Which sucks more: rolled edges or chipped?

Apr 7, 1999
Don't own any knives hardened enough so that the edge chips rather than rolls when slicing hard material (I'm not talking about denting blades on wire). I am guessing that it is harder to chip edges than it is to badly roll them, so I would rather have a brittle knife over a soft one. Someone told me that brittle stainless steel can't hold an edge because it chips too easily, but I am just a person who would rather have a blade snap than bend under use. Oh...I'm talking about pocket knives here, not monster bowies.
IMHO a rolled edge really sucks. All my life the bad blades are the ones that were too soft. The ones that were real hard were sharpened at a different angle to eliminate the chipping or were used for cutting flesh type material. I think that each knife can be sharpened at the angle that is best for it's intended use. A soft knife could be used for digging I guess. Ray Kirk
A rolled can be fixed. Chips are permanent. Although it's still possible to chop with a chipped blade, a rolled one would be more problematic.

Get a Moran edge, it'll solve both problems. Holds an edge almost indefinately. But once dull, hard to resharpen.
Ideally, knives should be hard enough to resist rolling under the stresses of regular use and to indent rather than chip under heavier use. This is not always an easy thing to achieve and sometimes not possible so you have to make a choice and thus limit the use of your knife.

I can't think of a time that I would want an edge to chip rather than roll. Of course you want the edge to do neither up to the maximum stresses in your applications. If you get a tough yet ductile steel it will keep is edge straight through working stresses and roll on over stresses. After the overstress you use a steel or a hammer to reallign the edge. In a butcher shop you want a ductile edge that you can steel several times an hour. That keeps an edge that cuts meat efficiently all day long. If the edge chipped you would need to take a long time to reprofile it every time you hit a heavy bone. If the knife was just plain too hard you would need to spend significant time to rehone it during the day or work with it at less than its sharpest. If you use a diamond "steel" you can keep a hard blade continously sharp, but you wear it out fast (requiring frequent reprofiling). Edges that roll are more economical of time and steel. (Just make sure that they don't roll at too low a pressure).