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Thread: Kydex or Concealex?

  1. #1
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    Kydex or Concealex?


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    I'm often asked what the difference is. They are two different plastics. Both are used for molding, both come in various thicknesses. Kydex has been around for years, with some of the first sheaths appearing in the 70's. Kydex and concealex are both "thermoplastics", meaning they must be heated to become pliable for molding.

    Kydex is PVC based Acrylic, Concealex, which is a name invented to sell products, is better known as Boltoron, and is ABS based.

    Which is better? I like the "Concealex" because it's easier to work with, grinds better, and has better resistance to heat and cold, where kydex gets brittle. I don't buy kydex, but the name has stuck as a generic for any synthetic sheaths or holsters.

    I'm not sure who started doing sheaths first, but I do now it goes back to the 70's at least, so it's fairly old technology by now.
    Robert Humelbaugh
    Survival Sheath Systems
    www.survivalsheath.com
    (253)884-9178

    "Failing to prepare is preparing to fail."

  2. #2
    Thanks for that explanation. Never knew that.

    I recently made a vacuum press for work (antenna radomes). Made an oven and the vac table and a metal frame that swings between the two. I wonder if concealex is good for radomes? Can you PM me with an industrial strength source, or a manufacturer I can contact to get a data sheet?
    Who cares what I just said. Please go learn about SuperBen, he needs the knifemaking community.

  3. #3
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    My thanks as well for the knowledge. Makes us better-informed consumers.

  4. #4
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    It's nice to hear the difference explained. I knew that Concealex was a better medium, but wasn't sure why.

  5. #5
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    Now I get it. Thanks.
    Friend to all here.

    God bless John Wayne, Sam Colt, John Browning, and Charles M. Russell!

  6. #6

    Kydex or concealex

    Hi Robert i should have looked here first if my sheaths havent been made yet can i change the order to the concelex on all of them. Dave Thurmer

  7. #7
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    I only use Concealex, Dave. No worries.
    Robert Humelbaugh
    Survival Sheath Systems
    www.survivalsheath.com
    (253)884-9178

    "Failing to prepare is preparing to fail."

  8. #8
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    Hey Rob,

    Congrats on your own Forum!! Agreed that Concealex is better for sheaths than kydex. As to who pioneered the use of kydex for knife sheaths, my recollection is Bob Terzuola and Tom Marringer being the first two names associated with same.
    "If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water." - Loren Eiseley

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  9. #9
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    Agreed, Mike. The earliest plastic sheath I've seen was an original Marringer. Incredible work for the time period.

    Will I see you at the Riddle?
    Robert Humelbaugh
    Survival Sheath Systems
    www.survivalsheath.com
    (253)884-9178

    "Failing to prepare is preparing to fail."

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert H
    Kydex is PVC based Acrylic, Concealex, which is a name invented to sell products, is better known as Boltoron, and is ABS based.
    Thanks for explaining what these products are made of.
    Allen Saunders: Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.

  11. #11
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    Where is a good place to buy concealex? I can only find 12x12 sheets for sale and need a 12x24 sheet to make a sheath for a machete I have.

  12. #12
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    I have been looking for concealex also with no luck. A lot of choices for kydex but no concealex????

  13. #13
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    Need a contact?
    Robert Humelbaugh
    Survival Sheath Systems
    www.survivalsheath.com
    (253)884-9178

    "Failing to prepare is preparing to fail."

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert H View Post
    Need a contact?
    That would be extremely appreciated. Thanks....

  15. #15
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    Sent you an email.
    Robert Humelbaugh
    Survival Sheath Systems
    www.survivalsheath.com
    (253)884-9178

    "Failing to prepare is preparing to fail."

  16. #16
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    I am going to have to try some Concealex.

    From what I understand (talking with Tom Marringer and working for Bob Dozier) a guy from Springdale Arkansas named Jerry Price was the first to use kydex as a sheath material, molding it to the knife.

    Tom and Bob picked it up from there.

    Thats what I recall from my conversations anyway.

    Tom

  17. #17
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    Yep. Marringer was one of the first I knew of.
    Robert Humelbaugh
    Survival Sheath Systems
    www.survivalsheath.com
    (253)884-9178

    "Failing to prepare is preparing to fail."

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