Fits Ka-Bar knife with 7-inch blade. Includes no logo, which some users prefer. Nice brown leather.
It may not fit knives that aren't Ka-Bar.
Sewn and riveted; made of thick leather. Good fit for many knives. Fits knives up to 5 inches. Excellent price.
There are a few compromises related to cost, such as dried out leather and questionable fit for some knives.
Good-quality leather. Includes a belt loop. Quality aesthetic and fair to good craftsmanship.
Knives with thicker handles are not likely to fit. Dimensions should always be considered before purchase.
Blade stays secure thanks to embedded magnet. Wood material is solid, attractive Ash. Stylish and functional. Can accommodate various knife lengths, though width shouldn't exceed one inch.
The fit is not customized to a particular knife.
Affordable. If a low price and very basic knife protection are all you need, this could be for you.
The materials used to make it are not as sturdy or durable as some others; it's for people on a tight budget who don't need much in the way of knife protection.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
If you own a fine-quality knife, you need a good knife sheath to protect it. A knife is not useable without the appropriate protective sheath to keep it razor sharp and undamaged. The majority of quality knives come with an inexpensive synthetic factory sheath that protects the blade in shipment. This article isn’t about those sheaths. It’s about the kind of sheath you’d buy separately as a valuable accessory to your knife.
Perhaps you seek a simple belt-loop knife sheath. Perhaps you want an all-purpose accessory designed to carry a flashlight, cell phone, or extra magazines in addition to your knife. Or perhaps you want something in between. Fortunately, the market is full of choices.
There are several important factors to consider before you invest in a knife sheath. Of the two most important considerations - material and carry method - carry method is the most important. We’ll cover that and more in this shopping guide.
Read on to learn more about quality knife sheaths. When you are ready to purchase an aftermarket upgrade, we invite you to peruse our favorite knife sheath choices.
Of course, you’ll want a knife sheath that suits the type of knife you own. There is a multitude of knife types available: survival knives, throwing knives, bowie knives, daggers, machetes, and fillet knives are just a few. Your knife might be 2 inches long, 28 inches long, or somewhere in between. However, most hunting, fishing, and camping knives average from 7 to 14 inches in length.
You’ll want to choose a knife sheath that fits your knife length. Here’s a look at some of the most common materials knife sheaths are made of.
Crafted from a sheath of animal hide (cows, elk, deer, buffalo, alligator) a leather knife sheath is designed to protect the knife as well as the carrier: preventing potentially serious injuries that a sharp, unprotected blade might cause. Durable and long-lasting, leather sheaths are the best fixed blade carrying option. For protection of the blade, leather is hard to beat, and once broken in, a leather sheath assumes an almost custom fit.
A good choice for tactical applications, nylon knife sheaths offer the versatility of Molle (military mounting) with Velcro safety and retention straps. A nylon knife sheath does not retain moisture, cleans easily, and is less expensive than leather. Nylon is also much lighter than leather.
Manufactured from a tough, ridgid material, Kydex sheaths offer the ultimate in protection for fixed-blade knives. Unaffected by the sun, water, heat, and cold, Kydex sheaths are excellent for diving and tactical applications. Some Kydex sheaths offer a grooved exposure point for cutting cordage or belting without exposing the entire knife blade.
As mentioned, one of your most crucial decisions is how you will mount the sheath. Will you use a pack or a belt? Will you mount your knife sheath horizontally. The ultimate goal here is accessibility. You very well may want a knife sheath that can be mounted or carried in a way that makes it readily accessible in case of an emergency.
Some knife sheaths can be secured in a coat pocket or on a waistband belt. Some can be strapped to the outside of a backpack or attached with straps that wrap and secure the sheath to your upper leg, ankle, or torso. Before you buy, consult the product specs to determine how a sheath can be mounted, keeping your preferences in mind.
Does the knife sheath you’re considering create a lot of noise when you remove the blade or when the sheath bounces against other gear? For some knife owners, this is a significant factor. For example, if you carry your knife in the woods when hunting, a quiet knife sheath that does not squeak or otherwise announce your presence is an important consideration.
The best knife sheaths are tough and durable. Examine the knife sheath closure to make sure that it securely holds the knife so that the blade cannot pop out. As mentioned, even high-end knives often come with flimsy sheaths that were designed for shipping purposes only. Don’t settle for this all of the time. The longevity of your blade depends, in large part, on how well you protect it when you’re not using it.
Does the knife sheath you’re considering have additional features that add to its value or usability? For example, some knife sheaths include a compass or extra pockets for storing sharpening stones or fire starters. If you’re a newbie who has never carried a knife before, or if you’re looking for a nice gift with some thoughtful touches, consider a knife sheath that comes with a sharpening stone and/or other helpful accessories.
The price of a knife sheath depends on the material it’s made of, the size of the knife it’s designed to protect, and the quality of craftsmanship. Knife sheaths are like many items we purchase: you get what you pay for.
In the low-to-mid-price range, knife sheaths fabricated from synthetic fiber material or cowhide cost from $5 to $15.
Knife sheaths in the mid-price range, manufactured from quality leather, Kydex, nylon, or another synthetic fiber, sell for $15 to $65.
If you seek a custom knife sheath to display with a valuable collectible knife, expect to pay $65 or more. In fact, it’s not unheard of for a high-end knife sheath to cost $150.
Q. Can a leather knife sheath scratch or dull the knife blade?
A. When purchasing a new leather knife sheath, scrutinize the interior of the sheath. Some manufacturers are not as diligent as they could be, and you may find abrasive grit embedded in the interior of the sheath that will scratch the surface of your blade or dent and dull the blade. Interior grit can also destroy stitching in the sheath.
Q. Do I have to treat the leather on my leather knife sheath?
A. It’s highly recommended. Regular cleaning and conditioning with leather conditioner will help keep your knife sheath soft and flexible. This is a necessary step because, if leather is allowed to dry out and harden, your knife will likely cut your sheath as the leather stiffens.
Q. What is the best way to care for a nylon or Kydex knife sheath?
A. If you choose a nylon or Kydex knife sheath, wash it as required in warm, soapy water, and allow to dry completely before returning your knife to its protective sheath for storage.
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