Question about serration types and opinion of

Jul 30, 1999
I have several orders now for knives with serrated portions. What are your favorite type of serrations? How long should the serrated section of a blade be? Please feel free to post pictures to illustrate your points.

Thank you,

Lynn Griffith-Tactical Knifemaker
Winner of "Best Tactical Knife" at 1999 PKA show
My website
See my award winning "Spec Ops Tanto" in Gallery 3 of my website
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I made this little experiment in serrations:

That's a section about 2" long, viewed from both sides. My idea was to create serrations that would be sharpened the same way as the rest of the edge, by a flat bevel. I understand that CRK does something like this, but I haven't taken a good look so I'm not sure.

The results were mixed. The serrations do sharpen as the edge is sharpened normally, and would continue to do so as the knife wore, at least for 1/8" or so. They are markedly unaggressive when compared to Spyderco-style serrations, but generally better than a plain edge on fibrous materials. In retrospect there was no purpose in alternating sides the way I did - all notches should have been cut into one side. If I were to do it again it would be one-sided and have multiple smaller notches between the large ones. I haven't continued in this direction, however.

-Drew Gleason
Little Bear Knives
I've seen knives by some well known knifemakers that have useless serrations! They try to make them so agressive that they require more effort to cut something than if the blade was plain. I like serrations that are not too deep and are wide enough so that nothing gets "hung up" while cutting. I don't think the patern matters all that much.
I would also consider how it would be resharpened. My favorite serrated knife has serrations made by a 1/4"dia endmill. To resharpen the serrations I just wrap 30mic paper around a 1/4" rod. A couple of passes and the serration is shiny and sharp! If the serrations are of a complex design it will be hard to resharpen. You would have to come out with matching stones like the production knife companies!!!

On this subject I admit I know nothing since I own no serrated knives. Tried a couple and didn't like the way they cut. But I do have a question. I realize a serrated knife is more a saw than a traditional knife edge but why
are the serrations straight as in a 90 degree angle to the blade. Why aren't they ever angled or every other one angled? I can see
them being straight for sawing back and forth but everything I cut I cut by pulling the blade straight back. Ok there's my dumb question gentlemem. Please enlighten me a bit.
My only real use for serrated knives is for slicing bread that has a crisp crust and is soft inside. The hard-outside/soft-inside combination requires cutting with minimal downward pressure (it wants to be lightly sawn). I favor a serration like Corduroy's design of flats with small notches in between. I want all the serrations on one side. I want the left side of the blade flat and the right side of the blade beveled (chisel contour). With this profile as I slice the bread on the right side of the loaf the blade wants to dive a little bit to the left into the loaf. This compensates for the weak support on the right side of the blade where the bread slice is coming off. The result is easy verticle cutting. A v-ground blade tends to twist towards the departing slice (right) as I cut and gives me tapered slices. The micro-groove serrations (at least 10 per inch) break through the crust and shear the bread neatly.

For almost anything else I use a non-serrated v-ground blade. If I need roughness I just take a few passes on the blade with a medium-coarse diamond hone.
Scalloped patterns like MD's have the benefit of being able to be sharpened easily and are very durable. However they are poor cutters unless the material is very stiff (PVC, sheet metal).

Pointy serrations like Spyderco's are very aggressive like Drew noted. They are harder to sharpen than the scallop pattern and are much easier to fracture.

Rounded serrations like Benchmades are less aggressive than Spyderco's, but are stronger. They are a little easier to sharpen as they are already rounded (which sharpening tends to do unless you are really careful).

Toothy serrations like CS's are the smoothest cutters on hard materials giving less hang ups. They are also the easiest to fracture and the hardest to sharpen.

The best serrations for cutting that has been found by Kit Carson are the convex serrations that are on the Buck Intrepid/U2.
These serrations are also used on the Outdoor Edge Magna. They do not hang up or bind. Unfortunatly for your need they are a propietary design. As to the amount of serrations on the blade I like a minimum of 3". This gives you the minimum running room for an emergency slash and leaves enough strait edge to do precise cutting when needed. This is how my custom 5" U2 is groud.

Now if my Busse Basic 9 just had six inches of serrations.



"Cet animal est tres mechant;quand on l'attaque il se defend."("This animal is very mischievous: when it is attacked it defends itself")
There is an article on serrations at the Mission Knives site
They refer to them as innies (such as Spyderco...aggressive... concave) and outies (suchs as their design and the Buck Intrepid mentioned above....less aggresive....convex, smoother cuts). I do not believe they discussed the kind that Chris Reeve Knives uses on a few of his models which as rumored above sharpen with the rest of the knife on any bench type stone. I recall that Sal Glesser had some input re one of the articles. Check them for yourself and if I made any mistakes in summarizing feel free to post the appropriate corrections

There was a thread where serrations were discussed on combination blades. My question, for those who like combination blades, where should they be placed. I do not recall an answer, but perhaps I forgot to go back and check. (hmmm....anybody want to go the suggestion box and ask that we also be able to track those thread in which we post as opposed to create.)

Near the handle gives the most power, but is also the area that finer cutting might be done and thus I do not know that I care for that placement. The tip area might also be an area of fine control on a skinner. One fishing knife puts them on the tip to get the knife into the fish and then plain near the handle for smooth fillets. On a longer knife, other than on fillet knives, how about leaving both ends plain for finer work and putting them in the middle. Of course many like their blades either fully serrated or fully plain (my usual preference) but according to Snickersnee the serrations on the Project 1 are actually useful.