Go awl out. Used to punch holes in leather, wood, and textiles, awls have been around since ancient times. The best part of an awl-punctured hole is that it doesn’t leave a cut line, so the hole is equipped to hold a grommet, stitch, or eyelet. Oftentimes, seamstresses will use an awl as opposed to a needle and thread when working with thicker materials like leather, canvas, and denim. Thicker, narrower, and stronger than a knife blade, awl needles punch right through tough materials and hold up well under applied downward pressure. With a variety of different needle types and grip shapes, there are plenty of products to choose from. Browse our selection of the best options below.
1. Speedy Stitcher Sewing Awl
Originally patented in 1909, the Speedy Stitcher awl design has been in high demand for over a century and is still produced by the Silver Creek Leather Company in Southern Indiana. With a comfortable wooden grip and custom-designed diamond-point needle, this awl can be used to sew any heavy-duty material. Each tool comes with a spool of high-tensile waxed thread, so you’re set to get sewing machine–quality lock stitches right away.
2. BIGTEDDY Sewing Awl Hand Stitcher Kit
This sleek gold-finished copper-handled awl comes with four interchangeable needles. Including two hook needles and two straight needles, you can achieve a variety of different puncture marks and stitches with ease. For easy storage, transport, and organization, this set comes packaged in a branded clear plastic box.
3. Dritz Home 44106 Awl with Wooden Handle
Dritz is a dependable, affordable brand for quality sewing supplies, and this awl is no exception. Available at a fraction of the cost, this awl has a thick, super-sharp needle. An ergonomic egg-shaped wooden handle provides a comfortable hold. Beginners in particular will appreciate that detail, as they can worry less about physical stress as they master the feel of an awl.
4. Clover Straight Tailors Awl
Another classic sewing supplies brand, Clover produces well-made, well-priced products. A slimmer model than the other options on this list, this awl is lightweight and serviceable. A handy plastic cover keeps the needle sharp and protected, making this awl a great option for those on the go.
5. Awl for All Pro Leathercraft Accessories
This all-in-one pack includes a wooden-handled awl, five replacement needles, three spools of thread, and a double-headed adjustment tool with a wrench on one end and a screwdriver on the other. The handle of the awl unscrews to hold the needle and adjustment tool when not in use, and the tip unscrews for easy needle swapping when the tool is in use. The three spools of thread come in black, brown, and white and are braided for extra strength. A full setup, this awl tool gets you stitching right away.