The Ultimate Sheath Making Guide

Peter Stec
March 11, 2021

What is better: Leather or Kydex? This is a question asked by people who are looking to buy a knife sheath for their treasured piece of blade craftsmanship. Because the blade plays a crucial role in improving your knife’s style and functionality, this choice must never be taken lightly. What are the different advantages and disadvantages of both leather and kydex? And what is better, buying a knife sheath outside or just making your own? All you need to know about sheath making would be explained in the next paragraphs.

Leather Benefits

Great sheaths add value to a knife.

Leather is the traditional material of choice when it comes to knife sheaths. It’s because of this tradition why it still receives very robust support from the knife enthusiast community. Even though this material is being used for sheaths even during the early days of civilization, it has advantages that make it a very plausible option even up to this day. Because of the way they are crafted and assembled, leather sheaths are usually more durable and secure. It’s also guaranteed to be very comfortable to wear regardless of outfit. Last but not least, leather sheaths are definitely more attractive than their kydex counterparts.

Kydex Benefits

But there’s a reason why kydex is fast becoming the material of choice in sheath making. First, because this material can be contoured according to the individual dimensions of the blade, a custom fit can be created, essential for weapon-type knives such as hunting and tactical knives. Also, one major advantage kydex has is the fact that it’s waterproof. Those who have used leather sheaths know that one of the worst tendencies of leather is shrinking or warping when exposed to moisture. Last but not least, kydex as a material is less expensive to acquire than leather. As such, one can expect kydex sheaths to be much more affordable to purchase or construct.

Making vs Buying

Now that both materials used for sheath making are properly detailed, the next issue to deal with is determining the best option available in acquiring a knife sheath. There are 2 ways people can acquire a knife sheath. They can either purchase one somewhere, or they can proceed in making their own. Each of these options has their own virtues, and these virtues would be explained in the following paragraphs.

Benefits of Buying

First, one can buy a sheath from either a store or a sheath maker. There are many reasons why this option is considered a good one. First, it offers a great level of convenience for the weapon enthusiast who may not have enough time to construct his/her own sheath. Second, provided that you don’t purchase a lemon and you purchase these sheaths from the right people, you’re assured of a high-quality product that can match and even exceed your expectations. Third, some of these sheaths can be sought-after works by a specific brand or artist. Having one yourself can boost a knife enthusiast’s “street cred”.

Benefits of Making

But there are also virtues with going “in-house” when it comes to sheath making. First, making your own knife sheath is the most affordable option around. All you need is some materials, some tools, and a little bit of elbow grease. Second, it allows for a fully customized fit. A lot of sheaths being sold are not tailor-made for your knife, making fit and stability, among other important characteristics, a hit-or-miss proposition. By making your own sheath, you’re assured of a perfect fit. Third, there’s the satisfaction of knowing you made your own knife sheath. It can be a satisfying feeling, especially if you did the sheath making process the right way, all the way.


If you are interested to learn more about knife sheath making, you can learn how to make a kydex sheath or how to make a leather sheath with the KnifeUp guides. KnifeUp also have really interesting machete, survival knife, and female pocket knife guides.

About The Author
Hey Knife Up gang! I'm Pete, and I'm just another man like you in a small rural town who loves the outdoors as much as the other million internet users that cruise sites like every day. The difference is that I like to share what I know and research what I don't totally know so that YOU can have all the info you need to feel confident and prepared for all things outdoors-related! And, for those who care, I have 42 years of wilderness canoeing and bushcraft experience in Northern Ontario and spend most of my Summers covered in mosquitos and fish slime, but hey, it's a lifestyle choice, eh?

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