Most fixed blade knives intended to be carried come with a sheath in either plastic/kydex or leather. Sometimes they're pretty good, but many people opt for aftermarket custom sheaths, or make their own. If you carry the same knife all the time, this is a great solution.
If you travel through non-permissive environments and need to acquire or make a knife/implement on arrival... or you need to ditch a tool and procure another... or if carrying an empty sheath molded to look exactly like a knife with no alternate purpose is suspicious... we offer an alternative.
Ed's Manifesto popularized the Victorinox Fruit Knife (with some specific mods) as an inexpensive, easily acquired knife. We have a few and they're very handy. A plastic bottle or bag, a lighter and/or cardboard and tape can make a field-expedient sheath, but what if you don't have the time or privacy for that?
Enter our "universal" sheaths.
Switching between a live blade and trainer, or a blade and an impact tool? Same sheath.
Can only find a weird-shaped paring knife at your destination? It probably fits.
Need to talk your way out of a knife sheath being found on your person? Hey, look, it's my flashlight holder.
Need to swap out a steel bladed knife for a G10/Carbon Fiber non-magnetic one? You don't even need to take the sheath off.
These do NOT work for every single knife out there (duh), but you can hand mold the lining to the contours of anything you put in it to adjust retention.
Basic Universal Sheath - $15
- Constructed of thick scuba webbing + non-stretch rubber wrap. This rubber wrap is NOT innertube... if you try to stretch it it won't spring back to shape. This gives the sheath a slimmer line and structure.
- Rubber wrap has horizontal and vertical slits and a double-side hook/loop strap which can be laced through the slits in either direction for horizontal or vertical belt mounting.
- Nylon cord is included for static line carry. Rubber wrap protects cord in bottom of sheath from the tip of the blade.
- Fits: Victorinox Bird Beak Fruit Knife, CPG Stubby Victorinox Fruit Knife and other similarly sized tools. The scuba webbing can be hand molded to adjust the fit and accommodate other blade/handle shapes, markers, skinny flashlights, trainer knives, etc.
- Basic rule: you want at least part of the handle of your knife to be inside the sheath for proper retention. Anything with a 3" or shorter blade is ideal.
Advanced Universal Belt Sheath - $22
- Constructed of thick scuba webbing inside a Snake Eater Tactical IWB/OWB stretch sheath. This stretch fabric gives stronger retention and more flexibility in what can be carried.
- Integrated double-side hook/loop tabs for IWB or OWB carry.
- Fits: Victorinox Bird Beak Fruit Knife, CPG Fremen, Sentinel Gear Senka, many paring knives, pens, thin flashlights and other similarly sized tools. The scuba webbing can be removed for use as a larger flashlight, go tube or magazine holder. This is a taller sheath and can accommodate more knives, including wider/fatter ones.
- Basic rule: you want at least part of the handle of your knife to be inside the sheath for proper retention. Anything with a 3.5" or shorter blade is ideal.
- Q: Will the tip of my knife go through the bottom of the scuba webbing? A: Only if you push hard. It's thick, tough stuff but it's not accidentally going to happen.
- Q: Can a knife cut through the rubber or stretchy sides of the sheaths? A: Yes, if you don't put the knife in straight. We experimented for about a year with different designs, including one with a kydex insert that protected the sides of the sheath aligned with the blade edge(s). It worked, but also made the sheath much thicker. We poked through the side of one of our test units while training, and it still functioned fine even with a tear. So short answer is yes, but it's an avoidable problem.