What REAL advantage does Kydex have over leather?


PDA






JLStorm
December 17, 2006, 04:37 PM
I have been weighing kydex and leather recently, and I know there are a ton of opinions out there, but what true and proven advantages does Kydex have over leather?

The only benefits I can think of are:

Kydex does not squeak when you walk
Kydex is water proof

If you enjoyed reading about "What REAL advantage does Kydex have over leather?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
JesseL
December 17, 2006, 04:56 PM
Kydex doesn't dry out.
Kydex won't attract moisture to your gun
Kydex annoys holster snobs :neener:

Legionnaire
December 17, 2006, 04:58 PM
Kydex is thin and light; especially good for IWB.

SDC
December 17, 2006, 05:32 PM
It also won't ROT, and it keeps it's shape.

tellner
December 17, 2006, 05:33 PM
Kydex has some serious advantages here in the Great Pacific North Wet. I've never had a Kydex sheath grow mold on the inside :(

walking arsenal
December 17, 2006, 05:49 PM
Adjustable retention on my fobus. Kinda like that option.

ChiefThunderstick
December 17, 2006, 05:56 PM
Kydex will not rot, attract and retain moisture, lose it's shape, get moldy and it will not smell like leather. A freind of mine said he could tell if someone was a police officer by the smell of leather. I guess he assumed all cops used leather rigs.

Autolycus
December 17, 2006, 06:59 PM
Kydex is faster on the draw on average.

Glockfan.45
December 17, 2006, 07:03 PM
Kydex wont rot, it doesnt draw moisture, and draws smoother.

ChiefThunderstick
December 17, 2006, 07:13 PM
Kydex draws smoother, faster especially when the inside of the holster is finished and not raw like suede.

Standing Wolf
December 17, 2006, 09:45 PM
Speaking strictly as a holster snob: Kydex is a superior, albeit ugly material.

JLStorm
December 17, 2006, 09:49 PM
wow, thanks guys :)

The Lone Haranguer
December 17, 2006, 10:01 PM
If well designed it can be made thinner yet stiffer than leather.

10-Ring
December 17, 2006, 10:12 PM
When brand new, Kydex is easier to draw & reholster with and can be less expensive.

Nio
December 17, 2006, 10:48 PM
Kydex is dishwasher safe.

Nio

tellner
December 17, 2006, 10:49 PM
So is the Glock I carry in it! :neener:

carpettbaggerr
December 18, 2006, 01:52 AM
It's cheaper.

Old Dog
December 18, 2006, 02:29 AM
Possibly all of the above-mentioned are real advantages Kydex has over leather. I have a few Blade-Tech holsters, and they work well. Excellent range holsters that are durable and fast.

Possible DISadvantages: I'm not quite sure yet, but on a few of my pistols -- SIGs, and a couple of my 1911s -- it seems as though the Kydex holsters actually wear the finish more -- and faster. I'm pretty sure that a Blade-Tech scratched (a few minute, but alas, permanent, marks) my SA Black Stainless.

DMF
December 18, 2006, 02:59 AM
The advantages as I see them:

It won't stretch out over time, meaning your gun will always be held securely as long as you have properly adjusted the tension screws.

You can't sweat through kydex. If you insist on using leather you shouldn't use the same holster two days in a row, just like with shoes.

With properly adjusted tension screws the draw is faster, but retention is better.

Easier reholstering, especially true with an IWB holster.

And the real bottom line:
You can get a better holster for less money when you buy a good kydex holster.

the naked prophet
December 18, 2006, 10:27 AM
Wow... you guys must be buying some cheap leather holsters.

A good leather holster should be infused with a waterproof plastic-like finish. I'm up to three years EDC on one of my first holsters since I started applying a waterproof acrylic finish on my holsters. It also will have no leather smell, and does not squeak.

A good holster with a good finish should also not soften for years. Kydex will embrittle and crack before a good leather holster will soften.

A well-designed IWB leather holster will not collapse when you draw, it will keep its shape for easier re-holster.

A well-designed and professionally finished leather holster will annoy people who think they are holster snobs because they will realize they're carrying in substandard leather.

But, I may be slightly biased... :cool:

JLStorm
December 18, 2006, 11:39 AM
Prophet what leather company do you use? Other than my galco shoulder holster, I only use Milt Sparks, and so far I have had no problems with leather.

roo_ster
December 18, 2006, 01:55 PM
All the above posts pretty much hit it, though some of the advantages are somewhat overstated, especially the "leather retains moisture" argument.

I've worn my quality leather holsters for 18 hours at a time outdoors in the Texas summers. I was soaked. My leather holster wasn't. Thank the Deity for waterproof leather treatments.

To get the full advantage of kydex, you gotta pay nearly as much as for a quality leather holster. Cheap, injection-molded, and otherwise poorly-executed kydex is not as thin as it can be for IWB.

The material is less important than the execution for leather or kydex.

the naked prophet
December 18, 2006, 02:07 PM
Prophet what leather company do you use? Other than my galco shoulder holster, I only use Milt Sparks, and so far I have had no problems with leather.

I've never bought a holster. In the beginning, I was just married and only barely afforded a Kel-Tec P11, so I bought some scrap leather and made a crappy holster. I asked for advice, and improved my holsters. Through the generosity and helpfulness of a professional custom holster maker, I learned a lot of tips and tricks, and through lots of experience I improved my skills. I don't consider myself a professional, seeing as I'm a grad student and might go for a whole month without touching a holster-in-progress, but I think I do professional-quality work. I can't remember but once in the past year that I haven't had a two month backlog of holster orders. I've also never owned a holster from anyone other than myself. I've tried them on, but not impressed. Never worn a Milt Sparks though, I hear they're good.

I've had more than one person tell me that my waterproof black holsters have converted them from kydex to leather believers. So far, I've mainly worked within Missouri for folks on www.missouricarry.com (a site about CCW in Missouri).

Black Majik
December 18, 2006, 02:45 PM
Pretty much +1 on everyone else.

Kydex is faster for drawing
Kydex will wear the contact points faster, but wont spread as much as leather holsters
Kydex is pretty much waterproof, and will not retain moisture to rust your guns
Kydex is lighter
Kydex does not squeak
Kydex is not flexible
Kydex (imo) is great for OWB, but leather is preferred for IWB carry
Kydex wont get scratched, or dinged up like your leather holster.
Most kydex has adjustable retention
One very popular kydex company gives you candy with your order.
Kydex is to Glock as beautiful leather is to 1911 :D

techmike
December 18, 2006, 02:51 PM
It's Cheap and easy to Mass produce.

rkh
December 18, 2006, 08:17 PM
If you insist on using leather you shouldn't use the same holster two days in a row, just like with shoes.


You're sound like my girlfriend. Wearing the same shoes two days in a row? Inconceivable!

mrmeval
December 19, 2006, 03:34 AM
Leather will cause steel to rust, it can even cause stainless to pit. It is not a good idea to store a gun in a leather holster or a knive in a leather sheath.

Flopsy
December 19, 2006, 05:34 PM
If your leather holster is causing your gun to rust, then your holster and/or gun sucks big time.

I acknowledge some advantage of kydex, but: leather is more comfortable, pieces won't break, is highly durable, and can be more concealable as it molds to your body.

I would never hold a kydex holster in higher esteem than my VersaMax II.

geekWithA.45
December 19, 2006, 06:29 PM
Kydex is puppy proof.

A few years back, I heard strange, but nonthreatening sounds coming from the other room, but could not investigate for about 20 min.

When I got around to it, I found my german shepherd mutt gnawing on my main carry piece's holster. There was one or two toothmarks, but not much to show for the full, undivided attention of a puppy for that length of time.

I doubt even the highest quality leather would have survived, and yes, I still use that holster to this very day.

badbowtie
December 19, 2006, 06:37 PM
I will take my galco any day over kydex it fits closer to my side also Don't have to worry about will it crack if lean up against something to hard or lay on it.

GigaBuist
December 19, 2006, 11:06 PM
A freind of mine said he could tell if someone was a police officer by the smell of leather. I guess he assumed all cops used leather rigs.

Thanks. An image of the Village People just popped into my head.

Biker
December 19, 2006, 11:12 PM
Now *that* made me laugh!
Oh, and uhhh...no Village People/Biker jokes if you please.

Biker

Shaughn Leayme
December 19, 2006, 11:38 PM
I have used Kydex as both an IWB and an OWB, not really comfortable IWB, but it was quick on and off and was very secure when tightened.

OWB was loud, when it connected to something hard, nice clack, instead of a dull discrete thud of leather.

It is nice if you have a pistol that hasn't been dehorned and has forward cocking serrations, such a pistol can literally eat a lightly made IWB, even one of quality.

Have went back to leather as it is more comfortable and in my opinion more suitable for myself and my daily regimen.

Big Mike
December 20, 2006, 02:29 AM
I've washed my Kydex in the dishwasher. :D

GW
December 20, 2006, 04:05 AM
If your leather holster is causing your gun to rust, then your holster and/or gun sucks big time.


I stored a Randall bowie in it's (Randall made) leather sheath only to discover that the sheath did indeed cause the blade to pit. It is the chemicals in the leather that caused it. neither the knife nor the sheath sucked. It is just what leather does

Shaughn Leayme
December 20, 2006, 07:45 AM
GW,

Take some bow string wax and boiling hot water and pour the boiling hot water over the blade and then while the blade is hot rub the wax over the blade, liberally coating it, then let dry and you can then put it back into the sheath, with little worry about any damage, from the oils or compound's that may be in the leather or moisture absorbtion.

Been doing it for years, especially useful when running traplines in the winter and coming into a warm structure for the night after being out in sub zero weather all day.

An added bonus, is if you do any game processing/skinning the blade cleans up much easier.

chipp
December 20, 2006, 07:54 AM
glocks are dishwasher safe?

Black Majik
December 20, 2006, 11:48 AM
glocks are dishwasher safe?

From what I've read some of the Glock Talk people have stuck their pistols in their dishwasher. I'd be reluctant to put my dishes in their afterwards though.

But man, I wish I can clean my 1911s that way. :D

the naked prophet
December 20, 2006, 12:59 PM
I stored a Randall bowie in it's (Randall made) leather sheath only to discover that the sheath did indeed cause the blade to pit. It is the chemicals in the leather that caused it. neither the knife nor the sheath sucked. It is just what leather does

Then they used the wrong kind of leather. Different types of tanning are used for different applications. Chrome tanning is bad for gun finishes. Vegetable-tanned leather (which is what I use for my holsters) does not rust a gun or knife as long as there's no moisture trapped in it. And if the holster maker does it right, there should be no moisture trapped in the leather and it should have a finish that prevents moisture from wicking from your body onto your gun.

A cheap leather holster is much worse than a cheap kydex holster. But a well-made leather holster is much better than a well made kydex holster.

If you enjoyed reading about "What REAL advantage does Kydex have over leather?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!