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Preview – Working With Kydex

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Kydex was originally a low-cost alternative to custom-leather holsters. Several companies were established to make custom holsters that were handmade. In general, many Kydex holster manufacturers do great work, but at times, their designs will not fit all of their client’s needs. Promotion by popular firearm instructors can drive up the waiting times and costs of custom-made holsters as well.

Kydex is a thermoplastic acrylicpolyvinyl chloride alloy that is manufactured in sheets exclusively by Kydex, LLC. Originally developed for aviation interiors, this strong, malleable material became the industry’s darling for knife sheaths and firearm holsters. Because Kydex is a thermoplastic, heat is used to form the material, and if done properly, will allow a secure ft for the intended piece of gear.

This is where I started my quest to make my own holsters out of Kydex. Due to my law-enforcement background, I have been carrying a firearm for over 20 years and have four large drawers full of custom-leather and Kydex rigs. What I found was that the latest and so-called greatest designs will not ft everyone’s unique lifestyle. In my opinion, the holster has to be made to fit the individual—just as you should have a new suit custom fitted instead of just picking one up off the rack at a department store.

Because making a holster for a gun is one of the more challenging things to do with Kydex, we use it as an example in the following steps. Learn to do this, and you should be able to make any pouch or holster you’ll ever need. The great thing about learning how to form Kydex is that you can finally make that holster for your one-of-a-kind handmade knife, trusty flashlight, mobile phone, or even that ninja katana you bought at the gun show.

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