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I worry about carrying a fixed-blade knife on my hip, because if I fall or wrestle my kids or whatever, I worry I could get stabbed. I've had pointy blades push through a cheap sheath before.

I stick to folding knives for this reason, but I like the idea of a knife I can quickly get out with just one hand.

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I always feel uneasy at the idea of carrying around a fixed blade. I think it may get you in trouble with the law if they stop you with one around. I think if you have a well locked foldable is much better legally. – Stefano Borini Jan 25 '12 at 23:24
If you want to consider a folding knife that can be opened with one hand, I have this assisted open knife, and I can definitely get it out and open with one hand (with practice, as the lock is solid and I have small hands):…. – Clare Steen Mar 14 '12 at 13:03
I do not understand. Most pocket knifes are designed to be opened with one hand. – Vorac Aug 13 '13 at 13:40
@Vorac: A lot of knives out there look like this, and require 2 hands. – Jay Bazuzi Aug 13 '13 at 16:03
Why would you want such a blade. You can't open it with one hand. – Vorac Aug 14 '13 at 7:27

If your primary concern is "a knife I can quickly get out with just one hand" then you may want to look at better folding knives instead. A modern folding knife should not be difficult to open with one hand.

If you need a fixed blade knife for other reasons I suggest you seek out (have made) a sheath that is leather-over-Kydex construction. Kydex by itself can be rather brittle, especially in the cold. Leather can be cut though, usually not by impact but by careless or forceful insertion/removal of the blade. The leather-over-Kydex construction provides a particularly durable combination.

Be sure to get a sheath with positive retention as the knife coming free of the sheath is a more likely problem than the knife cutting through the sheath itself.

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This is sort of an obvious answer, but if you're worried about a knife slipping out of (or cutting through) a cheap sheath, then get a knife with a better sheath.

The traditional outdoors knife here in Finland is the puukko, usually worn in a leather sheath that grips the handle by friction, with an internal wooden last that protects the leather from contact with the blade. I've never heard of one of these knives cutting through the sheath, nor of slipping out accidentally, as long as the sheath is well made and fits the knife properly.

(The cheap plastic-sheathed Mora knives do tend to slip easily out of their sheaths. As utility knives they're not too bad, but I'd never wear one of those things on my hip.)

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While I love the Scandinavian and especially Finnish traditional knives (I own several), from my experience it can be difficult to access them with one hand. This is partly due to the good grip the sheath has on the knife, and partly because the sheath is often attached to the belt using just a single band/string at the top. – fgysin Apr 28 at 11:21

I would suggest using a Kydex or plastic sheath. You can also buy Kydex inserts for your leather/nylon etc. sheaths as well.

According to Grant Lamontagne at the Forum:

The nice thing about kydex and other plastic type sheaths are that they usually attach to the guard of the knife, meaning that any impact force isn't on the blade through a soft material, it's on a hard shell and transferred through the hilt to the belt or other secure point, meaning you are more likely to have it fall off your belt than intrude on your innards.

(emphasis mine)

Example of a Kydex sheath:

enter image description here

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