Leather Knife Sheath Care
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 Leather Knife Sheath Care

 Leather Knife Sheath Care


Leather Knife Sheath Care

How to care for your knife or gun leather

People often ask me, after paying good money for one of my custom sheaths or holsters what they can do to keep then nice looking. The answer depends a lot on how your leather is going to be used or abused. A lot of my fancier work is likely not going to see much hard use. Those pieces need to be kept from temperature and humidity extremes, but other than that, an occasional application of Leather Balm is about all I recommend to nourish the leather and maintain the luster. It is the liquid wax that I use as the final finish on my products. It will fill in any minor scratches in the leather and polishes up very nicely. You can find it at most shoe stores.

The knife sheath or gun holster that is going to see real world use is another matter. First of all, just accept the fact that like a new truck, itís going to get that first scratch, then a dent, and well it just isnít always going to look new. But that doesnít mean it canít still serve you well and last a long time. Like the truck, it needs maintenance. There are three things that I see most often that destroy a sheath.

The first, and most common is the user slicing it when replacing the knife. Of course this is partly a matter of carelessness, but not entirely. Most production knives come with sheathes made of leather that is too soft and flexible, all in the name of cost savings. The trouble is, by the time you slice through your sheath, your jeans, and maybe your leg you havenít saved much. So either replace your flimsy sheath with a good one, or be very, very careful.

The second problem is not only one for you sheath, but for your knife as well. Have you ever spent all kinds of time sharpening your knife really well, and then it seems to get dull just sitting in your sheath? When was the last time you dumped all that abrasive grit out of your sheath? Not only is it dulling your knife every time you put it in or out, but itís also abrading the stitching.

Finally, and this applies to any of your outdoor leather gear, is drying out. And ironically, what makes leather dry out is getting wet. When leather dries after being wet, the natural oils are drawn out. When this happens the oils need to be replaced. Unfortunately, most of us wait till the leather starts to crack before we notice, and then itís too late. On the other hand, too much oil is not good either. Too much will make even your good custom made sheath soft and flexible like that cheap one. Unless your sheath is getting soaked on a regular basis, a light coat of Neatsfoot oil or Lexol once a year is plenty. These products are also available at most shoe stores or tack shops.

I hope this helps you to get the most use and enjoyment out of your sheaths and holsters, and if you should need a new one, then check out Tree Stump Leather.

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