My friend began taking up leatherwork. This tool came in a kit he bought. We know what everything else is except for this piece, and a reverse Google image search came up short. Just showed us bullets and pencils. Anybody know what this is and what it's for?

enter image description here

  • 2
    Hi Kyle, I think this is for punching holes in the leather, but I'm sure there's someone here who's more familiar with leatherworking. Welcome to Arts & Crafts!
    – Joachim
    Commented Dec 22, 2020 at 14:17
  • Does it open up on the grooves? It looks to me like there might be more parts or other options when opening up.
    – Willeke
    Commented Dec 27, 2020 at 14:21
  • It doesn't open up anywhere but the brass plating can freely spin on the axis of the tool. Commented Dec 28, 2020 at 18:50
  • What's that writing on it... it looks like "DRY LEATHER TOOL"? Is there more on the other side? Why does the bottom look like we can see through it? The surface has different colours which suggests that it's been used, I'd vote for it being a dip-pen for marking and would point to an apparent ink stain near the bottom of the grooves. Commented Jan 26, 2021 at 16:57

4 Answers 4


Awls are typically used for punching holes into objects, awls come in different styles. This one in particular, if you look at the back end, looks very durable, and able to be hammered on the back without issues. So it is able to push through thick leather easily.

Standard image of an awl:
enter image description here

Awl being used to punch hole: enter image description here

Awl being used in practice to lace leather:
enter image description here



  • 3
    My leather awl was hastily made from a 6" nail ground to a point just like that. For the little leatherwork (and similar - I've just made a belt from a bike tyre) I do, pushing is much more likely than hammering so the ergonomic shape is worthwhile
    – Chris H
    Commented Dec 22, 2020 at 21:10
  • 1
    The photo in the question looks like the tip is too fine to serve as a centre punch that gets hit. It wouldn't last long at all.
    – Chris H
    Commented Dec 25, 2020 at 8:06
  • Yea, that may be correct, it probably would break off.
    – Lyssagal
    Commented Dec 25, 2020 at 19:04
  • 2
    The back/top end is flat and wider than the rest of the tool. Why would you hit down on the fine tip? Or do you mean to hit the tip into the leather? The craftsmanship of the tool is pretty sturdy and has a surprising amount of weight to it. I also noticed the brass plating seems to spin uniformly on the axis or shaft of the tool. Does that help with the description? Commented Dec 28, 2020 at 18:55
  • Yes, you would hit the tip into the leather to create a hole. By hitting it on the back-end. Which is why it is sturdy/heavy weighed for that purpose.
    – Lyssagal
    Commented Dec 28, 2020 at 19:10

To me the tip looks just like the tool I use to apply edge coat. The little indentations hold the edge coat as you apply it. I’m assuming the pointed end spins? If so that’s what you have, a tool to apply an edge coat. An edge coat is applied as a thick coating to finish any edge on your project. Before that takes place you would burnish the edge with a chemical, gum tragacanth. I use fiebings for the gum and edge coat. Or you can simply coat an edge using water, then using a clean cotton cloth rub the edges treated with water for just a few second, the edge will get glossy. Then apply the edge coat. Hope I nailed it!


It looks like a multi tool, the very point could be used as a awl as previously said, the part with the indentations to aply all sorts of compounds to the edge end last but not least the end portion resambles a burnishing tool. So its probably a "jack of all trades" tool as commonly found on those kits, its probably not the best for each feature but certainly can be a nice tool to have


It's a Leathercraft 5-in-one Multi Tool.


It's supposed to pull apart and... do various clever things, but quite frankly I see nothing to recommend it over a traditional awl etc. which has a proper handle.

  • After having looked at the picture you linked to I can just confirm ... it certainly looks 100% the same :) Commented Aug 21, 2021 at 16:59

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