What Should You Look For In A Kydex Holster?

What Should You Look For In A Kydex Holster?

There are a lot of options whenever you talk about a holster for your firearm.  IWB holsters, OWB holsters, and ODB holsters (I am fairly sure ‘Ole Dirty Bastard owned a firearm and had a unique way of carrying it).  Before even exploring those options, however, you have to first decide what kind of material you want your holster to be made out of.  Are you going to pretend that you are in an old-timey western and go the leather route, or are you going to stop being a Luddite and get with the times and go with the Kydex option?

Kydex Holster With Optic And Claw

Here at FDO Industries, we believe in embracing indoor plumbing and modern technology so all of our holsters are sleek, modern, and made of Kydex.  Let’s dive into what Kydex is and what to look for when buying a Kydex holster.  Before we do that, however, we need to address the serious issue of counterfeit materials with a not-so-serious analogy to a delicious cookie spread.

Why The Nut Master and Kydex Holster Knock-Offs Are Never A Good Idea

Recently, the grocery store where I live added a new cookie option:  Nutella Biscuits.  In the words of Ferris Bueller, “If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.”  You may not know this but there is a knock-off version of Nutella called “Nut Master”.  It is sold in a country that has, shall we say, lax trademark enforcement.

I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that “Nut Master Hazelnut Spread with Cocoa” will give you gastronomical distress.  Pay the extra few centavos and get the real Nutella.  You know that there will be no issues with quality.  You get what you pay for, as they say.

Along the same vein, it is important that you know that we source all of our Kydex from Index Thermoplastics, which is a leader in the industry.  If you see a dirt cheap “Kydex” holster out there, chances are it’s a knock-off material that won’t perform at a high level when you absolutely need it to.  Not a great plan if things get spicy.  OK, now that we have sorted that issue out, let’s get to it.

What is Kydex and why is it great for holsters?

Let’s geek out a bit.  Kydex is an extremely versatile thermoplastic that comes in flat sheets.  When you heat it to 320 degrees Fahrenheit the material becomes malleable and you can mold it into practically any shape.  This comes in handy for keeping up with the vast array of aftermarket accessories for handguns such as lights and optics.  

Kydex is also easy to work with because it will continue to soften up to 390 degrees Fahrenheit.  This broad heat range makes it easier to maintain consistency throughout the manufacturing process.  It is a great material for a holster because it is lightweight and thinner than other alternatives, such as leather (and you don’t have to say ‘tarnation’ when you use it).  The industry standard texture for Kydex is known as “P1 Haircell” which handles repetitive stress in high-abuse areas of the holster easily.  It is also highly resistant to abrasions.  We know our customers operate in high-impact environments.  We work hard to ensure our Kydex holsters can stand up to the abuse.

What Is The Best Kydex Holster For You? (The Big 3)

A lot of people will tell you that this is a very subjective question.  It’s not.  For 95% of people, if the Kydex holster you buy takes care of the big 3 you are in great shape.  What are the big three?  I’m glad you asked.  You need the firearm to fit properly in the holster, have it stay positioned securely on your belt or pants, and be able to achieve your concealment goals when you use it.  If you start with these factors in mind you will be ahead of most people wandering around aimlessly on the internet.

The way that we handle the big 3 at FDO Industries is to begin with customization.  Instead of trying to pre-make every possible permutation of firearm and accessories, we have the most most common build-outs for your holster to make sure that it fits properly every time.  All you have to do is go to our “Forge Your Own Holster Webpage” and select the make/model of your firearm , and if it needs a cut for an optic or a light.  This way, you aren’t wondering if it is going to fit properly while you wait for the holster (you don’t have to wait very long either as we have some of the fastest fulfillment times in the industry). 

(If you don’t see your gun model check our Kydex Holster FAQ here.)

We also have six customization options for the belt attachment to make sure that whatever you are rocking, the holster is not going anywhere on the draw.  The retention screws are set apart at the industry standard so if you already have something on your belt that you love you can keep it.  Swapping out the attachments is also easy to do. 

Finally, to round out the big three is the ability to add a “claw” to the holster.  This extra attachment pushes against your belt, causing the handle of your gun to press closer to you which helps reduce "printing". It is great for making larger guns, or guns with light attachments, even more concealable.  Interchangeable inserts allow you to modify how much the holster will pivot based on whatever you are wearing.  We also source these "claws" from Index Thermoplastics so you know they are of the highest quality and you can add them to any holster for a small fee. 

What Are The Best Return Policies For Kydex Holsters?

We definitely don’t have a “you break it you buy it” policy at FDO Industries.  If you send us a broken holster that you have purchased from us we will replace it.  We will ask “How did you do this?” more out of a sense of curiosity.  Other than exposure to extreme temperatures, Kydex holsters are extremely durable.  That is why they are exploding in popularity.  They can take a lot of abuse while still being very light compared to other materials.  We are so committed to our holsters that we have a 100-year warranty policy on all of our holsters.

Kydex Holster Quick Fire Questions

How long do Kydex Holsters last?

If you clean them every once in a blue moon and keep them away from extreme heat they are extremely robust and will last for a very long time.  Just don’t put them in the oven and you should be fine (also see 100-year return policy above).

What are the disadvantages of Kydex?

There can be a click sound when holstering or drawing the gun but you aren’t a ninja so don’t worry about it.

Are all Kydex holsters the same?

No.  They are designed to fit the exact model of firearm they are built for in order to work properly.


I hope this answers most of your questions.  Regardless of what you run, Kydex handles it like a champ!

Have a good one,


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