Re: ? on Kydex-stype sheaths
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2006, 10:29:08 PM »
Thanks for the HeadZup and I'll try to answer some questions for you...
Q: Do Kydex sheaths stretch over time?
Generally no, kydex doesn't stretch much or at all, under normal conditions...
What they do, do though is sometimes they will have a break in period, where the sheath is getting use to the tool, things smoothen out inside or break in and the fit gets cleaner or softer.
Heat is the big enemy to kydex sheaths of any type. Heat will distort, warp, and basically destroy the sometimes very fragile balance of a custom fit or tuned sheath. The dash board of a car in Aug in Arizona for instance, isn't a real good place ffor a kydex sheath, or much else for that matter,, so some care needs to be taken when storing it, depending on the area you live..
I've had one sheath in particular do two tours in Iraq already, with nothing more than a clean up and a lube..Other than having the living crap scuffed out of it, the eyelets polished back to brass, there wasn't anything wrong with it at all.
What can also happen to a sheath is that the item can actually wear out the sheath.. Something with sharp edges,, like the plunge line on a knife,, if not treated properly,, will eat it's way out of a sheath, and the fit will become lost.. Sharp edges like plunge lines are a Huge enemy to kydex sheaths..
Canadian Knife maker Jeff Diotte, who was one of the first to get me started with kydexu se to grind his plunge lines, nice and sharp and square.. Sheathing his knives was a PITA, until I showed him what the plunge lines were doing to the sheaths..
He ramped his plunge lines, softened and polished all the edges,, and now his knives fit into the sheaths with a beautif "click"
Imagine sheathing a Big old wood rasp!
Q:How do they retain the item so well, even without a flap or other secondary retention device, so the item doesn't fall out?
Well this Really all depends on the item that is being held in place..
I'll use your two examples above..
The Leatherman is gentle held on all four sides in the right spots. The friction of the plastic tightly moulded around the tool holds it in place..
The ARC AAA is a similar, however in this case, you also have to contend with some pretty aggressive knurling, something Peter and I discussed when he first started making the ARC AAA..
A Knife for instance.. Some other makers use the friction of the knife blade itself to hold the knife in it's sheath, and sometimes this is needed, however I prefer to use the handle as much as possible, and onlt a little bit of the tip to cut down on rattling.
Everythnig is held in similar ways, except each tool, or item has it's own unique characteristics, likes, dislikes and quirks. Each of these items must then be treated differently, while maintaining a Very fine balancing act between fitting too tight, or falling out.
Q:Is a Kydex sheath lighter than a nylon sheath of the same size?
I haven't actually weighed two different types of sheaths, however I believe there isn't much significant difference between the two..That is of course of the Nylon sheath has a plastic or kydex liner..
I hope I have answered your questions for you..PLease feel free to email me if you hve any more..
Eric E. Noeldechen