Chris Reeve One-Piece Question

Jun 21, 1999
I just received a CR Mountaineer II. What a knife! And the leather sheath is incredible(though I'm thinking about getting a custom kydex job for it)! I was reading the knife care instructions that were included, and it said that for long term storage, it was best NOT to store the knife in its sheath. Does anybody know why?
I believe that the leather may trap moisture. Also the chemicals used to tan the leather may cause rust or corrosion.
The reason is that some sheaths are manufactured with chemicals that may cause the blade to corrode or discolor. Also leather sheaths can hold onto moisture and have the same effect. That said, I store my Madpoet drop point hunter and both my Sean Perkins knives in their leather sheaths and haven't had any problems.

My Custom Kydex Sheath page
Palmer College of Chiropractic
On Two Wheels

I'm glad to hear you like the Mountaineer II.
I agree, it is a GREAT knife!

It is generally not a good idea to store any knife in a leather sheath for long periods of time. Sometimes the leather is tanned with chemicals that can accelerate corrosion. It is especially bad if you put a wet knife in the sheath or a knife with blood, etc. on it.

I use a Marine Tuff Cloth frequently on my knives and store the ones I use in their sheaths. I haven't had any problems.

For LONG-TERM storage, I would store the knife separately from the sheath.
I own, and use, the Project 1. I got a Scot Hendryx SB-1 kydex sheath for it and it's proven to be a pretty good purchase. This is my first real experience with kydex, so there may be better, but this one meets my exacting standards.

One thing, if you got your knife for collecting or you want to keep it in mint condition, be warned that kydex will cause a bit of wear on the kalgard, mostly on the spine. Not much, just some thin streaks, but it will rub some off with use.

Gun people call this "holster wear" and tend not to obsess about it.

Likewise, though the kalgard is nice, it's not neccesary to keep the blade from rusting with reasonable care. I don't oil or treat my knife in any way other than to clean and dry it off after I'm done with it, or rinsing it in fresh water after it's been in salt. I have had no problems wit the steel at all.

I live in Florida, which is humid and has a lot of salt in the air to begin with, on top of that I spend a lot of time in swamps and estuaries. So I know what I'm talking about.
Leather is animal skin. There is inherriantly moisture in it, and storing steel in moist leather is a sure recipe for rust/corrosion.

Leather suposedly attracts moisture and can damage (Rust) the knife.

That being said, my CR Aviator has lived in the car in its leather sheath for about three years, often several months at a time. Knife is still in mint condition as far as I can tell.
Squid :

I was reading the knife care instructions that were included, and it said that for long term storage, it was best NOT to store the knife in its sheath. Does anybody know why?

They don't know how to make one properly I would guess. Leather can enhance corrosion but it does not have to.

My personal experience with leaving a knife in a leather sheath is based on a Puma Prince folder and a Lile's Grey Ghost fixed blade. The Lile blade is D2, the handles linen Micarta fixed with several brass rivets to the tang. The knife comes with a heavy duty leather sheath. I oiled it well with Balistol (my favorite for leather) and also applied the oil to the blade. After I left the knife in the sheath for a couple of weeks I noticed that the rivets turned slightly green but the blade was a shiny as it was in the beginning. The Puma folder showed the same problem. I kept it in a custom belt pouch and the brass bolsters started to turn green after a while, the 440C blade of course remained spotless. My guess it that the residue of the tanning lotions in the leather started to corrode the brass. Steel seems to be less prone to that type of corrosion.

In case of a CR knife I would think that a Roguard covered A2 one-piece wouldn't be affected by leather at all. What CR is saying is just a precaution. Leather does attract moisture and keeps it if not stored in a well ventilated place. In that case you could get some rust on your blade over an extended period. If I were a maker I would recommend the same thing. It's never a mistake to take the knife out of the sheath for storage, but I might be one to leave it there.
Leather is considered to be "hygromorphic". In other other words, it retains moisture. This, close to the blade, can cause the blade to stain or rust over long periods of time. Simple maintenance is all that's needed.