Leather sheaths have been around for ages and usage is pretty self-explanatory. Kydex is a relatively new material, stronger and more water-resistant than leather. It doesn't rot or mold and you don't usually need a strap to retain the blade. Because of the extra durability and tight custom fit, drawing and sheathing in Kydex is done a little differently. Here are a few tips and tricks to make the most of your custom Kydex sheath.
DRAWING A KNIFE FROM A KYDEX SHEATH.
With your fingers and thumb, pinch the bottom rivet (beneath the tip of the knife) or grasp a lanyard threaded through the bottom rivet. With your other hand, grasp the knife handle in forward grip with the sharp edge of the blade facing AWAY from you.. Give it a firm, controlled tug to release the blade. You should hear a “snap” when the blade releases.
Alternatively, if you are wearing the blade with a belt through the loop, you can simply grasp the knife handle in either forward or reverse grip. Give it a firm, controlled tug while making sure you are drawing it AWAY from your body and keeping all limbs out of the way.
Do not grasp the Kydex sheath with your palm around the blade.. This can make it difficult to draw the knife because it puts pressure in the wrong places. We make our sheaths with the sharp edge facing toward the rivets Our sheaths for double-edged blades usually have rivets on both sides because we believe it provides better protection than facing the sharp part against a fold in the Kydex.
SHEATHING A KNIFE IN KYDEX
Make sure the blade as well as the opening and inside of the sheath are clean and free of dust and debris. Even a little bit of dust can create scratches on the blade when sheathing in Kydex. This leads people to erroneously believe that Kydex can scratch your steel. Leather is soft so small amounts of dirt can sink into it instead of rubbing against the steel. Kydex is tough material and provides good protection so it's important that everything is clean when sheathing. We use Tuf-Cloth on all of our blades. Sheaths can be cleaned with warm soapy water, just make sure it is completely dry on the inside before sheathing.
Line up the tip of the blade with the center of the opening of the sheath. Make sure you are putting it in the right direction, with the sharp part facing the rivets. Do not try to put a different model of knife into your custom sheath. Each sheath is molded specifically for each model.
Slide the knife in gently and smoothly until it stops, then push it in the rest of the way. You should hear a “click” and feel it snap into place. We mold our sheaths to provide a snug “lock-up” while maintaining the ability to draw easily and quickly.
Below is a short video of what our Kydex sheaths sound like. The steel doesn't rub against the inside of the sheath and it locks in with a snap. Some blades, such as push daggers, do not lock in well and are prone to accidental draws. These require an added "thumb-break" to lock the blade into the sheath which can be disengaged with a finger upon drawing.