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#227354 - 07/06/11 06:03 PM Sometimes you're buying the sheath
TeacherRO Offline

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 2396
Had an interesting idea lately -- Sometimes you're buying the sheath. Whatever the quality of the knife; if it has a poor sheath, you won't use it or might loose it...

#227358 - 07/06/11 07:43 PM Re: Sometimes you're buying the sheath [Re: TeacherRO]
dweste Offline

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
Hopefully you evaluate the knife and its sheath. From what I have seen and read it is common to find a knife desireable and to immediately find a better, often custom-made, sheath.

#227371 - 07/07/11 12:00 AM Re: Sometimes you're buying the sheath [Re: dweste]
Paul810 Offline

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 1428
Loc: NJ, USA
I don't usually look at the sheath when I'm buying a knife. I buy the knife I want and then the sheath is a secondary issue. If it comes with a good sheath, that's a plus. If not, I eventually get around to rectifying it.

Speaking of which, I've got a Benchmade 201 Activator sitting in my closet right now. I absolutely love the knife, but I hate the factory sheath. I keep meaning to find someone to make me a nice new sheath (a nice IWB kydex one would be perfect), but it's one of those things that is so far on the back-burner that it's likely going to take another year or two before I finally get around to doing it.

#227383 - 07/07/11 02:08 AM Re: Sometimes you're buying the sheath [Re: TeacherRO]
Eastree Offline

Registered: 06/15/11
Posts: 62
As someone with little knowledge, I have to ask:

What makes a good sheath, and how do I go about finding (or finding out how to make, or where to have made) a better one, if I have a knife with a not-so-good sheath?

#227386 - 07/07/11 02:34 AM Re: Sometimes you're buying the sheath [Re: Eastree]
Paul810 Offline

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 1428
Loc: NJ, USA
Originally Posted By: Eastree
As someone with little knowledge, I have to ask:

What makes a good sheath, and how do I go about finding (or finding out how to make, or where to have made) a better one, if I have a knife with a not-so-good sheath?

Some sheaths are obviously made to meet the lowest possible price point, and usually this is pretty evident. They look terrible, they do a poor job of retaining the knife, they start to fall apart, and...all in all...they just look and feel like junk. Otherwise, it comes down to what you prefer in a sheath design, based on experience.

Personally, I'm not usually a big fan of leather. I prefer kydex, as I find it to be more durable, safer, and it doesn't hold liquids and smells like leather tends to. I also don't like sheaths that flop around while I'm walking, as I find it annoying. Finally, I don't usually like sheaths that use a tab of fabric/leather to secure the knife, as I find this rarely works well and often gets cut off accidentally over time.

If you notice, the sheath that comes with the Benchmade 201 has all of these things, which is why I can't stand it. wink

#227387 - 07/07/11 03:10 AM Re: Sometimes you're buying the sheath [Re: TeacherRO]
Doug_Ritter Offline


Registered: 01/28/01
Posts: 1967
Sheaths are the bane of knifemakers and manufacturers. No matter what sheath you provide, at least 2/3's of the customers will dislike it, regardless of how well made it is. That's why some manufacturers don't sell their knives with a sheath at all. I can tell you we seriously considered it.

In the end, the sheath you get is a compromise between cost and performance and generally, cost is a major factor. Folks usually won't pay more for a high quality sheath when odds are they won't like it anyway. And, sheath costs can significantly impact the selling price of a knife.

There's a story I've heard more than once that the first time Gerber produced a knife where the knife cost more than the sheath, Pete Gerber had a huge party to celebrate.

Sheaths are a PITA! BTDT, got the t-shirt. :-(
Doug Ritter
Equipped To Survive®
Chairman & Executive Director
Equipped To Survive Foundation

#227392 - 07/07/11 05:18 AM Re: Sometimes you're buying the sheath [Re: Doug_Ritter]
Richlacal Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 778
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
John McCann did some demo's on Sheath making at the Dirt time site,both leather & Kydex,of which the common person can accomplish as per step by step info.Very informative regarding this,& He exclaims he is not an expert,he just wanted to have some sheaths to his specs!He did a Darned Good job of it,that's for sure!

#227396 - 07/07/11 10:24 AM Re: Sometimes you're buying the sheath [Re: TeacherRO]
Byrd_Huntr Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 1174
Loc: MN, Land O' Lakes & Rivers ...
I, for one, seriously consider the sheath when buying a knife, as a belt knife is almost useless without one. It is an integral part of the investment, and a cheap sheath makes a nice knife look cheap too. It is important enough to me that I might buy a similar model knife in a different brand to get a decent sheath.
I know that some want Kydex, some want leather, some want water resistance, etc. I wish makers would sell all of their belt knives and big folders with a cheap temporary sheath at a reduced cost, and make several different sheaths immediately available online or by mail for each model at a reasonable cost with a coupon. Everybody saves money and everybody is happy.
The man got the powr but the byrd got the wyng

#227400 - 07/07/11 12:48 PM Re: Sometimes you're buying the sheath [Re: Byrd_Huntr]
Still_Alive Offline
Finally, I am a

Registered: 04/08/08
Posts: 119
Loc: Utah
+1 Byrd Hunter.
“Learning is not compulsory... neither is survival.”
W. Edwards Deming

#227405 - 07/07/11 01:31 PM Re: Sometimes you're buying the sheath [Re: TeacherRO]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3600
Loc: Ontario, Canada
I have a Buck 221 Silver Creek Fixed Blade Bait Knife that I rarely use. Part of it is the size and weight (I'm a folder & saw combo kind girl) and part of it is the sheath. It's a nice sheath except that it doesn't feel secure on my belt. The knife fits snuggly in the sheath but the sheath feels a little too loose on my belt because it doesn't have a closed loop for the belt, but is slip over instead.
Mom & Adventurer

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