of my biggest shortcomings is that besides messing with
parachute cord I cannot do a damn thing with my hands.
The biggest part of this problem is that I have all
kinds of ideas floating around in my head from knives
to sticks to sheaths.
Anyone who spends any time in the various knife forums
or has attended an MCS
course knows that Phil
Smith AKA Philthy is my right hand man from professional
Uke to gear Sherpa. Even though I verbally and physically
abuse Phil it is all done out of love. He has got to
be one of the most diversely talented people I have
About three years ago Phil decided he wanted to start
making knives. And what do all knives need? Sheaths
of course. Again having no talent but lots of ideas
I have had him making new skins for all kinds of stuff.
A common myth about kydex is that it is easy to work
with and there is nothing to it.
Well I can assure you that judging from some of Phil's
early work that is not the case. Being OCD not unlike
myself Phil stuck with it and sometimes I swear that
some of his kydex work was done by machine.
The one thing I can vouch for about Phil's kydex
is that they are deployment sheaths, not just carry
sheaths. To know how to build a deployment sheath you
would first have to have a background that would provide
you the knowledge of how a knife needs to be deployed.
That knowledge cannot be faked or bought. Phil has that
students leave with a laundry list of items that are
recommended by staff. At the top of this list, when
it comes to knives, is the Emerson La Griffe. In our
opinion if you are interested in carrying edged weapons
for personal protection this is the one you should never be
The La Griffe, like the majority of knives, comes with
one sheath. Unlike the majority of knives the only thing
that limits your carry and deployment options for the
La Griffe is your ingenuity and imagination. What we
recommend for any knife that you plan on using for EDC
or Every Day Carry is the Professional
Simply that you provide yourself with three carry options
for your knife. The first is the way that you dress
most often. The second for the way you dress the most
compared to your daily attire. The third one for special
occasions such as outdoor sports for formal situations.
The PCO concept
for the La Griffe resulted in Phil and I collaborating
on his sheath I named the Sidewinder.
The belt channel on the Sidewinder is custom fit for
belt ranging from the rigger type to thin dress belts.
Due to the construction of the Sidewinder there is no
wiggle or play between the sheath and belt and this
eliminates any “wobble” and guarantees that
the La Griffe is always in the same spot providing a
stable platform for rapid deployment.
sheath positions the La Griffe anywhere on your belt
however the CQCG advocates that all tools for dealing
with people be carried between the pant seams to the
My preferred location for the Sidewinder
is up against the strong side seam. The motion to draw
the La Griffe from this position mimics that of the
motion of retrieving your wallet. It is also the same
location you will find your hand releasing your seatbelt
if you are in the drivers seat and happen to be right
handed. Interesting surprise for a car jacker pulling
you from your vehicle.
Another position is the cross draw as pictured below.
To quote Mike Sastre of River
City Sheaths and proponent of the MCS
and friend to the CQCG “there are a lot more good
knife makers than there are sheath makers”. Phil
often complains that he is busy making knives and everyone
wants sheaths. My reply is that his sheaths will lead
people to his knives. Also look forward to a review
of Phil's Thumbnail Knife here in the Bag
If you need kydex Phil can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have a huge inventory of production fixed and folders.
Others may require you to send your knife to Phil.
Not to be a spoiler but also stay tuned for the Sidewinder
for the Benchmade 40 Series Balisong and other popular