For collecting - Plain or Serrated?

Jul 15, 1999
Hello all! I'm new to the forum and knife collecting in general. I've looked through some of the forum topics and haven't found this thread - if it's out there, please excuse the repeat...

I recently read in a knife magazine ( forget the mag or the author ) that, for collecting, plain blades are preferrable, or more popular, to serrated ones. For collecting - not utility - what's your preference? Does one blade type have a higher value? Does the smooth, unblemished gleam of a polished edge get your heart racing? Or is it the rugged, martial look of jagged serrations that fluff your ferret?

Thanks for the feedback!

Hmmm... I don't know if what I do is "collecting" because I carry all of my knives and don't worry about resale value. But I am building up a "carry collection" of large (<3.5" blade) tip-down, blade-hole folders. That's kinda specific, but it makes choosing easier with a tight category. I have 9 right now.

Anyway, I try to keep a good mix of plain and serrated, and go with whatever I feel suits the knife. On my Military, for example, I felt that as the Spydie flagship it ought to be serrated. The clean lines of the Calypso deserved a plain edge, IMO. The Starmate is plain because I got the Militray serrated and wanted some 440V I could strop. You get the idea.

To enjoy a collection, you need to carry it, IMO. And to enjoy carrying it, you need to get each one in the configuration you'll like best. I don't know about the resale value, but I get my knives plain or serrated for the joy it brings me now, not the cash they might bring down the road.

-Drew Gleason
Little Bear Knives
Collectibility of production knives is pretty much exclusively determined by a knife's scarcity or low serial number. If two thousand knives were produced, with only 100 being (for example) straight edged, then those 100 would be "more collectible" than the other 1900.

Would serial number 1 of the larger batch be more collectible than serial number 100 of the smaller? Couldn't say - it would depend on the knife and who you ask.

In short, unless you're talking about (extremely) limited runs or (extremely) low serial numbers, take some time to learn what you yourself like in a knife, then buy it. Then change your mind and buy some more! A knife's value (with the exception of art and other display knives) is best determined by how useful it is to you.

You and I have similar views in knives as to shape and size and what looks better serrated or plain. Yes, I too have the serrated military and will look forward to the plain starmate. My Wegner is 40/60 and I carry the piece a lot.

As for collecting, I use what I collect. I couldn't see buying a fine knife, gun or book and not cutting, shooting or reading.

Like getting married and not having kids. Some tie the knot and produce no heirs but I can't personally see it. You see who would get get all the knives, guns and books.
I'll assume that we're talking about factory knives here, as serrations on handmades are comparatively few and far between. I collect high-end Microtechs and I see a trend where plain edges seem more desirable as collectables. Most of the high-end MTs are way too expensive to use (I'm not about to carry a $900 damascus HALO) so the only reason to have serrations on these knives would be for looks. With a few exceptions, most people seem to prefer the esthetics of a plain edge. High-end MTs are an oddity in factory knives though. Most modern production knives are for using, not socking away in a safe, so the question of whether to serrate or not becomes one of utility. I personally don't see too many Spydercos or Benchmades etc. becoming collector's items in our lifetime. So IMHO, if it's a user, go with whatever gets the job done. If it's a collectable, go with a plain edge, but remember, unless you're in it solely as an investment, you'll probably be happier collecting what You like, not what other people like.