Mon. Jun 5th, 2023

Summary: The kniphand is a tool used in upholstering. Its name comes from the Dutch word “knippen,” which means “to cut.” The tool is used to cut fabric in upholstery projects, allowing for clean and precise cuts. In this article, we will explore the history of the kniphand, how it works, its different parts, and tips on how to use it effectively.

1. History of the Kniphand

The kniphand has been around for centuries, dating back to the early days of upholstery. It was traditionally made out of iron or steel, and its design has remained relatively unchanged over time. The kniphand was originally developed as a way to quickly and accurately cut fabric without using scissors or other cutting tools, which could be cumbersome and imprecise.

As upholstering evolved, so too did the kniphand. Today’s modern kniphands are made from a variety of materials, including plastic and stainless steel, and come in various sizes and shapes to accommodate different types of fabrics and patterns.

Despite these changes, the basic concept of the kniphand remains the same: to provide upholsterers with a reliable tool for precision cutting.

2. How the Kniphand Works

The kniphand works by using a sharp blade that is guided along the fabric by a set of jaws. The upper jaw sits on top of the fabric, while the lower jaw holds it in place. To make a cut, the user simply squeezes the two jaws together, causing the blade to slice through the fabric. The beauty of the kniphand lies in its ability to make consistent and clean cuts with minimal effort.

One important thing to note when using a kniphand is that the blade should be kept sharp at all times. A dull blade can cause the fabric to tear or fray, resulting in a less-than-perfect finished product. To maintain a sharp blade, simply sharpen it with a honing stone or bring it to a professional sharpener for maintenance.

It’s also important to ensure the jaws are properly aligned before making a cut. If they are not aligned correctly, the blade may not slice through the fabric as cleanly as it should. To align the jaws, simply adjust the screws on the sides of the tool until they are snug.

3. Parts of the Kniphand

The kniphand consists of several parts that work together to create a precise cutting tool. The main parts include the blade, upper jaw, lower jaw, joint, and handles.

The blade is the most critical part of the kniphand, as it does the actual cutting. It should be made of high-quality steel and should be kept sharp at all times.

The upper jaw sits above the fabric and holds the blade in place. It should be smooth to prevent snagging on the fabric.

The lower jaw sits below the fabric and holds it in place while the cut is being made. It should be slightly concave to allow the fabric to lay smoothly on top of it.

The joint connects the upper and lower jaws, allowing them to pivot smoothly while cutting.

The handles provide a comfortable grip for the user and should be ergonomically designed to prevent hand fatigue during extended use.

4. Tips for Using the Kniphand

Using a kniphand effectively takes some practice, but there are several tips that can help you get started:

Choose the Right Size: Kniphands come in various sizes, so it’s important to choose one that is appropriate for your project. Larger kniphands are better for cutting through thicker fabrics, while smaller ones are best for more delicate materials.

Keep the Blade Sharp: A sharp blade is essential for making clean, precise cuts. Make sure to sharpen your blade regularly to maintain its effectiveness.

Align the Jaws: Proper jaw alignment is critical for a clean cut. Take the time to adjust the screws on each side of the kniphand until the jaws are perfectly aligned.

Use Proper Technique: When using a kniphand, it’s important to use the proper technique. Hold the tool firmly and use a smooth, steady motion to make the cut.

Practice, Practice, Practice: Like any new skill, using a kniphand takes practice. Start with simple projects and work your way up to more complicated ones.


The kniphand is an essential tool for upholsterers and DIY enthusiasts alike. Its ability to make clean and precise cuts with minimal effort makes it a favorite among those who appreciate attention to detail. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can become a skilled kniphand user and take your upholstery projects to the next level!

By admin

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