This page is part of the official ARCHIVE COPY of the pioneering but abandoned Thrower website on knife throwing. Copyright and details

Back Sheath!

By: Scott K. Robinson

Saturday, June 1, 1996
Thrower list contributer Scott "the Kender" Robinson, always creative, has developed a marvelous sheath for experimental concealment and drawing of paired throwing knives, in his case, 14 inch long Karps. Karp knives are edgeless professional throwers, but with a little imagination, it should be possible to modify Scott's sheath design to handle edged blades. One reader responded with a description of a similar product from Gerber Knives.

From: Scott K Robinson (
Reply to:
To: "" <>
Subject: Complete (long) sheath instructions

Howdy All,
There's been some interest in my back sheath, so I 'll attempt to describe it. If it gets too confusing, just email me with questions. I'm describing how I made it. It is designed for Karps. Sharp edged knives won't work... (Blackjacks fit the sheath just as it is) This sheath allows you 4 carry positions. Two upside down, two with the handles over the shoulder.

4 yards 1.5" Cotton webbing (looks like a THIN Karate Belt)
1 yard 1" Elastic. (the best you can find)
1 yard 3" Elastic. (lots of stretch, very springy)
2 yards 2" tubular webbing (ask at a mountain climbing store, they'll know)
sewing stuff with heavy thread, and a MINIMUM of sewing ability (Heck, I did it)

All my supplies are black, so they look good together. A nice touch.

Rule 1: It's easy to cut some off later, adding some on is a pain

First the cotton webbing, it is the basic structure. Start at your back Left pocket. Leave a few inches hanging down past the pocket pass the webbing over your RIGHT shoulder. Wrap it under your right arm, across your BACK, and under your Left arm. Now over your LEFT shoulder. It ends at your back RIGHT pocket. You should have a big X on your back with A strap across the middle. Tuck the ends into your belt. You can cut off excess hanging down (see Rule 1). In front you should have a loop over each shoulder, just like backpack straps.

Mark where the straps reach your belt; the straps MUST go past a belt loop, otherwise, they will slide to the center. Also mark where you want the knife handle to rest. Take the whole rig off.

Get your knives:) and the 3" elastic (You can use 1", I just like the 3" a bit better, and I think it will last longer. Use your best elastic, whichever that is.) Make four loops that will fit TIGHTLY (Rule 1 does not apply, that's why you have a lot of elastic...) around the knife just past the handle. This is what holds the knives upside down. Sewing the loop is a pain, but in my opinion the best way to go. Slide the loop onto the knife and do a few quick tests to make sure it will hold the weight. (my first few didn't).

Now slide all 4 loops onto the cotton webbing. Put the knife in the loops bottom loops and move them until the handle is where you want it; mark a good position. Now sew the bottom loops in place. Make sure to get the bottom edge, it holds the loop while sheathing the knife. The top loops are for over the shoulder draw. Adjust them next, just like the bottom loops. The knife will be right-side-up. One on each shoulder, I'm sure you've seen it in the movies... It may take several fittings before everything works. You'll notice that the point of the knife flops around. That's what the tubular webbing is for.

I sewed 4" loops of 1" elastic to each end of my rig. My belt slides through the loops. Later I realized that I could have used the ends of elastic suspenders. Either way, fit the rig so it's under some tension, that way the knives won't flop around. Make sure to attatch the loops below where the knives are anchored.

That tubular stuff...
Now for the tubular webbing. The name is pretty descriptive, it's a hollow tube of nylon webbing. It's used to make anchors when mountain climbing and is very strong. It will hold the tip of the knife close to your back. Slide the tube around one of the ends of the cloth webbing. Pull it over the first set of elastic, all the way to the second set. This will make a tube that the knives slide into. You'll want the 3" elastic strips to form the mouths of the tubes. Cut the tubes to length (Rule 1 again) Be sure to melt the ends with a match. Sew the tubes to the Elastic. You're done! :)


Now you have a long length of cotton webbing with two tubes sewn to it. Each about 14" long. There a tight loop of 3" elastic at each end of the tubes. The ends of the cotton webbing have short loops of 1" elastic for your belt to slide through.

Getting into the rig is a pain... (It's actually easier with knives in it). It also limits flexing your shoulders forward a bit (Not much, I can do a dive roll with two knives in it). I may add elastic to the horizontal back member and sew the X together at the intersection, but it works for now... As far as concealing knives under a jacket, this works as well as anything I came up with... The only issue is that these are BIG knives. When I arch my back there is still a definite knife outline on the jacket... But I guess that just encourages good posture.

The over the shoulder loops don't conceal anything, but they just took a bit more work, and are nice. I can draw and throw in one motion from the right side :) If you put four knives in this rig, the tips hit together in the tubes. There may be solutions, but it's not a big deal. You can use nylon instead of cotton webbing, but make sure it isn't painful in your armpits. I rejected 1" nylon webbing because it hurt, and I thought the knives would twist.

Well that was a long post. Feel free to take this idea and run with it, but do email me if something interesting comes of it :)

       Scott the sewing Kender

Mail to mjr, goto Martial Arts Throwing, or Survival, or back to Thrower

This page is part of the official ARCHIVE COPY of the pioneering but abandoned Thrower website on knife throwing. Copyright and details