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Serrated or plain blade?

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by andrewdl007, Nov 20, 2018.

  1. Browning

    Browning Member

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    I only have two knives (both folders meant for work) that are partially serrated. The only reason I'd choose a serrated knife over a plain edge is if it were going to be a knife that wasn't going to get sharpened much for whatever reason (in my experience serrated knives continue to cut for a really long time) and I was going to be cutting cordage, rope, seat belts, fire hose and the like.

    In other words a rescue knife. If it's not for something like that go with a plain edge. Plain edged knives are easier to sharpen.
     
  2. Mikhail Weiss

    Mikhail Weiss Member

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    In general I like plain edged knives for casual, occasional cutting. That said, my general-purpose working knives have partially serrated edges. I use those things to saw and to cut. Your choice really depends on how you will actually use the knife.
     
  3. Jimfern

    Jimfern Member

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    I prefer the looks of a full straight blade but find the serrated portion of a 50/50 very practical. So I have both styles in my small collection. Note quite a few people seem to prefer a full straight blade so if you are looking at used knives, I've found that you can usually get a better deal on a 50/50. I recently picked up a Benchmade Barrage 50/50 for $60 shipped on ebay.
     
  4. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    I love my fully serrated Spyderco knives. For farm chores like cutting rope or clearing through briars or saplings they are significantly better than plain edge blades. My work pants usually have a serrated blade in one pocket and a plain blade in the other. Both have their uses, but if you ever have to clear a length of bailing string from around a mower spindle you will appreciate the extra cutting power of good serrations.

    The partially serrated blade, however is an abomination IMO. The serrations are too short to really be useful and the plain edge is at the tip where it hardest to do fine controlled work. A PS blade is excellent for sharpening pencils and that’s about it.

    My defensive knife (Payderco Paramilitary 2) is fully serrated. In a defensive knife use, especially in a weapon retention scenario you may need to slash rather than stab. The serrated blade gives you what is effectively a longer blade edge to get through clothing and heavy tendons. Haters gonna hate....but they wrong.

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  5. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

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    If we just look at Spyderco folders marketed expressly as self defense knives they offer the fully serrated S curved Matriarch and Civilian, along with the plain edge wharncliffe Yojimbo designed by Michael Janich. Our own John Shirley designed the fixed blade ARK knife with a plain edge, and Spyderco only offered it in PE when they first started making it. There are arguments and opinions both ways on serrated edge vs plain edge for defensive blades.
     
  6. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    OK, I’ll bite. What is the argument that a plain edge makes a better defensive knife? I can see how someone could argue that the difference is so small as to be insignificant, but what makes a plain edge demonstrably better?
     
  7. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Straight blades do the job, but there are times a serrated one can be handy for 'quick and dirty' work, of all sorts. I have some of each. My EDC, a Gerber Fast 06, has a partially serrated edge, and it has come in handy on occasion.
     
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  8. Madcap_Magician

    Madcap_Magician Member

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    I hate combo blades. I don't much care for serrations, but serrations are appropriate on some kitchen knives, knives meant specifically for speed of cutting on rope or fibrous material, and I think a full serrated blade for self defense is a decent option. You can't really cut anything with a serrated edge that a well sharpened plain edge won't cut.
     
  9. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    I prefer a partially serrated knife for cutting rope and plastic shipping straps. Other than that the vast majority of my knife blades are plain.

    NobLys8.jpg
     
  10. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

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    Some folks who've trained extensively have reported serrations snagging on some materials.
    Several folks with more training and real world experience than I have assert that they've experienced serrations snagging on some types of clothing / fabrics. Others assert, as you do, that serrations are better for cutting through clothing to get to the business of cutting the attacker itself. JShirley and hso are far more qualified than I to talk serrated vs plain with you. I'm simply pointing out that there are many opinions on the best characteristics of a defensive knife, and it's hard to prove most of them as definitely right or wrong.
     
  11. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    I'll be perfectly happy to go my whole life without having to learn the definitive answer :)
     
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  12. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

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    You and me both :)
     
  13. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Having self-inflicted at least two of each type of cut (I was young and dumb once; now I'm old and dumb)I found the plain blades went deeper, the serrated made nastier shallow cuts that required stitches.
     
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  14. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Member

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    I was gifted a Strongarm a couple Christmases ago. I had asked for the plain edge, but was given the combo edge. No big deal. Combo edges are what you find in the box stores, so it was as honest mistake.

    I used the knife. Good value for what it costs, but I generally dont like serrations on fixed blade survival knives.

    A couple months ago I got the wild idea to grind the teeth back and make it a bit of a recurve. I actually sharpen a recurve pretty well, so that was a plus. It improved the knives for my needs.
     
  15. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    Pain edges are more adaptable imo.

    Serrated is good if you have a purpose in mind (like rope).

    I just keep the plain edge sharp.
     
  16. Officers'Wife

    Officers'Wife Member

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    As the old maid said when she kissed the cow... to each their own. I prefer a straight edge, mainly because I was taught how to sharpen a straight edge and more importantly how to keep them sharp. Serrated? I can get my husband to sharpen one if I needed to but why have a tool I need someone else around when I use it?
     
  17. Bwana John

    Bwana John Member

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    Depends on how it is deployed.
    For daily use, strait.
    For a blade that is there just in case like on a PFD or BCD, serrated.
     
  18. mcb

    mcb Member

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    The few fixed bladed knives I own are all plain edged but one, but I don't use them for anything but field dressing deer. Many of my folding knives are partially serrated. The knife I carry 99% of the time, Leatherman Skeletool, is partially serrated but getting less and less so every time I sharpen it. At present its sort of a wavy serration as I sharpen the entire blade length with an old pair of crock-sticks. The points are gone on the serration but the edge is now supper sharp and it still cuts fibrous material great. Sort of lazy but I like my EDC knife sharp and this has worked well for the many years I have had it.

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  19. Bartojc

    Bartojc Member

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    Plain edge for me. Keep them sharp and no worries.

    -Jeff
     
  20. Drail

    Drail Member

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    A properly honed plane blade will go through anything a serrated blade will. I've had to cut those heavy Aeroquip aviation cargo straps when the ratchet seized with the just small blade on a Vic Tinker. It went through it like a laser. The flight crew all freaked out - none of them had ever seen a sharp knife before.
     
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  21. Valkman

    Valkman Member

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    For those of you that want to sharpen serrations, try the "As Seen On Tv Bavarian Edge Knife Sharpener" sold at Walmart and other places. I bought one and it works great for $20. It won't take the place of my Wicked Edge but for a quick sharpen in the kitchen it works fine.
     
  22. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    I don't work on a boat. Kinda feel as though some of you way overthink this issue ... I carry a plain-edge for defensive/general purpose and a fully-serrated blade in case I'm confronted with having to cut through seat-belts, some type of heavier line or plastic. Used my straight edge at the Brazilian Steakhouse last week, man, that beef was good.
     
  23. mdauben

    mdauben Member

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    I never really liked 100% serrated blades (unless it was a secondary blade on a multi-blade knife). I used to really like combo blades (part plain edge and part serrated) but after time it seems like there is never enough plain edge for the jobs it works best as. Now, I'm more likely to go with a 100% plain edge knife.
     
  24. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    Sam and I made the prototype ARKs in PE, but H1 steel is actually much higher performing in SE. Serrations also increase cutting surface, and are probably preferable on dedicated defensive knives. Users are probably better with PE, unless they cut a lot of rope.
     
  25. jdh

    jdh Member

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    I gave up and bought a duct knife:
    21eZyc68QcL.jpg
     
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