Just got my new style serrated Military today!

Mar 22, 2001
ALSO POSTED IN SPYDERCO WEBSITE FORUM - please excuse duplication.

Well, I got it. My Serrated Military!

I just returned from picking the knife up at my local shop. It is truly beautiful. This new model (black lettered blade) version feels as though it may have a slightly more precise (or perhaps tighter) lockup somehow than my plain edged one, although there is nothing wrong with my older one.

It is really smooth right out of the box, and has a somewhat different sound when locking up...kind of a less-hollow click than my other. Interesting.

Anyhow, now I can truly comment upon the differences between the diamond engraved style and laser cut style Militaries; at least as observed with my two specimens.

I am just looking around for something to cut now. Man, is this knife sharp. It is MUCH sharper than the plain edged one was when received, although that knife had been on display and perhaps "played with" some. I realize that much has been written about sharpening the CPM-440V blades, but i'd like to know how to get my plain edged model to shave like this serrated ones front section will easily do. Guess I'll just keep on working on it with the 204...

Anyway, great knives!


Yup...I've owned, i think, all the various Military versions and revisions, and also must agree that the most current generation is the best. Just a mindless reply...

Jeff, I´ve hade the same problem with my Mil. The edge was not in the near of some other Spydies that I own (esp. those featuring VG-10 steel).

I believe it was Clay who said that one should end each sharpening session with a lot of light strokes on the white stones. Since I´ve been practicing this method, my Mil shaves like crazy. I also added another thing. After those light strokes are done, I usually finish with some straightening strokes. Those are performed the opposite way, starting at the base and moving upwards. 2 on each side.

However you should know that the grain structure of the CPM steels is somewhat coarser that for example VG-10. So, you will not get the same type of sharpness as on let´s say a Calypso Jr Ltw or Lum Chinese Folder. This edge is more "toothy"
. But OTOH, that is what really works for most of the cutting chores.

Happy sharpening!! Cheers

Thanks for reminding me about Clay's suggestion. I have not been doing the final multiple strokes on the white stone, at least not enough perhaps or maybe not lightly enough. How many do you do?

Also, do you go all the way to stage four (flats of the white rods)? I have been experimenting w/ stage three (corners of the white rods) vs stage four by comparing cutting ability on some different materials, and it seems at this point that a stage three finish may leave a more capable edge for my general use. I would really like to achieve a shaving sharp edge on this knife though, above all.

Thanks for your help. - Jeff/1911.

ps - Cool graphic on your post!
No I don´t count strokes. After let´s say 5-10 strokes on each side, I´d usually try to shave my arm hair from both sides. If it is still dull, I´d just continue. If one of the sides is sharp enough to shave, then I´d go to the conclusive 4 strokes in order to straighten the edge.

Yes I do use all 4 steps! I agree that step 3 will " leave a more capable edge for your general use". However, if you wish a shaving edge, then the forth step is IMHO necessary.



Thanks. I figured step 4 (a polished edge) would be neccesary for shaving sharpness. One more question...are these finishing strokes done by alternating sides or are they done 4-5 on each side then proceeding to the the other side?

Sorry to be an explanation hog.

Cheers to you too! Jeff/1911.
My fault, should have been more specific.

Yes I usually do alter the strokes from side to side, however, if I feel that the edge is too much inclined to a certain side, I will do some extra strokes on this side to begin with.

You´re no
to me, just a knife knut ;)

Thanks for the detail. I will try this technique tonight and let you know if I am successful. I really appreciate your help. If I can get this knife truly shaving sharp, I will be most pleased.

Just don´t give up! Eager to know how it worked out :)

Take Spydie Care, wishes Paul! :D

I kind of had given up before, figuring that it is just the kind of steel that takes a certain touch or something. It has always cut like nobody's business. That, and the fact that I had gotten used to it polished to stage three.

In any case, I'll write back once I've given it a try again.


I forgot to ask you...do you sharpen your Military at 40 degrees or 30? I have mine presently sharpened at 30 degrees, and I'm wondering if I should have it like that. Perhaps I have not got the edge properly established at 30 degrees total angle. I'd be quite happy w/ a 40 degree shaving sharp edge.


For now I've stuck w/ 30 degrees total and I finally have this thing shaving sharp! Halleluah!

It (CPM440V) certainly is different stuff isn't it? It seems extremely difficult to achieve a super sharp edge with. As you suggested, only by using VERY light finishing strokes on the flats of the white stone was I able to achieve a shaving sharp edge; and a "sort-of" one at that.

In comparison, and to check my technique...immediately following my sharpening session w/ the plain edged Military I used the Sharpmaker to touch up the edge on my Ladybug. With very little effort it is ridiculously sharp.

I'm not sure how much I like this CPM-440V stuff...I know it cuts well during normal use, but I like a knife to feel sharp. Mine does seem sharp now but not the way AUS-8 or ATS-55 gets, not even close.

Anyhow, thank you for the advice as it was most helpful. The improvement I have realized with this knife is immemse.

is the angle I´ve set on my Mil. This due to the fact that I do not use my knife for anything else than pure cutting chores. No prying, no bending and certainly no chopping. I ultimately got my Mil to be a perfectly trimmed cutting tool.

The truth is that the edge is so refined that I can almost feel the difference between a freshly sharpened Military and a Military, which has been used only once (!!), i.e. used for cutting a loaf of bread!!

I don´t know if this makes sence to you? The edge is still unbelievably sharp, however I can feel the difference. So you could say that I am a sharpness friar


Yes, that makes perfect sense to me. I will be trying my Military pair out this weekend on all kinds of stuff so I'll let you know how they do. Fabulous, I expect.

Cheers, Jeff/1911.
I can get my Spyderco CPM 440V blades shaving sharp, but it is 'only' just shaving sharp. The plain edge Military that I use, shocked me with its sharpness when I cut some newspaper! This steel cuts like a bugger and still shaves! Think about it, so it won't shave like ATS-34/55 et al, but with an edge that will scrape-shave it cuts in a FAR more aggressive manner than any other steel I have tried. While I too, like the arm hair shave test as a 'point' where I know my knife edge is acceptable and I can get 'other' steels far sharper with less effort, they never have the same cutting 'power'? That my CPM 440V knives show:confused:.Sound crazy?

I have talked about this at length, but I just don't think CPM 440V is as suited to a 'vorpal' hair popping edge as more traditional steels. I got both my standard Military and Starmate to a point at 30 degrees and 40 degrees respectavly where both would shave, the Military at 30 would hair pop:cool: . However my Delica (blue) with a factory edge (30 degree's?) made both CPM 440V knives look blunt! Oh and both blades were finished on Spyderco's Ultra Fine Benchstone. It scares me to think what my Blue Delica at 30 degs an that stone would be like:eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: , cut the atom?:p

All in all CPM 440V has a number of features I like.

1. Never had it rust on me. ATS-55 rusts for me even with MST Cloth, my Matriarch and Endura both pitted slightly from inner coat carry. I had not looked at either blade for about a week, but even with no use and a coat of Marine Sentry Tuf Cloth, that was dissapointing.
2. Holds an edge a long long time.
3. Cuts a LOT better than you think it aught to.

On the bad side, it is not as tough as I would like and it does not shave as well as other stuff. However, how many of us REALLY need an edge that shaves? Most of my other blades with such a highly polished edge are scapel sharp or sharper and are useless at many tasks! CPM 440V gives a good inbetween IMHO.

You make some very good points. I too find that the CPM-440V blade of my Military is not the best shaver, but cuts like crazy on most materials.

This steel does not seem to lend itself well to the shaving test. I am starting to think that one must realize this to be happy w/ this type of steel. I sure do enjoy the proficiency with with it cuts most materiels... This leads us to the question w/ which I've wrestled. Should I be sharpening my Millie such that a shaving-sharp edge is the goal? How about stopping on stage 3 of the sharpmaker sequence, to preserve and perhaps optimize this steels "toothy" style?

Hmmm, this was something I had considered myself...

I have tried it a number of different ways and to summerise I have found the following.

1. It is very difficult to get the 'symetry' of CPM 440V steel 'just so'. Unlike other steels where the burr moves from one side to the other and you cut it off with the sharpening process, CPM 440V seems to resist this method. This means you think the edge is perfect, and it is not. You have to spend more time and I now use a method that Joe told me about. Get the edge as perfect as you can and finish with a couple of passes at a slightly higher angle. For example if you use the 20 degree per side setting, at the end turn the blade away from the stone by about 2-3mm thus increasing the angle to about 21-22 degree's. As long as you only do a couple of passes on the white stones each side it aught to remove any burr without changeing the angle much. This really works with this steel

2. I did not like the result using step three only, the blade would scrape shave but it was 'painful'! At step four it would shave better and still cut other stuff as well. I would stick with step four with this steel unless you are cutting rope all day;)
3. I get better results with the UF Stone for shaving, but the knife does not cut as well on most other stuff as simply using step four. I am 50/50 wether to leave it at step four or wether to use the UF stone to finish it off with a high polished edge. At the moment I prefer the highly polished edge with most steels, I don't cut much rope after all:D !

Hope it helps a bit. I would like to keep in touch with you on this issue as I LOVE:rolleyes: playing about with different methods and styles of sharpening. Question is... anyone use a strop on this steel:eek: ?
Hi General,

I will try your (Joe's) thechnique of increasing the angle for the final few strokes, when sharpening the Military PE.

I just sharpened up my serrated Police today, and closely followed the guidelines you suggested in a previous thread. This process worked very well. How do you test serrated edges for sharpness? I can feel that it's sharp...but is there any reliable way of measuring how sharp the blade's become?

I haven't tried a strop on CPM-440V. Maybe that would work well.

Cheers, Jeff/1911.
Ok! Glad you found the serrated advice came in handey:) I developed it as I found it was needed to get all the sides and peaks of the serrations without doing them one after the other:rolleyes: !

As to how I test serrations, well I have a number of tests, this is the order I do them in.

1. If you are keeping the serrations as a 'chisel' grind with one side flat (I always do) I run my thumb down the back of the blade to ensure the burr is gone on this flat side.
2. I look at the edge close up under a very bright lightbulb. I look for 'spots' of white which show dull areas and flat spots. The vert tips of the serrations sometimes show this. Something I have found is sometimes it pays to do step 4 with the sharpmaker a couple of times on the serrated side of the edge to sharpen the very tips of the serratons. To be clear use step 3 (the white corners) as normal and when you are otherwise happy with the edge, use the flat white stone and run the same side the same way down about5-6 times. This does NOT sharpen inside the serrations as its the flat side of the stone, but sharpens the tips to a needle like point:cool: . As usual remove the 'burr' from the other side.
3. I take some A4 paper and see if each serration 'scalop' will cut right through the paper with ease
4. I touch the peaks with my fingers and if I get that OMG feeling...:eek:
5. The final test and not for the fain hearted, be warned;) , place the serrated edge on your hand and very very gently run the blade up your hand, it aught to cut into your top layers of skin and even cut you 'slightly'. When I say SLIGHTLY I MEAN SLIGHTLY!:rolleyes: , this is not a cutting oneself test! The test is to see how well it grabs and slices the upper layers of skin rather than to try and draw blood. If however the serrations are good, you will not even feel it as it cuts. I have done this with my fully serrated Endura and fully serrated C16S Wayne Goddard and have started to bleed 10 mins after the cut. Now THATS sharp:eek: ! This is just my method and as a worst case has only drawn a couple of drops of blood. I don't recommend it if you have a heavy hand though:eek: , these Spyderco serrations sure get SHARP!:p

Thanks for the "testing" tips...I plan to try them all.

I am most pleased that you elaborated upon the "step 4" advice. I was mixed up from your previous description, thinking that you were referring to step 4 of your list of 8 things to do...instead of step 4 of the sharpmaker sequence (flats of white stones). I really want to try this as I desire an ultra sharp serrated edge on my stainless Police. I intend to use this knife sparingly, and want it to be very sharp for those times when I do need it.

I will soon have a plain edged Police model for the majority of everyday cutting that I need to do.

Thanks again, Jeff/1911.