When I use to sell monogrammed leather products, the biggest seller at Christmas time was hard leather briefcases. I think lots of dads get 4 things for gifts; socks, ties, wallets and leather briefcases! Of course most get the cheap ones that cost around $20.00 bucks and not made of real leather. I made a post about soft leather ones, now I’ll talk about hard leather briefcases.
Most hard leather briefcases look pretty much like the one in the top picture. They normally close and shut with a latch or combination lock, or both. Some lock with a key, and yet others close with a buckle. But the latch and combination lock are the most common. If it’s made of real leather, it should say “made of genuine leather” on a tag or inside somewhere.
Leatherette, man made leather or “leather like” is NOT real leather. Patchwork leather is a very cheap and worthless material, please don’t get one made like that. There is actually two ways a hard leather briefcase can be made. One way is using thick leather that has been treated differently than how they treat leather for jackets and apparel.
It’s treated like they treat belts and saddles. The leather is hard and does not bend very easy. They make the whole leather briefcase with it. They reinforce the corners and edges with hardware like brass or nickel, or stainless steel. Inside they put a liner of nylon, velvet, microfiber or some other material.
The other way they make a hard leather briefcase is to use thinner, softer leather that covers a frame that makes up the briefcase. Both ways are good if done right using quality leather and hardware. The stitching should be double or triple stitched, with all hardware very tight and secure. The part that makes up the hinged part should be a full length piano hinge.
What type of leather is a good hard leather briefcase made out of? As in most cases, cowhide, pigskin and buffalo hide are the best and will last the longest, taking a lot of abuse. However with briefcases that are made by putting leather over a frame you can use goat hide, sheepskin and lambskin. But you have to be careful of them as they can scratch more easy.
The locking part should be tight and crisp, with no wobble. If it has combination locks the rolling combination should turn easy and feel smooth. See if the two halves of the leather briefcase line up right, or is one twisted? The carrying handle should be attached all the way through the case, although normally you will not see the end inside as the liner covers it.
The inside can have many different types of folders, zippers, compartments, pen holders, card holders and much more. Check out the zippers and snaps and make sure they all work. See if all the lining is secure and not coming unglued or has frayed threads. Most hard leather briefcases come in black, burgundy and brown.
That gives you a good idea what to look for in a hard leather briefcase. As always once you get one do a little cleaning of it, then put a light sealer over the leather to protect it from stains. You can get a leather briefcase monogrammed or embossed also with your initials or a design. A good hard leather briefcase will cost anywhere from $50.00 to a thousand, it all depends on the name! 😉