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Bruce Johnson 
Leather Tools LLC

Awl hafts are used to hold the awl blades for hand sewing. These normally have a chuck that tightens down on the end of the awl blade to hold it securely. 

Awl Blades - These are diamond profile awl blades that I have sharpened and polished to be ready to use. I start with CS Osborne  blades and take them to a finer edge and durable point. We are stocking two styles and several sizes with a few more sizes to come. 

Harness Style Awl Blades - These blades have a long edge from tip to the base. They are the most commonly used awl blade style for general sewing. The #42 and #43 sizes have a smaller end will need to be driven into a haft or used in a haft with a chuck that closes down fairly tight. 

Saddler or "Snake Head" Awl Blades - These awl blades have a flared tip with the point and edges sharpened then a rounded shaft. Many saddle makers prefer these for thicker leather. The end makes the slit and the round shaft holds it open. 

Handsewing Needles - We are now stocking John James saddler and harness hand sewing needles in all sizes offered. These are intended for premade holes (awl or punch/chisel) and blunt tipped to avoid piercing the opposite thread.  Check the chart for the sizes appropriate for your needs. Johns James needles are made in England and are considered by many to be the top tier of handsewing sewing needles. They have consistent sizing, strong eyes and less bulging at the eye for easier passage through leather. They are sold in packs of 25. 

Needle Size Number

Needle Length

Suggested Machine and PrewaxedThread Sizes

Suggested Metric Thread Sizes


1-15/16 inches

#69 and smaller

0.5 mm


2-1/16 inches




2-1/16 inches


1.0 mm


2-3/16 inches


1.1 mm


2-1/4 inches

#277/#346/medium size prewaxed thread, artificial sinew

1.3 mm


2-5/16 inches

#346/#415/heavy prewaxed thread, artificial sinew

1.6 mm


2-7/16 inches

#415/#554/heavy cord prewaxed thread, Stitching tapes


Needle Cases - We are stocking these handy little wood and brass screw top cases for needles and awl blades. Let's face it - you drop a loose needle and it isn't easy to find it. These will help keep you needles and awl blades protected and sorted. They are in assorted colors will look good on any bench.  

Large Round Awls are slightly blunt. They are used to scribe or mark leather and also to enlarge slits or round punched holes.