What Is The Difference Between a Sheath and a Scabbard?

If you are reading this article, hey you are searching for a specific knowledge right? I mean knowing about the difference between a sheath and a scabbard will not get you any benefit rather than having a perfect knowledge about these two almost similar kind of things.

However, sit back and relax. We are going to give you every possible information that you need to identify the differences between a sheath and a scabbard.

Even though these two materials have pretty much same look and almost the same task to do, but they still have some difference regarding various aspects. We are going to describe those to you.

So without further intro, let’s jump into the business. shall we?


What is a Sheath?

A sheath is basically a wrapping material that wraps up a knife of similar kind of weapons containing blade. A sheath can be made of leather or wood. Even there are many sheath manufacturing company that use metals to produce sheaths.

So, as you can see, a sheath can be made of wood, metal or leather, but it is more likely made for covering knives or dagger.

Sometimes a sheath can be used for wrapping a bit larger knives or daggers. There are some sheaths available on market that are made for covering the kitchen knives and choppers.


What is a Scabbard?

When is comes to define a scabbard, the first thing to mention here is, scabbard is made for covering the swords.

A knife can be quite larger, almost equal to a sword but swords are specific and made for certain objectives. So there is no way to mixed that up.

A scabbard is normally made of wood or sometimes metal. You can rarely see any sword wrapped up with a rubber or leather scabbard.

The materials apart, scabbards are heavier and well built than sheaths as they got to deal with heavier blade and they have harder tasks to do.


Difference Between A Sheath and A Scabbard

Scabbard vs Sheath
Scabbard vs Sheath

Primarily there is no difference between a sheath and a scabbard regarding their job. Both of them are basically made to cover or wrap the blades of the weapons to avoid any kind of injury of major accidents. But there are some other differences between them. Bellow we have categorized their differences in several categories.

Size and Length

As we mentioned earlier that sheaths are basically made for knives, so they are comparatively smaller than the scabbards. But the size and width might vary depending on the type of knives they are being used for.

The scabbards are larger, heavier and more powerfully built. They contain two different surface attached to each other leaving a hollow shell in the middle for the swords to fit in. So scabbards can easily be recognized by it’s size and length.

Used Materials

Sheaths are more often made of leather. But there are also some manufacturers that make wooden sheaths. Very few sheaths are made of metal. However, metal sheaths still exist.

Scabbards are made of metal or wood. These are the mostly used raw materials for scabbards. However, some Japanese swords contain leather or rubber scabbards.

Use of Purposes

Even though they have a specific job to do, which is covering the blade, but sheaths are most likely used to cover up the blade of a knife when scabbards are appointed to much harder job of covering the swords.

All types of knives, whether it is a pocket knife, tour knife, a dagger or a chopper, their covering is called a sheath. On the other hand, a sword is covered with a scabbard. Even though you can find a knife almost equal to a sword in length, but you can’t call it’s covering a scabbard.


It is an obvious fact that the harder the job is, the more valuable it is considered. A scabbard is responsible for covering one of the deadliest weapons that had significantly been used in ancient battlefields.

Swords are highly equipped and the blades that are used in it powerful and sharp. So it is pretty much easy to hurt yourself or someone else unintentionally with it’s sharp edge. So Wrapping it up with a competent material is really worth it.

So the material used making these scabbards are really expensive. So it will cost you more than a sheath. But the lucky factor is, most of the scabbards are embedded with the swords and you don’t require to purchase them extra.

On the other hand, sheaths are cheaper compared to the scabbards. They are made of leathers and rubbers.

So they are not that much strong and highly built. The knives are easy to maintain and handle compared to a sword. So a sheath has easier task to do.

Moreover, knives are generally smaller than swords, so the sheaths don’t need to be extra large and carry more materials. So you can get a sheath spending just a few dollars.



The basic conception about a sheath and scabbard is that, they both are appointed for the same job to wrap the blade, but the purposes of their use are different. Where the sheaths are made for the knives, they scabbards are manufactured for the specific swords.

Apart from this primary difference, there are many different in the materials, size and price. We have mentioned almost every possible information one might need to know to differentiate a sheath and a scabbard.

However, there are different types of knives that contain different shape and size. There are some knives that might me almost equal in size to the sword. But whatever it is, a knife is always a knife and a sword can easily be identified as a sword.

And this is an obvious fact that a wrapper for a knife is always a sheath and the cover of sword is always considered as a scabbard. Hope you will not confuse the difference and conception between these two ever again.

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