• Leon Pantenburg | Survival Common Sense


Best knife sheath? We review the Jenna Martin Vehement Knives design

600 324 Survival Common Sense Blog | Emergency Preparedness

A really, really important part of a rigid blade knife is the sheath.

A good one will be safe and comfortable to carry and get used. A poorly-designed sheath is dangerous and encourages you leaving the knife behind. This design by Jenna Martin is incredible!

by Leon Pantenburg

Knivesshipfree.com is a Survivalcommonsense sponsor. I did not get free products to do this review, and was not paid to write it. This is my opinion, and all I ever promise is a fair shake. Neither KSF, Jenna Martin nor Vehement Knives had any input into this review.

I have never done a sheath review before, but this Bark River Cub sheath, designed by Jenna Martin of Vehement Knives deserves mention. It is over-the-top great.

Bark River Knives, Cub sheath, best sheath

This sheath is a superb way to safely carry a rigid blade knife.

Outwardly, you might be looking at it and wondering what the big deal is.

Here’s what I found out about this sheath after using it for awhile:

Comfort: A primary concern for a knife sheath is how easy and comfortable it is to wear. Comfort is huge – if you can’t carry your knife easily, it might get left behind. Since (tired, mossy old cliche’ here) The best survival knife is the one you have with you, this sheath assures the knife will be along when it’s needed.

My Litmus test for sheath comfort is simple: Do I forget I’m wearing it? Can I sit down at the computer and not have to horse the sheath around? Does it ride easily under a coat or shirt tail?  And finally – can I get in the car and fasten my seatbelt without any fuss or hassle?

Answering “Yes” to these  questions means the knife might be around if needed.

Safety: The whole point of a sheath is to protect the blade and the user.  This sheath is made of tough, thick leather that should resist virtually anything. The welt around the sides would be very difficult for the edge to penetrate, and it would take a tremendous effort for the point to pierce the leather at the end of the sheath.

Best sheath, Bark River Cub, Vehement Knives

The sheath is designed so the edge doesn’t cut the restraining strap when the blade is drawn.

Security: A few years back, I lost a knife when my wife and I capsized our canoe in the Clarno rapids on the John Day River in Oregon. The idea of a razor-sharp knife churning around loose in the water while I was desperately swimming to safety stayed with me. I remain paranoid about losing a knife from a sheath and having it hurt someone.

The strong point of the Jenna Martin sheath is the safety strap. Because of the leather design, the strap securely holds the handle, The angle of the edge upon withdrawing the blade keeps it from cutting the strap when withdrawing the blade. This has always been a problem, because a traditional strap may get in the way of the edge and cut it. You have to train yourself to re-position the safety strap, and under duress, that isn’t going to happen.

Carry options: I typically prefer a dangler sheath as the most comfortable option. And you could make this sheath into a dangler by  adding a D ring. But this sheath moves with the wearer, and I found that the position of the belt loop was almost perfect, positioning the handle neither too high nor too low. (And for some of us, that means the handle won’t poke you in the love handles!)

There are also scout straps that allow for horizontal carry. I don’t generally like carrying a knife horizontally, but some of you do, and the Jenna Martin sheath allows that option. The straps are easily removable, if that’s your choice, with a screwdriver and a small Allen wrench.

Durability: It’s too early for me to comment on this, but looking at the leather and the craftsmanship, I’m betting that this sheath will outlast most of the users.

This is the first of these Jenna Martin sheaths I’ve come across, and I hope other knife makers take some tips from this design.

The sheath is a keeper, and I hope to see some for sale in the near future. I have some knives that need new pants.

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  • Leon

    Obviously, I love the sheath. To each his/her own.
    The point of sitting behind a computer, driving in a car etc was to illustrate that the sheath allows easy carry wherever you might be. I carry a fixed blade knife whenever I go outdoors, and I typically carry it in my daypack.

  • Twan

    This must be the most pathetic review I have ever read on anything.
    I really like Bark River Knives and for the most time I’ve like the sheath they provided with their knives.
    That stopped when I wanted to have a Wilderness Explorer. This is an awesome knife and when it came on pre-order I jumped right onto the band wagon. I was one of the first. When they became available I notice that they’d replaced the beautiful bushcraftstyle sheath with one on there horrid things. I never ordered the knife. When things got sorted out, the knife I pre-ordered was sold. It’s a shame but I am fine with that. That is how pre-ordering works.
    There is no doubt in my mind that these are quality sheaths. Bark River would never sell junk. I fact when I wrote about these sheaths on Facebook Mike jumped in explaining that there sheath were the best, took a long time to develop and cost 3 time a much as the previous sheath.

    All this is probably true.. But guess what. The sheath cost 3 time a much as the previous sheath. But it’s a sheath I don’t like. So I am paying three times as much for a sheath I don’t want and probably will have to spend money on to replace.

    As to this review. Come on. Why should a care how a fixed blades knives sheath wears on a belt when I sit behind my computer or when I sit in my car? It’s a fixed blade knife so I will carry it not on 30 minute hikes but on (multi) day hikes. If it bothers me in the car, I will put it on my belt AFTER I arrive where want to hike.

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