When I started this project 3 months ago I never thought the sheath design was going to be as complex as it has been. It is just a sheath I told myself. All it needs to do is cover the blade. Boy was I wrong.
I started with a simple sewed piece of kevlar. This provided very little protection, didn't look great, and wouldn't stay on. It really was more of a place holder until I got something better. Next, I tried Kydex. Kydex is a fantastic material and people use it all the time for knives. It seemed like an easy win. A little research and an Amazon purchase later I had all the equipment I needed. It is actually really cool stuff and super easy to work with, but the problem I kept running into was I couldn't make it minimal. All attempts at a Kydex sheath led to something significantly larger than the knife itself which goes against the main goal of this project, an EDC friendly fixed blade.
So I wanted something small, simple, economical, but effective. If only I had the tools to do so...well, it turns out I do. CAD and 3D printing. This was a great solution but the design was more difficult than I expected. My initial attempt was to use magnets to keep the blade in the sheath. After a few iterations, I got something functional and would hold during normal use. I thought I was good until I did the jumping jack test. The knife flew out of the sheath and thankfully landed safely on the carpet. Turns out magnets are not the best idea.
Time to pivot to a new design. One of the things that make my knife so unique also is a great way for retention. I have a giant hole in the center that I can clip the sheath on to. Its simple, minimal, and effective. Bingo we have a winner. I have played with the design to get the knife to fit well and open one-handed. The sheath can also be designed to make sure the edge doesn't touch the plastic. I still plan a few additional small tweaks but really happy with how it works. Even better is since I am 3D printing the sheath I can make the lanyard hole sideways so the knife sits flat during neck carry. It's all about the little things.
It has been a long time in the making but everything is just about done with my knife, The Index. I will be opening preorders on Friday 4/3/2020.