Serrated Edge vs. Straight Edge

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May 2, 2021
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The purist in most of us here tends to appreciate and prefer knives with plain edge blades. That is not to say that many of us do not also recognize the utility of a good serrated edge as well. My approach is to carry a plain edge blade as my primary knife, and also carry a fully serrated Spyderco Dragonfly. It's small, clips into the corner of my back pocket, and goes virtually unnoticed until needed. This method has served me well. The thought has occurred to me, however, that perhaps I came up with this justification just as an excuse to carry more knives, but I'm fine with that ;)
There's absolutely nothing wrong with having the right tool for the job...
 
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Apr 20, 2018
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Long story short: people on these forums are going to largely prefer straight edge since they are far more versatile, easier to sharpen and maintain, and can make finer more precise cuts. As others have already said, serrated edges can have their place such as the SALT series of knives from Spyderco though I find them to be more of a niche use best used in outdoors situations or in the kitchen for cutting through tough meat or bread crust.

On cheaper knives as well they can be used to prolong a cutting edge on steel that would normally dull far quicker with a straight edge.
 

Zulus

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After this lecture I must add
I love half serrated but don't have any needs to own/use full serrated blades !

Whole deal is to have both in ONE knife :^)
Preferably in top quality one
OK, I have serrated knives, in kiichen
tomato micro-serrated, melon and bread knives.
But EDC in full serrations - no thanks.
 

RyanSean97

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Jan 24, 2018
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The purist in most of us here tends to appreciate and prefer knives with plain edge blades. That is not to say that many of us do not also recognize the utility of a good serrated edge as well. My approach is to carry a plain edge blade as my primary knife, and also carry a fully serrated Spyderco Dragonfly. It's small, clips into the corner of my back pocket, and goes virtually unnoticed until needed. This method has served me well. The thought has occurred to me, however, that perhaps I came up with this justification just as an excuse to carry more knives, but I'm fine with that ;)
I like this idea of carrying a smaller serrated blade and still having a dedicated straight edge. Might have to pick up a smaller serrated blade to have in my arsenal now lol
 
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Carry a small SE secondary, such as the H1 Dragonfly or Ladybug?

My current carry is the SE sheepsfoot Caribbean and it is invincible.
CIMG0978.jpg



Edit: combination edges (CE) can also be worth considering.
 
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I only carry a serrated edge folder outside when I go deep in to the woods with my atv. A lot easier to cut vines and other growth off you when they get wrapped and tangled on your vehicle or if they’re in the way
 

K.O.D.

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I definitely don't like combo edges, especially on folders. The only exception would be a d/e otf one side serrated, one plain. Otherwise, the amount of real estate you get for the serrations is nearly worthless. Plus, serrations can be a bitch to sharpen.
 
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I submit serrated edges are just as easy and fast to sharpen as plain edges. Using the corner of the benchstone or a sharpening steel. And strop like anything else.
 

P.C.E.

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EDC  4.27.21.jpg

The Adamas I use for more demanding tasks and the serrated edge helps a lot with that, first edge with any serration I've bought in at least 15 years.

The Leek is great for smaller jobs that don't require a large blade or serrations and will not scare people that have no idea what a tool is.
 

BD_01

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A well done and well maintained SE has a lot of cutting power and makes for a great knife.
I’m marginally adept at maintaining Spyderco serrations, but I do find it more difficult than maintaining a straight edge. My PE knives outnumber my SE knives by 20:1, but a part serrated Ultratech may be in my future.

I had a part serrated SOG Flash II as my backpacking folder for many years and loved it. I did a fair amount of cord cutting and fish gutting and it had just the right amount of both edges. My father-in-law thought it was great too, so I gave it to him.
 
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I have seen it mentioned above a few times and I would like to advice AGAINST combo edges. There always seem to be not enough edge of each kind to be useful. Besides, with the exception of Victorinox, all makers that I know off put the serrated edge right by the handle area (closest to the hand) wich is the part of the blade you would use for whitling or delicate tasks as is the section of the blade that offers the most control.

I suggest you avoid them... I have a few combo edges (Emerson Comander, Colt AR15, Spyderco Endura4, Spyderco Tenacious) and I would like and carry them a lot more if they were plain edges or fully serrated.

Mikel
 

Zulus

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I have seen it mentioned above a few times and I would like to advice AGAINST combo edges. There always seem to be not enough edge of each kind to be useful. Besides, with the exception of Victorinox, all makers that I know off put the serrated edge right by the handle area (closest to the hand) wich is the part of the blade you would use for whitling or delicate tasks as is the section of the blade that offers the most control.

I suggest you avoid them... I have a few combo edges (Emerson Comander, Colt AR15, Spyderco Endura4, Spyderco Tenacious) and I would like and carry them a lot more if they were plain edges or fully serrated.

Mikel
Mostly because you must look at knives long at least 4-5" :^)))
Any smaller half serrated is a joke !
 
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I have seen it mentioned above a few times and I would like to advice AGAINST combo edges. There always seem to be not enough edge of each kind to be useful. Besides, with the exception of Victorinox, all makers that I know off put the serrated edge right by the handle area (closest to the hand) wich is the part of the blade you would use for whitling or delicate tasks as is the section of the blade that offers the most control.

I suggest you avoid them... I have a few combo edges (Emerson Comander, Colt AR15, Spyderco Endura4, Spyderco Tenacious) and I would like and carry them a lot more if they were plain edges or fully serrated.

Mikel


I think the idea there is that the serrations initiate the cut more easily. They just dig into material better. After that, the plain edge part can finish the cut.
I still think it is best to carry two knives. But on the spyderco forums, there is a guy / guys(?) who carry nothing else but fully serrated knives for IDK how many years now without any problems with any cutting tasks.
 
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Straight edge is far better suited for most people and most common cutting tasks. And of course it's easier to sharpen. But there are certain materials that are more easily cut with a serrated blade, such as rope, especially if wet, netting material, and possibly leather. Basically any material that is resistant to to cutting and is better handled by a sawing motion. The teeth cut and rip into the material, so a serrated blade can not make as "clean" a cut as a straight blade. But I believe that any knife for use with a water activity, recreational or professional, will be more useful with a serrated blade. Of course there is the issue of actual straight and serrated blade length. A folding knife with a 3.5 inch blade and partial serrations may not be as useful, as say a 6 in dagger with one side straight and one side serrated, or a folding knife with a fully serrated blade.
 
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There are cutting tasks that the serrated can do better, and there are others it would do poorly at. So for an all around EDC I prefer a plain edge which will do all tasks reasonably well. IMO

This is basically what I was going to post, which is- A well-sharpened plain edge can do anything a serrated edge can do, although a serrated edge can do some of them better. But there are things a serrated edge can't do that a plain edge can.

Back when I worked a shipping dock the first knife I used had a combo edge (Benchmade Darkstar). I thought the serrated portion would come in handy. It didn't. Instead it proved to be a problem for at least one task that I had to perform regularly- cutting pallet wrap (like heavy-duty seran wrap). The serrations were sharp (brand new) but they would snag in the plastic. I quickly switched to plain edged knives and carried them exclusively. I also found the serrations undesireable for all manner of twine. The serrations were simply to big/wide, but the plain edge sliced right through. I've had the same experience with paracord.

From my experience serrations tend to "rip" whereas a plain edge "slices". I prefer to "slice". I also hated having to clean tape residue and other crud from inside the serrations.

Of course, a person with a plain edge knife could always carry a small coarse hone and with a few strokes produce a micro-serrated edge if they found themselves in a situation where they unexpectedly needed a serrated edge. And then a few strokes with a fine hone brings the smooth edge right back.
 
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