Japanese Leatherwork Knife

I first got interested in the Japanese style leatherworkers knife after I caught something on YouTube showing the Olfa BTC-1 tool being used as a leatherworkers knife. It is available online but in the UK it is sold as a paint scraper (getting paint off windows) so I purchased mine from the Deluxe Trade Centre in Cheltenham for less than £10 with a pack of 3 extra blades BCB-1 being a few £.

The throw away blades make it ideal for those not used to sharpening tools, are of good quality, have two edges and do strop up well for longer life.

Olfa (being a Japanese company) made this tool as facsimile of a traditional leatherworker knife and even promotes this use on the blister pack it come in.

The knife os held like a dagger and used as a guillotine or pulled towards you.

When cutting curves it is tilted at an acute angle so that you are just using the far tip.

There is nothing wrong with this knife apart from the aesthetic compared to the real thing so after a while I was tempted to acquire the real thing from Goods Japan – see here:- watch

These knives are handed so you should order a right or left as you require. This is due to the fact that they have a flat back and a bevel to one side only This bevel compensates for the natural state of our hands tilting to one side and therefore ensuring that the cut is 90 degrees to the table.

I can’t recommend the Japanese style leather knife highly enough as an addition to your tool box.


It is a good idea to make a sheath for your knife to keep the edge keen – this one I made has a magnet under the round boss to hold it onto the blade.