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DearBear

The Original Strap Cutter

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Where can I find The Original Strap Cutter? I found one in Australia but they are not able to ship because of covid restrictions. Here in Finland, one company sells with a picture of The Original Strap Cutter, but in fact the product is Ivan's cheap copy :rolleyes2: Hard to find anywhere...

Edited by DearBear

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4 hours ago, fredk said:

What do you call 'the original' ?

Le Prevo does the wood handle one. I've used mine for over 20 years. No problems with it

http://www.leprevo.co.uk/photos/strap-cutter.html

it seems it was made by slc same as the tandy one looks like to me.  

 

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I have been using the original "Strap Cutter" by The Leather Works since 1977. Recently, I tried to change the blade and I sort of gave up on it. I purchased the Tandy 
Leather version of it and am very happy with it.  It has all the features of the original plus centimeter markings on the ruler and a better reinforcement for the thumb screw to hold on to the ruler portion of the tool in place.  Other than those two features, the tool has not changed much, thankfully.

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10 hours ago, KMA said:

I have been using the original "Strap Cutter" by The Leather Works since 1977. Recently, I tried to change the blade and I sort of gave up on it. I purchased the Tandy 
Leather version of it and am very happy with it.  It has all the features of the original plus centimeter markings on the ruler and a better reinforcement for the thumb screw to hold on to the ruler portion of the tool in place.  Other than those two features, the tool has not changed much, thankfully.

Maybe I should consider this, because what I'm looking for can't be found anywhere.

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I suppose I have Ivan's version, and it also cuts straps... Even straight ones, as long as I concentrate. It' not a particularly complicated tool that would be difficult to copy.

Patents only offer protection for a certain time - as the original patent was granted in 1974 I'd be surprised if it was still valid (anyone know how to find out for sure? I have found the patent https://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=3831279.PN.&OS=PN/3831279&RS=PN/3831279 but no expiration date.)

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There is an outfit in Russia that makes this tool.  I'd say looking better than the original. (Certainly not "Ivan's Cheap Copy you reference?)

Romanov Tools.  Etsy I believe.  

When I first got into working leather I used a draw gauge.  Tried one of these but found it bulky and harder to use ironically.  Later discovered and bought a plow gauge.   I found that to be a far superior tool to a draw gauge.  

Leather Strip Strap Cutter, Adjustable Leather Strap Cutter, Strap cutter Red wood

Edited by Cumberland Highpower

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Of all the leatherworking tools this is one of the few I don't have a spare, because it's so good at what it does and also so simple that if it ever breaks I think I can put one together in an hour with just standard hardware shop supplies. 

I have the Ivan version (which I ridiculously overpaid because I was new and I bought it from a "good" shop like an idiot) but they all look the same to me.  Except for the Romanov version who follows the true and tested formula "add brass and sell for triple the price".

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38 minutes ago, Spyros said:

Of all the leatherworking tools this is one of the few I don't have a spare, because it's so good at what it does and also so simple that if it ever breaks I think I can put one together in an hour with just standard hardware shop supplies. 

I have the Ivan version (which I ridiculously overpaid because I was new and I bought it from a "good" shop like an idiot) but they all look the same to me.  Except for the Romanov version who follows the true and tested formula "add brass and sell for triple the price".

yea pretty much three pieces of wood and a blade. 

Edited by chuck123wapati

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@DearBear Weaver Leather here in the states carries this strap cutter. I don't know if they ship overseas, but they do have a website.

https://www.weaverleathersupply.com/catalog/item-detail/65-6261/wooden-strap-cutter/pr_5690/cp_/shop-now/hand-tools/knives-scissors/knives

 

Strap-Cutter.jpg

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Mine is the Weaver one, without the name. Probably got it from brand T.

Be careful of those L-shaped pieces with the screws. Mine were just a hair long, and before I figured that out, left full length marks on the leather being cut from. I ground them down so they didn't protrude from the wood, and beveled the wood a bit too. If you angle the tool at all, that edge rides on the leather.

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Got mine from SLC and added strips of 220 grit wet or dry along the back edge of the sliding pieces to get better friction under the thumbscrew, never slips.  Slipping is a common problem with these wooden cutters.

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I have one that was given to me, and I've cut myself countless times on it and wasted a lot of good leather from it just falling apart on me. No name brand and no screws, only held together with rubber bands. I had no clue Weaver made a much more sturdy option, I've been buying strips like a chump. This forum helps again!

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got mine at tandy looks just like all the others probably made in the same shop just re branded

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3 hours ago, Cumberland Highpower said:

You're right on when it comes to adding brass....But you have to admit it seems to be the best build of the lot.

it better be for that price....  You can get a perfectly functional one from ebay for 1/10 of the cost.  

Besides, what do you need best build for in a strap cutter.... it's one of those things that if it works the first time, it will probably work just as well 50 years later.  It's a very simple device, IMO there are many better things to spend money on in this craft.

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45 minutes ago, Spyros said:

it better be for that price....  You can get a perfectly functional one from ebay for 1/10 of the cost.  

$26.00? Seems like a fair price for a reliable tool.

Here is what you get for 10X that price. It can be ordered left or right handed for only $250.00. More than a draw guage, more like a family heirloom. Certainly something that you would want your grandson to inherit, like a work of art.

 

Master-Tool-Draw-Guage.jpg

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9 minutes ago, LatigoAmigo said:

$26.00? Seems like a fair price for a reliable tool.

Here is what you get for 10X that price. It can be ordered left or right handed for only $250.00. More than a draw guage, more like a family heirloom. Certainly something that you would want your grandson to inherit, like a work of art.

 

Master-Tool-Draw-Guage.jpg

No, I was talking about this price:

https://www.etsy.com/au/listing/621722437/leather-strip-strap-cutter-adjustable?ref=shop_home_active_4&pro=1

that draw gauge there, I don't know, if I had a grandson wouldn't let him anywhere near that thing.  Shit I'm not even sure I'd trust myself with a blade sticking out like that, looks like an accident waiting to happen.  It does look pretty though :)

Edited by Spyros

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6 hours ago, Spyros said:

it better be for that price....  You can get a perfectly functional one from ebay for 1/10 of the cost.  

Besides, what do you need best build for in a strap cutter.... it's one of those things that if it works the first time, it will probably work just as well 50 years later.  It's a very simple device, IMO there are many better things to spend money on in this craft.

looks like they have one for $75 w/steel.  Still high.   Apparently they are popular.  

Some things I would pay the money for, especially quality tools I'd have to handle over and over and over.....For the next 20 years.  I'd probably pony up for the Romanov tool.  That 1/10 the cost tool referenced probably has 1/3 the build quality.   I guess that's a good ratio?  (China's Golden Rule?)

Here's another  on Etsy made in Russia that's $40 plus shipping:

 

Leather strap cutter Leather craft tool Hand cutting DIY image 1

Edited by Cumberland Highpower

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5 hours ago, Spyros said:

No, I was talking about this price:

https://www.etsy.com/au/listing/621722437/leather-strip-strap-cutter-adjustable?ref=shop_home_active_4&pro=1

that draw gauge there, I don't know, if I had a grandson wouldn't let him anywhere near that thing.  Shit I'm not even sure I'd trust myself with a blade sticking out like that, looks like an accident waiting to happen.  It does look pretty though :)

You know, I have an old Osborne Newark draw gauge on my workbench that I use for one specific item.  I keep it in an open top box, but have probably poked myself on that blade a dozen times when not actually cutting strips with it.....

Many years ago before I had machines I would have a harness shop cut my leather, and they often cut the straps by hand rather than to change out blades on a strap cutter for a side.  Occasionally I would find evidence of someone being cut on my leather....So it's not an unrealistic worry you have there.

Those wooden strap cutters seem to be to be best for soft  or thin leather.   A draw or plough gauge is best for skirting/strap/ bridle.

Edited by Cumberland Highpower

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I've gone through a few of these cheapie strap cutters now. I have a few thoughts that may help someone out:

The issues:

- The top nut that tightens everything down is usually the part that breaks. It will loosen slightly and then your strap gets wider mid-cut. Really sucks when you are working with expensive leather to make a belt.

- Cheap soft wood is not ideal for holding the top nut in place.

- The more often you change strap size, the more times you'll need to crank down on the nut. Each time you do this, the nut insert starts to spin and tears apart the soft wood.

Some solutions:

- Look for a strap cutter made from hardwoods.

- Or, buy 2 or 3 cheapie cutters, and dedicate each cutter to one size. Ex: 0.5in, 1.25in, and 1.5in (if you are a belt maker). Crank down the top nut of each cutter set to the right size, and then NEVER change the size again.

 

For cheapie cutters, I've found BuckleGuy's to actually be the worst, surprisingly. I really did like the design, but it was cheaply produced. Tandy's is my go-to for cheapie cutters now, though it uses thin blades only. I still need to try Romanov on Etsy.

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On 11/18/2021 at 4:03 AM, LatigoAmigo said:

@DearBear Weaver Leather here in the states carries this strap cutter. I don't know if they ship overseas, but they do have a website.

https://www.weaverleathersupply.com/catalog/item-detail/65-6261/wooden-strap-cutter/pr_5690/cp_/shop-now/hand-tools/knives-scissors/knives

 

Strap-Cutter.jpg

That's a 100% exact copy of the Ivan one, probably made in the same factory in Taiwan, only the logo is different.  

And this model is the right way of making a strap cutter.

Read what BeefSupreme says one post up from me about the nut eating into the wood.  This is because some cheapie strap cutters are using this type of threaded nut, or similar:

AFH1300M8.jpg

This nut will absolutely slowly eat into your wood every time your tighten the top screw, until eventually it will loosen enough, and then what beefsupreme says will happen. 

What you need is this one instead, which is what the Weaver/Ivan model uses:

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcR1Ivi1L8TegB63A8BwBX8

 

this one, every time you tighten the screw pushes the flat side of the nut against the wood.  That thing is good for decades, regardless if the wood is soft or hard.  It's just physics.

The other often overlooked detail: notice how timber on the Weaver/Ivan model is not perfectly flat where the leather strap goes to get cut, but has a slight curve just under the logo?

gst01_hq.jpg

 

that curve is crucial, a strap cutter doesn't actually work without it, it's a relief that keeps the leather aligned and makes for a uniform cut.

Most cheapie manufacturers notice it and put it in, but some miss it.  Never buy a strap cutter without it. 

By the way, the Ivan stuff is not cheaply made (or particularly cheap for that matter).  They're not some backyard operation, they've been around 40 years, they have 3 bricks and mortar shops in Taiwan, they're part of Fiebing's distribution channel, and they have a legit R&D team that makes some cool stuff, including this one for those of you who prefer bulletproof tools:

https://www.ivan.tw/collections/cutting-blades/products/pro-strap-cutter

3079-00_1000_1000x1000.jpg?v=1588934492

 

Edited by Spyros

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Thank you Spyros! You are spot-on with those pictures of the nut-inserts. I can confirm the BuckleGuy cutter uses the bad one that spins, and Ivan/Tandy uses the larger one that stays put. 

And, the comment about the bevel/curve/groove in the wood is super important, too. I found this out on a bad Tandy model that somehow missed the beveling step during production. A simple dremel sandpaper grind is a quick 60 second DIY step to add the groove to any strap cutter that doesn't have it. Some cutters will apply the groove to both sides of the handle, other brands only do it to one side (so customer assembly left/right position is important), and sometimes it just gets left off on accident. But, like Spyros said, the curve in the wood is a must have on the side facing the leather.

I need to research Ivan's more. I thought they were an extension of Tandy for some reason. Their websites are similar and many of the Tandy branded machines (ex: belt tipper) are 100% the same.

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