Your arm power pushes this “sewing awl” through even heavy materials — like canvas and leather — to make lockstitches just like a sewing machine. Except unlike a machine, the ‘Stitcher is portable and really, really cheap.
The ‘Stitcher is a classic, made in the USA since 1909, and it’s one of those tools that’s so useful you’ll wonder how you ever got along without it. I’ve carried mine for years, repairing camping gear and sewing up automotive strapping and cloth. It’s quite durable, and stitches just as well as an industrial sewing machine.
It lists for $10, but we found it for $8 online — and we’ve heard of it going for as little as $2 on sale. Most of the time it ships with two needles and some thread, but we’ve seen numerous combination kits including other materials as well.