Having the right tools for the right job is paramount in all crafts. It makes the work done much easier, faster and safer. In this article, we researched on all the tools and accompanying tools you will need to do a skiving operation and we’re ready to share with you all we found.
The primary leather skiving tools you will need for skiving all kinds of leather are either a leather skiving knife or a leather skiving machine since leather skiving can generally be done by using hand (thus handheld knives) or by machine.
Leather skiving is an important activity that really helps with the finishing of the leatherwork project you will be making. The skiving tools you will use will also require additional tools.
Leather Skiving Knives/Skiver
The leather skiving knife is a fantastic skiving alternative that most beginners will use. I say beginners but most professionals also use it aswell. They are cheap, easy to use, and they come in different forms and designs.
You can check out an article I wrote on the best skiving knives for leather.
The best thing about using skiving is the simplicity of its use as you won’t require a lot of additional tools to be able to use a skiving knife. With skiving knives, all you will need in most cases is a good stropping paddler or sand paper.
Tools You Will Need to Use with a Skiving Knife
1. Stropping Paddler or Paddle Strop
Using a stropping paddle is one of the excellent way to finish the edges of your skiving knives or tools and keep them in the best possible condition for as long as possible.
The stropping paddler or leather paddle strop will be made of wood like maple and would normally have two sides, a suede leather side and a smooth leather side. The way you would often use a paddle strop is with a green honing compound which you would load up on the strop (usually the suede side) just like you would applying a crayon over a surface.
After which you hold up your skiving knife over it, usually, at the angle you sharpened the knife and with light pressure, gently stroke the skiving knife back and forth 10-15 times. Then finish off with additional strokes on the plain smooth leather side.
You will find that using a stropping paddler or a paddle strop is really enjoyable, truly relaxing, and one of the best ways to finish the edges of your skiving knives.
If you’re interested, you can check out this stropping paddler/paddle strop over here on Amazon and it’s latest price since they are always changing. Comparatively, it’s at a great price with great reviews.
2. Skiving Knife Blades
Usually, the skiving knives you will buy, will come with some extra blades you can easily swap in and out when the blades wear out and cannot be sharpened.
I have seen that different leather crafters prefer different kinds of knives based on whether or not the blade of the knife can be sharpened or replaced. While sharpening, stropping, and honing is really enjoyable to others, some crafter will prefer not to have anything to do with sharpening knives.
Here’s a video on how to use a leather skiver
Here’s another video on how to use a leather skiving Knife
3. Sharpening Stone
The sharpening stone is another complementary tool you can use with skiving knives. Skiving knives dull up and here’s where the sharpening stone comes in. The sharpening stone is usually rectangular in shape with two workable surfaces called the top and bottom used for leveling and sharpening respectively.
The smooth side of the stone is used for making final sharpening, while the coarse
side is used for leveling the edge of the skiving knife before it’s sharpened.
Alternatively, you can use different grit of sharpening stones to get your skiving knives to be ultra sharp.
If you’re interested, I found this high-quality sharpening stone with a lot of sale on it and great customer reviews. You can check it out over here on Amazon! for latest price.
Here’s a useful video on how to use the sharpening stone(s) with you’re skiving knives
4. Leather thickness Gauge
If you’ve done kind of skiving, you will know by now the invaluable essence of the leather thickness gauge and how it helps with the overall thickness and accuracy of the leather project you’re working on.
The leather thickness gauge is a tool you will use to measure the thickness of the various pieces of leather components you will be using before skiving and after skiving. The gauge will measure the leather thickness in either millimeters or inches or both so that you can maintain an accurate skiving level.
The leather thickness gauge can be used when you’re either using a leather skiving machine or a handheld skiver or skiving knife.
Generally, leather skiving can be tricky and so having leather thickness gauge as a guide will do you a lot of good especially if you’re not a professional.
The leather thickness gauge comes in digital or pointer indicators.
Here’s a video on how to use a digital leather thickness gauge to measure the weights of leather skives
You can check out an article I wrote earlier on the best leather thickness gauge. In this article, I researched on a couple of leather thickness gauges that will be able to cater to all the leather thickness measurements you’re going to make.
Here’s another video on how to use a pointer indicator leather thickness gauge
5. Lubricants or Oil
Lubricants are ideal for the metal parts of the skiving tools be it Machine or a skiving knives. You can as well use the oil when sharpening the leather skiving tool for proper
sharpening of the tool. Oiling and lubricating also prevents the metal surfaces of the skiving tools or skivers and skiving machine parts from rusting.
Leather Skiving Machine
Contrary to the skivers and the skiving knives which are more manually used, the leather skiving machine is more mechanical. It’s built to make the skiving operation more easier and faster.
You can check out an article I wrote earlier on leather skiving machines and all you need to know about them.
Just like the skiving knives and skivers, the leather skiving machine also have its complementary set of tools that are used together with it.
Tools You Will Need to Use with a Leather Skiving Machine
1. Dressing Tool
The dressing tool as the name may imply suggests it’s use. It’s a star shaped triple or quadruple wheeled like that of a stitch marker you would use on a regular grinding stone. The dressing tool is used to clean and sharpen the surface of a blunt sharpening stone or grinding stone of a leather skiving machine so that it can easily sharpen the bell knife when the need be.
The use of the dressing tool may however be used particularly on very few occasions.
The dressing tool is essential because the edges of the sharpening stone or grinding stone sees a lot of wear due to its continuous use and becomes fine and smooth. This therefore doesn’t make it suitable for sharpening the bell knife hence come the dressing tool.
The dressing tool often come with the skiving machines you would buy and it’s used by rubbing the dressing tool over the grind stone while it rotates. It cleans and reprofiles it in a nice condition.
2. Emery Stone Stick
The emery stone stick is a piece of stone on a wooden handle and it’s used to smoothen the sharp edge on the inside part of bell knife. It is done by touching it gently while the bell knife is in motion.
This is may be the last thing done after sharpening the bell knife in the leather skiving machine to remove burr.
The emery stone should come with the leather skiving machine you buy as mine and a couple of friends I inquired from had theirs coming together as well.
3. Hand Brush
The hand brush is any ordinary brush you’d use to dust off debris from the flesh side as skiving is done. Over time, scarf will start to gather in the crevices or on the machine bed of the leather skiving machine and you will need to regularly dust them off.
4. Leather Thickness Gauge
The leather thickness gauge can still be utilized when using the leather skiving machine. With the leather skiving machine being more accurate, they might be no need for this tool but for due diligence, I threw it in.
Leather skiving tools are pretty essential and the tools that may or may not come with them are as well vital to the successful use of the leather skiving tools.
The leather skiving tools we highlight in this article are primarily the two main types of skiving tool options that is the skiving machine and the skiving knives. In addition to that, we highlighted a couple of vital leather accessories. Hope this article was of help to you!