The Leatherman sheath, part 3

My collec­tion of Lea­ther­man sheaths

The quest for the ulti­ma­te Lea­ther­man sheath may be a never ending sto­ry, alt­hough I have to admit that I stop­ped caring about this issue when two things hap­pen­ed some years ago:

1. The purcha­se of a Skinth OG sheath in 2012. This sheath was made by the Cana­da-based desi­gner Eric Au and is well worth the money (~ 40 EUR).
2. I swit­ched from car­ry­ing a big­ger Lea­ther­man (LM) mul­ti­tool to a Lea­ther­man Squirt PS4 which is a tiny litt­le mul­ti­tool that sits in the 5th pocket of my jeans.

My initi­al desi­re for the ulti­ma­te sheath began in 2004 when I got the (back then) updated LM Wave 2004 which was a mas­si­ve impro­ve­ment over the „Ori­gi­nal Wave“. Big­ger, wider, much more use­ful on the one hand, but on the other hand it came ship­ped with an awful Lea­ther­man sheath made out of stiff lea­ther. Now in 2018 it is still very stiff, not very use­ful. And sad­ly, the cur­rent Wave as sold in this Shire still comes ship­ped with a real­ly stiff lea­ther sheath that may look dura­ble, but is a pain to wear on the belt. Who uses the­se sheaths any­ways? And why can’t they make gre­at lea­ther sheaths even when they car­ry the “lea­ther” word in their name?

The brown ver­si­on from the ori­gi­nal Wave (pre 2004) was gre­at and all cur­rent tools should come ship­ped in them. Why? Becau­se a good sheath is just as important as the tool its­elf. The­se tools come with extra bits­ets and — with Led­Len­ser belon­ging to the Lea­ther­man set of brands — a mul­ti-tool may often come along with a modern and thin LED flash­light. I am cur­r­ent­ly using the Olight i3E and the Olight i3T along with my Lea­ther­man tools. The­se are gre­at lights that run on AAA batteries.

Top to bot­tom: New Nylon sheath, Skinth OG, (heri­ta­ge) lea­ther sheath ex 2003 for the ori­gi­nal wave Lamps: Olight i3e and i3t

The DIY approach

I blog­ged about this quest for the ulti­ma­te Lea­ther­man sheath befo­re in 2005 and in 2010 when I made my own sheath. Making my own sheath see­med to be the most plau­si­ble thing to do becau­se I could­n’t find anything bet­ter that was com­mer­cial­ly avail­ab­le. The first one in 2005 was made out of green can­vas with blue Bro­kat mate­ri­al stuck on it (real­ly odd, but the­re’s ano­t­her sto­ry to this mate­ri­al, also see this collec­tion), the second one in 2010 I made out of lea­ther which I later on pain­ted (which was a mista­ke, imo). Working with lea­ther is just won­der­ful. Some­whe­re in bet­ween the­se two I also modi­fied a lar­ger “Schra­de tool” sheath so that it would fit the LM Wave. Then, in 2012, I swit­ched to the Skinth and later on the Squirt PS4 sol­ved all the­se “mat­ters of carryology”.

My own sheaths: A modi­fied Schra­de tool sheath, my own lea­ther sheath ex 2010 and the first sheath I made in 2005.

The (2017/2018) Nylon sheath with pockets

Lea­ther­man is my lovebrand/lovemark though, and so when I recent­ly che­cked their US web­site for new stuff, I ran accross this new Nylon sheath that comes qui­te clo­se to the Skinth OG. It is dif­fe­rent to the MOLLE ver­si­on I got in in 2012, as it just comes with a simp­le belt loop and, more import­ant­ly, no vel­cro. The vel­cro usual­ly enab­les the user to adjust the sheath to dif­fe­rent tool length, On this Nylon ver­si­on, the­re’s just a simp­le, but very dura­ble button:

” A high-gra­de metal rivet snap clo­ses tight­ly and keeps your tool secu­re. They’­re made out of dura­ble, bal­listic nylon and elastic with rein­for­ced stit­ching for impro­ved acces­si­bi­li­ty and fit.” (source)

This new 2017 or 2018 Lea­ther­man Nylon sheath is sold for about 20 EUR in Ger­ma­ny, and so I orde­red the “medi­um” size which is one of three sizes along “small” and “lar­ge”. The­re is room for one bits­et (= one plastic hol­der for bits, not two) behind the tool in a rub­be­ri­zed slot, and the­re are two open (bot­tom open) rub­ber slee­ves for extras like the afo­re­men­tio­ned lamps, a pen and/or the bit exten­der. One of the slee­ves appears to be a bit wider, so in my case this is whe­re the flash­light goes into, whe­re­as the front slee­ve accom­mo­da­tes a pen. The main com­part­ment pro­vi­des room for my LM Wave or Char­ge TTi, and the­re’s enough space for even a big­ger tool as my fin­ger fits in bet­ween the tool and the cover.

New Nylon sheath vs. ugly + bul­ky sheath

New Nylon vs. lea­ther 1 vs. lea­ther 3

new Nylon vs. lea­ther 1 vs. lea­ther 2

Verdict

My fav. 3 sheaths, ope­ned up: Skinth OG, New Nylon sheath, Ori­gi­nal Wave sheath pre 2004

So is this “new nylon sheath” any good? YES! It is mar­vell­ous and I would call it the BEST cover Lea­ther­man ever made after the brown lea­ther sheath that was made for the Ori­gi­nal Wave. I rated this 5/5 stars on Ama­zon, would buy it again any­ti­me and hope they will pro­du­ce it for a very long time. Also, this ver­si­on final­ly enab­les me to recom­mend a good sheath from Lea­ther­man, and in the past I could only do that for the Skinth OG. It is well roun­ded around the edges, does­n’t get too bul­ky (= the ori­gi­nal rea­son for the slim Skinth OG) and is still very dura­ble. It has the right size, the right weight and feels like he real deal. I instant­ly lik­ed it, and that alrea­dy says a lot about this sheath. If you are loo­king for a bet­ter sheath and haven’t tried this one yet, plea­se give it a try. It may only be made in Chi­na, but it is the oppo­si­te of what Shanz­hai stands for and is of real­ly good quality.

Ori­gi­nal Wave lea­ther sheath, Skinth OG, LM Nylon sheath: The Skinth OG is still slim­mer than the LM Nylon sheath.

tl;dr

The­re is a rela­tively new Nylon sheath made by Lea­ther­man which is bet­ter than most of their lea­ther sheaths. It also com­pe­tes with the Skinth OG sheath which cos­ts twice as much. The best sheath depends on per­so­nal pre­fe­rence: some pre­fer the nylon style, a big­ger sheath that has room for more tools, while others pre­fer no sheath at all. I don’t know anyo­ne though who actual­ly likes the bul­ky (black) lea­ther sheaths that Lea­ther­man sells. The only nice lea­ther type is the brown one. Sheaths are just as important as the tool.

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