Engraving Tools for Leather Goods

Written by mitchell brock
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Engraving Tools for Leather Goods
Engraving on leather products such as saddles or belts use different tools. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Leather products are a durable material made from cowhide and other animal hides. Decorating belts, jackets and saddles is done with engraving tools. Engraving leather gives the garment or product an identity and makes it look interesting. Carving names or designs on leather materials is a craft that is done by skilled artists.

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Branding Tools

Branding tools are a form of leather engraving tools that are heated and stamped onto a leather product. The brands are formed into different designs, such as flowers, trees, countrysides and other artistic sculptures. The brand is placed into a hot fire to heat the end of the tool, then stamps the carved design onto the leather, burning the design into the hide, creating a permanent engraving of the design. Think of a branding iron and the way cowboys or ranchers mark their steers and cows. The same philosophy is done with these leather engraving tools.


Hammering designs into leather with a mallet is another basic engraving tool. The mallet is similar to a hammer. A rubber head is placed on a handle instead of a iron or steel head used for regular construction hammers. A punch or stamp with specific designs touches the leather product and the mallet is used to hammer that design permanently into the leather. Placing the leather on a hard surface allows the mallet to dent the design into the leather, making the design on the stamp sink into the hide. Mallets come in different shapes, sizes and weight for engraving leather.


Cutting the leather into different shapes is done with leather cutters. A swivel knife is a common engraving tool used to perform this task. A leather knife with a rounded blade made from stainless steel is the major cutting tool used by craftsmen. A wooden handle allows the sharp edge of the knife to push through the leather. Rocking the handle back and forth makes a straight cut into the cow hide. Swivel knifes are similar to punches; the sharp edge of the swivel knife rests on the leather and a mallet knocks the knife through the desired cut.

Laser Engraving

The advancement of technology has allowed leather engraving tools to be controlled by computers and lasers. A logo or custom design is outlined onto a computer screen and is transferred onto the leather product by a laser system. The laser burns the design into the leather. Any digital design that is made with a computer system can use a laser to place that image onto cowhide or leather goods.

Bevelling Tools

A bevel is a type of leather engraving tool used to shape different designs. Different textures and shapes make up the expanse of bevelling tools. The tool is shaped like a wedge on the end and a mallet hammers the bevelling tool into the leather, making a 3D figure. The pointed end of the wedge is called the toe, while the rounded end is referred to as the heel.

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