Axe Sheaths – DIY vs Retail


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Axe sheaths

Axe sheaths have a number of purposes. The first is to protect the axe head, especially the edge, from damage. This is especially needed if you keep your axe in a toolbox where other tools can easily scratch the surface of the head or dull the edge.

An exe sheath will also protect the edge of the axe if you pack your axe with your other camping gear when going on a trip. This is also where the second purpose of the sheath comes in – preventing the edge of the axe from cutting the other items you’re packing with it. You certainly don’t want your tent or a canvass sheet damaged because you packed your axe with it.

Keeping your axe in a sheath while camping is also a good idea. If you leave your axe lying around in the dirt, mud and rain, the head will get damage and might even rust. Tools will always last longer and work better if they are kept clean and looked after.

The third purpose of an axe sheath is to make it easy to carry your axe with you when you go hiking, camping, or axe throwing. Many axe sheaths have a belt loop designed specifically for this purpose.

There is a huge variety of axe sheaths available, ranging from inexpensive ones made from canvas like the Rothco O.D. Canvas Axe Sheath

to sheaths made from top grain saddle leather like the Heritage Leather 1001 Standard Single Bit Leather Axe Sheath

Although some axes are sold complete with a sheath, most are not, especially if you buy an axe from your local hardware store. Some of these do however come complete with a plastic snap-on cover, although these cover can normally not be bought separately as they are manufactured to fit the specific axe exactly and can’t be used for any other axe.

As with most products, the price of an axe sheath will determine the quality. If you decide to buy the lowest price canvas axe sheath, don’t expect it to last for many years of hard work.

Double bit axe sheath

Sheaths for double bit axes are normally bigger than those made for single bit axes and, as such, will usually cost more. The opening for the axe handle will also be in the middle of the sheath rather than on the side.

The range of double bit axe sheaths available is limited, simply because double bit axes are not as popular as normal axes.

The Weaver Arborist Full Length Double Bit Axe Guard is made from weather-resistant top grain steer hide and it slips over a double bit axe and easily snaps closed. This sheath is lock stitched and riveted for extra durability, and measures 10″ wide x 5-1/4″ deep.

The top of the range Helko Deluxe Leather Axe Sheath (Double Bit) is manufactured in the USA from quality top-grain cowhide leather.

Cehck out our Double Bit Axes here.

The leather has been treated and is infused with waxes and oils for protection against moisture. This softens the leather, making it supple and relatively pliable, and also gives it a rich color. This sheath has a welt, which is a strip of leather that the blade edge rests against while sheathed to provide extra protection to the blade and lengthens the life of the sheath.

Maximum longevity, durability and strength is provided by the precision stitching along the edges, as well as the nickel plated rivets used for fastening it together. An adjustable buckle strap is used to close the sheath. Tightening or loosening the buckle always achieves a snug fit. As leather stretches over time, the buckle strap always allows you to keep the tight fit required for your axe.

The leather buckle strap on the back of the sheath can also be used as a loop, and can be tied down to your bag or belt.

Leather axe sheath

There is a huge range of leather axe sheaths available to protect the edge of your axe. Some are designed to cover the complete head, while others simply slide over the blade and can be fastened to the axe butt or handle with a strap. When buying a leather axe sheath, you need to know both how big your axe’s head is and take into account the shape and size of the edge to ensure that you get a sheath that will actually fit.

We like the Weaver Arborist One Piece Single Bit Axe Guard, simply because the guard only slips over the edge and will be suitable for many different types and sizes of axe.

The sheath is made from durable natural top grain steer hide leather and is lock stitched and riveted. The 5/8″ x 16″ long strap has eight holes for adjustment and buckles around the axe handle to keep the sheath in place. The guard also features a 5/8″ welt all around, allowing it to fit blade edges up to 5-3/8″ long.

The Style N Craft 94-026 Axe Head Sheath has been designed to hold sportsmen’s’ axes with a cutting edge of up to 3-1/4″. It features a snap button closure and is manufactured from heavy top grain leather in natural color with stitching of heavy duty nylon thread.

Double slits at the back allows you to slide a belt of up to 1-1/4″ wide through. Rivets with caps have been used to ensure your safety

DIY axe sheath

If you can’t find an axe sheath that you like, or you have an unusual sized or shaped axe, it’s actually very easy to make your own. Not only will it fit your axe exactly, but you can also easily add other nifty features such as a belt loop, shoulder strap or even extra clips or pockets.

This Handmade Leather Axe Sheath DIY How to video tutorial will give you step by step instructions on how to make your own axe sheath.

Making your own custom axe sheath will likely be more expensive than buying a standard one, especially if you don’t already have the specialty tools and need to buy them. You’ll also have to buy a bigger piece of leather than what you’ll use, but you can always use your new found shills, tools and materials for other projects.

The materials and tools needed to make your own DIY axe sheath are freely available online:

You can buy leather scraps providing they’re big enough for your axe sheath, or either full sheep skins or cow skins in different sizes and colors.

You will also need a leather hole punch, or a leather punch set, Chicago screws and a snap fastener kit with snaps.

Although a leather punch is strictly speaking not required – you could probably punch the holes with a normal office punch or make then some other way – having the right tools for the job always makes things so much easier and will ensure that your end result looks professional.

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