January 24, 2019

Best shoemaker’s pincers for your craft

Shoemaker’s pincers is a necessary tool if you want to make your shoes, real shoes and not some DIY project. You must have shoemaker’s pincers and your shoe lasts

You need it in the process of lasting, where you must pull the edges of the sewn upper and lining of your shoe and attach them to the insoles.

In shoemaking there are different shoemaker’s pincers to work with and in this post I will show you 3 of them, the most common, and will explain their advantages and disadvantages.

3 Types of  Shoemaker’s pincers

German shoemaker's pincers
German shoemaker's pincers

The jaws width of this shoemaking pincers are 15 mm. It has a hammer to hit the nails during lasting. 

The advantage to work with this type of the shoemaker’s pinseres is that it is very comfortable and easy to last the upper and lining in the middle of the shoe last:

In the arch area (between the toe and heel).

Why ?

Because this pincers can grab a big piece of the upper and you can last evenly (and it is super important in this area) the entire arch area only by grabbing 3 times the edge of the upper and lining. So the best option to last the upper in this place is by working with this shoemaker's pincers.

On other hand …

To last the upper and lining in the pointed toe shoe last or in the heel area, working with this kind of pinsers, will be a hard task for you. Because the jaws are wide and it is difficult to grab the tiny folds of the upper and lining that will appear during lasting.

Italian shoemaker's pincers

This is a shoemaker’s pincers with jaw, width of 1 cm, and it also has the hammer side. 

It is wide enough to grab and attach the upper and lining edges in the arch area and it is not too wide (like the previous pincers) to last the upper in the toe and heel area. If yu want to know more about lasting process , read this article: "How to make shoes-Lasting porcess".

It is not perfect pincers to last the upper in these narrow and curved places of the shoe last but it is possible.It is possible, because you can grab the edges using the corner/edge of the jaws.

Narrow Italian shoemaker's pincers
Narrow Italian shoemaker's pincers

The width of the jaws is 10 mm and it has hammer side as well.

I don’t like this kind of pincers because the jaws of this pinsers are too thick and it is very difficult to grab the small folds of the upper and lining when lasting.

There are also a shoemaker’s pinceres with jaw width of 5mm.

This is a perfect pincers to grab and attach the upper and lining in the toe and heel area. You can grab the edges even with small folds and attach them easily to the insole.


I don’t recommend lasting the upper and lining in the arch area of your shoes working with such a narrow jaw.

There are also many other old type pincers and new (modern) pincers with slightly different shapes of the handle and jaws, but I personally work with the two first types of the pincers. 

More than that, most of the time I work with the second type of pincers.

For me the reason is very simple. It’s because I can last every part of the upper and lining without any difficulty, working with this type of shoemaker’s pincers. 

Hey, it's not like I am selling this pincers! I can only recommend what I am working with myself and this is the pincers type that I provide to my students in my 1 Year Program.

Now, to see it in action, please check the shoe making tutorial at the begining of this article, where I explain how to work with pincers during lasting. 

Comment and share the video if you like shoemaking 🙂

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About the author 

Sveta Kletina

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