Get A Perfect Form Fitting Knife Sheath: How To Make A Kydex Sheath

Do you want a Knife Sheath that is impervious to water, rot, and mildew?

Knives are the basis of all BOB, Go-Bags, and the tool of Campers for generations. The use of a knife dates back to before recorded history.

Grandfathers still talk about WWII and only their KA-BAR was the only thing that kept them alive during the war. In fact, many of them still have their issue knives from long ago. Sadly, the sheath that protected and attached it to their gear has not stood the test of time. If you go to a knife or gun show, it is rare to find an old Randall with its original sheath.

Even recent knives from the Vietnam era are hard to come by, where you would take it into the field with the original sheath as well.

However, today you can carry your favorite knife with you in a sheath that possibly will outlast the blade itself.



Via: Flickr.com | dex / Mr. Slender

Thanks to a thermoplastic called Kydex. With a Kydex sheath, your knife is protected from the elements, rust, and it will stay in the sheath and not fall out to be lost.

The latter being the most common calamity to happen to a knife in the wild. One, you can avoid if you replace your old sheath with one made from Kydex and that you created yourself. That is our topic on the table today, making a DIY Kydex Knife Sheath. So let’s start with the first question everyone asks first.


Via: Flickr.com | David_chentw2002

What Is Kydex?


Via: Flickr.com | Notkansas64

Made in America by Sekisui-SPI http://sekisui-spi.com/ in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania it has expanded to a worldwide concern with offices almost anywhere in the world where thermoplastics are needed for virtually any need imaginable.

Kydex is an acrylic-polyvinyl chloride composite that is ideal for use with knife and gun sheaths and holsters with a thickness of .028 to .500 inches.

It has a hardness of 90 on the Rockwell Scale and wouldn't shrink or stretch after it is shaped into its final form via vacuum forming. It was created to be a replacement for leather in most applications.

The Benefits Of Kydex


Via: Flickr.com | Eltimbalerdelbruc

Kydex is everywhere today both for guns as well as knives. In fact, tactical gear has flooded the market replacing leather, canvas, and other materials hands down.

It is scuff resistant and waterproof. Blood, mildew, and rot have no effect on it. Along with that, the acids and oil from your skin have no effect on it as well.

It is flexible, and you can create the perfect customized sheath that molds itself to your contours like silk and is a great deal more rugged.

Most importantly is that it hugs your blade tighter than mother bear holding onto her cub. That means it will stay sheathed until you decide to draw it out without that hampering strap that comes unsnapped when you don't want it too.

Where Do You Get It?

Kydex is simple to obtain on the web. You can find it on Amazon, EBay, and web outlets that supply knife or gun supplies.

Make The Maker First

There are various ways to shape Kydex with the use of vacuum forming being one of the simplest to use. So, the first thing you need to build the machine that makes this possible. The first DIY method shows you how to build an inexpensive Kydex shaper that is cheaper and easier to make than you thought possible.

At $21 dollars, you can build your own Kydex shaping machine for making knife/gun sheaths or holsters.

Making A Sheath With Kydex

Whether you decide to do it from a kit or by DIY by using the cutting your own shape and vacuum forming route here is one of the best step-by-step ways to get the job done.

Here is the whole process from start to finish that gets you your first Kydex Sheath.

In addition to the way, we've linked you to. There are some alternatives ways you can go about it as well:

Hybrid Sheaths

Some Kydex sheath makers combine the endurance of Kydex with the suppleness of leather and that makes for some interesting combinations or hybrid creations using both Kydex and leather. Learning a bit about this expands your repertoire of sheath making skills:

Here is a different take on the idea of hybridizing of the two as well.

Final Thoughts


Via: Flickr.com | Eltimbalerdelbruc

Flexibility, ruggedness, and proof against the elements are what you will get when you encase your knife in Kydex, whether you choose to go with a pure Kydex approach or combining traditional leather with Kydex as well. You can also use vacuum forming or another method. You will end up with a sheath customized to your needs and desires.

Lefties no longer have to feel left out as now they can have a sheath that lets you draw your knife with either hand you use. So, you see using Kydex is cleaner and easier to use than with leather and can be customized in almost as many ways as you can imagine.

So, the next time your favorite knife's sheath is looking like it is going to fall apart. Turn the Kydex and make your own that looks good, lasts longer, and is easy to DIY. If you need any further inspiration, just click to this site to see what is available.

From there you only have to use some of the techniques we have highlighted for you, and soon you will have a Kydex sheath that is better than the original.

Who knows you might turn this from a hobby to a moneymaking business as well.

Tomothy Jackson

I'm Tomothy Jackson, an adventure, survival writer. I want to help readers by sharing my experiences camping, trekking, hiking and fishing. I hope to inspire others to fully explore the depths of their passion.

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