When a crafter begins doing larger volumes of work, and needs consistent, quality results, a leather clicker press can be a very helpful tool. And it’s always fun to add a new tool to the shop 🙂 Some recommendations include paid links to products that I trust.
For most projects the Vevor 1.5 ton clicker press will do an excellent job, click here to see it on Amazon. It is available is a range of platform, and pressing surface sizes, made of steel with a protective surface coating, provides 1.5 tons of pressure, and has an adjustable arm to make it relatively low-effort (strength) to operate.
Let’s explore some about the best uses for a clicker press, and the options that work well for different project sizes and production volumes.
Why Use a Leather Clicker Press
Clicker presses are fun and very helpful tools to have in leathercraft, when the job calls for them. Sometimes one wants to use dies to cut out similar shapes in leather, at higher volume than would be comfortable or efficient to do by hand. The clicker press make quick work of repeated chape-cutting.
They can also be used for stamping impressions into leather. The force from the press makes easy work of pressing the stamp into the leather surface – this can be logos, designs, patterns, and most anything where a stamp has been created for this use.
The physics behind their pressure generaiton make these tools much stronger than human arm-strength, and this they are excellent when working on these types of elements within a project.
Types of Leather Clicker Presses
When looking for a clicker press, there are a few main types to consider, let’s explore them more below.
A manual clicker press is generally operated by a human hand, puling on an arm on the press which operates the pressing motion. Physical and the mechanical mechhanism turn that human hand strength into approximately 1.5 (or more) tons of pressing strength through this tool.
A hydraulic clicker press utilized hydraylics instead of only mechanics, to generate significant, concentrated force. They are generally electrically-powered (that drives the movements of the machine), and the hydraulic elements provide significant pressure (10 tons and far greater for some models).
Since they are eletrically-powered, even less human effort is needed to operate them than when using a manual clicker press. Additionally, due to the hydraulic mechanism, they can often create far more pressure than the mechanical models.
Hydraulic clicker presses are usually found in larger shops, or production facilities that are producing high volumes of similar pieces and leather goods.
Characterists to Consider in a Leather Clicker Press
When looking to purchase a clicker press, there are a few key variables to keep in mind. Some are based on preference, and some are based on need; let’s dive deeper into them below.
Base Plate Size (Cutting Bed)
The base plate size of a clicker press is the bottom portion that is flat and makes up the base area of the press. This is where the material will rest. It’s important to have a base plate that will comfortable hold as much material that is needed to easily allow he top pressing plate to press into the leather. The base plate is usually larger than the pressing plate.
Pressing Plate (Cutting Beam / Clicker Board)
The pressing plate is the top plate of the press, that presses down with force onto the material below it. This is the element that has to be big enough to fully cover the die or stamp or whatever will be pressed into the leather below it. Since an even force across the stamp or dye is necessary, this pressing plate must usually be at least slightly larger than the dye or stamp.
Often, the pressing plate is smaller than the base plate that is below it.
Pressing force is a significant elements that helps determine how thick a piece of leather or other material can be pressed through. Less force can be used to cut through thinner leathers. More force would be needed to cut through thicker leathers, or multiple layers of leather at once. Generally, the thicker the leather, the more force needed to make smooth, clean cut through the material.
Commonly, manual presses range from about 0.5 tons – 4 tons or more of pressing force. Hydraulic presses can commonly produce 10 tons – 16 tons of force, wtih very highly engineered examples that can produce 1,000 tons or more of force.
For most leather crafting projects in a typical small shop, 1.5 tons of force will be plenty. A medium or larger shop might prefer 4 tons or so. And a commercial or high-production facility might seek a hydraulic press offering 10 tons of force or more.
Generally, the more force a clicker press generates, the larger, and heavier they are. This is something to consider when determining what might work best for one’s shop.
Quality clicker presses are generally constructed of steel. Since they are responsible for the generation of significant and concentrated forces, repeatedly, being constructed of a heavy and sturdy material such as steel is something to look for.
Best Leather Clicker Presses
When considering which press might be most helpful in the shop, here are the recommended options based on the amount of force they can generate.
Manual – 1.5 Ton
The Vevor 1.5 ton clicker press will do a great job for most crafters doing one-off pieces or low-volume production work, click here to see it on Amazon. It is available is a range of pressing plate sizes. They range from about 5″x7″ (120mm x 180mm) to about 9″x14″ (220mm x 360mm).
They are steel, with a protective surface coating applied to help with durability, and each provides 1.5 tons of pressing force. They also feature an adjustable pressing arm which makes the effort to press it easier or tougher, depending on the preference of the operator. For most shops, this is a sturdy and excellent option.
Manual – 4 Ton
For those working with thicker leathers and heavier volume, the Weaver Leather Wonder 4 Ton clicker press is a great option, click here to see it on the Industrial Sewing Machine Man. The pressing plate measures 8-3/8″x11-7/8″, and provides up to 4 tons of pressing force. On occasion, they can be more affordable than the very similar version Weaver offers on it’s site, click here for that model on Weather Leather Supply.
Hydraulic – 12 Ton
The Cowboy CB-12 is a great machine for those needing significant pressing force, click here to see it on the Industrial Sewing Machine Man. This serious tool provides 12 tons of pressing force, is made of steel, powered by 110v or 220v options, and has a cutting bed of 16″ x 30″. For a larger shop or production facility, this is a reliable option.
Clicker presses can save huge amounts of time, effort, and help produce higher-quality results for work that involves cutting out similar shapes or patterns. They can also be beneficial for pressing stamps into leather material in a super-convenient way. If you’re looking to speed up some operations or let physics helps with some of the heavy-effort work in the shop, a clicker press can be an amazing addition.
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