Friday, December 11, 2009

Treadle Belt Pliers

When you sew with a treadle the leather belt stretches over time and needs to be shortened.  

I have owned five treadle sewing machines and everyone needed  a new treadle belt.  If the belt was there it was rotton.  The first time, I went to my local sewing machine dealer (Wayne) to buy a treadle belt, he insisted I borrow his treadle belt pliers.  This little tool is the neatest thing it has a nail punch and belt cutter.  First you open up the steel staple to remove one side of the treadle belt cut it shorter and then punch a hole in the new end.  Put the staple back on, after trying it out to make sure it is the right length, squeeze the staple back together again.  After I used his pliers I was so impressed with the ease of use, I knew I would never go back to using a hammer, nail and scissors to shorten my treadle belts again.  When I reluctantly returned them... complete with my offer to purchase, Wayne said no, his Singer pliers were very old and not for sale.  He did not think he would ever be able to get more.

Online internet shopping I go.  I found them in the USA at at sewing machine parts place.  I live in Manitoba, Canada.  One pair was $25.99 plus shipping to Canada was $24.99 outragous!  I decided that since the shipping was so much that I may as well buy two pairs, then gift the second set to someone else here who sews with a treadle machine.  I paid approximately $80 US and waited impatiently for my new pliers to arrive.

Well I forgot that importing an item made in Taiwan from the USA  to Canada is expensive.  When Fedex showed up at my door with my package I had to pay another $38 in taxes, brokerage and duty fees.  So here they are my two pairs of treadle belt pliers approximate cost $59 each.

Mine are way nicer than Wayne's because they are spring loaded.


  1. Isn't it just baffling when something like that happens? All those fees and then they wonder why there is so much smuggling.

    Hopefully they will last you so long that it feels like you got your money's worth.

  2. Do you have any directions or information about how to use the treadle belt pliers?
    I just bought them, but can't figure it out.


  3. Hi Susan,
    Treadle belt pliers are for installing a new treadle belt or for shortening an existing belt that has stretched from treadling. First disengage the treadle belt on the machine by removing it from the treadle wheel. It the belt is brittle or too short replace it with a new belt. The treadle belt pliers are used to open steel staple that holds the belt ends together, then the nail in pliers is used to punch a new hole in the leather belt. The blade in the pliers is used to cut the belt to the correct length. Then the pliers are used again to squeeze the staple shut to hold the belt together again. If these written instructions are not helpful, please comment here again and I'll do a picture blog about it.

  4. I came across this pair of ORIGINAL Singer brand Treadle Pliers at the local swap meet. They were covered in rust but with a little wirewheeling and WD-40 they came right back to life.

    It was THIS BLOG which helped me identify WHAT they were in the first place.

    The funny thing is i am Actually in the market of for a treadle to restore, but i just bought these because I like fixing up cool old tools...


Your comments give me quite a thrill. Thanks so much for visiting my blog and please have a super duper day! Unfortunately, anonymous comments are no longer allowed, there was just way too much spam.