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What REAL advantage does Kydex have over leather?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by JLStorm, Dec 17, 2006.

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  1. JLStorm

    JLStorm Member

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    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:
    1. Kydex does not squeak when you walk
    2. Kydex is water proof
     
  2. JesseL

    JesseL Member

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    Kydex doesn't dry out.
    Kydex won't attract moisture to your gun
    Kydex annoys holster snobs :neener:
     
  3. Legionnaire
    • Contributing Member

    Legionnaire Member

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    Kydex is thin and light; especially good for IWB.
     
  4. SDC

    SDC Member

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    It also won't ROT, and it keeps it's shape.
     
  5. tellner

    tellner member

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    Kydex has some serious advantages here in the Great Pacific North Wet. I've never had a Kydex sheath grow mold on the inside :(
     
  6. walking arsenal

    walking arsenal Member

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    Adjustable retention on my fobus. Kinda like that option.
     
  7. ChiefThunderstick

    ChiefThunderstick Member

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    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.
     
  8. Autolycus

    Autolycus Member

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    Kydex is faster on the draw on average.
     
  9. Glockfan.45

    Glockfan.45 member

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    Kydex wont rot, it doesnt draw moisture, and draws smoother.
     
  10. ChiefThunderstick

    ChiefThunderstick Member

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    Kydex draws smoother, faster especially when the inside of the holster is finished and not raw like suede.
     
  11. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    Speaking strictly as a holster snob: Kydex is a superior, albeit ugly material.
     
  12. JLStorm

    JLStorm Member

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    wow, thanks guys :)
     
  13. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    If well designed it can be made thinner yet stiffer than leather.
     
  14. 10-Ring

    10-Ring Member

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    When brand new, Kydex is easier to draw & reholster with and can be less expensive.
     
  15. Nio

    Nio Member

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    Kydex is dishwasher safe.

    Nio
     
  16. tellner

    tellner member

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    So is the Glock I carry in it! :neener:
     
  17. carpettbaggerr

    carpettbaggerr Member

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    It's cheaper.
     
  18. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    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.
     
  19. DMF

    DMF Member

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    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.
     
  20. the naked prophet

    the naked prophet Member

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    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:
     
  21. JLStorm

    JLStorm Member

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    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.
     
  22. roo_ster

    roo_ster Member

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    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.
     
  23. the naked prophet

    the naked prophet Member

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    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).
     
  24. Black Majik

    Black Majik Member

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    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
     
  25. techmike

    techmike Member

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    It's Cheap and easy to Mass produce.
     
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