We have discussed in detail, knife types and specific blade types. Owning a knife is one thing, protecting and maintaining it is a different matter. For that reason, knife sheath plays a very important role. With most knives, you do get a sheath. However, the quality of it might not be very high if you want the knife to last long. With knives on the higher end of the spectrum, you will usually get a good quality sheath. In this article, we will take a look at what type of sheath you should consider buying if you do not have a good sheath, or if you want a different material for the sheath.
There are sheaths made out of several materials out there, the most common ones being nylon, leather, and Kydex. Let’s begin with leather. The sheaths that many knives come with are good if you intend to use the knife as a general purpose knife which isn’t going to be used outdoors. But if you intend to use the knife for hunting, you might want something stronger or higher quality, as that kind of sheath can degrade fast over time if it is not well made. Over time, you will see that poorly produced sheath doesn’t hold the knife firmly, and you will observe wear and tear over it pretty soon. If you can get a high quality leather sheath, they can last long. Overall, a leather sheath can be very strong. Leather won’t crack if maintained properly. It is not resistant to water though, and it will require a good bit of maintenance on part of the user to last long.
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Now, coming to nylon, let’s talk about nylon sheaths and pertinent some points about them. Nylon is a very resilient material that can fare very well for outdoor use. Nylon being resistant to abrasion makes it a good choice as well. Nylon sheath will not take as long to dry out when wet, as much as a leather sheath will. However, a nylon sheath might crack over time. Nylon sheaths might lose their grip with time, which is to say that it might not hold the knife as firmly as it did when it was new. This is because they tend to stretch.
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Last but not the least is Kydex. Kydex is the name of the material which was made by Rohm and Haas, a company based in Philadelphia in the 1960s. It is made of thermoplastic polyvinyl-chloride and is widely used for making firearm and knife holsters. The good thing about Kydex is that it is waterproof, which might tempt you to consider it as a hunting knife sheath. It is indeed true that a high quality Kydex is an outstanding material for knife sheaths. It is easier to maintain and is well suited for survival and hunting purposes. The grip provided by Kydex is very firm and the knife will not slip or fall even when held upside down.
So, in conclusion, we must note that a high quality build equals good longevity. Maintaining a leather sheath can be an effort but if done properly, leather sheaths are very good. Nylon is not bad either, both in terms of strength and durability. Kydex is the easiest to maintain and it is waterproof, which can be something that many people would look for in a sheath. Although it’s important to note that in extreme cold, some kydex sheaths can cause problems with drawing the knife. Thus, the material of the knife sheath comes down to personal preference as well. Whichever material you choose, make sure it is high quality or produced by a well known manufacturer if you are considering the purchase of one and if you do not wish to buy a custom built sheath.