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MrLentz

What Knives are popular with customers?

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Hello,

I am just learning how to make proper knife sheaths and I was wondering what styles of knives are the popular ones your customers/friends/etc typically need custom sheaths for? Or are they all across the board? I am not much of a knife guy so I figured someone on here may be able to point me in the right direction.

Also - anyone know of some mid-level priced knife makers out there that I could order a variety of styles of knives from? I would like some well made ones that are worth keeping... but can't break the bank at the same time! Basically I am looking to collect an array of the popular styles to practice different types of sheaths for - I can do some problem solving in advance and learn a lot that way before offering my service.

Thanks!

 

Edited by MrLentz

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If you're going to make sheaths for folders, you could probably make two or three sizes and have a good chance to fit several brands. But straight knives are a different story. We get a couple requests every week for straight knife sheaths, and I don't think we've ever made two the same.  Too many shapes. 

Buying a couple knives and using them to show your work is a good idea. But over the last couple years or so, knife prices have skyrocketed. Custom made knives are out of reach for most people. It's even hard to find a "custom" factory knife for under $100. But don't give up. There's a big market for sheaths out there. 

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If you are going to practice fixed blades a very common knife, at least in the U.S., is a 6 inch clip point. The Buck 119 is a very common knife and people do order replacement sheaths or upgrade to personalized decorative sheaths. You can practice on the Mossy Oak knock off, I'll post a picture of both. My 119 was 50 bucks, the Mossy Oak knock off was 10, both are razor sharp and fully functional, I just bought the Buck so my father wouldn't roll in his grave. 2014466504_BuckandOak.thumb.jpg.8ea9fde01252218fc87522920b70bbb6.jpg

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My primary business was holsters. By the time I retired after 43 years in the business I offered 13 holster designs, with or without 4 common options, left-hand and right-hand, in 4 finish colors, for 168 different handguns. That results in over 80,000 possible variations. My shop included file cabinets containing over 10,000 patterns (all hand made), over 70 dummy guns hanging on the walls, and two gun safes to secure dozens of actual handguns. I still received requests for different designs, or different handguns, all the time.

The occasional customer requested a knife sheath, typically to match a new holster and belt order. My response was always "Send me your knife so I can pattern and form the sheath". That was the only way I could figure out so that the sheath would properly fit the intended knife.

I have carried a knife for over 60 years, including two combat tours in Vietnam and 24 years as a working cop. I buy good knives and those tend to serve me well for decades. I still have the combat knife I carried as a young paratrooper in Vietnam. My last pocket knife was a $200 thumb-stud folder. My current pocket knife is a $250 automatic (aka: switchblade). There are thousands of different knives of varying quality and price ranges available, and new products every week or two. Trying to meet every demand would be very difficult and expensive.

If Mr. Customer wants a well made and properly fitted knife sheath for his favorite knife he should be willing to live without that knife for a few weeks to get what he wants.

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