We have heard all kinds of talk regarding Kydex thickness in the holster industry. Holster makers bragging about the thickness they use, holster users demanding a certain thickness, what does it all mean? Well, I am going to attempt to shed some light on the topic.
There are 4 basic thicknesses of Kydex that are utilized in the Holster industry: .06”, .08”, .093”, and .125”. Each thickness has its place among the different styles of holsters and each thickness has its benefits and drawbacks.
.06” Kydex is obviously the thinnest Kydex used in concealment holsters. It is very flexible and gives great definition once formed. The main use for this thickness is your inside the waistband (IWB) holsters and single magazine carriers. The reason it works great for these items is that it is the least bulky of all of them and does not have very aggressive retention. This is beneficial when you are drawing from inside the waistband due to the fact that the belt is adding to the retention of the holster and keeping the weapon secure. You do not see too many outside the waistband (OWB) holsters made with .06” Kydex, the reason for this is that it is less durable than the thicker stuff and, in my opinion, the retention is not aggressive enough. I personally would stay away from any OWB holsters made from anything less than .08?, but that is just my opinion.
.08” Kydex is the standard thickness for OWB holsters. It is rugged, has aggressive retention, and produces good definition. The majority of holster makers use this thickness for their OWB holsters and double magazine carriers. Some will use it for their IWB holsters as well, but it can be a little bulky and tougher to draw from inside the pants. I am not against .08? IWB holsters, we offer both .08 and .06 for our IWB holsters, but I prefer the .06?.
.093” Kydex has basically the same applications as .08” Kydex. It is slightly more robust and durable than .08” and produces less definition. Due to the higher material cost and negligible advantages, not many holster makers choose to utilize this thickness. We used to use the .093 for our OWB holsters, but have migrated over to exclusively .08 Kydex.
.125” Kydex is your belt loop Kydex. It would be rare to see a holster made in this thickness, there would be minimal definition and the retention would be super aggressive. Any thinner Kydex would be unsuitable for belt loops and attachments though. This thickness produces very durable belt loops and attachments. Most belt loops are now made from injection molded plastic so the .125 Kydex has become almost nonexistent in holster shops.
There you have the skinny on Kydex thickness. We at Blue Line Concealment holsters (www.blcholsters.com) utilize .06” for our IWB holsters and .093” for our OWB holsters. All of our custom colors are .06” (IWB) and .08” (OWB). No matter what thickness you choose, we provide a lifetime warranty on all of our products.