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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Many factory produced and even "High Dollar" custom made knives are furnished with totally awful and worthless knife sheaths.
Many custom "High Dollar" knife makers want to concentrate all of their skills and effort into making fine knives & their "supplied sheaths" are almost a cheap afterthought. Sometimes you don't even get a sheath!
Good quality factory & mass produced knives are usually furnished with sheaths that are far worse yet.
The main & primary function of any fixed~blade knife sheath should be to ALWAYS offer maximum, absolute protection to the wearer. A razor sharp blade that easily cuts through the sheath in the event of a slip in the woods, a trip over a root ~ or a tumble down a hillside will be potentially deadly to the wearer. A severed artery out in the middle of nowhere is not a good thing!
The sheath needs to be HEAVY STIFF leather or properly constructed (and closely riveted) Kydex.
Leather sheaths should always have a thick, dense, leather welt and the keen edge of the blade should fit close & tight against that welt. The blade point should also not really be able to move anywhere inside the sheath. All layers of construction should be cemented in addition to being saddle stitched.
Avoid leather knife sheaths that are just folded over and quick machined stitched. It is dangerous not to have a welt to prevent the blade edge from cutting right through the sheath.
Leather fixed~blade knife sheaths should always be "paste~waxed" for weather protection & not oiled with mink oil or neatsfoot oil etc. You'll want your fixed~blade knife sheath to remain as stiff as possible and you'll not want it to soften up or become floppy.
Do not use any solvent type leather cleaners or oils that will soak into the leather and degrade the construction cement.
Avoid sloppy fitting fixed~blade stitched canvas or plain stitched cheapo ballistic nylon. A razor honed edge can slice right through a nylon sheath & still have enough energy left over to do you serious bodily injury.
As much as I love fine leather...Kydex is an excellent knife sheath material if there is SOLID retention of the fixed~blade knife.

Folding knive belt sheaths or "knife carriers" are far less critical since there is no exposed, deadly blade.
They should provide decently quick emergency access and provide retention that is positive enough to prevent falling out "bump & bang" damage to your valuable knife and the inadvertent loss of that knife.
There are some VERY GOOD custom sheath makers "out there" and (hopefully) you'll now be able to spot the really good ones with some of this information.
I do not make sheaths for the general public...only for myself ~ for display at the leathercraft shows & occasionally/sporadically for one fantastic custom knife maker who needs to remain nameless.
If you own a knife that you absolutely LOVE then it's well worth the money to have a special, custom sheath "made up" for it.
 

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QKShooter- I gotta agree with your summation of the quality of knife sheaths out there....darn pitty, the knife makers don't put as much thought into some of those sheaths as they do their knives. I've only made one...for the bowie I made while deployed overseas eons ago...made it from a worn out pair of dingo boots....it still looks like the day I stitched it together.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Prospector

I agree...some damn poor knife sheaths being made for some very nice custom knives.
Can't really blame the knife makers (I guess) ~ they love making knives & not sheaths!
You picked a good forum name for yourself. You have that great "Pioneer Spirit"
Use What You Have To Make What You Need! :smile:
 

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Cold Steel makes a large bushman knife. this blade is wicked sharp. A co worker of my GF's demostrated this by putting this knife into and thru the side of the supplied leather sheath and (partially) thru her hand. i prefer kydex or plastic sheaths for my fixed blade knives. I have read this is a big concern for those who hunt from horseback too, as they fall off and land on their knives occasionally. Cheap sheath goes right thru. not fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I Like The Cold Steel Knives

Oh ~ I forgot about horseback also.
I'm from Pittsburgh...not too many horses left around here!
Cold Steel ~ They are good working knives.
I am just finishing up working on a large sheath for a big, older, Gryphon knife.
Maybe I'll post that sheath photo this evening.
You can see one of my super~duper~knife~sheaths.
This one has a nice Cobra Skin inlay. :biggrin:
 

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I bought a cold steel talon spike (or was that Spike talon?) it looks nice and was sharp out of the box, but the edge geometry is all wrong. It is impractical for anything other than a defensive knife. I have read a lot of positive comments about cols steel, but sadly I feel that the quality could have been a lot better. The sheath is kinda nice, as the knife snaps in and out of it. However it is terribly uncomfortable to try and carry on a belt or in a boot or on a neck chain.... you get the picture.

I will not be buying another one of their taiwan wonders anytime soon.

On a second note I just had a knife made for me by Anza knives in CA. When it comes in I intend to measure the blade and draw it up in Autocad. I was planning on using that as a basis for a nice leather sheath. I have a friend who can laser cut stuff to +/- .005 inch tolerances. Will probably go ahead and draw the bolster, belt loop etc and include the wholes for the stitches and rivets.

If it turns out well I would be happy to do the same for others on this board.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Cold Steel

I've only ever bought their large knives.
I bought a few of their Trailmaster Bowie Knives to give as X~mas gifts.
I kept one & it is a good, durable, camp & chopping knife.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
clipse

Thanks for the link clipse!
Look like good utilitarian Kydex
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Promised Sheath Photo

Again...Sorry...another terrible day in Pittsburgh for outdoor photos.
I still need dye the back ~ the top & fringe & add the retention strap.
Aside from that it's done. It's a lot bigger than it looks in the pics being about 14" in height not counting the fringe.
 

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Nice work, QK. I have a lot of hand leatherworking equipment and leather I bought to make some "stuff" but have procrastinated now for going on 5 years, I guess because I won't be good at it, lol. A smarter man would have come to that conclusion before he bought everything. :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks Bumper

Well, that is better than me.
I actually spend so many hours making each one that "hourly" I'm earning about minimum wage...doing custom knife sheaths. :wink:
 

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Yeah, but you have the personal satisfaction of having made something that someone will appreciate.... :wink:
 
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