Getting a leather clicker press I understand is a big move because it’s a top dollar equipment to get for your leather work shop. But it’s absolutely worth it as it’s one of the equipments that will help you scale up your leather craft into a real business.
As important as this Move is, I set out in this article to do an in-depth research about the leather clicker press and dies. This I hope will help equip you with all the most important information you will need before getting one. Here’s all I found out!
What is a Clicker Press?
A clicker press, also called a die cutting machine is a simple hydraulic or manual device that is used for cutting leather, rubber, fabric, etc. It’s a great tool commonly used to make the mass production of goods such as wallets, shoes, bags, clothes, etc faster and easier.
The clicker press comes in different sizes, types, and brands. It’s a really cool upgrade from a lot of the various forms of hand cutting, stamping, and tooling.
What is a Leather Clicker Press?
The leather clicker press is a more specific clicker press for leather work. Just like most clicker presses, the leather clicker press is a hydraulic or manual equipment used to impress stamps or cut out various components of a leather work product with the help of leather clicker dies.
The leather clicker press is very useful for cutting regular repeatable shapes very accurately and super fast. Depending on the kind of space you have, you can get yourself either an industrial leather clicker press or a smaller one you can mount on a work bench.
What are Leather Clicker Dies?
Leather clicker dies are metal cutters for cutting out shapes of leather for mostly wallets, bags, and so much more. The most common material for making clicker dies are the steel rule.
A simple rule of thumb is that anything you can cut with a scissors, exacto knife, or utility knife, you can make a clicker die for it.
A very basic clicker die will comprise three components of a steel rule blade, die board, and some form of rubber ejection. In addition to the cutting edge of the clicker die, selecting the right ejection is important to the long-term accuracy of the clicker die.
The main role of a rubber ejection will be to push the die cut part out of the cutting die. The rubber injection may come in various forms and density. Ejection can also cover the entire cutting die called full ejection or spotted in specific locations around the cutting rule.
The leather clicker die may come custom designed for the various shapes of the components of the leather items. So for example if you’re to make a wallet, the dies you will have to assemble will be pre-made dies for the pockets of the wallets, dies for the overall outer part of the wallet, etc.
Leather clicker dies come in different sizes as well. There are bigger size ones that will be used for cutting shapes for the sides of bags, base of bags, pockets, notebook covers, etc. There are much smaller ones you can use to make cuts for smaller shaped products as well.
A typical way to look at leather clicker die is a cookie cutter used for cutting pastry. There are unlimited dies that can be made but only a few of these ones come to mind.
- Key fob dies
- Earring dies
- Mystery keychain dies
- Impression dies
- Pocket dies
Steel Rule Dies
The Steel rule is a common and inexpensive material used to make clicker press dies generally for cutting all sorts of materials such as leather, cardboard, cork, fiberglass, rubber, plastic, foam, paper.
How do you sharpen Clicker dies?
A dull clicker die will require sharpening otherwise more force and compression will have to be applied and this can lead to distortions on the edges of the leather materials.
Here’s a video on how to Sharpen a clicker die
Custom Leather Clicker Dies
Custom Leather Clicker Dies are the clicker dies that are tailored to suit your personal designs. For example if you have a particular design for a wallet you think you may have to reproduce over and over again, you can make dies for the various parts of the wallet you intend to make.
The key point of dies is making dies for your design would mean you would want to be able to repeated cut the same kinds of patterns multiple times.
You can get a custom made die by sending over your over all design over to a die maker and they will make a die for you. It helps if you’re good with a design software like illustrator or coraldraw.
You can design your dies and after the design is complete, you can have them sent over to the die maker. You can also absolutely DIY your own leather clicker dies in you’re a handy kind of lady or guy!
Standard Leather Clicker Dies
The standard clicker die are dies that have standard designs. You will find standard leather clicker dies in the form of heart dies, key fobs dies, etc. These are just the standard dies you can purchase and use for your project works.
How Does a Clicker Press Work?
The leather clicker press runs a very simple mechanism of a stamping press with a heavy head that when pressed usually by a hand lever goes down to cut the material (leather) placed in between it’s cutting board and a steel rule die.
Why Use a Leather Clicker Press?
There a various reasons you will definitely want to use a leather clicker press. Some of these reasons include;
- Extremely Saves Time
- Helps Convert Leather Scraps into Very Profitable Leather Products
- For Making All Kinds of Impressions such as Logos, Makers Mark, Tooling, Stamping, etc.
- Totally Hand Operated
Simply having the thought of getting a leather clicker press means you’re ready to turn your craft into a much more profitable business and using a leather clicker press will basically save you a bunch of time with hand cutting, stamping, and tooling which will tremendously improve how fast you will produce your leather works for sale.
This is because labor becomes a significant contributor of the selling price when you produce on a larger scale. The faster you’re able to produce the lower your leather products can be priced and the more you will be able to sell.
All this can be made possible if you introduce the clicker press into your production process. The leather clicker press helps make cuts, stamping, and tooling fast without sacrificing the quality of cuts, impressions, and accuracy.
For example, with the help of a leather clicker press, you would be able to get every part of a wallet ready to assemble in less than 5 minutes.
Help Convert Scraps Into Cash
One of the best ways you can use a leather clicker press is to use it to cut out small pieces of leather with the help of dies for leather scrap projects. So with a leather clicker press you will be able to make very good use of all of your leather scraps for fantastic leather scrap projects essentially turning scraps into money!
It’s obvious how essential a leather clicker press is in terms of time for you as a leather crafter and creating a lot of value with leather scraps.
It doesn’t end there, you would use a leather clicker press because it’s also great for making different kinds of impressions on the grain surface of leather to decorate the leather item or brand it. This will be done using impression dies.
For decorations, you can use the leather clicker press together with impression dies to impress a design on the leather. For branding, a customized makers mark die or alphabet stamps can be used to brand or label the item produced.
Hand Operated Equipment
Finally, the reason why you would use the leather clicker press is because it’s totally hand operated. Meaning you wouldn’t need to worry about bumping up the electricity in your leather work shop or getting additional equipment in order for you to operate it.
And while most of these leather clicker pressers are hydraulic or manual equipments, it doesn’t really put a lot of strain or require a lot of effort to cut or impress a design.
How to make a leather clicker press
Watch a Video on how to make a clicker press
How to make a clicker Die
There are several leather clicker dies out there that are easily made by the simple push of a button on a computer. But if you’re very handy, the DIY kind of person or simply want a weekend challenge, here’s a pretty helpful video to help you make your own dies.
Video on How to Make Leather Clicker Dies
There are also a lot of tutorials on youtube you can follow to make yourself custom made dies for your leather work projects.
Popular Leather Clicker Press Brands
The are several well known brands that manufacture, or assemble leather clicker pressers. Here are a few examples of such companies products;
- Weaver Leather Clicker Press
- Tandy Leather Clicker Press
- Cowboy Leather Clicker Press
- Tippman clicker
- Harbor Freight press
- Herman Schwabe
Tips: Before Buying a Leather Clicker Press You Should…
Here are a couple of simple things you need to keep in mind before making your purchase.
1. Know the kind of project you will be making:
Knowing the kind of projects you will be working on will give you a general idea on the weight or thickness of leather you will often use.
2. Know the size and type of dies you have or would use:
Ideally, you’re to get your leather clicker press first and then use the recommended measurements for a clicker die for that specific clicker press (taking into consideration the weight of the leather materials you will be working with) to get your customized dies.
And you don’t have to worry if you don’t have any dies yet. Most distributors will have some basic dies for you to try that will give you an idea on the kind of dies you could use.
However, there are many situations where crafters may already have dies probably from previous clicker presses, or dies that were previously bought, etc. The size of your dies will help you determine the type of clicker press machine you would need.
To know the size of your dies, you will need to take the linear cutting length, width, depth of the die, and the shear strength of the leather to help figure out the tonnage to buy.
Having this information at hand will help the seller make good recommendations. If you’re lucky to have a distributor for presses in your local area, you can take your dies over and test them out. So always check if you have a distributor for clicker presses near you first.
3. Decide between Manual and Hydraulic:
If you’re anticipating only cutting a couple of items a day and nothing in the thousands, then the manual press is an excellent affordable solution.
4. Mode of Transport:
With leather clicker pressers, you will be dealing with heavy weights and so how you will transport the clicker press especially if you’re not purchasing online and aiming for a clicker press with a much higher tonnage. You must consider alternatives such as electric palette jack, forklift or manual palette trucks.
Tips For Using A Leather Clicker Press
Here are a few things to remember;
- If your dies are fairly large causing the clicker press not to successfully cut in one single press shot, just hit it several times.
- Making multiple presses on large dies will not hurt the die or the clicker press
- With the manual leather clicker press, you may have to pump a hand jack for each cut you make.
- Ensure the leather placed on the dies are fairly sizeable to ensure all edges are cleanly and wholly cut.
- Make sure the dies you’re using is what’s recommended for the clicker press.