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Serrated Edge on Knife or not?

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by XD9sc, Aug 2, 2008.

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  1. XD9sc

    XD9sc Member

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    For a self defense knife, like the TDI Kabar, would a serrated edge be better or not?
     
  2. Skofnung

    Skofnung Member

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    Opinions vary.

    My opinion is if you know how to sharpen a knife properly, serrations are superfluous.
     
  3. woolfam

    woolfam Member

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    ^ ^ ^ What he said ^ ^ ^
     
  4. Mongrel

    Mongrel Member

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    If-IF you are going to carry something designed as a last ditch defensive tool that is used in a punching motion into an attackers body possibly through clothes or 'gear' then YES I would recommend a serrated blade in that narrow window of usage.

    However, if you are planning on using this same knife for general cutting chores then 'no' it is not better than a plain edge.

    Considering the design of the TDI it is something that I would rarely use unless I *really* had to. If it were me, I would go with serrations on a knife like that and keep a small folder in pocket for when I needed to cut something.
     
  5. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    I would personally suggest serrations on a defensive knife if you think attackers will be wearing rope.

    Otherwise, no.

    John
     
  6. Rupestris

    Rupestris Member

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    Serrated edges belong on the boat, in the climbing gear or in the kitchen. They work wonders on rope and bread.

    Just my 2¢ :p
     
  7. Mongrel

    Mongrel Member

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    :D funny!

    Until you run into a Mall Ninja wearing an LBE vest for a tshirt and need to punch through webbing...-:rolleyes:

    :neener:

    Please don't tell me my reply was interupted by a COMMERCIAL FOR SOVEREIGN ARMS? What's up with that?

    :scrutiny:
     
  8. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    Well, I would agree that cutting rope/gear is usually more easily done by serrations. I just don't see that stabbing is easier. :)

    J
     
  9. Mongrel

    Mongrel Member

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    haha-that was fast!

    Thanks John!
     
  10. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    NP, Anthony.
     
  11. XD9sc

    XD9sc Member

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    Thanks for the responses :)
     
  12. The Tourist

    The Tourist member

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    LOL. You don't need a serrated knife for that, just find a fountain and yell, "Boo!"

    My opinion of serrations is similar to JShirley's with one proviso. Not only should your job entail wet rope, but obtaining timely sharpening services is not an option.

    For example, let's say you're one of those crab fishermen on that cable show. You're going to out at sea soaking wet for several weeks. Unless you're a whiz with a small whetstone, a new serrated knife is a good idea. Myerchin makes a dandy B300.

    A trucker is another exception. Day upon day on the road, and that includes rain, snow and slippery tarp. To be fair, one of my friends from church is an over-the-road trucker and I got him a Buck 110 Ionfusion. He cut the bumper off his truck doing road modifications from a minor wreck.

    There is a need for serrations. But if you're just "a guy" and you carry a jackknife like 99% of us idiots, learn to sharpen or carry my business card.
     
  13. Lurp

    Lurp Member

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    Their's nothing a properly maintained plain edge wont do better or just as good as a serrated knife except possibly rope. Their was a test on serrated edge vs plain edge in a defensive situation a long time ago on bladeforums which they covered a large peice of meat in denim and sliced at it. The plain edge caused much more deadly wounds. Only if I could find the test again...
     
  14. Green Lantern

    Green Lantern Member

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    How about seatbelts?

    Eh, I've had to cut twine at work and home before. Most of my knives are half-serrated. I figure, "better to have it and not need it," et cetera. :D
     
  15. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

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    Why not both? My Gerber has a 1/2 of each. Seems to me that's a perfect combination.
     
  16. Tom Krein

    Tom Krein Member

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    I think you guys are WAY off the mark on serrations!

    IF it is just for self defense get the serrations! Do you only see yourself stabbing with your self defense knife... no didn't think so. The slash is a much more common move.

    Actually MOST people I encounter do have "rope" on them... its called clothing! IF you are going to be in a Nudist colony you can skip the serrations... and the pocket clip. :neener:

    Properly sharpened serrations are MUCH more aggressive than a standard edge. Especially if the edge is a polished one! A polished edge tends to slide off of what you are intending to cut. In my opinion what you want for self defense is an extremely toothy edge or a serrated edge.

    Not all serrations are created equal! I feel that Spyderco's serrations are the best in the industry. They are also pretty easy to sharpen on the Spyderco Shparmaker.... although IF it is only for S.D. you shouldn't have to sharpen it, EVER!

    Tom
     
  17. kBob

    kBob Member

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    My first experience with serrated edges out side the kitchen where with the Goober Toad Stickers. The ones on the famous wasp waisted combat knife were a total waste and looked like an acciedent of the termanal kind waiting to happen, a punch into a heavy winter coat resulted in those "teeth" getting well and truely fouled.

    The later Mark I design (why Mk II before Mk1?) WHich was basically a M3 fighting knife type blade (and I once handled a Sinister from the Atochia wreck that was remarkably similar) but with that short tang in the aluminium handle. I thought this was a better knife, but the serrations were not of much use out on the upper "false Edge"

    Truth to tell I felt better off with the two knives I carried earlier instead of either of the Goobers. An F-S knife (early 1970s British made) and a German Kampfmesser of the early 1970s (kissing crane). Fortunately I never got to use the F-S for anything but weirding out new guys and and honing my honing skills. The Kampfmesser which some of the guys dubbed my big German butter knife, did a great job as a camp knife. Imagine that a five+ inch flat single edge with a screw on handle performed about like a Green River knife. GO figure.

    I avoided Serrations until I started training for our local Community Emergency Response Team and took a First Responders course. Watching both a Spyderco fully serrated edge with a blount tip (forgot the title, designed for first responders) and then one of the Endura half and halfs slice through seat belts I decided I needed one. It was also lighter than my Buck in a Belt pouch and as it fit in a pocket and clipped on it mean less pouches on the belt.

    I freely admit I have used the normally cut portion of the blade a biggilion times more than the Serrations, but if I need them they are there. The onehandedness of the knife is darned useful as well.

    The serrations are a tool for some specific problems, Whether they are a good thing on a personal defense weapon or not depends on the user, the condition of the knife, how the knife is used and the conditions surrounding the target.

    For me the Endura is just a handy tool. Whether the serrations make it "better" or "worse" if it is forced to be used as a weapon is less important than how well it parts seat belts or much more likely hay bale twine.

    -Bob Hollingsworth
     
  18. The Tourist

    The Tourist member

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    The best way to solve this issue is to consider what my Father taught me fifty years ago. "The right tool for the right job."

    (Of course, as a Harley mechanic we used to teach, "Don't force it, use a bigger hammer.")

    Sharp knives cut anything. They cut seatbelts, seafood, wet rope, foolish muggers, Thanksgiving turkeys, and UPS boxes.

    There are jobs for serrations. If you're standing on a fishing trawler right now, let me sell you a Myerchin.

    If you feel that you must rely on serrations on a daily basis, get your knife sharpened.
     
  19. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

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    No serrations will stab better, and at the same time are easier to keep razor sharp.

    Serrations are little edges, and little edges grab at things you slide them against. That means more resistance during stabbing as those edges catch on tissue or bone.
    That means more force will be necessary just to accomplish the same thing, stab to the same depth, move the blade while enveloped in tissue and clothing, or retract the blade.
    Normaly when you cut with serrations the blade is gliding across the item being cut. It has give and can ride out the serrations as needed. When you envelope the blade though like in stabbing a target, the blade is held more rigid and you must fight against the resistance of those serrations more. The surface area creating resistance is also much greater, including the entire blade's surface and not just the cutting edge.

    So if it is purely for self defense then you do not want serrations for a stabbing weapon.
    Imagine your surprise when you are in a fight and your knife is catching and getting stuck in the target's tissue or clothing, preventing you from inflicting additional wounds as quickly.

    When your hand is covered in oil slick blood the last thing you want is the knife to be catching on things, pulling at odd angles. Additionaly many modern serrations are so fine that they will easily get disfigured and bend impacting bone. That could turn your knife into something that does not move through tissue with easy any longer as pieces of metal are sticking out at angles from the blade at the most inopportune of times.
     
  20. CWL

    CWL Member

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    Few years back, the consensus seemed to feel that serrated edges have a better chance to get snagged in clothing. Don't hear that anymore, but most still seem to be against serrations in a SD knife.

    While I partially agree, it still doesn't prevent me from carrying my Spydie Civilian.
     
  21. kBob

    kBob Member

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    While I absolutely agree that a super duper sharp knife can do everything as well as or better than a serrated knife......I do not normally carry about on my person the tools to put a new bevel on a blade or sharpen it as well as I can in the shop and can not do so in a New York miinute.

    It's nice to think about sharp edges, but guess what? You might not get to choose when or where you need to cut something.

    Folks might note my experience with the Goober fighting knife and the heavy wool coat and the tiny Gerber teeth getting snaged in the material. I said there are many factors when a knife is used in defense. I carry a cutting tool not a weapon. I doubt the presence or absence of serrations will make much difference on a defensive knife here in North Central Florida for eight or nine months of the year. YMMV.

    Besides, I might have to drop my cane to pull a knife for defense. <wry grin>

    BTW I saw a neat laminated cane at the hospital the other day and when asked the lady said she got it on the internet, she thought on Overstock.con (Sic), oh well. Sturdy, the thing was sturdy. L shaped handle would make Ayoob happy as well. Darn the ones that got away.

    -Bob Hollingsworth
     
  22. TrapperReady

    TrapperReady Member

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    Not usually a fan of serrations, although the Spyderco hanging from my climbing harness is fully serrated. I've taken the same knife (old Rescue model with the carabiner-type clip) SCUBA diving as well. Works great if you get into some fishing line.

    A couple years ago, I gave some of my relatives Spyderco Dragonflys. They're not "knife people" and will probably never, ever sharpen them... so I got the serrated model.
     
  23. ArfinGreebly

    ArfinGreebly Moderator Emeritus

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    Ad Hoc Sharpening

    While it's true that you never know when you're gonna need to cut something, you will pretty much always know -- AFTER cutting something -- whether your knife is still sharp.

    I've taken to hauling a small stone around (thanks, Steve) so that if, after cutting something, the edge needs a touch-up, I can do it before I put the thing away.

    That way, it's always sharp for next time.

    Later, when I'm home in my Bat Cave & Secret Laboratory, I can re-finish the edge if I've done anything abusive to it earlier.

    I figure if I ever get caught with a dull knife, it's my own damn fault.
     
  24. Odd Job

    Odd Job Member

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    I've seen a few stab wounds and I don't believe it makes a difference in terms of penetration, whether the blade is serrated or not.

    The best I saw was a very slim, petite female who stabbed her ex-boyfriend with a bread knife in the chest. This was a traditional round-lipped knife and this small woman got it between his ribs and into his heart, with her first and only stab at him. The knife was in situ when he arrived.
    Amazingly the guy survived after they cracked him open in the resus bay.

    If you get enough force behind that point and it is not obstructed by bone, it is going in and the serrations won't make a difference. I've seen folders, kitchen knives, carving knives and cylindrical tools, all embedded in the patient. There is no problem with penetration: if you miss bone, you can get that in up to the handle, and I've seen it done many a time.
     
  25. JohnMcD348

    JohnMcD348 Member

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    My thinking is like this. If you have a plain blade design and cut someone with it, it's more like a surgical cut. Yes it can go deep an and yes your goal is to cut muscle and tenden in an attempt to incapacitate that appendage or other body part. But! surgical type incisions don't tend to hurt very bad in the beginning and that person under heavy adrenaline can and will continue to pumle you.

    Serated edges will give a more jagged type incsion. Yes, it may not cut as deeply but you will feel it more.

    If I had to cut you, I think I'd want you to know you've been cut.

    That being said, when givne the option, I always opt for the plain blade instead of the serated. I know how to sharpen a balde and keep a keen edge on everything I own. It's just what I like. I do have a few serated or partially erated blade knives but rarely use or carry them.
     
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