Having a sheath to hold your knife and keep it safe is a wonderful thing. These not only allow you to carry your knife wherever you go, but they also protect the steel from the elements.
Unfortunately, not all knives come with sheaths. And it isn’t easy to buy a sheath that fits either since every blade is different.
But there’s no need to worry. Today, we aren’t going to buy a sheath. Instead, I’m going to teach you how to make your very own Kydex sheath.
Why Make a Kydex Sheath?
Before we get into the how, let me first answer the why.
There’s a lot of reasons why making your own Kydex sheath is a great idea. For one, every knife needs a sheath. A sheath will give you so much convenience, and also prolong the life of your knife.
I wouldn’t say that Kydex is better than leather. However, it is a lot cheaper and easier to make a sheath with. It’s so cheap and easy, anyone can make their own Kydex sheath.
The best part? You have almost everything you need to make this in your house! You don’t need to invest in special machines to build one of these.
So how is it done?
What You Need To Craft Your Own Kydex Sheath
To make a Kydex sheath, you will need:
- Kydex sheet: The most important thing. You can get Kydex sheets at knife supply stores. Online stores also have a lot of Kydex sheaths, such as this one: Here
- Kydex press: You don’t need this machine, but it will help you a lot. If you don’t have one, you can create your own using heat-resistant foam, plywood, and clamps.
- Eyelets: You’ll need these to secure your Kydex sheaths together. You could also use rivets, but eyelets look better.
- Eyelet Setter: If you choose to go for eyelets, you’ll need this tool to clamp the eyelets together.
- Hammer: Another tool for clamping those eyelets together.
- Leather Puncher: Or anything you can use to make holes.
With these, you are ready to start making your Kydex sheath.
The 5 Steps To Make a Kydex Sheath?
Again, making a Kydex sheath is a lot easier than you may think. It only takes 5 easy steps to do this.
Step 1: Cut the Kydex
Most Kydex sheets are quite big, bigger than you’ll need. To begin, start by measuring and cutting your sheet.
What I do is cut two pieces of Kydex sheet, then attach them together to form the sheath. So cut two pieces a little bigger than the blade itself. Make sure you add some space for the eyelets as well.
Remember, this is a rough cut. Don’t trim it to the exact size yet. If you do, there’s a chance your cut will end up too small.
Step 2: Heat the Kydex
When you first get ahold of Kydex, you might wonder how you are supposed to shape this. It is a hard material, one that you can’t bend easily.
The secret is to heat it up first. When Kydex is heated, it becomes soft and moldable.
You can use any heat source to soften your Kydex sheet. To do this, I place my Kydex sheets on my electric grill. I leave it there until it softens enough for me to bend it around.
If you have an oven toaster, you can also use this. Place your Kydex sheets in at 250 degrees for ten minutes. After that, it should be floppy. If not, leave it in there longer.
The concept is the same for whatever you have. Just make sure you don’t burn your Kydex in the process!
Step 3: Press the Kydex
While the Kydex is still hot, place it in your Kydex press (or makeshift press). Sandwich your knife in between the two hot pieces of Kydex and press! This will morph the flat sheets into the shape of the knife.
But before you do this, make sure you tape your blade with masking tape first. The tape will give a little breathing room for your knife in the finished product. This way, it’s easy to slip your knife in and out of the sheath.
Also, before you press, make sure the shiny sides of your Kydex sheets are on the inside of the sandwich. Keep the rougher sides on the outside.
Once you press, keep it that way for about 10 minutes. Make sure there is plenty of pressure since you are molding the Kydex. You can put weights on top to do this, or use clamps to hold it shut.
Step 4: Seal the Kydex
Once you open your Kydex press, you’ll find that the Kydex has shapeshifted into a sheath. The two Kydex sheets are now stuck together, but they need to be sealed.
To do this, bore holes around the blade. Take your leather puncher and put holes where you need it. If your knife is short, 5-6 should be enough. For longer knives, add a few more.
Make sure you space these holes evenly. Not only will this look better, but it will also make your Kydex sheath stronger.
Then take your eyelet, eyelet setter, and hammer, and get to work. Work on one eyelet at a time. Remember that the knife should be in the sheath as you do this. Without it, your Kydex may get deformed.
Step 5: Trim the Kydex
Once your Kydex is sealed, all there’s left to do is trim it. If you stop here, you’ll have quite an ugly sheath. So take scissors or a cutter and remove all the excess Kydex.
Trim it until your sheath looks good.
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And there you have it! With those 5 easy steps, you can make your very own Kydex sheath.
You see? It’s a lot easier than most people think. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to find a sheath that fits your knife anymore. Nor do you have to leave your knife out in the open, exposed to all the elements.
All you need is some Kydex and you’re good to go!