Sunday, September 9, 2012

Martin Sheaths: Technical Kydex Sheath

I've used a number of kydex sheaths over the years, and I never really found one that fit my needs or wants. Until I found Martin Sheaths by Martin Swinkels. Martin is a sheath maker from the Netherlands; well known for his innovative kydex/leather hybrid sheaths. He makes sheaths for many well known knives and can make a custom model if you send him your knife.


I was able to get Mr. Swinkels background and what inspired him to become a sheathmaker. Martin stated "I’m ex-military and a mountaineer. I took this background and started building my own sheaths in 2008, and quickly earned a reputation through the internet by successfully mixing kydex and leather together.I turned a full time professional sheathmaker in March 2012. Kydex sheaths also have become a big part of my business. I sell worldwide. I work for knifemakers, webshops, outdoor professionals, collector’s, hobbyists, LEO, Military personal, fire fighters, SAR-teams, and many others and I try to use their feedback as much as possible while constantly improving my sheath designs. I’m a global mod and run a subforum on the freshly launched knife forum  www.Europeanblades.com . I’m also a certified Bladesports competitor".

With Maxpedition single pouch attached

This particular sheath is called the "Technical Kydex Sheath" and was made for my ESEE-4. These sheaths have components that make it the perfect addition to your bushcraft or survival knife. The reason it's called the "Technical Kydex Sheath" is because of the modular parts that can be attached and modified with a screwdriver. The sheath is made from 0.093" kydex and makes it extremely durable. I'll list out a few features of the sheath:

  • Backpiece 0.125” kydex with a beltloop of halftanned leather (the leather is very comfortable, unlike other sheaths that use a kydex belt loop)
  • Modular and works with tek-lok, MOLLE- lok, In-the-waistband loops, paddle, paracord, so every carry option is possible
  • Parts attach with screws, and can be exchanged when the sheaths are in the same size range
  • Doesn't have the restricting eyelets and it can be opened up for cleaning the inside. Only kydex sheath I know that allows for internal cleaning
  • Comfortable formed thumbpush
  • Very strong retention, but easy to draw (I did a shake test and the sheath kept the knife secure)
  • Drainage hole at bottom of the sheath so it doesn't hold water and rust your blade
For my application I added the Kydex backpiece with the halftanned leather belt loop and tek-lok. I did this so that it can be carried vertically and horizontally. With the tek-lok it can also be worn on your pack strap "commando style". I also added the included fire-steel loop (this is also a modular component, that can be removed when not in use). The fire-steel loop accepts the Light My Fire Swedish Army Fire Steel and LMF 2.0 model. The reason why I like this is because if you have your knife you also have fire. 


The sheaths are also compatible with the Maxpedition single pouch sheath. This transforms the sheath into somewhat of a stand alone survival kit. The Maxpedition sheath can hold numerous items. I packed tinder, diamond sharpening stone, a length of paracord, and flashlight. This is beneficial in case you become separated from your main pack, you will have some items that will help aid you in a survival situation.

Prior to receiving the sheath, I viewed Martins work online. I must say that the sheath was better than I had expected. You will be very pleased by his craftsmanship. Just by holding the sheath you will know that it will give you a lifetime of service and it will exceed your expectations. The Technical Kydex Sheath fits the bill for any survivalist or bushcrafter. I must say that I'm happy to have found a home for my ESEE-4. So if your looking for a home for your survival knife, check out www.martinsheaths.com.

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