Tack Making Tools

Here is a collection of links to some specific tools I’ve used for tack making. Please let me know of any broken links and I’ll try to find an alternative, if available! If there is no link, it just means I use whatever I have found locally over the years.
This list is a work in progress.

For basic tack making, think of including the following:

Sharp scissors – One for paper, one for fabric. I have one for leather, too. Micro tip scissors are great for tiny fabric cuts.
Pliers – I use flat, round and needlenose
Wire Cutters – also good for removing flashing from etched hardware
Sandpaper and files – my favorite is a small metal nail file. I use it to sand hardware pieces smooth, as just cutting them isn’t enough
X-Acto knife and extra blades– for skiving, cutting and carving leather
An awl, toothpicks, or some other pokey object – I mainly use this to apply glue in small amounts or hard to reach areas
Cutting board or craft mat to protect your work surface
Hammer or mallet – for tooling leather or punching holes
Lighter – if you’re working with ribbon, this is good for sealing cut ends
Metal Ruler
Tiny Clothespins – or something similar. Nice for holding pieces in place while glue sets.

If you’re looking for sewing tools, please see this post!

These can be found at any craft store, or in big box stores like Walmart. More specific tools are listed below.


Pounce Wheels for stitchmarking leather:
1/4 Excel
Unique Master Models Riveting Tools – there are dozens to choose from. I picked the MN006 3D Riveter tool in 1/48 and 1/72
Here’s a comparison shot of all three:

From top to bottom: 1/4, 1/72 and 1/48

Hole Punches
Mechanical Pencil – I use a Staedtler 925 03 (0.3 mm) for punching holes in straps. I purchased it at a local office supply store near the drafting supplies. In my experience, cheaper mechanical pencils don’t hold up to being hit with a hammer, but so far this one has worked fine.
Tandy Leather Hole Punch – nice for larger holes, like billet straps

Leather Stamps
Tool Paw – small scale leather stamps
Rio Rondo – small scale stamps. These are also available on Tandy’s website, just search for the numbers.

Knives and Blades
Safety Beveler – I use this to thin down tooling leather before refining with an x-acto blade and sandpaper. The blades get dull quickly, so be sure to pick up a package of extras.
Swivel Knife – for leather carving. This fine detail blade can be used with it.
Metal Shears – or something similar, so you don’t ruin your scissors! I use these for cutting saddle trees, or whenever I need to cut thin metal for a project.

Stone Slab – I have one of these from Tandy, and I use it to skive leather. I’ve personally found leather easier to skive when it’s elevated, and so far this has been a nice option. It’s very heavy so it doesn’t move around.
Poundo Board – bought this to go with the slab
Circle Template
Nail Art “Dotting” tools – or something similar. One of those odd purchases that I use more often than I thought I would, for tack, miniatures, glue…
Needle Files – nice for hard to reach areas on hardware or resin pieces
Pin Vise/Hand Drill – for drilling tiny holes

4 thoughts on “Tack Making Tools

        1. I mostly use white cotton for lining the inside, but I’ve also used white felt, fleece or trimmed down faux fur. Hope that helps!


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