WHY serrations??!!

Serrations or partials sell in larger numbers may be very true. Remember the vast number of buyers are not "Nuts" like we are. We know what works best for our intended tasks. We also for the most part know how to put an edge on a blade. Think of how many people you have met that can't. then the serrations may make sense to them. I agree with El Cid, if i"m doing anything that requires agressive cutting I go right to the DMT, or E-Z lap.

I once worked for a conveyour(sp)belt mfg. Having to cut those things up all day. It was very interesting what knife and edge configurations really worked the best.
I don't particularly care for serrations in most cases either. I suppose they have their place, but I have never been in a situation where serrations would have been better than a plain edge.

Another question:

What is the difference between a scalloped and a serrated edge blade?

It is my understanding that a serrated blade has the "teeth" edges sharpened to a bevel on both sides of the blade while a scalloped edge blade is sharpened on one side only - which is what most blades that I have seen as described as "serrated" actually are.

QUOTE]Originally posted by metacarpels:
ok... i know that partially serrated knives are pretty popular now... heck some stores dont even know what plain edge means. i honestly dont see how they increase the overall utility of the blade. alriught, lets say you want to cut some rope. apparently, serrations are supposed to cut better. when i cut rope with a spyderco rescue... you couldnt cut it with one slice. you had to saw at because all the serrations do is hang up in the material and slow you down. and, if you do pull hard enough to cut with one slice it makes a mess of the end of the rope (frays it badly). if youre on a rescue team cutting seatbelts and clothes and what not, a razor sharp plain edge would go through material or webbing so much faster because it doesnt hang up and require so much more effort. NOT to mention the fact that serrations suck to sharpen. i honestly dont see why serrations are so great.. am i missing something here?[/QUOTE]

On a longer blade, a small serrated section really helps start a cut that the plain edge can then slice through. If you've ever tried to cut something where the cut was hard to start with your plain edge, but once you got a nick in, the blade just sliced right through, then a small serrated section at the back of the blade would have helped a lot. This works especially well with larger fixed blades, because 2" or so of serrated section doesn't significantly take away from the useful cutting edge. On a 3" blade or something, partial serrations are a joke.

I have found serrations to be the best thing in the world for stripping wire. I'll never buy another wire stripper as long as I have a serration around.

I've got a POS Jaguar knife I bought years ago. The plain part of the edge is too dull to cut anything, but the serrated part still cuts. The knife wasn't much sharper when I bought it. The knife is largely useless. If it didn't have that small serrated section, it would be totally useless. (I know, I know, I could sharpen it up nicely on my Lansky, but I don't use it and wouldn't carry it so it's not worth my time)

I think the non-knife-educated public just assumes that a combo edge will work best, hell that's what I assumed before I came here and learned a thing or two. And considering the level of knife education of the average knife store employee (present company excluded obviously), who's going to tell them different?

I think a fully serrated blade can be very useful in certain situations, but not as many situations as a plain edge. I wouldn't carry only a serrated blade, but I'd carry a serrated blade also.

Jason aka medusaoblongata
"Paradise lies in the shadow of swords." - Nietzsche
I have a spyderco endura that's fully serated, and I love it. Don't get me wrong, there's alot of things that can't be done with it, e.g. whittling, fine cutting, etc, but when I need to carve up a bunch of cardboard, its what I reach for first. My plain edged knives are sharper, and can cut better, but, I never worry about cutting with my endura, because even a notch in the blade from a staple won't stop it.
The teeth aren't hard to sharpen at all. I find serrations very useful. Even partial serations have their uses. In general, I carry a serrated knife for hard tasks that don't require precision cuts, and a plain edge for those that do.
I wouldn't run out and buy a fully serrated tactical knife, because I think it would be fairly ineffective as a weapon. As a tool however, a cheap fully serrated blade can come in very handy.
Most of my knives are plain edge, but I do like the looks of some partially serated blades. MT SOCOM or BM 710 are among those that I like partially serated. I also do find them useful for various chores from the garden work to stripping cables. If it makes me an average Joe just using his knife then be it!

Very rarely I need to cut a rope and haven't cut a seat belt in my life.

It is the fact that microserrations formed by sharpening with a coarse stone help cutting, but also in my experience mirror polished blade stays sharp longer. That may be another argument for partially serated blades. You use serrated part for what it works and keep the plain edge polished.


This my saying with rope cutting in America maybe was not the most well-chosen

Rope is nice material when comparison test in equal conditions is required and I have cut into small pieces some dozens meter of ½-inch hemp rope during recent few months. But I pretty rarely have to cut rope in real-life knife use.

Well, lets return to our serrations. Joe is right, roughly finished plain edge can do the job quite well. But at the same time micro-teeth of roughly sharpened edge wear out quite easy remaining dull edge - this is also can be found at sharpening FAQ. Serrations cut long time after plain edge loses its bit.

Yes, my plain edged SPYDERCO Bill Moran Featherweight cuts through thick rope far better than my partially serrated KA-BAR D2 Extreme Fighting/Utility Knife (to be reviewed soon). But this proves only better performance of thin and weak edge over thick and strong one, not plain edge over serrated.

As always, each knife or edge (as well as gun, car, wife
) is a row of compromises between quite contradictory properties. Serrations are the compromise also, they allow to add cutting power affecting cutting precision. How do you think Friends, the comparison like handgun's accuracy vs. shotgun's power could be suitable?
The partially serrated edge is one compromise more, again we are obtaining something and missing something another.

At least one practical example when serrated edge definitely outperforms plain one I have obtained with my own hands, you can find it here. Maybe this is the main reason why SPYDERCO Dyad Jr. Ltw. is stuck with scotch tape to my car steering column.

But this all can't change the fact that I do not like serrations, I defend them simply to keep up appearances of my reliability

Wow, what the long post again! Mike, are you going to found us contest - who will write more words during the month? With knife giveaway of course

[This message has been edited by Sergiusz Mitin (edited 02-01-2001).]
For my general purpose utility / daily carry knives and hunting knives, I typically prefer a plain edged blade. However, when working, I find a partially serrated edge best fits my needs. I can be called on to cut vastly different materials from large amounts of cardboard, to paracord, to webbing, to large cable ties / flex cuffs etc under far less than ideal circumstances. The partial serrations cut very aggressively and offer me from 11 to 14 separate cutting surfaces on a blade, depending on model. If you select the blade wisely, you can find partially serrated versions which still offer a fair and very usable amount of plain edge (i.e. Spyderco Wegner.)

It's not the pace of life that concerns me, It's the sudden stop at the end.
It seems to me that when a blade has a ,say , 60/40 serrated blade ,the serrations (the 40 Bit ) are in the wrong place. I like a plain edge at front and back of the blade , so why not put the serrations in the middle , leaving 3o% front and 30% rear plain, to allow smooth cutting by these areas, while those aggressive cutting serrations can do their worst in the centre of the blade, which to me would seem to work best.
Has anyone ever produced a blade with this serration format? I have not seen one , maybe Spyderco have already tried it in an experimental model?
Right on metacarpels,

You are exactly right. I think one of the main reasons for the proliferation of "semi-serrated" or "combo" edges (ooh that makes me shudder just to type it) is because of ignorant/lazy dealers who would rather not stock two different models of a knife and simply are not knowledgable enough to understand the advantages of a plain edge.


[This message has been edited by Jedi Knife (edited 02-01-2001).]
Plain blade steak knives dull rapidly when cutting on a hard porcelain plate. Serrations provide a two part edge: one on the bottom to contact the porcelain, the second, sharp edge protected up in the "U" of each serration.

Cutting things other than food on a hard plate, my testing causes me to prefer a straight edge (even on rope).

In this case you couldn't use the plain part for anything. It usually is too small on combo blades to work well for purposes plain edge should work, but if it would be additionally portioned into two parts separated with serrations...

Sorry Friends, but don't you think the discussion "what is better" without specification "better for what?" is somewhat senseless?
I agree with jedi to a a point. I dont think it's lazy. It's ECONOMICS!!! They can't, or wont stock two or three of the same model with different edges so we'll give the consumer no other option.
I have to agree with Para (ugly) and Joe (useless). Long ago the serrations might have helped to cut natural fiber rope...today they remind me of the 'racing bike' of the 70's and the 'mountain bike' craze of the 90's. Something that will never get used, for looks or prestige only.

I was talking about the general public above, if I were a LEO or a PM I might think differently, but this is not the norm.


[This message has been edited by Steve-O (edited 02-01-2001).]
For everyday use there's nothing like a plain edge. However, I have been known to carry two knives and on such a day you can almost bet that knife number two will be a fully serratted Spyderco Delica.

I don't like the combo edges. I only have one, a CRKT Urban Shark. It works pretty well, but I only bought this blade config cause the dealer was out of stock on the plain edge models.
I am not aware of a single manufacturer who will resharpen a serrated edge. And this is in spite of the fact that they obviously have the tooling to do so--having ground the edge to begin with. A well-maintained plain edge will do just about anything a serrated will do, and you can maintain the edge yourself.
It depends entirely on what you want to do with the knife. My delica 3" blade has a partial serration. No, the knife isn't very useful for whittling or cutting cardboard, but that's not why I bought the knife - - I have a box cutter and a SAK for the real work. The delica is purely for situations where i might be attacked by multiple people or attacked by someone with a knife of their own (this is assuming I can't run/hide).

A plain edged knife doesn't look as mean as a partially serrated knife. Some people might take a look at the guy weilding the knife with the mean looking blade and decide there are easier targets out there.

So I wouldn't say that partial blades are a joke- - - it just depends on what you intend to do with the blade.

Half and half is my favorite on knives with blades at or above 3" . Thats what my daily carry is. Working on a farm and training horses sort of puts my daily tasks on a whole different scale than most of you guys.
I keep the plain edge as sharp as possible and it performs well on most things. It does great on rope if your in a position where you can just push through it but thats not very often. Its also perfect for slicing things open and making fine cuts on stuff.
The serrated edge is kept as sharp as possible too, which isn't too bad of a job with a good diamond file and it doesn't need done very often. Maybe once a month. It gives the knife bite. Sharp serrations will hook something and start cutting where a plain edge will slide across( even sharp ones, the sharper the edge, the smoother it is) Serrations can also cut through hard materials that don't have enough give to them for you to push cut through with the plain edge. You can saw with the serrations.
Then theres the times when your crawling around under a tractor or hanging out off the edge of a roof and have to cut something using your non dominant hand. No big deal just hook it with the serrations and give it a pull. They work like a line cutter. Its alot easier than trying to maneuver the plain edge in a push cut or to slice just right without slipping off. And you don't have to hold what your cutting in place with your free hand.

I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer... but I've got the sharpest knife in the room.
Like many, I have mixed feelings about serrations. I did once have a Spycerco Rescue, which I actually bought with rescue work in mind. If I had it to do again, I'd buy the Mariner -- but that's because the plastic handle didn't hold up like metal. The knife could be pulled through a group of small stranded copper wires (like you often see between the driver's door and the car). The lock location is such that the hard pull would cause my hand to depress the lock, so it might be partly closed an instant after it popped through the wires. Yes, it would cut all kinds of rope and even seatbelts. It's good on hoses, too.

Lately, we've gone to using plastic cable ties to hang tags at work (I'm a powerhouse Operator). If the plain edged A.G. Russell Trout & Bird around my neck (wonderful letter opener)grows a even little dull, it's hard to get through the plastic ties. The partially serrated blade on my Leatherman PSTII works much better.

I do think serrations require more care; and I don't like a knife that won't slice cheese and sausage nice and straight. But I must admit serrations have their uses. Well before serrated knives were common, I had a friend who was Bo'sun on a tanker. He cut lots of large poly line. He sharpened his knife with a crosscut file -- not a mill bastard, but a crosscut. He wanted little sawteeth on it.

At the moment, I'm shopping for an affordable folder for my daughter's boyfriend. Since he sometimes loses things, I'm thinking of the Gigand Titan, in bright gold or red anodized finish. I can't decide whether to get the combo blade or plain. I suppose plain will be easier for a novice to maintain.

Knifenerd: Grohmann Knives resharpens their partially serrated blades (as well as their fully serrated kitchen knives ie.bread knives) they even do it for free during their twice yearly knife clinics....and they show the consumer how to resharpen serrated edges on their free factory tours as well.

I think serrated edges have their time and place for sure, not in all instances and not all the time though... But try hacking through quite a few burly pineapples with a straight edge and tell me that it still does as good a job as a serrated/partially serrated blade

Serrations seem to hold up longer without sharpening, no matter what the torture for some reason. But yes, it all depends on the serration and steel as well.


KnifeChik - Do you do a lot of pineapple cutting up there? Different climate I guess.