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I'm teasing the idea of getting some sort of a strap cutting tool and I'm wondering what type people think is best. Looking at the Tandy site, it seems like I've got two real (and easily) accessible options. The draw gauge (https://www.tandyleather.com/en/product/craftool-draw-gauge) and the strap cutter (https://www.tandyleather.com/en/product/craftool-strap-cutter). I'm totally new to strap cutting and in general I think I'd be wanting to cut straps between 1/2" and 2" wide. Does anybody have any experience with either or both of these tools or an opinion?

P.s. I'm also open to another tool that's not too hard to get your hands on/won't break the bank if anybody knows of anything.

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The strap cutter from Tandy will be fine. It will work much better if you can polish the blades though.

Hard to imagine sharpening such a tiny thing but it will reap benefits.

I hated mine and threw it in a drawer until someone suggested sharpening it. Now I like it fine.

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I have one similar to the Tandy draw gauge only mine is all aluminum. And I put a handle on the blade. It works fine

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I have both. The one in the second link works best for me.

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I too use the wooden Tandy strap cutter. I just never trust the measurement gauge printed on it, its not accurate at all. For buckle straps I cut a bit of card to fit thru the buckle and use that to set the strap cutter

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5 hours ago, fredk said:

I too use the wooden Tandy strap cutter. I just never trust the measurement gauge printed on it, its not accurate at all. For buckle straps I cut a bit of card to fit thru the buckle and use that to set the strap cutter

I saw the other day that Black River Laser has an inexpensive gauge for the strap cutter.

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I have had the original wooden version (link #2) that was made in California for about 40 years. It still works very well.

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Thanks for the tips guys. Think I'm leaning towards the strap cutter as it looks a little less like something I'd cut myself on.

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I have both, and find the wooden cutter a little easier to learn to work with.  The draw gauge works well too (even at 150 years old like mine).  If money were no object, tho, I'd try a plough gauge - folks that have them seem to love them.  If I were doing a lot of straps, I'd consider a rotary strap cutting machine too.

Bill

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I have both. It depends on how thick the leather is. If it's 8oz or less, the strap cutter would be great. If it's more than 8oz, I'd definitely go with the draw gauge. I was cutting (or trying to cut) 10oz leather with a tandy strap cutter and I broke 3 blades. One piece of a broken blade was hidden in the leather and I didn't know it until I cut myself pretty good on it. The draw gauge does take some getting used to and works best if you use it over a table edge. Hope this helps.

Ryan

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Wooden strap cutter works good, but I use Schick injector razor blades in mine.

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8 hours ago, Rolandranch said:

I have both. It depends on how thick the leather is. If it's 8oz or less, the strap cutter would be great. If it's more than 8oz, I'd definitely go with the draw gauge. I was cutting (or trying to cut) 10oz leather with a tandy strap cutter and I broke 3 blades. One piece of a broken blade was hidden in the leather and I didn't know it until I cut myself pretty good on it. The draw gauge does take some getting used to and works best if you use it over a table edge. Hope this helps.

Ryan

Blood on your work is just another form of "customization".  :P

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4 hours ago, billybopp said:

Blood on your work is just another form of "customization".  :P

Lol. I was making reins for a friend when I cut myself. When I gave the reins to her I pointed out the blood spots and told her that the blood was free.:lol:

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5 hours ago, Rolandranch said:

Lol. I was making reins for a friend when I cut myself. When I gave the reins to her I pointed out the blood spots and told her that the blood was free.:lol:

I call it sissy juice.

The draw guage has always scared me. Why in the hell is that blade so damn long?

I have a few junk ones that I don't use. One came with a Terry Knipshield blade. I use the blade as one of my knives.

Someone should make a draw guage blade that is similar to a lip knife. Then it wouldn't be quite so dangerous.

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39 minutes ago, bikermutt07 said:

I call it sissy juice.

The draw guage has always scared me. Why in the hell is that blade so damn long?

I have a few junk ones that I don't use. One came with a Terry Knipshield blade. I use the blade as one of my knives.

Someone should make a draw guage blade that is similar to a lip knife. Then it wouldn't be quite so dangerous.

My draw gauge is a Civil War era H.O. Sauerbier with a modern CSO  blade, since the one that came with it was down to pretty much nothing.  The Osborne blades really are terribly pointy, so I filed it down and dulled it near the tip just so it wouldn't be quite so dangerous.  It really was scary before that, but not now: And it works great!

- Bill

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4 hours ago, bikermutt07 said:

I call it sissy juice.

The draw guage has always scared me. Why in the hell is that blade so damn long?

I have a few junk ones that I don't use. One came with a Terry Knipshield blade. I use the blade as one of my knives.

Someone should make a draw guage blade that is similar to a lip knife. Then it wouldn't be quite so dangerous.

The nice thing about the long blades is that when you need a fresh edge to cut with, you can move the blade up or down instead of sharpening it every so often. And I cut myself on the broken blade of a tandy strap cutter... now I'm scared of those more than the draw gauges! I haven't cut myself on the draw gauge yet but when I do, you guys will be the first to know. :bawling:

P.s. about two weeks ago I cut my thumb pretty deep with my head knife. Does that mean I'm a real leather worker now? Do I get a purple heart or something? 

Edited by Rolandranch

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3 hours ago, Rolandranch said:

The nice thing about the long blades is that when you need a fresh edge to cut with, you can move the blade up or down instead of sharpening it every so often. And I cut myself on the broken blade of a tandy strap cutter... now I'm scared of those more than the draw gauges! I haven't cut myself on the draw gauge yet but when I do, you guys will be the first to know. :bawling:

P.s. about two weeks ago I cut my thumb pretty deep with my head knife. Does that mean I'm a real leather worker now? Do I get a purple heart or something? 

Knock on wood, I've yet to cut myself with any of my knives.

I have a healthy bit of respect for them. Especially that curved detail knife from Terry.

Anytime that thing is on the bench I'm completely aware of where it is. 

I treat that one like a loaded gun.

Edited by bikermutt07

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1 minute ago, bikermutt07 said:

Knock on wood, I've yet to cut myself with any of my knives yet. 

Ya next had to go and say it didnt ya.

I'm knocking wood for you too. :)

I cut my hand badly and went to ER three weeks ago, still not in the workshop, this was in the darn kitchen.

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Haven't cut myself yet with a draw gauge, but have with the wooden strap cutter.  I was squeezing the bars that hold the blade together to fit thinner leather.  The knife came up through the top bar and bit me!  Now there is a piece of leather glued over the top and bottom bars as a warning and for protection in case I didn't learn the lesson the first time.

For the draw gauge, grind the point off, grind it to a good radius.  You won't be using that top 1/4" anyhow and helps prevent accidental cuts if left sit upright.  I've heard of fellows cutting their wrist reaching for something on the other side of the knife.  Mine has a special place in a drawer and sits upside down, point down.

Tom

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I'm about to buy one myself. I had been looking at this one from Springfield Leather:  https://www.springfieldleather.com/Strap-Cutter-Original

It looks like the Tandy one, but made by another company perhaps? Is it better, or pretty much the same?

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2 hours ago, steelhawk said:

I'm about to buy one myself. I had been looking at this one from Springfield Leather:  https://www.springfieldleather.com/Strap-Cutter-Original

It looks like the Tandy one, but made by another company perhaps? Is it better, or pretty much the same?

The one in the link you provided is THE "Original Strap Cutter".  I believe others similar are copies.  I have one of the originals, and all the markings are nearly worn off.  I've had it for over 30 years.  It works best for lightweight stuff.  If you try to cut saddle skirting or heavy harness leather, you will crumble the blades.  I have several vintage steel draw gauges, and if the blade is sharpened correctly, they are hard to beat.  It takes a little practice to get proficient in using one.  I wouldn't buy a new one though.  If you decide to buy a draw gauge, contact Bruce Johnson Leather Tools and buy a good vintage one from him.

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I have the same "Original Strap Cutter" that I bought back in the 80's at Tandy. I hated that thumbscrew and replaced it with a threaded ball a few months ago.  Don't know why I waited so long.

atrap large.jpg

Edited by fab2
added pic

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2 hours ago, fab2 said:

I have the same "Original Strap Cutter" that I bought back in the 80's at Tandy. I hated that thumbscrew and replaced it with a threaded ball a few months ago.  Don't know why I waited so long.

atrap large.jpg

Now that's a great idea.

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On 3/26/2017 at 9:32 PM, strathmoredesigns said:

Thanks for the tips guys. Think I'm leaning towards the strap cutter as it looks a little less like something I'd cut myself on.

That is it in a nut shell. The strap cutter works well and is a lot safer IMO. The only issues I ever had was cutting 10 ounce and up heavier leathers. I would constantly snap blades.

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