The strap cutting leather tool, often a treasured item in any leatherworker's toolkit, has been an integral part of my craft for years.

I remember the first time I held its sturdy frame, feeling the weight of its promise in my hands. It brought a sense of empowerment and precision to my projects that was transformative. The tool’s sharp blades glide effortlessly through thick hides, creating uniform straps essential for belts, bag handles, and various accessories. Its adjustable features ensure that each cut meets the exact width specifications, a detail that’s crucial for the integrity and aesthetics of the final product.

For newcomers, mastering this tool is akin to a rite of passage in leatherworking. Ensuring the leather is firmly secured and maintaining steady pressure as you guide the tool is key to achieving those clean, straight lines. Over the years, I've found that the quality and consistency of my work have been significantly elevated thanks to the strap cutter, making it an indispensable ally in my creative process.

In this article, I will share my experiences with using and choosing this tool, while also providing valuable insights and practical guidance to help you create flawless leather straps for your projects.

On this page:

1. Introduction to Leather Strap Cutters

If you are a newbie, I would like to briefly introduce this the leather strap cutter. This tool has a sharp blade and is used to cut long pieces of leather into consistent widths. For example, if you have a big piece of leather and want to make 1-inch wide straps for handbag straps, this is the tool you need. Most strap cutters have blades that you can change, so you can always keep it sharp for smooth and easy cuts. This tool makes the process of cutting leather quick and precise.

Using a strap cutter makes the process faster and more efficient, saving you time and effort. Most strap cutters have interchangeable blades, so you can always keep it sharp and ready for perfect cuts. There are different types of strap cutters, including push cutters, pull cutters, and even electric ones, each suited for various needs.

In leather crafting, having a good strap cutter is essential. It ensures that your straps are uniform and professional-looking, whether you're making belts, bag handles, or wallet straps.

2. Types of Leather Strap Cutters

I've used various types of leather strap cutters and can share my thoughts on each. Here's a breakdown to help newcomers understand the different types:

2.1. Push Cutters (Plough Cutters)

  • Description: These cutters work by pushing the tool through the leather, away from the body.
  • Experience: Although less common, some people prefer push cutters. They’re sometimes called "plough cutters." I find them useful for specific projects, especially when I need to apply more force.
  • Opinion: If you like applying steady pressure and working with a tool that feels robust, a push cutter might be your preference.

2.2. Pull Cutters

  • Description: These cutters are designed to be pulled through the leather, towards the body.
  • Experience: Pull cutters are my go-to tool. They provide excellent control, which is crucial for smooth, even cuts.
  • Opinion: Most leatherworkers, including myself, find pull cutters to be the most practical and easy to use. They’re great for both beginners and seasoned pros.

2.3. Electric Leather Strap Cutters

  • Description: These are electric-powered tools that feed the leather through mechanically turned blades.
  • Experience: When I need to cut a large number of straps quickly and consistently, I turn to my electric strap cutter. It’s fast and efficient, perfect for high-volume work.
  • Opinion: While they are large, heavy, and expensive, electric cutters are invaluable for production lines or when you have a lot of strap cutting to do. If you're running a business or need to cut straps in bulk, investing in an electric cutter can save you a lot of time and effort.

Read more: A Beginner's Guide to Choosing and Using Leather Strap Cutting Machines

3. How to use a leather strap cutter?

I vividly remember the first time I used Sailrite's leather strap cutter. I was filled with excitement and anticipation, eager to see how this tool would change my leatherworking process. However, my initial excitement quickly turned into hours of frustration as I struggled to get it right. Determined to master it, I finally found a complete guide that made everything clear. Now, this tool is a staple in my workshop, making strap cutting a breeze. Here's how beginners can use it effectively:

This is the video where I learned my skills.

3.1. Adjust the Crossbar for Leather Thickness:

  • For thinner leather, bring the crossbar pieces closer together.
  • For thicker leather, spread the crossbar pieces further apart.
  • Achieve slight friction to ensure the leather slides smoothly but stays in place. Test this setup with a scrap piece of leather.

3.2. Set the Strap Width:

  • Adjust the knob on the handle to set the desired width of your strap.
  • Make sure you have a straight edge on your leather using a ruler and cutting tool.

3.3. Insert and Cut the Leather:

  • Insert the leather into the crossbar, aligning it flush with the straight edge.
  • Start the cut with scissors or a knife for a clean edge.
  • Pull the cutter through the leather, using one hand to pull the leather and the other to handle the tool.

3.4. Change the Blade:

  • Loosen the knob on the handle to remove the crossbar.
  • Loosen the screws above the blade and rotate the guard away.
  • Carefully remove the old blade from the slit in the wood.
  • Insert a new blade with the sharp edge facing the measurement markings.
  • Reassemble the tool by rotating the guard back and tightening the screws.

Using Sailrite’s leather strap cutter has transformed my workflow, allowing me to produce professional-grade straps quickly and consistently. For any leatherworker, mastering this tool is essential for achieving high-quality results.

Learn How to Use a Leather Strap Cutter and Change the Blade Like a Pro

4. Tips for care and maintain straps cutter leather

Here are some specific tips for caring for and maintaining your strap cutter:

4.1. Cleaning:

Wipe down after each use: Use a clean, dry cloth to remove any leather dust or residue from the blades and body of the strap cutter. This will prevent buildup that can hinder performance and make future cleaning more difficult.

Pay attention to hinges and screws: For these areas, you can occasionally use a slightly damp cloth followed by a dry cloth to remove any dirt or grime.

4.2. Blades:

Alignment is crucial: Ensure the blades of your strap cutter are properly aligned for clean, straight cuts. Consult your user manual or manufacturer's instructions for specific adjustments.

Tightness matters: The screw mechanism holding the blades together might loosen over time. Tighten it slightly to ensure the blades stay secure and maintain cutting pressure.

Sharpness is key: While strap cutter blades are generally designed for durability, they can dull with extensive use. Some models allow for blade replacement. If yours doesn't, consider professional sharpening services to maintain optimal cutting performance.

4.3. General Maintenance:

Oil for moving parts: Apply a very light coat of machine oil to any metal parts like hinges and screws to prevent rust. Avoid getting oil on the blades themselves, as this can affect cutting.

Storage matters: Store your strap cutter in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Avoid damp environments to prevent rust.

4.4. Additional Tips:

Use a cutting board: Protect your work surface and the blades by using a dedicated cutting board made from a resilient material like rubber or thick plastic.

Clean cutting surface: Always use your strap cutter on a clean surface free of debris to prevent damage or dulling of the blades.

Right tool for the job: Choose a strap cutter suitable for the thickness and type of leather you're working with. Forcing a cutter through thick leather can strain the mechanism and damage the blades.

By following these tips, you can ensure your strap cutter remains sharp, functional, and delivers clean, precise cuts for a long time.

5. Factors to Consider When Choosing a Leather Strap Cutting Tool

When selecting a leather strap cutting tool, there are several key factors to take into account to ensure that it meets your specific needs and requirements.

5.1. Blade Quality and Material

The quality of the blade is paramount when choosing a leather strap cutting tool. Look for blades made from high-quality steel or other durable materials that can maintain sharpness over time. Additionally, consider whether the blade is replaceable, as this can prolong the lifespan of the tool.

5.2. Cutting Capacity and Adjustability

Consider the cutting capacity of the tool and whether it can accommodate the thickness of leather you typically work with. Adjustable cutting widths are also important, especially if you require versatility in the width of the leather straps you produce.

5.3. Durability and Ergonomics

A durable and ergonomic design is essential for long-term usability and comfort. Ensure that the tool is constructed from sturdy materials and features a design that minimizes hand fatigue during use.

6. Choosing the Right Leather Strap Cutting Tool for Your Needs

6.1. Hobbyist and DIY Enthusiasts

For hobbyists and DIY enthusiasts who work with leather occasionally, a manual strap cutter or a rotary leather strip cutter may suffice. These tools offer precision and are relatively easy to use, making them suitable for occasional leather crafting projects.

6.2. Professional Leatherworkers and Craftsmen

Professional leatherworkers and craftsmen who work with leather on a regular basis may benefit from investing in an electric leather belt cutter or a high-quality manual strap cutter. These tools offer efficiency, precision, and durability, which are essential for meeting the demands of professional leather crafting.


Using a leather strap cutter has revolutionized the way I approach leather work. The precision and efficiency it offers have allowed me to take my leatherworking projects to the next level. Whether you are a hobbyist or a professional, having the right leather strap cutter is a game-changer in the world of leather crafting.

We hope this article has improved your understanding of this valuable tool. If you have any remaining questions, we encourage you to share your experiences and inquiries in the comments section below.

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