A sewing awl is a tool that many leather craftsmen can’t do without. But, it might not be something you have ever considered adding to your own sewing supplies. In this guide, I want to show you why these tools could prove to be of use for certain situations. I will also highlight some of the best sewing awl kits around at the moment.
Why might you need a sewing awl in your sewing kit?
The sewing awl looks like more of an industrial tool that something you might be used to for needlework and other sewing projects. That is because this device is used for work on heavy-duty materials. A common application is for leather work. It can be difficult to puncture thick leather and then stitch it together without the right needle and thread. A sewing awl has the right tools for the job and, with some practice, lets you create a strong and neat row of stitches. This could be for creating a new item from pieces of leather or for making repairs.
You could also find that this tool is helpful for working with canvas and other tough nylon materials. Again, this is helpful when dealing with repairs on equipment or tents. In fact, the right portable sewing awl kit with all the right features could be a great thing to take on camping trips in case of an emergency.
Are sewing awl kits difficult to use?
This is a different process to using a needle and thread and it can take a little time to get into the rhythm of how this works. It might help to think of the tool as something like sewing machine needle. Sewing machine needles go in and out of the fabric in a fixed up and down motion, with the stitches locking into place on the other side of the fabrics. Here you do something similar with manual effort. I recommend looking up some YouTube videos on the process to get the right stitches. But, with the right tool and thread, you should get the hang of it and end up with a great result.
What should you look for when choosing the best sewing awl kits?
1)The quality of the needles in the set
You can’t sew your leather and make the right hole is a tough piece of canvas without a good needle. The best sets offer both a straight and curved needle for a wider range of applications. These needles should also be be strong enough to hold up to repeated use, fit snugly into the awl, and have a good eye for the waxed thread.
2) The ergonomics of the handle.
A lot of these tools have a similar body with a smooth rounded wooden handle. This should make it a lot more comfortable in the hand for repeated action. It also makes the tool look nicer. Take a look at the listings to see what the wood is made from and look at user reviews for any mention of fatigue in the hands or wrists.
3) The thread on offer in the kit.
You can’t have a complete set here without the thread. Some sets will provide one length of high-tensile waxed thread to get you started. This type of thread is important for it to be tough enough to hold the leather in place and durable enough to be out in bad weather. The rigidity also makes it easier to thread the needle. Look out for sets with multiple colors and this could make a difference to the look of the finished item.
4) The ease of assembly and switching the thread
One of the biggest problems for users of these awls is the assembly as you need to get the thread in the right place on the awl to feed it into the needle and get the right tension. The knob on the side should be secure enough to hold the thread in place before threading through the device and up through the eye of the needle. Ideally, the company will provide a clear diagram on how to do this.
Are Speedy Stitcher sewing awl kits the best choice for your projects?
There is a lot of love for the Speedy Stitcher device and you will see this mentioned a lot online when searching for the best sewing awl kits. So, let’s take a moment to go over the features and benefits of this system to see why it is so popular.
The Speedy Stitcher Sewing Awl is well-loved because of its simple design and relative ease of use. You get a smooth wooden handle that fits nicely in the hand, a secure system to hold the thread in place and adjust the tension, two different needles, and that strong thread. There is both a straight and curved needle depending on your needs. The thread is a high-tensile waxed thread for rigidity and durability. You can also store everything in the device for portability.
Does this mean that the Speedy Stitcher is the best choice? No necessarily. There is certainly a nice design here and it seems to be easy enough to use once you get the hang of it. But, it is no “speedier” than a lot of other options. Also, the design and features of the device are a little more universal than they might claim. Then there is the fact that many other tools come with more pieces in the set. That is why it is a good idea to look at other kits on the market to see if you can get more for your money.
4 more of the best sewing awl kits.
1)Willbond 5 Pieces Sewing Awl Kit
This first alternative to the Speedy Stitcher is one that shows that the design above isn’t anything that special. Also, this one has a lot of happy users and is an Amazon’s Choice product. The look and shape of the device is pretty much the same, with the same sort of mechanism and rounded ergonomic handle. You get the same sort of needles – one straight and one bent – and the natural-toned waxed thread. With 200 yards of the stuff, it should last w while. Again, other kits are more extensive, but this is a good starting point.
2) Jayzod 9 Pieces Sewing Awl Kit
This next alternative set for consideration is one that is – at the time of writing this – the #1 new release on Amazon. While there response is mixed, partly down to a lack of instructions, the function and general design of the tool is pretty much the same. You attach your chosen needle, feed in the thread, and then punch your holes as you sew up the leather. It is nice to see some spare needles here in both the straight and bend options. There are also three colors of waxed thread, rather than the single “natural” tone in the Speedy Stitcher set. The black is great for hiding stitches while the white offers a nice contrast. You also get a little screwdriver.
3) CA Meyers Professional Leathercraft Accessories
This next option has a slightly different shape to the handle and a longer structure. This could make it a bit more comfort able to hold while bringing your hand further away from the surface of the leather. There are five needles this time in three styles. You get the straight and bent options, but there is also an extra fine straight needle. Both straight version have spares. You then get the adjusting tool and three threads. The choice of a brown thread here is nice as it should match in with a lot of types of leather. The addition of the clear instructions makes this a hit with a lot of users.
4) Willbond 12 Pieces Leather Sewing Awl Kit
The selling point of this option for me at least is the wider range of colors in the thread. This waxed thread comes in lots of tones that will look great on leather – such as the brown, cream, and coffee. You also get plenty of white and black in both the flat and round styles of thread, and a multicolored option. These all work well with the long, short and curved needles. The design of the tool is a little different as there isn’t the rounded ball on the end. But, it still appears to be comfortable and stylish.
Choosing the best sewing awl kit for your projects.
You may come away from this thinking that Speedy Stitcher sewing awls kits are still the best way forward, and that is fine. If this is still the best shape and design for your needs, and you feel that you will get along best with this approach, go for it. But, I do recommend taking the time to compare the Speedy Stitcher to similar models, such as those above, in case something else has a little advantage you hadn’t considered. Either way, you should find a user-friendly awl with some great accessories to help you with your repairs.
I’m a stay at home mom with our two kids. I really enjoy doing crafts with my toddler however, that is typically a challenge with her limited attention span, messiness, and desire to always have clean hands. So, I’m always looking for ways to make crafting an enjoyable experience and fond memory for the both of us.