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Best Skivers for Leather Crafting

Experienced insights, guidance, and recommendations on what can help best in your leather crafting.

Best Skivers for Leather Crafting - International Leather Club

Best Skivers for Leather Crafting

When it comes to leatherworking, skivers are an essential tool for thinning leather at locations where it will be sewn or joined together. As someone who has worked with leather for years, I can attest to the usefulness of a good skiver. In this article, I’ll be sharing some of the most useful skivers I’ve come across, including paid links to products that I trust.

One skiver I used to use frequently is the Tandy Super Skiver (click here to view it on Amazon). It’s a versatile tool that works great for most day-to-day projects, and I find it easy to control. If you’re looking to upgrade, I’d recommend a skiving knife like the CS Osborne Dedicated skiving knife (click here to see it on Amazon). Of course, there are a few things to keep in mind when looking for a skiver, such as what you’ll be skiving and the volume of work you’ll be doing. Let’s dive into the details.

What to Look for In a Skiver

When it comes to purchasing a skiver, there are a few key things to consider. The blade sharpness is the most critical element of any skiver. A clean, consistent cut is essential, and this can only be achieved with a sharp blade.

Blade material is another important factor to consider. While many skivers are made of steel, the quality of the steel can make a big difference in the longevity of the blade. A higher quality blade will last longer and perform better during use.

It’s also important to consider the type of project you’ll be working on. For basic projects, a hand skiver can be helpful. They’re affordable, easy to maintain, and produce good results. For more detailed edge work, a skiver knife may be more suitable. And for high-volume production work, such as big production runs or upholstery work, a bell skiver machine can be a worthwhile investment.

In summary, when looking for a skiver, prioritize blade sharpness and quality, and consider the type of project you’ll be working on to determine the most suitable skiver for your needs.

Hand Skivers

When it comes to skiving leather, there are two main types of hand skivers to choose from: push and pull. The push type resembles an apple/vegetable peeler and can be difficult to achieve consistent results with. Additionally, changing the blade can be a hassle. However, these are often the least expensive options.

On the other hand, pull types offer more control as they are larger and can be pulled towards you. The leather can be held in place while pulling the skiver, providing more stability and consistency in material removal. These types also have replaceable blades, making them a more convenient option.

For removing material from larger areas or straps, hand skivers work well. However, for detailed skiving or precise edge work, skiver knives are a better option. Personally, I prefer using the Tandy Super Skiver (click here to view it on Amazon), which is a great pull-type hand skiver. Don’t forget to include all links and images provided in the data.

Skiver Knives

Skiver knives are an essential tool for leather craftsmen. They are large, sharp, fixed blades with wooden handles. The blades are made of steel and come in various shapes and sizes. Some skiver knives are designed for left-handed or right-handed use, while others are universal.

When it comes to choosing a skiver knife, there are many options available. The C.S. Osbourne 67-1 skiving knife is a great choice for most project types (click here to see it on Amazon). It is affordable and provides a good cutting edge. However, if you’re looking for a tool that will last a lifetime, Chartermade makes some of the best skiver knives on the market. Their Classic Series Premium Skiving Knife is hand made with steel from Austria, and the quality is superb (click here to view it on Chartermade).

If you’re on a budget, don’t overlook the option of purchasing a used skiver knife. Many older tools are still great options if properly maintained. However, it’s important to note that some of the newer CS Osbourne and Vergez Blanchard skiving knives may not be made with the same high-quality steel as older models.

In conclusion, a skiver knife is an essential tool for leathercraft. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned professional, there is a skiver knife out there that will meet your needs. Just remember to keep it sharp and properly maintained for the best results.

Bell Skiver Machines


When it comes to leatherworking, the use of a bell skiver machine can be a game-changer. These machines are designed to skive leather with speed and consistency, making them the perfect tool for high-volume production.

Bell skiver machines come in various models, including top, bottom, and both top/bottom feed. They are often desk-mounted and have a separate motor that drives them. Some models even come with vacuum attachments to keep the work area clean by pulling away the leather fibers as they are skived.

While bell skiver machines are more expensive than manual tool options, they are worth the investment for those looking to increase their productivity. One of the most popular models on the market is the Consew DCS-S4 (click here to view it on Amazon). However, it’s important to consider the seller and the support they offer before making a purchase.

When buying a bell skiver machine, it’s crucial to have a seller that stands behind their product and can provide instruction on setup, use, and maintenance. These machines are heavy and often require shipping, so keep that in mind when comparing costs.

Overall, a quality bell skiver machine can last for decades with proper maintenance, making it a worthwhile investment for those in the leatherworking industry. As someone who enjoys carving leather, I find a bell skiver to be a core tool that I always keep handy.

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