How to Punch Holes in Leather

Written by ehow hobbies, games & toys editor
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Knowing how to punch a hole in leather is a vital skill any leather worker needs. There are two different techniques used to punch holes in leather: the drive punch and the revolving punch. Punching holes in leather requires practice and patience.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Mallet
  • Leather punch or nail
  • Leather
  • Revolving leather punch

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    Drive Punch

  1. 1

    Secure to the work area. You have to use both hands for the drive punch process so securing the leather is the best way to insure the hole is punched correctly.

  2. 2

    Measure the leather to find the exact placement of the hole.

  3. 3

    Hold the punch or nail over the spot where you want to place the hole. Set of the punch or nail onto the leather at that spot. The nail or punch needs to be the same size as the desired hole.

  4. 4

    Hit the nail or punch with the mallet with hard, sharp movements to make sure the leather is pierced.

  5. 5

    Continue to hit the punch or nail until the leather is completely penetrated. Two or three hard, centered taps usually pierces the leather all the way through.

    Revolving Punch

  1. 1

    Choose the correct diameter of the hole you want to punch. Revolving leather punches have various shafts that punch through the leather to make different sized holes.

  2. 2

    Rotate the punch so the shaft with the desired diameter is in the punch position. The punch position is directly above the bottom piece of the punch, facing down.

  3. 3

    Slide the leather into the revolving punch to its desired position. Measure the leather first to make the punches exact.

  4. 4

    Squeeze the handles of the revolving punch together with a fast squeeze to create the hole in the leather. The revolving leather punch usually pierces the leather in one squeeze. Thicker leather may require multiple squeezes.

Tips and warnings

  • Revolving punches are more efficient and faster than drive punches. However a drive punch is less expensive than a revolving punch.

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