Using a Strap Cutter – Leather Crafts

Cutting: Using a Strap Cutter

Strap cutters are incredibly efficient tools for cutting straight strips of leather quickly. Use a strap cutter as a shortcut for cutting multiple rectangles, like bookmarks, by cutting one strap into smaller pieces. Strap cutters work best with vegetable-tanned and bridle leather.

Materials

Leather

Tools

Strap cutter

Straightedge

Precision knife

TECHNIQUES USED

Cutting: Using a Straightedge

1 Set up the strap cutter. Loosen the wing nut holding the ruler arm of the strap cutter, and slide the arm until the strap cutter’s ruler shows the desired strap width. Double-check the measurement with a ruler. Tighten the wing-nut back down to secure it in place.

2 Cut a straight side. To make a strap with parallel edges, the hide needs to have one straight side. If it needs a fresh straight edge, cut the minimum necessary from the hide to make a straight side using a precision knife and straightedge.

3 Position the strap cutter. Position the strap cutter against the straight edge of the hide with the blade facing toward you. Hold the handle of the strap cutter with your dominant hand.

4 Cut the strap. Pull the strap cutter toward you, firmly and with confidence. Once you’ve gotten the strap started, you may want to pinch the top of the strap with your opposite hand to keep the tension tight. Continue pulling and readjusting as needed until you’ve reached the end of the hide.

Strap cutters are easy to use and accurate with firm leather, but soft leather (like garment leather) stretches when pulled through, so straps can often end up uneven.