Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sharps: Heartland leather

After waxing lustful about a pair of handmade knives in yesterday's post, I was reminded that I really hadn't given the sheaths their due.

Good point. I can fix that.

The Blind Horse Bushcrafter comes with a pouch-style leather sheath made in Illinois by JRE Industries. This sheath is of the "dangler" variety popular with woodsmen, fitted with a D-ring and designed to (you guessed it) dangle from a belt clip, a carabiner or (my preference) an S-Biner™. JRE does great work (my BHK Small Work Horse rides in a JRE belt pouch), and given the funds I'd definitely consider replacing two of my fixed-blade knives' more pedestrian sheaths with a couple of JRE customs.

Bark River equips its Bravo-2 with a traditional leather belt sheath crafted by Sharpshooter Sheath Systems in Michigan. Essentially identical to the optional leather sheath offered for the Bravo-1 (which comes standard with a Sharpshooter Kydex sheath), it's a stout, amazingly well-finished piece, worthy of as much admiration as the knife it carries. Depending on the handle material of the Bravo-2, the sheath is either black a natural brown, and it can be ordered right- or left-handed (shown). Nice touch.

Notice that both the JRE and the Sharpshooter feature an extra loop of leather attached to the belly of the sheath, designed to carry a spark-throwing Swedish firesteel. BHK sells a plastic-handled version for $17, while BRKT's firesteels (shown) range from $40 to $65 (MSRP) and can be had in many of the knifemaker's dizzying array of handle materials.

Functionally they're the same rods -- buyer's choice. Just don't leave home without one (or before learning how to use it).

Great knives deserve great sheaths. JRE and Sharpshooter deliver the goods -- from right here in the Heartland.

Earlier posts
Sharps, Part I: In the pocket
Sharps, Part II: On the belt
Sharps: BHK Small Work Horse
Sharps: Heartland blades

Bark River Knife & Tool
Blind Horse Knives
Sharpshooter Sheath Systems
JRE Industries