The Felsted Skiver



The Felsted Skiver is a machine for paring leather in bookbinding. It works on soft, medium and hard skins. It can even be used to pare some papers. And it can be used beyond bookbinding: at least one customer uses it to skive kangaroo leather for falcon hoods!

It uses standard double-edged razor blades and can be precisely adjusted for paring thickness and for shallow angles so that an even thickness or a taper can be pared. A detailed description of its use and maintenance can be read in the handbook and there are several videos available on Vimeo and YouTube demonstrating it in use:

If you are used to the traditional methods of preparing leather for binding a book using edge paring knives and spokeshaves but have not used a paring machine before, you can think of the Felsted Skiver as an alternative to the spokeshave: it can pare large areas and edges more accurately and more quickly than a spokeshave. You will still need knife skills for edge paring as even the sharpest razor blade will tear an edge if you get too close!

Features of the Felsted Skiver

The Felsted Skiver has a number of features that help the bookbinder produce leather of accurate repeatable thickness:

The Felsted Skiver is hand-made in The UK and comes complete with a storage box moulded from recycled plastic, a toolkit that has everything you need to adjust and maintain the machine, a magnetic stylus and a printed instruction booklet.

Every machine is adjusted and tested before leaving the workshop so you can be confident that the machine only needs a razor blade added and it will work immediately. The leather test piece made while checking the machine is included in the box.

The boxed version of the Felsted Skiver

the Felsted Skiver Bare Bones version

For those who already have tools or don't need the storage box, a 'bare bones' version is also available. It's the same machine but without the box, tools, lubricant or printed Owner's Handbook.


Some examples of work produced using The Felsted Skiver

onlay design

Hexagonal inlay

Guide to Bees and Honey by Ted Hooper. Paperback rebound with cream leather spine and dyed leather hexagon inlay, red bookcloth with original book cover in deboss. 217H x 140W x 23mm. Malcolm Raggett.


Sketchbook with leather spine

Sketchbook with Disappearing Spine binding in black leather and metallic grey buckram. 175H x 190W x 12mm. Malcolm Raggett.


Notebook with disappearing spine construction

Coffee journal with Disappearing Spine binding in light tan leather and metallic red buckram. 150H x 115W x 24mm. Malcolm Raggett.

falcon hood

Falcon's hood by Bill Barbour

Buy a Felsted Skiver

The Felsted Skiver comes fully adjusted and tested so you should be able to use it straight out of the box (though you will have to add a razor blade of course!) You will receive a Felsted Skiver with a printed Owner's Handbook and a set of tools and lubricant all in a foam-lined custom storage box.

Or you can choose the 'bare bones' version. Still fully adjusted and tested but without the storage box, toolkit or printed instructions (you can download the electronic Owners Handbook free).

Delivery within the UK by Royal Mail. Outside the UK it is DHL.

Buy an extra anvil for the Felsted Skiver

anvil for the Felsted Skiver

The standard anvil supplied with the Felsted Skiver has a straight surface that covers most of the operations like reducing the thickness of an area or tapering the edges of a skin. Where a narrow area needs to be reduced in thickness, such as the hinge areas near the spine, a shaped anvil can be an advantage. Additional anvils can be purchased for the user to shape to their requirements. Instructions for doing this are in the Felsted Skiver Handbook (PDF)

Buy a Magnetic Stylus

The Magnipulator stylus for safer hadling or razor blades

Handling razor blades is always a delicate business. To make the bookbinder's life a little safer in this regard I've developed a magnetic stylus that is included with the Felsted Skiver boxed version but also available separately. It has a small magnet at one end that can pick up individual blades from a work surface and a stronger magnet at the other end for when a blade is reluctant to leave its packaging. A Magnetic Stylus is included in the toolkit of the Felsted Skiver so you do not need to purchase it separately if you are buying a Felsted Skiver boxed version.

Price List



UK shipping

USA shipping

Felsted Skiver, boxed




Felsted Skiver, bare bones




Magnetic stylus




Additional anvil for Skiver





Online payment is coming soon but in the meantime I will invoice you directly using PayPal. please email me with what you want to buy, the email address used by your PayPal account, your name, the shipping address and a contact phone number.

Razor blades for paring leather

I have evaluated a number of brands of razor blade for use in leather paring. The results are not just valid for the Felsted Skiver - if you have a machine already you could find it useful to read/download the report (PDF format)

recommended razor blade brands



The Felsted Skiver Newsletter tells you about developments and when new batches of machines are available for sale.

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