Handmade leather goods is an overused term in our industry. Yes, we are guilty of it to a degree. What do you consider to be handmade? Should we pay more for handmade?
You can cut leather by hand or with the help of a machine, usually a press that uses a die to cut a specific shape out of the leather. When cutting straps you can do it with a straight edge and a knife, a hand strap cutter, or a machine that can do multiple straps at once.
The only advantage to hand cutting is you have no upfront costs. Cutting 100 of the same piece out by hand and have them be identical is unlikely, and also it is time consuming. When using a die to cut leather, you can click out 100 pieces exactly the same in much less time. You end up with identical pieces, however, there is a lot larger upfront cost. You have to purchase dies and a press. But in the end, you end up with a better product.
When it comes to edge finishing there are many ways to do it. You can edge with a hand edger, a power machine edger, or a manual machine. All 3 will give good results, hand is the slowest, power machine the quicker than a manual machine.
Now the big one, stitching. We will not argue the point, a good saddle stitch is stronger than a machine lock stitch. Yes if a lock stitch breaks it can unravel the entire length, but if either stitch should break, they both still need to be prepared.
At the end of the day the choice is yours, pay more because it says “handmade” or not. Kind of similar to paying more because of the logo stamped on the leather.