Kydex is a type of thermoplastic material used to make gun holsters as well as knife sheaths among others. Rohm and Haas, an aircraft interior manufacturer, used Kydex in manufacturing holsters for the first time in 1965.

It’s only in the late 60’s the true potential of Kydex was understood. Since then, many companies have started using Kydex to manufacture gun holsters and knife sheaths. Its ability to transform into any shape and size by applying moderate heat attracted many manufacturers. Soon Kydex became a default initial for gun holsters manufacturers.

​The name became so evident that the companies using other materials to manufacture holsters have also started using Kydex as an initial for their brands. With the advent of technology in the field of thermoplastics, quality of Kydex has also evolved. Today, best Kydex holsters are available in a wide variety of arrays and prices depending on their quality grades.

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Types of Kydex Holsters

Just like there are different qualities of leather, there are different grades in Kydex thermoplastic as mentioned above. It comes in over 40 different varieties and each has its own pricing, properties, advantages and disadvantages. Budget Kydex is manufactured from recycled material and its performance level is pretty low.

​However, as far as gun holster manufacturers are concerned, they never use budget Kydex. In fact they primarily use either high quality Kydex T or Kydex 100 grades. Now, let us have a look at some of their properties and applications:

a) Kydex T​

Kydex T has a superior impact and is less hygroscopic. Most of the best Kydex holsters use this. It does not require any pre-drying and has a greater uniformity throughout. It has thin walls and is capable of offering greater resistance to a variety corrosive chemicals, cleaning liquids and tough weather conditions.

  • Applications
  • Gun holsters
  • Knife sheaths
  • Aircraft Interiors
  • Interior components in transit vehicles
  • Housing equipments
  • Medical equipments
  • Housings intended for kiosks, etc.

b) Kydex 100

Kydex 100 is superior in toughness and durability. It has brought a new dimension to thermoplastics by new standards in terms of chemical resistance, breakage point, fire resistance, formability, weather resistibility and rigidity. It also meets all the standards such as the UL 94 V-0, 5V, DIN 5510, FAR 25.853a, etc set by quality governing bodies.

  • Applications
  • Gun holsters
  • Knife sheaths
  • Aircraft Interiors
  • Equipment housings
  • Instrument consoles
  • Interiors in cargo trucks
  • Seat backs
  • Insulation in electronic equipments
  • Safety helmets
  • Air exhausters, etc.

Factors to Consider When Shopping The best Kydex holsters

Price

Of course, price is one of the most important factors you have to consider before jumping in to buy any product. Depending on your budget for a particular product, and how often you use it, you may want to go with either an economical piece or a sophisticated version. As far as gun holsters are concerned, Kydex 100 holsters are a bit expensive compared to holsters that are made from Kydex T. Minimum price range for 30 sheets of Kydex T starts at $48.30, where as it starts at $68.16 for Kydex 100.

​Better Protection

This is a very important parameter to consider as well. Many people opt for leather gun holsters instead of Kydex holsters. This is because they are soft and smell good. But, seldom do they keep in mind that how good can it protect their ammo? So, while buying a holster, please ask yourself, which material can better protect your firearm?

​For example, leather holsters are soft, but they are difficult to use in rainy conditions as the waters can easily penetrate into the holster and damage your gun rusty. Chemicals can also penetrate through leather holsters and cause pitting and corrosion of your firearm. Whereas, Kydex holsters are completely resistant to water, chemicals, cleaning solutions, etc.

Your Needs

This is one thing that you wouldn’t forget, do you? For example, if you are a hunter by profession, then there shouldn’t be any question in your mind as to what quality of Kydex gun holster or knife sheath you want to buy. You will obviously opt for the best, because you use it frequently. But, if you are just a hobbyist, you can choose any holster which better fits your budget. But, make sure it is made of Kydex for the sake of your weapon!

Durability

As far as factors such as durability and rigidity are concerned, holsters made from Kydex 100 are superior to that of Kydex T. Kydex 100 also has exceptional and unparalleled ability of resisting toughest of the challenges, be it artificial or natural.

Top 5 Best Kydex Holsters

Concealment Express IWB Kydex Holster: Fits GLOCK 19 23 32

Concealment Express IWB KYDEX Holster - best Kydex Holsters

Editor Rating

This holster is pretty comfortable and sturdy. This helps in placing your gun in the position you want with ease. It can be very useful for all those people who need to carry their ammunition all day long. One of the best handmade holsters in the market, Express IWB can be custom made to suit your gun’s size.

Special Features

  • This holster best fits GLOCK G19 – G23 – G32
  • It has a carry angle of 0-15 Degrees
  • Type – IWB and is perfectly suitable for Inside Waistband usage
  • It has a easy to use retention adjustment system
  • It has a thickness of 0.08 inches and weighs 2.5 oz
  • It has a 1.5 inches wide which can fit most belts
  • It is integrated with ‘Posi-click’ Audible Retention Lock and Full Sweat Shield systems
  • Entirely made in USA and comes with a life time warranty

Pros

  • Adjustable Height
  • Adjustable retention
  • Adjustable 30 degree forward and reverse mechanism
  • Sits comfortably in 3-5 o’clock positions
  • Keeps moisture away
  • Very light and durable
  • Comes with adjustment screws and can be adjusted in any angle from 0 to 15 degrees

Cons

  • Sharp edges may dig into your body
  • May incur additional time and costs for priming to soften the edges
  • Inside screws may leave scratches at times, if not used carefully

Overall, the product is one of the best in its own league. Most of the reviews from the buyers in Amazon are positive, which further concretes this statement. It has an overall rating of 4.6/5 from 231 reviews. A reasonable price tag of $34.95 (plus shipping) makes it a good purchase.

Kryptek Typhon Kydex OWB Holsters For More Than 135 Different Hand Guns

Kryptek Typhon Kydex OWB holsters

Editor Rating

Kryptek Typhon Outside Waistband (OWB) holsters come in a host of designs. It is made of all Kydex and no other material is used. It comes in various shapes and sizes that fit more than 135 types of hand gun models.

Special Features

  • Made of all Kydex
  • Left and right versions available along with speed clips
  • Can be custom made to suit needs of one and all
  • Made entirely in USA
  • One year replacement warranty

Pros

  • Sturdy and well built holster made of thick Kydex sheets
  • Excellent retention
  • Fits close to the body
  • Belt clips are very sturdy and offer a great grip
  • Easy to mount
  • Holstering and removing are pretty easy

Cons

  • Doesn’t fit well with G19, G23 or G32 due to the railings present on these guns
  • Less comfortable due to sharp edges
  • May cost additional time and money for priming purpose

Overall this is one of the best Kydex holsters and it is one of its kind as far as the looks are concerned. It comes in various colors, sizes, shapes and designs to choose from. Since it is made of all Kydex, the durability and resistance are above par. It has an overall rating of 4.5/5 from 123 reviews on Amazon. At a modest price range of $39.99 to $42.84, this holster is certainly a fair deal.

Thin Blue Line Kydex OWB Holsters For More Than 125 Different Handguns

Thin Blue Line Kydex OWB holsters for more than 125 different handguns

Editor Rating

Thin Blue Line Outside Waistband (OWB) holsters come in a host of colorful designs and exceptionally molded patterns. It is made of all Kydex and no other material is used in its manufacturing. It comes in various shapes and sizes that fit more 125 types of hand guns.

Special Features

  • Made of all Kydex
  • Left and right versions available along with speed clips
  • Can be custom made to suit your ammo needs
  • Made entirely in USA
  • One year replacement warranty

Pros

  • Great fit and finish
  • Sturdy and well built
  • Excellent retention and easy to use adjustment screws
  • Belt clips are very sturdy and offer a great grip
  • Hugs close to the body
  • Great concealment

Cons

  • Some buyers complain that it leaves white marks on the gun when drawn from the holster
  • May leave scratches if not drawn properly
  • May cost additional time and money for priming purpose

Some of the designs on this holster are a great way to say thanks to all our fallen brothers and sisters. For a $40, this holster is almost custom made as it comes in numerous colors, sizes, shapes and designs to choose from. Since it is made of all Kydex, the durability and resistance factors are excellent. It has an overall rating of 4.6/5 from 38 reviews on Amazon. It is available at an economical price range of $39.99 - $42.84. Sounds a good deal, aren’t it?

Black Carbon Fiber Kydex OWB Holsters For More Than 135 Different Handguns

Black Carbon Fiber Kydex OWB holsters for more than 135 different handguns

Editor Rating

Black Carbon Fiber Outside Waistband (OWB) holsters come in a host of designs. It is made of all Kydex and no other material is used. It comes in various shapes and sizes that fit more 135 types of hand gun models.

Special Features

  • Made of all Kydex
  • Left and right versions available along with speed clips
  • Can be custom made to best fit your ammo
  • Made entirely in USA
  • One year replacement warranty

Pros

  • Thin built and doesn’t ride too low on your body
  • Easy to conceal
  • Excellent retention and hugs close to the body
  • Belt clips are very sturdy and have a tight grip
  • Light weight yet very rigid
  • Holstering and removing are pretty easy

Cons

  • Belt loops aren’t great
  • Holster is too curvy in shape, everyone may not like it
  • Optional belt clips are only available in the size of 1.75 inches

These holsters have killer looks, but are pretty tough as well. Beauty and the beast go along well in this holster. They come in various colors, sizes, shapes and designs to choose from and are pretty affordable. Since it is made of all Kydex, the durability and resistance factors are second to none. It has an overall rating of 4.4/5 from 82 reviews on Amazon. At a modest price range of $39.99 - $42.84, this holster can well be your best deal.

Fierce Defender IWB (Inside Waistband) Kydex Holster Glock 19 23 32 “Winter Warrior Series”

Fierce Defender IWB (Inside Waistband) Kydex Holster

Editor Rating

Fierce Defender Inside Waistband (IWB) is one of the best solutions for your problems as far as concealment and comfort issues are concerned. It is made of high quality Kydex and is available at an affordable price. It is the best option for all those who take carrying a concealed weapon seriously. This holster is sure to become a part of your everyday life, and soon, you will never know if you are wearing one.

Special Features

  • Custom made with 0.8 inches thick kydex sheet
  • Covers the trigger as well as the backside of your gun completely
  • Moisture and sweat resistant
  • Retention is adjustable to obtain a perfect fit
  • Great option for back, appendix, side and hip carry
  • Cant is adjustable in 0 to 15 degrees range

Pros

  • Retention screw is a breeze to use
  • Has extremely low profile
  • No extra bulk added to firearm
  • Comes with one belt clip, so easy to wear when in a hurry
  • Wide clip capable of accommodating any belt
  • Fits tight on to the body

Cons

  • Protruding screws may leave scratches at times
  • Sharp edges may irritate your body
  • May cost additional time and money for priming purpose

Custom made Fierce Defender holsters perfectly fit your gun and are made to last a lifetime. The retention screws are easy to adjust to any angle between 0 and 15 degrees. It comes with a strong and sturdy plastic clip. The overall craftsmanship is no less than perfect. It has an overall rating of 4.5/5 from 55 reviews on Amazon. An economical price tag of $36.97 makes it one of the best deals in the market.

Conclusion

Above mentioned five best Kydex holsters are the best in the market today. Be it in terms of pricing, quality, durability, resistibility or comfort, these models are far ahead of their counterparts. Depending on the carry you like you can choose your best possible fit from the above. If you like your holster inside your waistband, then you may well want to go ahead with Concealment Express IWB Kydex Holster, a high performance yet affordable holster. Whichever holster you choose, just make sure that it is made of high quality Kydex, and rest assured, your favorite ammo is bound to remain as good as new.

A Comprehensive Guide for Buying the Best Kydex Holster
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