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Digital Subscriptions > Knives Illustrated > March/April 2019 > HOME BASE

HOME BASE

PROTECT YOUR INVESTMENT BY ENSURING PROPER SHEATH SELECTION.

One of the most important, yet often overlooked, considerations when purchasing a knife is its primary home: the sheath.

It’s very easy to get wrapped up in the intricacies of the knife itself—with super steels and exotic handles to catch your attention. The sheath, I argue, is an equally important factor.

With so many options to choose from, it is easy to get disoriented and lose track of what to look for. Because your knife will likely spend most of its time in service sheathed at your side, don’t let proper sheath selection become an afterthought.

Here are some basics to point you in the right direction and get you started in selecting the best sheath for your needs.

Natural or Manmade Material?

Sheaths tend to fall into two main categories—leather and synthetic. Synthetic sheaths include Kydex, injection-molded plastic and nylon. Some sheaths, although not nearly as common, are being made from machined metal. Both natural and manmade categories ofer distinct advantages and drawbacks.

Leather sheaths have a very traditional look and can be found at every price point. The least expensive might be made from lightweight leather, untreated leather or minimally finished leather. These sheaths could lack a refined finish or show the marks from the sewing machine foot. Higher-end leather sheaths are often hand stitched, engraved/tooled or feature exotic inlay materials—such as rare snake or ray skins.

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Knives Illustrated March/April 2019, Tactical Brute Hardcore Hardware , Bushcraft Collaboration, Affordable Urban Carry, And More......