardwood handle, reinforced with a brass ferrule, provides a comfortable and secure grip, even during extended use. My friend finds this particularly useful during long crafting sessions, as it reduces hand fatigue and allows for better control over the cuts.

However, it's important to note that the Osborne Head Knife has its limitations. It's not the most versatile tool out there—it's specifically designed for shaping and trimming thicker leathers and might not be suitable for detailed or precise cutting tasks. For those tasks, my friend often switches to a swivel knife or a round knife, which offer more versatility.

Overall, the Osborne Head Knife is a solid choice for anyone focused on heavy-duty leather shaping and trimming. Its durable construction and comfortable handle make it a reliable and affordable option. Just remember to keep up with maintenance to prevent rust, and you'll have a dependable tool that serves you well for years.

4. Weaver Leather Supply Round Knife

Weaver Leather Supply Round Knife

  • Material: High carbon steel
  • Blade Width: 4"
  • Price: High
  • Features: Sharp and easily maintained blade, ergonomic wooden handle.
  • Best For: Precision cuts, heavy-duty leatherwork, professional use.
rating for Weaver Leather Supply Round Knife
*D Score? D Score is the proprietary scoring system that helps us evaluate each product on a scale of 1 to 10. The score is based on product features, online popularity, price, brand reputation, and other expert reviews.

When I first picked up the Weaver Leather Supply Round Knife, I was immediately struck by its craftsmanship. As a seasoned leatherworker, I’ve used my fair share of tools, and this knife quickly made a strong impression. It’s a popular choice for good reason—its quality and durability are evident from the moment you hold it.

The hand-forged, high-carbon steel blade is a real standout feature. Known for its ability to maintain a sharp edge, this blade didn’t disappoint. Right out of the box, it was razor-sharp and ready to go, cutting through various leather thicknesses effortlessly. I tested it on different projects, from thin 3-ounce leather to much thicker 10/11-ounce hides, and it sliced through them all with ease. The edge retention has been excellent, though like any good tool, it benefits from regular stropping to keep it in prime condition.

The hardwood handle is another aspect that sets this knife apart. It’s designed to fit comfortably in the hand, which is a crucial feature for those long crafting sessions. I found that the handle’s ergonomic design significantly reduced fatigue, allowing me to work longer without discomfort. The balance between the blade and handle also contributes to a smooth, controlled cutting experience, making precise cuts easier to achieve.

One thing to consider is the price. The Weaver Leather Supply Round Knife is on the higher end compared to some other round knives available. However, the investment is justified by the superior quality and performance. For someone serious about leatherworking, this knife offers durability and reliability that cheaper options often lack. Additionally, the choice between two blade sizes—4-7/8" and 5"—allows for some customization based on personal preference and the specific needs of your projects.

In summary, the Weaver Leather Supply Round Knife is a top-tier tool that combines high-quality materials, sharpness, and comfort. While it is more expensive than some other knives, its performance and longevity make it a worthwhile investment for both beginners and experienced leatherworkers. If you’re looking for a reliable, durable knife that can handle a variety of tasks, this one is definitely worth considering.

5. Plantational Leather Round Head Knife

Plantational Leather Round Head Knife

  • High-carbon steel blade for smooth cutting through leather.
  • Versatile design for cutting, skiving, and using as a pattern knife.
  • Comfortable wooden handle for easy control.
rating for Plantational Leather Round Head Knife
*D Score? D Score is the proprietary scoring system that helps us evaluate each product on a scale of 1 to 10. The score is based on product features, online popularity, price, brand reputation, and other expert reviews.

I recently had the chance to try out the Plantational Leather Round Head Knife, and I was pleasantly surprised by its performance given its budget-friendly price. As someone who has used various leatherworking tools, I approached this knife with a bit of skepticism, but it turned out to be a solid option for cutting and shaping leather.

The blade, which is likely made of high-carbon steel, arrived sharp and ready to use. I tested it on a few different leather thicknesses and found that it handled both curves and straight lines quite well. The edge held up decently through several projects, although it did require more frequent sharpening compared to some of the premium knives I’ve used. Still, for its price, the sharpness and edge retention were more than satisfactory.

The wooden handle, while not as contoured or ergonomic as some synthetic options, was comfortable enough for shorter sessions. It provided a good grip, although I did notice my hand tiring a bit during longer periods of use. For someone just starting out in leatherworking or working on smaller projects, this handle should suffice, but those planning to work for extended periods might prefer something more ergonomic.

One of the strengths of the Plantational Leather Round Head Knife is its maneuverability. The round blade design allowed me to make flexible cuts and shapes with ease. This versatility is a significant plus, especially for beginners who need a knife that can handle various tasks without switching tools. The knife's size, generally around 3-5/8", was also convenient for detailed work.

However, the quality and consistency of the materials used in this knife are somewhat uncertain. There’s limited information about the brand, and the specifics of the blade steel and handle construction can vary. This inconsistency might be a concern for those looking for a reliable, long-term tool. In comparison, options like the Weaver Leather Supply Round Knife, though more expensive, offer higher quality and better edge retention.

Overall, the Plantational Leather Round Head Knife is a great option for hobbyists or newcomers to leatherworking due to its affordability and decent performance. While it might not have the longevity or premium feel of higher-end knives, it gets the job done effectively. If you’re on a budget or just starting out, this knife is worth considering. However, if you prioritize long-lasting sharpness and superior materials, you might want to invest in a more premium option.


Choosing the top 5 best leather round knives involves careful consideration of several factors, including blade quality, handle design, size and shape, and overall balance. By prioritizing these elements, you ensure that your investment not only enhances your current projects but also supports your growth and proficiency in leatherworking. With the right knife, you can achieve cleaner cuts, greater precision, and increased comfort, transforming your crafting experience. Whether you're a novice or a seasoned artisan, selecting the best leather round knife tailored to your needs is a crucial step towards mastering this timeless craft.

And finally, don't forget to tell us about your favorite leather round knife memories. We will discuss it in the comments section below this article.

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