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I am going to write little bit about some common needles with special features for certain applications.
A standard needle usually has chrome coating. Certain applications can benefit using special needles. Cutting tip needles are used when sewing leather. There are various different points available, we are only going write about 3 of the most common ones.
The diamond point needle cuts a diamond shape hole in the leather. This will allow the stitch to pull up using less tension, and the stitching will be straight, and look much better than a standard needle.
The LR point will cut a small diamond shape with a 20 degree offset, the stitching will angle as opposed to being straight, this is usually used when sewing lighter weight leather with short stitching. This will create little more distance between the stitching and keep the leather from perforating, and it looks really cool too.
The TRI tip needle will cut a triangle hole similar to the diamond style and stitch will look similar, but I think the diamond point looks better.
Special coming are also available. Teflon coated needle will make it much easier to sew with when stitching on a rubber type fabric. Regular chrome needle tend to stick to material and pull on material which can cause skipping. Titanium needle is very strong and will not break as easy a standard chrome needle. The tip will not burr as easy as standard needle. At a trade show I have seen a demonstration where titanium needle was punched through thin metal coin then shown magnified on a screen and there was no damage to the point. Then a standard needle was used and looking at the tip it was damaged. I am sure nobody tries to stitch on metal but purpose was show that there was no damage. Needle breakage was also reduced due to the titanium coating.
There are many types of needles with coatings and special points and we are only writing about the most popular ones.