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Skiving Leather With A Hand Skiver

Updated: Jun 9, 2023

We recently added hand skivers to our website, so what better time to do a post dedicated to skiving? Skiving leather makes many people nervous (including me at times), but it is often necessary when working with leather. This is definitely a tool that you will want to have in your arsenal if you work with leather. So what is a skiver and how does it work?

A skiver is a tool that is used to thin leather. It works by using a blade and a bit of pressure to shave bits of the flesh off until you the leather is as thin as you would like.

Where can I purchase a hand skiver?

We offer hand skivers on website. In fact, the skivers used in the video below are from our inventory! We carry moderately priced economy skivers - great for beginners, or the occasional skiver. These skiver definitely get the job done, however...a quick Google search will generate tons of results with places you can purchase skivers of different varieties - and prices. If you are just dabbling in skiving, our skivers (or a similar economy skiver) might be all you need. However, just as you will find with most products, there are definitely higher end and more costly hand skivers out there. Click here to purchase our skivers.

How can you achieve success when skiving?

1. Practice, practice, practice! Leather skiving can take a bit of practice, but it is really not difficult. With repetition, you will find the perfect angle and the right amount of pressure needed to achieve the desired results. Since various types of leather might require different amounts of pressure, we always recommend testing your skiver on a scrap of the leather you will be using BEFORE skiving your actual project pieces.

2. Keep a sharp blade installed. A sharp blade will make a world of difference. If you find it difficult to get your blade to grab onto the leather to start the skive, try a new blade. You should notice an immediate difference.

3. If you are unsure, don't press too firmly on the first go. I suggest using a slight amount of pressure on the first pass. This will give you a feel for what might be the sweet spot for the specific leather you are using. After all, you can always shave more off, but you can't add it back!

How is the skiver used?

Take a look at the following video demonstrating using our skivers on a few different types of leather. See the next section below for a video showing how to change the blades.

How are the blades changed?

See the video below to watch as we change a blade in one of our skivers.

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