"Best" sheath -however you define it

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Shorttime, Sep 25, 2020.

  1. Shorttime


    Oct 16, 2011
    I've been slowing down with the knife purchases, over the years, but that doesn't stop me from window shopping.

    I've been thinking that a fixed blade is something I should have, and I've been looking at the usual sources: ESEE, Ontario, Becker, and our friend FortyTwoBlades (I'm not going to tag him; I've pestered him enough, in the past!).

    To tell the truth, I have a couple fixed blades that serve the purpose, so here's the reason I'm posting:

    A fixed blade is only as good as it's "carry rig" (sorry! I couldn't resist!)!

    So what I want your opinions on is not the "best" fixed blade knife, I want your opinions on the "best" fixed blade sheath. You know, like the title of the thread gives away.

    "Best" can be whatever criteria you think it should be. This is the internet, and we're all wrong about something.

    Postscript: Budget is $150, the sheath that comes with it from the maker, and I don't intend to cut cinder blocks or covertly de-animate any opposition operators. In case those are important pieces of information.
  2. Smiling


    Nov 21, 2019
    Kydex since it won't boost corrosion like leather.
    No rattle.
    Multiple mounting options.
    Decent retention or strap added to it.
  3. eveled

    eveled Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 11, 2016
    Find the knife you like then find a custom sheath maker. To make what you want, or possibly a couple different styles.
    ironmike86, Alberta Ed and Shorttime like this.
  4. RayseM

    RayseM Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 18, 2010
    Buy your blade and then send it to a good sheath maker. Nothing like having your blade fitted.
    Has taken me a long time to settle into the perfect sheath and so your preference won't likely be mine. Having said that:

    • I prefer leather over kydex every time. It's a touchy feely thing but also I like a quiet sheath and kydex makes noise in my experience. Rather have ballistic nylon to kydex.
    • I prefer relatively unstylized sheaths - no basket weaves or fancy colors.
    • I like danglers but not all danglers are equal. Minimal hardware. 1/2" or 3/8"wide loop. Loose enough to move but no so loose that it is always dancing. My favorite these days is a dangler that was pinned to the sheath with a rivet. This moves to where I need it to be and so can be carried vertically or nearly horizontal with all points in-between. Thought it might be odd not having a loose dangle but this pinned one is the best, as it stays where I put it until I need to move it again.
    • I prefer that with a fixed belt loop that the loop is ticked on in such a way as to lean the blade forward on my belt. Not much - maybe 10°. I find this better than direct vertical - more natural to draw the knife when it is already leaned forward a bit.
    • Mostly don't care for horizontal options.
    • 8" or longer blade and I want a baldric carry option a long with conventional the belt loop.

    Can't think of more to add so I'll sign off. I'm sure you will receive lots of opinions. Good luck sorting it out. For a few examples of the sheaths preferences I mention LOOK HERE.

    AND - $ 150.00 should buy you a really fine sheath. That's the high side for a normal length knife sheath without all kinds of embellishments or features.
    mendezj and Shorttime like this.
  5. Dadpool

    Dadpool Gold Member Gold Member

    May 18, 2015
    I only buy kydex (and its analogs, like Boltaron) and nylon sheaths. I usually pair them with Tek-Loks or Pull-the-DOT straps.

    Busse knives don't come with sheaths, but my favorite sheath overall is the Buy Brown kydex number for my SHE2. Fantastic in every way.

    If you're only looking for knives that come with a good sheath, full stop (I'm not totally clear on that from your post), then one of the only factory sheaths I've ever actually liked is the one that came with my White River Backpacker Pro. It's excellent.

    Buy Brown sheaths are well under your budget, and @David Brown is a fantastic BF-supporting maker. The Backpacker (with sheath) is also under your budget.

    Busse SHE2 in Buy Brown kydex

    White River Backpacker Pro
    Shorttime likes this.
  6. AntDog

    AntDog Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Apr 3, 2001
    For smaller fixed blades my preference is either a leather (with good retention) horizontal scout carry sheath at about 5-6 o’clock or a canted reverse draw strong side at around 2 o’clock.

    For mid length fixed blades I prefer Azwelke kydex, strong side, 3 o’clock, set up high ride with a tek lock or Spyderco G clip. For larger fixed blades I prefer low ride, same position. I don’t ever use danglers. I hate stuff flopping around slapping my leg.
  7. lieferung


    May 24, 2016
    I really like that first knife shown in your link. Really cool design.

    What is "baldric carry"?
  8. RayseM

    RayseM Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 18, 2010
    Thanks. I bought the blade without the handle and the put on my own. The sheath for that knife has the dangler pinned with a rivet. Love this set up.

    As for BALDRIC - my understanding is that it is a sheath carry system that uses a shoulder strap or a harness of some sort so that the blade or axe or whatever is carried on the torso rather than off the belt. As you can see in the link the Siegel knife sheath has a couple of D rings stitched on to which I attach a shoulder strap.
  9. studio


    Jan 14, 2007
    Best sheath for me is one that is either high enough or low enough that if im sitting/ crouching I don't have to push it around or have it catch on something.
  10. Alberta Ed

    Alberta Ed

    Jun 29, 1999
    I prefer leather sheathes, most of which I make myself using the originals as a pattern. The best leather sheathes I have came from Marble's (when Mike Stewart was there) but even those I took apart, waterproofed with SnowSeal and re-stitched with heavy duty waxed nylon thread using a saddle stitch. Most often though I carry my FB in a daypack -- the waist straps make belt carry awkward and it's still readily accessible. Mors Kochanski preferred neck carry. North American aboriginal people favored neck carry from what I can gather (pockets being rare).
    jfk1110 likes this.
  11. Shorttime


    Oct 16, 2011
    I'm just checking to make sure I understand the consensus.

    If you're enough of a knife knut to be here, it's pretty hard to find a factory sheath that works. So choose a knife, then find somebody to make a rig to your specs.

    Which is sort of what I thought. Confirmation bias, maybe?

    So, the next question: who is your go-to for knife sheaths? Inform me.
  12. BitingSarcasm


    Feb 25, 2014
    If you wear a belt, the best small fixed blade sheathes come from forum member horsewright. He makes knives for cowboys, and his rigs keep blades secure yet available for use on and off horse. That’s tougher use than most off-the-shelf sheathes see.

    Where I live a concealed fixed blade is a felony, and I don’t want an untucked shirt leading to jail time. My solution is to make leather sheathes with danglers. @Shorttime If I couldn’t make my own I would commission horsewright.
    Shorttime likes this.
  13. Skidoosh

    Skidoosh Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 21, 2016
    I'd take the $150 invest in a press and do some kydex work yourself.
  14. gazz98

    gazz98 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 3, 2008
    I'm generally prefer kydex over leather too.

    I don't need anything too fancy. The sheath on my Gerber Strongarm is still one of the better sheaths that I've had. Especially since I bought mine at under $50 a few years ago.
  15. eveled

    eveled Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 11, 2016
    38390CEA-DB98-48CE-AE0E-EEBA40673EEA.jpeg 03CE48AA-3399-4205-8AF0-2C70A41ADB9E.jpeg
    As far as off the shelf sheaths go. These are my go to ones. 7” KA-BAR, 6,5&4 inch triple K. Most all my knives fit good in one of these 4 sheaths.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2020
  16. vjb.knife

    vjb.knife Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 2, 2002
    For me it depends on the knife and the use. I like top quality leather and Kydex. I think like knives they each have their advantages and disadvantages.




    That is except for bakelite.

    Maybe not so much wood either - looks very cool but maybe not that practical.
    jfk1110 likes this.
  17. mendezj

    mendezj Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 24, 1998
    I like a leather pouch sheath, plain vanilla. You can have one made (preferable), I just bought two from JouFuu for two CPK knives. Or you can find good ones already made online.
  18. jideta

    jideta Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 8, 2020
    I prefer leather as kydex sometimes can scratch a blade.
    These are the three sheaths I use the most:


    Top is clip on horizontal.
    Middle is clip on high ride vertical.
    Bottom is horizontal left/right.
    The bottom design I've also done in a vertical/horizontal version (gave to brother).
    The sheaths are squared off because I usually carry Wharncliffes but once in while regular blades so the sheaths are fairly universal.
    Also, the vertical sheath, if my shirt rides up, is not automatically identified as a knife sheath.
    All are friction retention.
    I gotta admit I ended up with this design because they are really easy to make!
    I'm a minimalist and World Champion Lazy Person.
    When I order a knife I just tell the maker I don't need the leather (some of them make fantastic sheaths by the way!) and to keep the kydex.
    I realized fairly early on that I needed to make my own sheath if I wanted to go fixed.
    You can make simple sheaths for less than $25 if starting from scratch.
  19. AntDog

    AntDog Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Apr 3, 2001
    Al Welke for kydex. Snap tight, fit right, no rattle, no GD scratches. No other kydex maker I’ve tried even comes close.

    For leather Kenny Rowe, @Makael, Patriot Leather (might wanna check the GBU thread on that one though), or I use my local guy who’s shockingly good. He works pretty cheap and does damn good work. I can hook you up with contact info if you want.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2020
    jfk1110, RayseM and Shorttime like this.
  20. Old Biker

    Old Biker

    Sep 25, 2016
    Anyone listed in this thread, if they are making the style of sheath you are looking for. Most of them specialize in one or more styles of sheaths. But from the pictures, I have seen, they all are good. So read their descriptions of the kind of work they do. Pick the one or ones, that fit the way you want to carry your knife, and go from there.

    Shorttime likes this.

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