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Buffalo hide vs cowhide leather jackets

Buffalo hide vs cowhide leather jackets, is buffalo stronger than cowhide?

HI everyone, hope you all are doing fine. Is buffalo hide or leather stronger than cowhide leather jackets? Is buffalo hide thicker than cowhide? Is buffalo hide stiffer than cowhide leather jackets? A few weeks ago I made a post about pigskin vs cowhide leather jackets, as I saw a lot of people type that in when they found my site here.

About the same number of people also type in some version of buffalo hide vs cowhide leather jackets. So, I thought I would clear that up here as well. Now, most people think of buffalo as a strong animal, stronger than a cow, which is true. So they assume that buffalo hide is much stronger than a cowhide. That is not really true, at least as far as the leather that is made from each one goes.

In it’s natural state, a raw buffalo leather hide is thicker than a cowhide. Not by much, but a little. However when they make a leather jacket or any other leather item from the hide, they split it. A full hide is way too thick to be used for a leather jacket or most other leather apparel. They do use a full hide on items like saddles, some boots and stuff like that, but not leather jackets and apparel.

So when people say they want a buffalo leather jacket because it’s thicker, they don’t know what they are talking about. A buffalo hide and cowhide are split the same thickness for the same items. So lets get that clear, a quality leather jacket made from buffalo hide and cowhide is going to be the same thickness. Some cheaper or more lightweight leather jackets might use a thinner cut, but they would do that for both buffalo and cowhide.

So lets say you have a buffalo hide and cowhide. They have been split to the thickness needed for a leather jacket. One will be the top grain, the others the split grain. They have both been processed and tanned the same way. So, is there any difference in strength, stiffness and durability of them? The simple answer is, no.

Some say that buffalo leather is actually a bit softer than cowhide, unlike most who think it would be harder and stiffer. But there is very little difference to them as far as stiffness and softness goes. So what about strength and durability? Again, they really are about the same. You have to understand, once you treat a hide and split it to the same thickness, there just is not that much difference, if it’s a quality hide taken from the sides of the animal.

So pigskin, buffalo hide and cowhide are all about equal in strength and durability. At least as long as they are all treated the same, and split the same thickness. Now they are all stronger than goatskin, sheepskin and lambskin. So if you want a good, strong leather motorcycle jacket, than a pigskin, buffalo or cowhide leather jacket is the way to go.

Some just like different ones, or just feel better with one or the other. But most could never tell the difference if they had 3 leather jackets side by side, made from each one and treated the same way. They all cost about the same too. So I hope that clears up the question of buffalo hide vs cowhide leather jackets!

8 thoughts on “Buffalo hide vs cowhide leather jackets

  1. I don’t know about all that, my buffalo jacket seems to be much thicker and heavier then my cowhide coat by the same manufacturer.

    what’s up with that?

  2. Hi Curt. So, you have a thick buffalo hide jacket and a cowhide jacket, both from the same manufacturer, and the buffalo one is thicker? That’s because the buffalo jacket was a thicker cut jacket. I’m sure they make a cowhide leather jacket the same thickness as that one, you just happen to have a thick jacket and a thinner one.

    I’m sure they also have buffalo jackets made thinner than that cowhide one. That does not mean one is lower quality. They make different thickness for jackets. As long as it’s normal thickness they are quality jackets, but they can make them different thicknesses. They make buffalo leather shirts that are really thin, same with vest. So, it just depends on how thick they cut the jacket.

    Some places that custom make leather jackets you can request a thickness, but most of the time you have no choice. Also most people have no idea what to ask for. Most motorcycle leather jackets are between 1.3 and 2.0 mm thick. Anything in that range is good, and most of the time they don’t bother to tell you. Hope that answers your question.

  3. I go the othjer way around, my old cowhide one from 10 yrs ago was much thicker (as per cut) than the new buffalo one I bought last year. REally looking for cleaining and protection tips, can I use saddle soap?

  4. Hi there. Yes as you say, it all depends on how thick they split the leather for each jacket, not what type of leather it is. As for cleaning it, saddle soap means so many things today, it’s like a word that means any cleaning agent for leather.

    Take a look in my sidebar on your right, and you’ll see some leather dressing and leather oil soap. Click on those and you’ll see many different things to use on your jacket. I recommend them, they are a quality brand.

    Just remember the 3 steps to take. Clean the leather first, apply conditioner, then a sealer. 🙂

  5. I purchased a pair of Harley Davidson Buffalo skin Riding boots and I was wondering how I should care for them.

  6. Hi there Mr. Steed. Your in luck, I just made a new post on how to clean, condition and seal or waterproof leather boots. You can see it here:
    Leather boots

    Your brand new boots should have all the conditioners and sealer they need, so you should not have to do anything to them. But if you want you can apply some leather sealer, which others call waterproofing. Check out that link and you’ll see everything you need for taking care of your leather boots. Thanks for asking!

  7. Hi there,
    So it’s christmas time and my boyfriend has been showing a big interest in leather jackets. He’s just a normal college student (no cool motorcycles or anything) He just wants a nice looking leather jacket. So i found a leather jacket on black friday for a seerious discount. However, it’s lambskin leather. Is lambskin a lower grade of leather? Will my boyfriend be disappointed??

  8. Well hello there. Lambskin for a leather jacket that is just meant to look good and be more like a fashion jacket is fine. In fact many think a fashion leather jacket made out of lambskin is better than one out of cowhide or buffalo hide.

    That’s because lambskin is softer and smoother. It would not make a good motorcycle leather jacket because it’s not as thick or tough as cowhide. Someone using it for motorcycle riding is more concerned about protection from the road.

    So it sounds like you made the right decision and I’m sure he’ll be happy with it. Lambskin and goatskin are great for a nice looking leather jacket for around town or for a fashion statement. They just are not good for a motorcycle jacket. Happy holidays!

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