Griffin X sheath issues... and an important note on kydex in general.

Discussion in 'Fletcher Knives' started by Fletcher Knives, Aug 28, 2016.

  1. Fletcher Knives

    Fletcher Knives STEEL BREATHING BLADE MAESTRO Moderator

    Aug 30, 2007
    Howdie guys and gals. I've had a couple people contact me about the Griffin X sheaths, so I wanted to make a post about it. Anytime customers bring something up that is a flaw or concern with any of my stuff, I like to be public so that anyone who has the same concern or people who are considering purchasing know everything ahead of time.

    There are several models that I offer that are absolutely awful to design kydex sheaths for, and the Griffin X is one of them. Unfortunately, I don't make any leather sheaths in-house anymore. I had actually stopped offering sheaths with the knives all together, but most of my customers petitioned me to make all knives come with sheaths, so they never had to make an additional purchase just to carry their knives, which by the way I agree with. The only sheaths that I make now are kydex. I can do them at a low enough cost, and fast enough that it's possible. Leather takes to long and the cost is too high to be a sheath maker and a knife maker. Since I'm still pretty much lone-rangering this gig, I just don't have the time for both. Kydex is really the only option right now.

    Something everyone should know ahead of time, and I plaster everywhere is that kydex scratches knives. I do my best to minimize it as much as possible, but it does occur. Anytime the blade is especially wide or curved at all, the sheath has a tendency to scratch more, because the knife can't move in and our without contacting the sheath at some spots, in the Griffin X's case the apex of the curve. In order to have any retention at all, the options are a full friction contact, where the kydex is against the entire length of the blade, or a retention point, which is a pinch that part of the knife must overcome in ordered to be drawn or sheathed. Either way, the kydex will touch the blade somewhere and likely leave scratches.

    I personally look at almost every knife as a user, mostly because I've always been of the "lesser money" group, so if I spend any kinds of money, you better believe it's getting used. That being the case, scratches have never bothered me. I know it does bother some people though, so I try to keep it from happening whenever possible.

    All that said, knives like the ones I described will always always always get scratched by a kydex sheath. If you want to avoid that, or if you have a leather sheath maker you like to get a sheath from, or if you know someone who does a better job with kydex than me, which I'm sure there are several, just tell me ahead of time, "no kydex for mine please" and I will adjust the price of the knife when applicable and finish yours with no sheath. That way you can go with any option you want. If you're ordering a particularly fancy knife or one you want for collection purposes, I'd go this route and have someone make you a leather sheath. Keep in mind that I don't offer a spa service or any of that weirdness. If my knives ever hit Loveless or Randall levels of collectibility,I'll change that and offer spa service. Until then it's not an option.

    With the Griffin X, the whole point of this package is meant to be a "one badass knife" that can fill as many needs as possible and at an affordable price. Brian and I discussed at great length what the price point should be and how to get it there without making sacrifices to the knife itself. Honestly, we still couldn't get the knife under $450+ when considering the cost of materials and labor, measuring it against comparable custom knives. In the end I just decided to price the knife at $350 for no other reason than "that was the plan". That includes not charging at all for the sheath. Unfortunately, a do-all knife has "can actually be carried" on the list of all it does. The sheath I came up with is the best I could design for it. The retention isn't that wicked "snap" that I would have preferred, but it had to be that way to accommodate the curve of a blade that size. It's also one of those shapes that will absolutely contact the belly of the blade and scratch it. The point is, if you want a Griffin X for collecting purposes, specify that you don't want it a sheath. It won't save you any money, because we didn't charge for the sheath to begin with, but it will allow you to keep your Griffin X in pristine collector condition.

    With any knife you get from Fletcher Knives, if your purchase will be for collecting, specify that you want to order without a sheath. Your price will go down a little and your knife will not be shipped in its sheath, so it won't be scratched.
  2. Tim the Wizard

    Tim the Wizard Street Samurai Gold Member

    Apr 21, 2012
    Personally, I found the sheath to be appropriate, and I appreciate that I can draw the blade safely without forcing it (I have kydex that is so tight it is dangerous), yet retains the blade well (I have kydex that is so loose it is dangerous). I was just thinking that this one hits the sweet spot.

    I have to tell you, however, that beating the Griffin X through a fallen pine tree left some marks on the blade... Rest assured, however, the marks on the tree are much more pronounced...

    All that said, if there are folks out there who want a user but also wish to avoid scratches, in my experience a patina will mask them quite effectively. Therefore, it may be viewed as a transitional aesthetic of the blade.

    Thanks for your post and for making the knife.
  3. B Griffin

    B Griffin Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    Any sheathing issues with the X will definitely be much more my fault than yours, due to the geometry of the blade. The forward weight distribution and re-curve both present challenges, but I like how it performs in actual use. Putting an efficient chopping blade into a snug fitting sheath always presents challenges, whether it's leather, nylon, or kydex. I thought you did a hell of a job sorting the kydex and making it work so well, but I'll probably still end up making a leather sheath for mine. just because I like the noise discipline of leather.

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