Leather Hand Press: Everything You Need To Know

leather hand press

When starting out leatherwork, what crafters mostly need are the basic leatherwork tools as many other activities will be managed by hand and improvised tools. However, as you begin to really get into it and the quantity of projects increase, tasks of setting rivets, snaps, spots, eyelets, and other hardware material become overwhelming.

For such purposes, the leather hand press comes in handy to tremendously and effectively carry out these chores. In this article, I carried out research on this essential leatherwork tool and I’m ready to share with you all I found out.

What’s a leather Hand Press?

A leather hand press is a domestic or industrial leatherwork tool that is designed to make the setting of fasteners, fittings, and other leatherwork hardware materials easy and much faster. The leather hand press is a professional ideal tool for setting rivets, eyelets, spots, snaps, grommets, and so much more.

It’s ideal for crafters who work on a lot of projects. Leather hand press can be placed on any workbench but for best results, the leather hand press could be attached to a sturdy workbench. Attaching the leather hand press on a workbench isn’t complicated. All you’ll need to do is to position it on the workbench and secure it with screws through a set of drilled holes.  

General Features And Purpose of the Leather Hand Press

Leather Hand Press Dies

The leather hand press dies are small metal attachments fixed on the hand press that can punch holes, fix eyelets, rivets, spots, Segma style stamps, make imprints with 3-D stamps, alphabet stamps, etc. Leather hand press dies come in two parts that is an anvil that goes to the bottom of the hand press and a driver that goes to the top of the press. The anvil and driver parts are also called the male and female parts respectively.

When gentle pressure is applied to handle of the leather hand press, the driver moves down to punch a hole or set any suitable leather hardware on leather articles.

The leather hand press dies are very easy to set and use. The dies are set by simply pushing them through a slot on the top and bottom parts of the clamp area and tightening the screws with a spanner/wrench or hand.

Also, to use the leather press dies for example in the case of fixing snaps, you simply put the eyelet for the snap on the anvil, place the punched hole over the eyelet, and place the final part of the snap on the leather and simply push down the driver and it’s done.

The Dies are very essential components of a leather hand press tool and may either come together with the hand press or can be bought separately and fixed as and when the need arises.

Leather Hand Press Dies

Leather Rivet Hand Press

Instead of sewing or gluing leather parts together, you add rivets to your leatherwork projects. The double cap rivet is one of the most beautiful and durable rivets to use. However, setting rivets can be very difficult especially if you have a lot of projects to work on.

The leather rivet hand press is a great leatherwork tool for setting all kinds and sizes of rivets quickly, safely, and very effectively.

In many cases, each rivet size will require its own die. The dies are inserted into the rivet press both on the top and bottom. One important feature you will notice is that the top die has a custom insert the enables the leather rivet hand press driver to hold on to the cap of rivets when placed without falling off.

When using the leather rivet hand press its important to know a few things about parts of rivets and the correct measurements required for your projects. Below is the basic structure of a rivet.  

It’s also key to know that not all rivets will work with all rivet presses and dies so as crafters you’d have to ensure to purchase from the same place you bought your rivet press or dies. Below is a diagram that shows the thickness of leather and the size of the rivet you will need.

Leather Thickness Diameter Cap Length of Post
5mm – 7mm 6mm 7.5mm
7mm – 8mm 7mm 8.5mm
8mm – 9mm 8mm 9.5mm
9mm – 10mm 9mm 10.5mm
10mm – 11mm 10mm 11.5mm

Using a leather rivet hand press makes fixing all kinds and sizes of rivets very fun and easy.

Leather Stamp Hand Press

The leather stamp hand press is stamp presses designed to be used with a number, alphabet headstamps, and 3-D stamps. They are perfect for making repetitive and consistent impressions especially if you require higher volumes of application at a go.  

To use this feature, you will first insert the stamps on an adapter that will be available on the driver and snap it into place. Then, install the plate for doing numbers, alphabets, or 3-D imprints, dampen your leather and pull the presser lever to stamp.

To make imprints deeper, you can apply more pressure and vice versa and if you want lighter stamps. One important tip is to first try your stamps on a piece of scrap leather before stamping the main work.

Leather Hole Punch Hand Press

The Leather Hole Punch Hand Press is a press dye hole punch feature that can be used to punch holes on leather very easily. Very similar to most features on the leather hand press, it includes an anvil that fits the bottom of the presser and a holder for the punch tools that fit on the top.

To utilize this awesome feature, select a die with the hole size of your choosing and screw it into the holder. With your anvil placed on the base and holder with a punching die at the top of your leather hand press with all screws tightened, you can now position your leather and punch. Punching with the leather hole punch hand press is simply a gentle snap.

Where to buy leather hand press

The leather hand press can be bought from online stores such as Amazon, Etsy, etc and can also be directly bought from companies such as Tandy leather, weaver leathercraft, Springfield leather and many others including supermarkets such as Walmart near you.

To make things relatively easy for you, I also did detailed research on the best leather hand press. You can find an article I wrote earlier on it over here.


Having a leather hand press is one of the best decision you would ever make as a professional leather crafter to make you produce leather projects much faster and neatly. The most important thing is to ensure the leather hand press you purchase has a specification that can at least do 2 or all of the features discussed in this article and you will be able to have a great time working on your leatherwork projects.


Hi! I’m Kwabena, the owner and founder of Favored Leather. I’m a huge Leathercraft enthusiast and I’ve been that for almost 13 years now. I'm excited to share my experiences and all the new stuff I learn each day about leather craft, leather cleaning & care, and everything in-between!

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