Gerber Gator Premium Replacement Sheath

Gerber Gator Premium, great knife, but the sheath it comes with leaves little to be desired.

Gerber Gator Premium, great knife, but the sheath it comes with leaves little to be desired.

Are you dissatisfied like I am with the sheath that came with your Gerber Gator Premium?  The Gator Premium itself is a great knife, but let’s face it, the sheath is not anywhere near the quality of the knife.  I’ve searched high and low for a Gerber Replacement sheath but have had no luck.

I’ve even looked for aftermarket custom made sheaths for my Gerber Gator Premium, but also no luck.

So I guess I have to make my own… and I did!  I have to wonder if there is an aftermarket desire from people to sell these custom replacement sheaths?

Gerber Gator Premium Knife & Sheath

The knife itself is solidly made here in the U.S.A., is full tang, has a great grip, nice heft, and made of premium S30v Stainless Steel.  It holds its edge a long time.  I honed it once a few years ago, and to this day just strop it once in a while to keep it nice and sharp.  It’s a solid knife for bushcrafting too.  You can read a more detailed review of my knife here.

My Gerber Gator Premium. I love this knife. Not too big, not to small. Great for field dressing medium to large game as well as general bushcraft and camping use.

My Gerber Gator Premium. I love this knife. Not too big, not to small. Great for field dressing medium to large game as well as general bushcraft and camping use.

As fantastic as the knife is the Gerber Gator Premium’s leather sheath leaves much to be desired.  And to be honest I am not even sure it is real leather, I don’t think it is.  It has a plastic or Kydex blade guide sewn inside a ‘pleathery’ sheath.  The belt loop is long and too thin for my liking.  On top of that the leather strip and snap that secures the knife handle in place is also a bit flimsy – again in my opinion.

Making A Custom Gerber Gator Premium Knife Sheath

A few readers may know that I dabble in leather crafting.  To that end I decided it was past time to make a custom sheath for my Gerber knife.

Now, let me be the first to say that I am by no means a master at leather crafting.  In the past I have made journals, ax sheaths, and some debossed patches for Matthew Posa.  I’ve never made a knife sheath before.  Going into this endeavor I had little knowledge and turned to YouTube for some answers.

At this point I want to give a huge shout out to Ian Atkinson (Leodis Leather).  Clicking on his name will bring you to his YouTube channel to see a video he made that got me on track.

My Gerber Sheath Replacement Requirements

I sat down a few days ago and wrote down some requirements my custom sheath needed to have.  I also sketched out a couple simple designs on how I wanted it to look.

  • Leather thickness needs to be heavier than the factory sheath.  7-8 grain leather thickness is a must.
  • Fold over design.  No snaps or buckles.
  • Edges sewn together, double stitched, no rivets.
  • Has to be dyed black.
  • Will stamp some designs to the edges of the sheath to give a little flare.
  • The knife must be held secure by friction inside the sheath.
  • Would be nice to wet form the handle to the inside of the sheath.
  • Must be sturdy and functional, not necessarily pretty, but that would be okay too.

Of course all the usual finishing touches would be part of the crafting process; burnished edges, oiled, snow-seal treatment, etc…

Test build on the right, starting a genuine build on the left.

Test build on the right, starting a genuine build on the left.

Custom Leather Sheath For My Gerber Knife – Template & Design

My wife and I share a crafting room at our house.  She likes to make things like pillows, holiday decorations, hand bags, and trinket jewelry.  I like to sit in front of my computer and write blogs, play retro video games, plan my future outdoor activities, read, journal, and on occasion leather craft among many other things.

The room we share is not big enough.

But since we have this man-cave/hobby room we have lots of scrap craft items laying around.  Luckily enough leather scrap where I can make a rough template of my sheath design and test out a few design ideas.

Custom Knife Sheath – Figure Out A Template

Going into this little project I had a fairly good idea what I wanting to have my Gerber Gator knife sheath to look like.  So I jumped straight into trying to decide on an accurate template.  That required some blank paper, a black pen, a ruler, a scissors (one that my wife allowed me us to use), and my Gerber knife.

My Gerber drop sheath and cross-draw sheath in mid creation.

My Gerber drop sheath and cross-draw sheath in mid creation.

Since this blog post is not a tutorial on how to make a custom knife sheath for your Gerber Gator, I’m going to cut to the knitty-gritty.

After about thirty minutes of messing around with paper, pen and scissors, I had two unique templates made for Gerber knife sheaths.  One was a typical drop style sheath that hangs straight down from my belt on my right hip.  Another template that is similar but is for a right hand cross-draw with the knife being sheathed at an angle!

Gerber Cross-draw sheath cut out and stamped.

Gerber Cross-draw sheath cut out and stamped.

Another thirty minutes passed and I took some scrap leather I had laying around and cut out the templates.  Fifteen minutes later I had cased the leather on the first sheath and was messing around stamping some basic designs into the leather.  I also did some size testing to make sure the sheath would be a snug fit for the knife.

Gerber cross-draw sheath dyed black before forming and sewing.

Gerber cross-draw sheath dyed black before forming and sewing.

Ninety minutes to two hours later I was feeling good about my overall designs with the rough made first article.  I knew what I needed to do moving forward to make the actual sheaths.

Let’s do this!

My Gerber Gator Custom Leather Sheath

So without any further here are images of my first two sheaths I have made.  They are all wet -formed to my knife and fit nice and snug – they don’t shake loose.

Completed Custom Gerber Knife Sheaths

Completed Custom Gerber Knife Sheaths

I really like both of them.  But…  As I was working on the cross-draw sheath I got some ideas for a new design; a scout style horizontal cross-draw sheath.

Why design a scout style horizontal cross-draw sheath for my Gerber?  Because I like to canoe trip and camp, and when I do those things I am actually sitting quite a bit.  Around the campsite I’ll sit in my portable camp chair and having a drop sheath or even the angles sheath will likely be in the way when I sit and lean back.

I went ahead and made it, a Gerber Gator Premium custom sheath, Scout Cross-draw.

I went ahead and made it, a Gerber Gator Premium custom sheath, Scout Cross-draw.

A scout style horizontal cross-draw sheath wouldn’t pose an issue when sitting.  Shortly after I snapped the picture above I got to work with my pen and paper on designing a new template for my soon to be made scout sheath.  I plan to test wear them all and see what I like best.

Gerber Custom Leather Sheaths

I have to admit it’s been a lot of fun designing and making custom sheaths for my Gerber knife.  It has been a particularly snowy month of February this year and sadly I have found myself indoors more than anything else this winter.  Leather crafting has been taking up a lot of my time, so much in fact I have not spent much time up north at the cabin.

Are you like me and dislike the sheath that came with one of your Gerber knives?  I bet you are.  It seems most people who I read comments from online after buying their Gerber dislike the sheaths.

Get online, check out a few knife sheath making videos on YouTube.  You may be surprised how easy it looks… and is once you get started.  You can create a custom sheath for your Gerber knife.

TD

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