Aftermarket Carriers For Survivalist Blades

sheath-post8Over the years I have gone through a number of carriers for different tools. Chief among them are my knives. Although the sheaths some knives come with are acceptable, I usually have a problem with them because I am a southpaw, and most knife sheaths are designed for right handers. The durability of some sheath material is a sad joke, but generally speaking, if it is a quality knife, it has a quality sheath.

One of the newer materials used for sheath material is kydex. The first Knife I had come with a kydex sheath was a Cold Steel Recon Tanto (it was actually the second one I had purchased, the first came with a right handed cordura sheath). A feature that I really appreciated about this sheath was that it was reversible, and it was nice having a product designer that thought about 10% of the end users as well as the majority.

There are some really good sheaths out there these day, and they’re not all made out of kydex. Two brands that I’ve use for decades are Eagle and Blackhawk, and both have given me good service. I have use the Eagle sheath made out of heavy duty webbing for 27 years, and it works as well today for the knives I carry in it as it did when I first bought it.


Sheath made by Eagle out of webbing material. Knife is a Buck General

I have used cordura sheaths from both Eagle and Blackhawk that are very similar in design, and they too have done very well in use, and are still being used today. One of the things I really like about that particular sheath design is the pocket in the front that I use to carry a diamond sharpener and a German Army folding knife. Having the ability to carry extra tools or maintenance equipment with the tool is an added bonus in my eyes.


Sheath made by Blackhawk that fits an Air Force issue survival knife I was issued in 1989.  I’ve used this design sheath for a number of other knives that I have.


Two recent purchases I’ve made in the “Aftermarket Carrier” category are for my Ontario Raider knife, and my Cold Steel Spetsnaz Shovel. The Ontario Raider came with a sheath that while probably durable, was not designed for getting the knife out quickly, and it was not ambidextrous. The Sheath Cold Steel designed for the Spetsnaz Shovel was well made, but very spartan, and I found a carrier that worked better for not only attaching it to a rucksack, but for carrying maintenance equipment as well.



Cleveland Kydex Co. sheath on the left of the Ontario Raider, the original OEM sheath that came with the knife on the right.


Elastic retention strap in the closed position



Elastic retention strap in the open position


The sheath I purchased for the Raider knife was from the Cleveland Kydex Company and is what they term the “traditional” style with eyelet rivets on both side of the blade. I also purchased the Molle Lok attachments to replace the standard belt loops that come with the sheath. I purchased mine in OD green because I planned on painting it myself. All in all, it is a quality sheath and I like that it is ambidextrous and quicker to get out than the original factory sheath.


Belt loops that come with the CKC sheath


Large Molle Lok sheath attachment purchased as an extra. These attachment points give me more ways to mount the knife to gear.

It is retained by the fit of the kydex, but I have also put a piece of bungee on it, just to make sure. At $50 it might seem expensive for a $60 knife, but I can tell you that how you are able to carry your knife, your ability to deploy it rapidly if need be, the durability of the sheath, and the sheath’s ability to retain the knife under all kinds of activities makes it worth the cost.


Spetsnaz Shovel with it’s new Marbles carrier on the left and the carrier available from Cold Steel on the right.

The second tool sheath I recently acquired was a carrier for my Spetsnaz Shovel made by Marbles. I didn’t have a problem with the sheath originally manufactured for the shovel, but when I found the Marbles model, I decided to buy it because it had a better retention system and had the ability to carry a sharpening stone (included) as well as other small tools if need be. At $14 it was a pretty good deal, in my estimation. So far both sheath and carrier have worked out fine, and I’m sure time will prove they were a good investment.


Here’s a good pic of the sharpening stone that comes with the Marbles carrier.

I’m not saying you should go out and buy unnecessary gear, but if you have a need that something isn’t addressing, by all means address it. For instance, I have been carrying the CS Recon Tanto in the same position on my gear in the factory kydex sheath for at least 13 years. The pic at the top of the post was taken in 2005, and I still carry it that way today because the factory sheath gave me the options (the eyelet slots on the edge of the sheath) I needed to carry it effectively.



American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE



7 thoughts on “Aftermarket Carriers For Survivalist Blades

  1. I’m saving up my $$ to get a decent sheath for an Ontario Knife Co. SP-1 knife.
    I spent a considerable amount of time re-sharpening the knife to my standards-I know it’s a relatively inexpensive knife,but it’s a great knife-as long as you put an edge on it that can be re-sharpened in the field.
    The sheath that comes with the knife sucks.
    So… I’m gonna spend a bit over $100.00 for a “real” sheath.
    Leather with pouch for sharpening stone.
    Not just any stone-stone was custom made for me by a guy who works in same machine shop as my brother. It’s just a piece of stainless steel with industrial diamonds embeded in it , market beats any sharpener currently on the market. It’s a 4 sided diamond sharpener/ hone.
    I like the knife better than my Ka-bar.

    • Game,really like the sheaths hedgehog leather works makes(saw and checked one out in person),but,the price tag too rich for me blood at least at moment,you are lucky to know a local leather crafts person.

      On a side note,JD,10 % of country is a lefty?!Wow,this country is in worse shape then I realized!

        • A proven fact eh?I am sure this was presented at the left hand convention/ symposium.Me mum is a lefty,something am reminded of when she cuffs me for saying something stupid around her!I had a girlfriend who was a lefty,about 2 months into relationship lefties came up and started in on me lefty comments while she just smiled away.I did not at moment realize was the smile a cat has as it readies to pounce on a door mouse and went on blabbering away.She then demonstrated writing her signature(something had never seen till then),eh,shut me up(and was shut off) for a period of time!

          The hedgehog craftsmanship was so nice to a point would almost feel guilty about using it for designed purposes,also,in numbers only makes em for a few specific knives but suppose they would custom one you sent the knife in.I have no problem paying for good quality but me budget only allows so many good quality items.The world holds together long enuff do have a Ontario that I really like and perhaps,one day will get the sheath for it,good luck with your custom build.

  2. If you are looking for a heavy duty leather sheath for your knives, check out the models offered by Savage Sheaths. Heavy duty well made sheaths, and he will work with the owner if you want some custom ideas incorporated them.

    I have the factory Cold Steel shovel sheath and have no issues with it. But the pocket sure does appear handy to have – my Landsky ‘Puck’ sharpener has to be included somewhere and it really should be there in sheath. I’ll check out the Marbles design.

    Thank you for the article.

  3. Pingback: MDT: After-Market Carriers For Survivalist Blades | Western Rifle Shooters Association

  4. Endless Mountain Supply Inc, in Nevada. Check them out

    I’ve ordered both knife and tomahawk sheaths from Dave Pickel, owner and craftsman. He’s made sheaths for knives that he normally doesn’t work with, and they have been solid. I love his sheaths because they allow one-handed re-sheathing … true no look.

    You will not be disappointed

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