So, to be honest, this is my 2nd attempt at a kydex sheath. I’m very good at making quality leather sheaths, mostly because I’ve made dozens of them. I’ve made hundreds of “perfection” Foxy Tucks; and I’m very happy with the fit & function of Kydex/leather holsters (and so are hundreds of customers). BUT, I don’t have a lot of mileage with Kydex Sheaths. 

Kydex is quicker, easier and less expensive than leather.  Kydex also has the advantage of not retaining water which in the field could rust your high-carbon blades.

This awesome knife came with a horrible sheath:
KNIFE: TOPS Steel Eagle 107C, 1095 High Carbon Alloy RC-58


Making a kydex sheath is quite EASY.  However, attaching that Kydex shell to a backer in an “ideal” way is often difficult because the screws or other fasteners used to attach the shell to the backer might catch/rub on the blade and/or handle.  I do want to make an attachment system out of leather; likely on my next project.

My idea was to take the junky sheath that came with the knife and cut off the part behind which you insert the blade; then use the remaining part of the original sheath as a backer for a Kydex shell.


1) If your blade has a saw on it, use file-folder cardboard to cover the saw. Otherwise it’ll be too tight and the saw will cut into the kydex.
Make sure you get the perfect blade gap. I believe this is achieved when you can wobble the blade inside the sheath.  If you have an esee blade, try wobbling it inside the sheath and see how much blade-space there is.

2) Make sure you have 3 layers of painters tape to add a needed gap between the blade and sheath. I like painters tape, because it doesn’t leave a residue. You do NOT want the retention on the blade, it binds, has too much drag, and could wear your blade…or at least impact the finish.

Taping to add blade gap in sheath (CRITICAL!)

3) Use a hot screw driver or back-of-drill-bit to punch through nylon so it doesn’t fray/rip. Careful not to damage the hardness of your drill bit that cuts, that is why I used the back-end of the drill bit….in fact, I used an old drill bit..just in case it affected the temper of the drill bit steel. I used a propane torch to heat up the drill bit to punch through the nylon.

Heating drill bit to punch holes in nylon backer

4) Do you really need to spend a lot of time measuring and marking straight lines? Perhaps.  I cut the kydex to fit the nylon…after all that precise measuring 😉 The lines helped a lot for putting in the eye-lets.
5) I’m using my holster making screws (Chicago screws) to put the kydex on the nylon. This is a small fortune in screws…but it’s worth it. (About $7 in screws)

6) I used a rubber washer for retention; so I could get the perfect retention…I want the blade to be vertical upside down…over my heart.  1/4″ of very hardened steel could provide “some protection”.

In fact, this sheath has molle on the reverse side; so I should be able to attach it upside down to a Load Bearing Equipment (LBE) vest (chest rig), pack, or even run it horizontal on a belt.

7) You need to consider the “drop” for a large blade. Otherwise, you may need to lean to the side in order to “present the knife”. For mine, if worn on the hip, the drop is perfect for this size knife! But, you MUST have the leg strap in order to draw the knife one-handed…the nylon has too much flex in it otherwise.


Yeah, I think I could get into making custom sheaths. But I don’t know how much to charge given the time it takes to make one of these.
Looking back at time & materials…this sheath “cost” as much as the knife
BUT, I learned a ton. I think I can do the next one in half the time…the one after that, in half-that-time.
Now…I need to find something to give this knife some good character… like some good old fashion field-wear

Finished Kydex Sheath next to cousin (ESEE 4 EDC IWB)

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