Needle and Thread Guide

Click here to download the Needle and Thread Guide

Selecting the Correct Needle
(Rule of Thumb)
Selecting the Correct Needle

Common Thread Uses

415 Thread with a Size 250 Needle

Commonly used in rated products like logging, mining, and military nylon webbing and strapping.

346 Thread with a Size 230/250 Needle

Commonly used for mule and other heavy duty tack.  Also used in boot and shoe applications.

277 Thread with a Size 200 Needle

Is the most commonly used thread size in leather crafting from saddle and tack, boot and shoe, gun and knife, and all other kinds of craft and industrial applications.

207 Thread with a Size 180/200 Needle

A favorite size thread for saddle bags, purses, and other thin material crafting.

138 Thread with a 160 Needle

Used mostly in belts, billfolds, purses and other thin material crafting.

99 Thread with a 130 Needle and 69 Thread with a 110 Needle

Is seldom used in leather applications unless the stitch is not to be a major part of the final design.  This combination is more commonly used in fabric, vinyl, and other thin material applications.

Note: Your bobbin thread tension will require readjustment when using smaller thread diameters, such as 69 or 99, in the bobbin.

Round Point vs. Chisel Point

There are two different styles of needles used in the Tippmann Boss.

The Round Point needles are "universal" needles, and work well in just about any material, including rubber, vinyl, cloth, leather, etc.

The Chisel Point needles are used specifically for leather. Instead of punching a hole in the material like a round point, it "slices" through the leather. This can prevent bottom side "blowout" on dry and hard leathers. Chisel point needles are not recommended for woven fabrics such as nylon halters because it slices the strands of nylon. If your style of sewing requires a short stitch length (10 per inch or more), you should not use a chisel point needle because the material can tear from hole to hole. The Round Point is better for this application.

When ordering needles from Tippmann, a 7x3 is a Round Point, and a 794 is a chisel point needle.

Note: Change your needle to a round point needle when stitching fabrics other than leather.

Thread and Needle Combinations

Thread SizeCord Equivalent7 x 3 Needle794 Leather Needle Average Linear DensityDiameter
Old SizeTEX  Size      Yards/lb Inches
Z69T70F -7x3110-- 6450 .0090
Z99T90  -7x3130-- 4375.0110
Z138T135U-150-7x3160794160 3230.0135
Z207T210U-2537x3180794200 2234.0180
Z277 T270U-30047x3200794200 1615.0240
Z346T350U-3507x3230794250 1220 .0260
Z415T400U-4507x3250794250 1060 .0290

Needle Identification

If you do not have your needle package, or if the kit provided with the Boss is open or has spilled, you may not know what type and size of needle you have. In order to identify your needle, you will need a magnifying glass or microscope. You will find a small inscription on the side (shaft) of the needle (e.g. 230 / 26), as shown in the illustration below. The first three numbers represent the size you need when ordering and the last two numbers represent the size in metric.

Needle Magnified
Needle InscriptionNeedle SizeLink to Purchase
110 / 167x3 110 7x3110  
130 / 217x3 130 7X3130  
160 / 237x3 160 or 794 160 7X3160 794160
180 / 247x3 180 or 794 200 7X3180 794200
200 / 257x3 200 or 794 200 7X3200 794200
230 / 267x3 230 or 794 250 7X3230 794250
250 / 277x3 250 or 794 250 7X3250 794250

Now that you know the size, you need to determine whether it is a round point needle or a chisel point. A Round Point needle has a sharp point and the cross section of the needle is round. A chisel point needle does not have a sharp point and the cross section of the needle is not round, but arched.

Round Point NeedleChisel Point Needle
Round Point Needle (7x3)Chisel Point Needle (794)

About Tippmann Needles and Thread

Groz-Beckert NeedlesGroz-Beckert German made needles offer the highest standard in the industry. Tippmann stocks over 5000 needles, so you can be assured that they are in stock and ready to ship.
American & EfirdAmerican Efird has over 115 years of textile experience and is the industry leader in thread. Tippmann has replaced Rice Thread (they shut down operations in 2005) with American Efird Thread. After testing several different manufacturers, the best choice by far was A & E. Tippmann is proud to distribute A & E thread and would be happy to send you a free thread sample kit.

Current Pricing

White Thread is $26.60 per pound and all colors are $30.80 per pound.

Needles are $1.99 each or $12.99 for a 10 Pack.

Custom colors and bulk quantity discounts are available.