How Do You Adjust A Kydex Holster or Kydex Knife Sheath?

If you are like me you like using Kydex material for your holsters or knife sheaths. It is weather-resistant and sweat resistant and holds its shape really well.  Plus there are many companies out there that will make them for you at a reasonable price.  Unfortunately, sometimes the holster or knife sheath is too tight and really rubs on your finish.  So at that point, you have two options: send it back to the manufacturer for an adjustment or do it yourself.  I used to send them back but that takes another couple of weeks before you will get it back and I found out it is really pretty simple to make the adjustments yourself.  So let’s explore the process to see if it is something you might want to try.

What Kind Of Tools Do I Need?

All you really need is a heat gun to soften the Kydex and your handgun or knife and you are in business. Because I am currently dealing with holsters at home, the rest of this article will focus on holsters.  But remember you can apply all this to knife sheaths too. The main thing is not to get in a hurry, take your time and it will work very easily. I take it a step further because I make my own knife sheaths, I use a Kydex press, some blue painter’s tape, two clamps to hold the press together, and the heat gun of course.  Now some people say you can use a hairdryer but I do not feel it gets quite hot enough and therefore it can get frustrating.  It is not in my picture but I like to also wear a pair of leather gloves to insulate your hands from the hot Kydex and decrease a chance of a burn.

What Should I Do First?

Here is the holster I am working on today, it is an awesome OWB holster that I love to wear but it is just a little tight around the slide.  I find if I do this to the holster, the finish on my handgun lasts much longer. Some people just use the heat gun to soften the Kydex, put your gun in the holster, and then systematically press on the holster in the areas that you want to change. I like to use blue painter’s tape in the areas that are tight, maybe two layers of tape to give just a little bit of clearance in those areas. Then you just can either put the holster in the Kydex press or just use hand pressure to conform the holster to the new desired contour of the holster.  The Kydex Press works great when making a holster from scratch but once it is made and has belt loops, etc. already there. Hand pressure works best and does not disturb the entire holster.

Step By Step Process:

Now that I talked about some different options, let’s go through it step by step:

1) Make certain your handgun is unloaded, check the magazine and chamber before you proceed with these instructions. (If you had bullets in your magazine or handgun, remove the ammo from the area you are working on so there is no chance that you can accidentally get a bullet in your handgun).

2) Place the handgun in the holster and see where it needs adjusting.

3) Place 2 or 3 layers of blue painter’s tape on your handgun in those areas, as seen in the picture to your right. Place your leather gloves on your hands.

4) Begin heating up your holster by first placing the heat gun on high and warming it up, once warm switch to low and hear up the Kydex with the heat gun, always moving it from side to side, never keep it in one spot, that will burn the Kydex.

5) Once you feel the Kydex begin getting soft, turn the heat gun off and set it down on a non-flammable surface. Place the handgun in the softened holster and begin to push down with your thumbs.

6) When the Kydex has cooled and does not feel soft anymore,  you can pull your handgun out of the holster place your handgun back in the holster and see if it still feels tight. If it does repeat the above numbers #4 – 6.

How Do I Finish The Job?

When you feel it is adjusted correctly, remove the two layers of tape, wipe down the areas where you had tape to remove any stickiness that might be there. Then place your handgun in the holster and see how it fits.  If it does not drag and still clicks into place, you are done.  If it still drags then put two layers of tape back on and repeat # 4-6 again. After that, remove the tape, wipe down your handgun and check the holster again.  It should feel about right now.  Wipe your handgun down with a little Break Free CLP and put your gun back in your gun safe and you are done. This process takes a little time but it is worth it.

Final Comments

Well now you see how adjustments can be made in Kydex. Whether it is a holster, or a knife sheath, it can be done the same way.  You determine the number of pieces of tape that you use and that determines how much space you will have between the Kydex and your gun or knife.  And you can always start out with one piece of tape and see how that works and then increase as you need to.  But this process works great and the end result is awesome.  If you have any question, please comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.  Have a great day.

If you have any questions about this post or anything related to Everyday Carry (EDC)/Concealed Carry, feel free to leave a comment below and I will be happy to get back to you.

All the best,


Founder of Everyday Carry Essentials


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