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Kydex or Concealex?

Discussion in 'Survival Sheath System's Forum' started by Robert H, Jun 6, 2007.

  1. Robert H

    Robert H Premium Sheathmaker Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 24, 2001
    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.
     
  2. Fiddleback

    Fiddleback Knifemaker Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 19, 2005
    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?
     
  3. untamed

    untamed

    Jan 7, 2003
    My thanks as well for the knowledge. Makes us better-informed consumers.
     
  4. tknife

    tknife Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 18, 1999
    It's nice to hear the difference explained. I knew that Concealex was a better medium, but wasn't sure why.
     
  5. TIZWIN

    TIZWIN Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 23, 2006
    Now I get it. Thanks.
     
  6. david thurmer

    david thurmer

    110
    Jul 16, 2006
    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. Robert H

    Robert H Premium Sheathmaker Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 24, 2001
    I only use Concealex, Dave. No worries.
     
  8. Mike Sastre

    Mike Sastre Custom Crafted Concealex Sheaths Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 23, 1999
    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.
     
  9. Robert H

    Robert H Premium Sheathmaker Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 24, 2001
    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?
     
  10. 555

    555 Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 5, 2007
    Thanks for explaining what these products are made of.
     
  11. Timmyblade

    Timmyblade

    46
    Mar 3, 2007
    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. jll346

    jll346 Knife maker Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    May 29, 2006
    I have been looking for concealex also with no luck. A lot of choices for kydex but no concealex????
     
  13. Robert H

    Robert H Premium Sheathmaker Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 24, 2001
    Need a contact?
     
  14. jll346

    jll346 Knife maker Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    May 29, 2006
    That would be extremely appreciated. Thanks....
     
  15. Robert H

    Robert H Premium Sheathmaker Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 24, 2001
    Sent you an email.
     
  16. Tom Krein

    Tom Krein

    Feb 11, 2003
    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. Robert H

    Robert H Premium Sheathmaker Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 24, 2001
    Yep. Marringer was one of the first I knew of.
     

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