Friday, July 6, 2012

ESEE-6 & DIY Sheath Ideas

Man's First Tool

If I were to be stranded on a deserted island and could only take one knife with me, my ESEE-6 would probably be the one. If you know anything about the ESEE brand then you probably already know that they have a solid reputation 
for making very rugged knives for a reasonable price. Street prices hover just over $100 usually. Breaking one or leaving one behind won't break your heart quite as much as a $300+ Strider would. In the event that you manage to break an ESEE knife, they have an outstanding warranty and will replace it. (Not that a warranty will help much on a deserted island).

This knife is one of the old school ones when ESEE was still going by RAT Cutlery.

ESEE's product and reputation speak for themselves so I am not going to talk much about the knife. What I wanted to share in this post was the current evolution of the sheath system I have put together for it. The inspiration for the design probably came from an older generation SpecOps Brand sheath that I have. Clicking the link you can see the similarities.

The SpecOps sheath has very good construction but there was some things that I didn't like about the design. One is that it does not come with a leg loop. If you are going to hang that sheath on your belt then a leg loop is pretty much mandatory. Without it the sheath pulls up with the knife and it is a pain to get out. To be fair, one could be added easy enough, but I didn't have any webbing available and used some 550 cord and a cord lock and that solution just felt ghetto to me. The version that I have also has a zip up utility pocket and did not include a covering flap like the current generation does, so I didn't like that the pouch was left exposed. 

Hence the design you see here that fixes the things I didn't like about the SpecOps sheath. ESEE sends you a kydex sheath with some MOLLE clips right out of the box. What I did was take the kydex sheath and attach stuff to it. 

Some of you may recognize the Safariland 6004 holster straps present. After a brief phone call Safariland was willing to ship me the holster components. To wear the knife all I have to do is thread the velcro through a belt and then snap the leg strap on. As a side note, my interaction with Safariland completely surpassed my expectations. They have outstanding customer service.

To attach it to the kydex I drilled holes in the drop leg strap and zip tied it on. To be honest I am a little concerned that the zip ties will eventually deteriorate and break on me, but so far they have been very secure. If they do end up breaking, the problem is cheap and fast to fix (providing there are some additional zip ties handy). The zip ties did need to be sanded down a bit after being clipped off. They had very sharp points that may have cut into the drop leg strap.

You can also see some ranger bands in between the zip tie spaces. That idea I picked up from watching Dave Canterbury on YouTube (not that anyone cares, but I've been a fan of Dave long before the whole Dual Survivor thing). Those enable me to secure a firesteel or some cordage or whatever in that extra space. Dave on one video mentioned the idea of magnetizing a needle for an emergency compass. One of those could be secured to the back of the sheath with the ranger bands and take up no additional room at all.

For the pouch I picked up a Tactical Tailor knife pouch and secured it with the zip ties and provided MALICE clip. There is a little bit of slop with the pouch moving around but nothing to stress over. I tend to keep some fire starting tools or a multi-tool in there.

The biggest downside to this setup is that it is large and a bit cumbersome. However the blade is also 6 inches long so it isn't exactly a low profile knife. If this blade is out then it is usually being used in a setting where having a full drop leg rig isn't a problem. The placement and kydex sheath make the knife very fast to get to as well. So far it has been a solid platform for a solid performing knife. Hopefully you will get some inspiration of your own from this post.

No comments:

Post a Comment