Awls are an important tool for bookbinding. They can also be used for leather work, but with bookbinding, they’re used to create holes in the paper so you can sew them together before gluing the gathered pages to the cover.
So, what are the best awls for bookbinding? The best awls for bookbinding are sharp, easy to hold, and create a hole that’s the right width for your particular bookbinding stitch.
Bookbinding awls can be purchased on their own, but are more often found in sets of bookbinding tools. Keep reading to explore both of these options, plus find out the 3 key qualities you want to look for in bookbinding awls.
The Key Qualities Of Awls For Bookbinding
Before purchasing your own bookbinding awl, it’s important to learn the key qualities of the best bookbinding awls.
These qualities will help you find the best awls specifically for bookbinding while avoiding awls that are made more for leather work or sewing.
If you’re new to the world of bookbinding and are wondering about what an awl should look like or how it should work, we recommend watching the video below. Linda Israel quickly reviews a few bookbinding awls and shows you how they work.
Awls for bookbinding need to be sharp, because they’re intended to puncture paper cleanly to create a smooth hole. Paper can be delicate, and an awl that isn’t sharp may end up tearing the paper more than creating a clean hole.
The best awls for bookbinding are made with a very sharp needle that can quickly and efficiently slice through the paper to make a smooth hole ready for sewing.
Always take care while using an awl. The needle is sharp enough that it can injure you if not handled properly. Hold the awl by the handle and be sure to store it safely when done.
Easy To Hold
When you use an awl for bookbinding, you’ll be punching multiple holes through several sheets of paper. This can get quite tedious after a while, and if your awl doesn’t have a comfortable handle, it can cause muscle cramps or pains.
The best awls for bookbinding have a handle that’s easy and comfortable to hold. Most of them come with a rounded, bulbous wooden handle that rests nicely in the palm.
Some awls come with a sleeker wooden handle, shaped to be more like a pencil than a round bulb. No matter the style of handle, it should be comfortable to hold while you work without cramping your hand only a few pages in.
Awls come in different sized needles, depending on their intended use. Leatherwork awls, for example, tend to have larger needles. The bigger size helps the needle withstand the tough material of the leather.
For bookbinding, you likely won’t need an awl with a large needle. Instead, you’ll want to find one that has a small enough width that it creates the perfect sized hole for your thread.
If the holes are too big, the thread can tear the paper material. If the holes are too small, the thread won’t go through properly and you won’t be able to sew the pages together.
Make sure you get an awl that is intended for bookbinding with a needle that’s the perfect width to puncture holes in paper.
The Best Awls For Bookbinding
Now that you have some background information on awls for bookbinding, you’re ready to review our list of recommended products below and buy the right one for you!
|1.||Lineco Awl for Book Binding Projects||Sharp needle, comfortable wooden handle, thin width, available in 4 types of handle|
|2.||KAKURI Awl Tool||Sharp needle, comfortable wooden handle, thin width, available in 4-3/4” and 7” long needle|
|3.||OFXDD Wood Handle Scratch Marking Awls||Sharp needle, comfortable wooden handle, thin width, 2 pack|
|4.||Shappy 15 Pieces Bookbinding Kit Starter Tools Set||Sharp needle, comfortable wooden handle, thin width, comes in 15-piece set|
|5.||Lineco Bookbinding Tool Kit||Sharp needle, comfortable wooden handle, thin width, heavy duty and light duty awls, comes in 14-piece set|
|6.||Goiio Bookbinding Kit Starter Tools Set||Sharp needle, comfortable wooden handle, thin width, comes in 11-piece set|
|7.||Enenes Bookbinding Tool Kit||Sharp needle, comfortable wooden handle, thin width, comes in 13-piece set|
1. Lineco Awl for Book Binding Projects
The extra heavy duty and heavy duty awls come with wooden ball handles, giving you a better grip for thicker paper.
The medium duty awl has a metal handle with a textured grip, while the light duty awl has a sleeker wooden handle. Both of these handle types are designed to be easier to hold while working quickly with lightweight paper.
All four options have a sharp needle to create clean holes that are the perfect width for sewing and binding.
2. KAKURI Awl Tool for Sewing, Scratch Wood, Leather, Punch, Book Binding
The KAKURI awl tool is another great option for a bookbinding awl.
Regardless of the length chosen, both needles are extremely sharp. Thankfully, KAKURI also provides a safety cap for safe storage and handling.
Both awl options come with a comfortable, sleek wooden handle that can be held easily while creating countless punctures as you work your way through the pages of the book.
3. OFXDD Wood Handle Scratch Marking Awl for Book – Pack of 2
This pack of 2 bookbinding awls from OXFDD is a deal that can’t be missed.
For those looking to be cost effective while purchasing awls on their own, this is the best choice on our list.
These awls come with thin wooden handles that rest comfortably in the hand. Each awl also has a sharp needle that works great for creating clean punctured holes in multiple sheets of paper.
4. Shappy 15 Pieces Bookbinding Kit Starter Tools Set
If you’re new to bookbinding and looking to get all the tools you’ll need, then this starter kit from Shappy is the way to go.
In this 15 piece set, you’ll get all the bookbinding tools you need, including the awl. Some of the other items in this pack are large-eye needles, thread clippers, waxed thread, and thread clippers.
This awl has a rounded, wooden handle, so you can grip it easily and maintain a firm grasp while working.
It has a sharp needle that’s perfect for poking through paper for bookbinding.
5. Lineco Bookbinding Tool Kit
For those who were interested in the Lineco brand awl but wanted to get all their bookbinding tools at once, we recommend the Lineco Bookbinding Tool Kit.
This 14-piece set comes with a bone folder, bristle brush, bookbinding needles, linen thread, beeswax, and two awls: one heavy duty, one light duty.
Both of the awls have a comfortable and sleek wooden handle.
The heavy duty awl has a thicker handle and a thicker needle to go through more heavy-weight paper, while the light duty awl has a thinner wooden handle and a thinner needle for smaller, more precise holes.
6. Goiio 11 Pieces Bookbinding Kit Starter Tools Set
Another great start tools set for bookbinding is this 11-piece tool kit from Goiio.
It may not have as many tools as some of the other kits on this list, but it does include 6 needles and a needle case, waxed thread, a bone folder, a paper creaser, and of course, the awl.
The awl included in this set has a rounded wooden handle for easy and comfortable grip. It has a sharp, thin needle that works perfectly for bookbinding.
When it comes to getting the best deal for the price, you can’t beat this set.
7. Enenes Bookbinding Tool Kit 13 Pieces Starter Tools Set
The final recommendation on our list is the Enenes Bookbinding Tool Kit.
It comes with 13 bookbinding tools, including a bone folder, a paper creaser, 6 needles and a storage bottle to keep them in, a thimble ring, waxed thread, thread cutters, and an awl.
This awl also comes with a rounded wooden handle. The needle is incredibly sharp, so it comes with a small protective cover to slip over the needle when not in use.
For anyone new to bookbinding looking to get a great starter set of tools to help them as they learn this new craft, the Enenes set is a perfect choice.