5 Best Swivel Knives for Leather
5 Best Swivel Knives for Leather
4.8 (96.67%) 12 vote[s]
Tandy Leather Craftool
Large
Nice balance
High-Quality
EnPoint Swivel Knife
Anti-rust and mould
Long lifespan
Ultra premium Blade
Tandy Leather Ergo
No bearings
A rubber coated barrel
With jagged cuts
Ergo Handle Knife
Ergonomically design
Reduce grip force
Interchangeable blade
Master Tools Barry King
A non-slip texture
Comfort for you
Solid brass knife

Buyer’s Guide

Your swivel knife work is the foundation of your floral carving, so if you’re going to do it really nice you need a good, sharp blade.

How to Sharp a Swivel Knife

If you don’t have a nice polishing stone, you can go down to your local auto parts store and pick up some 2000 grit bodywork sandpaper. It works awesome for sharpening blades. You just rub your polishing compound into the fuzzy side of the leather and use that to polish your blade.

First off you’re going to hone your swivel knife blade on the grit sandpaper. So basically you’re going to want to keep the same angle that is already there, but as you work it, over time the blade starts to round up, and you’re just going to make a nice crisp angle again. You need a sharp edge, crisp angle.

So you want to take a couple of strokes, rotate your blade to the other side. Take a couple of strokes, turn your blade over. That way it doesn’t raise a bur and just put a hook on edge. So you’re just knocking that off, you’re crisping that edge up. And it doesn’t always take too many passes.

Another thing that you want to pay attention to, if you put your sanding paper on your carving block, you’ll get this gray, oxidized metal dust. It looks really bad when you get it on wet leather. So you’re going to want to clean your table after you sharpen your blade.

So once you’ve kind of honed it a little bit on the sandpaper, you’re just going to go and do the same thing on your polishing compound. This just polishes things up real nice, and it should cut through your leather like butter. You don’t have to grind down your swivel blade knife to nothing, but you should keep it sharp all the time just because it makes things easier.

Let’s clean off your table because you don’t want any steel getting on your wet leather. If you do happen to get metal dust on wet leather, it’s going to turn it black, but hopefully, you don’t get too much. If you do get some on there, you can take a little bit of lemon juice, and usually, it’ll pull the oxidation, neutralize it and clean up your leather.

Video Tutorial: How to Use a Swivel Knife for Leather


Hello, my name is Steve and I’m an author of the blog “Leather Toolkits“. The beauty is in simplicity, so learn, train, and make your life maximally simple by creating things that will please people for many years. Let your hobby grow into something more and make this world brighter! Hope, in this blog you will find answers to all of your questions.

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6 Comments

  1. Great tutorial that was included. I’ve never thought about using a swivel knife to customize my leather products, but am definitely going to purchase one and see how it goes. Thanks for creating this incredible page!

  2. When cutting leather the only way to do it is with a swivel knife. Nothing else really works to cut the leather and perfectly shape it to the size and shape that you wish to create. If you looking at creating particular sizes these are the only ways to cut them.

      1. Hello Steve, I just found this page… It’s a great help! Thank you for taking the time to write your blog.

  3. I’m still trying to get the hang of using swivel knives. There’s definitely a bit of a learning curve but they can give such beautiful results.

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