We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Are the Best Tips for Making Laser Cut Leather?

By Maggie J. Hall
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
About Mechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At About Mechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

One of the main strategies in producing quality laser cut leather is to consult the instruction manual for the specifications of the laser cutter. Familiarization with the cutter and the accompanying software aids in design creation and contributes to the quality of the finished laser cut product. Experienced leather crafters recommend using the vacuum exhaust system when laser cutting leather as the process typically produces a strong smelling smoke.

The instruction manual that accompanies laser cutting equipment generally provides the steps and settings necessary for cutting or engraving a variety of materials, including leather. For laser cut leather outlines, make sure the software program depicts a transparent image on the graph layout, with no colors or shading. The image must line up properly on the grid or the laser may not cut out the entire image.

When creating a pattern for a leather design, users should be aware of the width of the cutting beam. If a laser beam cuts a line that is 0.2 millimeters wide, for example, and some lines on the pattern lie closer than 0.5 millimeters apart, the cutter may obliterate both lines simultaneously. Cutting two lines at the same time saves time when positioning one pattern next to another. The width of the cutting beam may also make a difference when designing patterns with intricate cut outs as spaces cut closer than 1 millimeter apart may produce a flimsier latticed pattern than anticipated.

Prior to making laser cut leather, hobbyists must also ensure that the system has the correct combination of speed/power/frequency settings for the amount of wattage being used by the laser cutter. Cutting leather using 30 watts, on some machines, requires a leather cutting setting of 40/90/500. For 75 watts, the setting changes to 60/80/500. Different settings are used for leather engraving. Practicing the cuts and designs on scrap leather before making actual laser cut leather products may spare machine owners from wasting expensive material if the laser does not produce cuts as expected.

The setting for one type of leather material may not be suitable for another. Smoother surfaced leather generally cuts more easily than rougher textured suede. Leather products may also be thinner or thicker than recommended settings, which may not produce the same cutting results. The beam on a laser cutting tool generally cuts material by vaporization, and if the machine is not set correctly for a particular type of material, charring may occur.

Charred lines may appear on laser cut leather if the power setting is too high. Reducing the power and cutting around the design two or three times may produce less charring. Using a paper mask or low-adhesive tape over the leather may also reduce the tendency for charring. Blurred or thickened lines may be the result of smudged mirrors or debris on the rails that animate the cutter or laser table. Performing maintenance on these two areas often improves the appearance of cuts.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.