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Thread: Blade Serrations

  1. #1

    Default Blade Serrations

    If you're like me who's also into knives (one-hand or "tactical" folders to be specific) as well as torches/flashlights, one question I've always been wanting to ask is; why are the serrations always put in the back of the blade or nearer the choil? Wouldn't it be better located at front, near or at the "belly" portion?

    I've notice this design peculiarity specially there in the States where the vast majority of great designs come from, but in Europe, it may not be so. Case point (though the second one is a fixed blade):

    http://www.tadgear.com/edged%20tools...ed_trekker.htm

    http://www.spetsnaz.ru/knives/smersh5_e.html

    However, I do seem to recall Joe Talmadge of Bladeforums and Jeff Randall writing something in Tactical Knives magazine also prefering serrations up front.

    I've got some notions as to why this is but was wondering if you guys could confirm them...

    Your thoughts?

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* mossyoak's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blade Serrations

    the reason for them being back there is that is it makes it easier to cut rope with. (you have more leverage and the possibility of the rope slipping is less) also if you are gutting an animal its easier to cut through the skin

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* ACMarina's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blade Serrations

    Yeah, plus you'd probably want the front to be smooth for stabbin'. .

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* Zackerty's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blade Serrations

    AG Russell makes a folder with plain at the choil, and serrated at the front. Looks strange, but I guess it must work..

  5. #5
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Blade Serrations

    I'm probably the voice of dissention here, but I really don't see a purpose for a half and half knife when it comes to serrations. Actually, if you want my honest opinion, serrations have very little use on a knife. They are nice for cutting rope, or other flexible objects, but the vast majority of cutting tasks are better accomplished with a smooth blade.

    If you really feel you need a serrated knife (cut a lot of rope or something) then the half and half idea is great since it also gives you the slicing ability of a plain edge. But for all of my uses (gutting animals to misc. homestead tasks), I find that the serrations of one of my knives are actually in the way. Consequently I rarely use the knife. And to me, what point is there in having a tool that doesn't get used?!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Blade Serrations

    The only serated blades I use are the dedicated serated blades on multitools . These are mostly used for abusive cutting . Drywall, fiberglass strapping tape , rope , etc .

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* mossyoak's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blade Serrations

    i figure if i have to cut rope i'll use my crkt bearclaw
    but otherwise i don't like serrations just a waste of good blade space

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Blade Serrations

    Check out this link to Timberline:

    http://www.greatamericantool.com/tim...f/tim02emt.pdf

    EMT has the serrations at the front of the blade.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Blade Serrations

    Thanks to all those who responded. For my blades, I have a Victorinox Explorer and a S&W SWAT folder (yeah, yeah I know, its no BM 710HS, but its all I could afford. . .) I used to have a Buck Voyager as well but sold it.

    Not wanting to sound like a physics geek but the choil/rear area is where the greatest amount of cutting and slicing control could be concentrated by the index finger joint bone. Hence, the felt "stability" or "leverage" for cutting tough or uneven-shaped materials (i.e. rope) as what Mossyoak said. However, I feel that you take too much away from the blade's overall slicing ability by concentrating only on these types of materials. But when doing more "general" tasks or actions such as whittling bar-b-q sticks or slicing and peeling fruit, tasks which require a more precise or controlled feel by the user, then the serrations now do seem to "get in the way" of what you want to do.

    FWIW, I feel that the design that would be best, say on a 4 inch length knife, is to have a bit of plain upfront near the point (for stabbin' or initial/entry cut as what ACMarina said) then the serrations on the belly portion, then terminating on the plain again when nearer the choil. And since serrations hold a cutting edge longer than a plain edge, the "belly" portion would then last a whole lot longer even aid in cutting rope even when tied by adding extra reach (i.e.- tied around docking poles).

    Just my opinions. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* ACMarina's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blade Serrations

    I don't do physics (at least not like that) but that sounds good enough to me. .

  11. #11

    Default Re: Blade Serrations

    I'll come in on the other side - my EDC is a plain edge Sebenza, which I love cuz... it's a Sebenza.

    however, every other knife I own has serrations. Why?

    A. I'm an avid boater and work occasionally on commercial vessels. Thus, rope/lines, etc. is a critical part of my needs.

    B: While serrations are inappropriate for filleting fish, or skinning a kiwi, there are all kinds of tough, flexible, fibrous items out there, which serrations are VASTLY superior at cutting, ranging from the seatbelt, to pack straps, to copper wire - lots and lots of things that will foil any but the very sharpest plain edge, or will take that plain edge and flatten it right out.

    For EDC pocket carry, plain is fine, but I feel very strongly that working knives should have at least partial serrations. I know others disagree violently, but that's OK - they can buy their own knives.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Blade Serrations

    I am not a fan of partially serrated blades no matter how they are designed. Give me a fully serrated blade or none at all. A combination blade is always a compromise and not a very good one in my opinion. But I cannot deny that nothing beats serrations for cutting bread, rope or fabric, etc. The way I see it is that a pure plain edge is more versatile and much easier to maintain, so that is what I carry. But a knife like the Buck CrossLock with a plain blade and a separate fully serrated blade is the only kind of "combo" knife I would really be interested in.

    I have heard the argument for locating partial serrations on the belly of the blade before, but it doesn't really grab me. I feel like the belly of the knife is what you would use for delicate cutting and the heel of the blade (where partial serrations normally reside) for cuts requiring all of your strength. Since the serrations are more aggressive, they are well matched to the heel part of the blade, which leaves the plain edge on the belly for fine, delicate work. But of course it all depends on what you are cutting. For sawing through rope, you would want them at the heel, but for slicing bread, you would definitely want them on the belly, so this brings us back to a fully serrated blade being better.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Blade Serrations

    I've more or less come around to the idea that I don't like serrations. I do like the idea of a combination edge, and often implement it -- on my plain-edge knife. When I sharpen, I take the entire edge down to some level of fineness -- fine, ultra fine, even stropping, depending on my use for that knife. Then, I take the last inch or so of the blade -- where the serrations would be -- and put that back on a coarse hone, and take a few very light swipes. That roughs that portion of the knife up.

    So, the front of the blade, still very fine, is used for opening envelopes, cutting packaging tape, cutting hard plastic clamshell packaging, etc. The rough, back portion of the blade kicks butt on slicing rope and the like. There's no reason to sacrifice your push-cutting or slicing ability just because you have a plain edge; just leave different parts of the blade with different finishes, and you can have it all.

    Note that for things like food prep, unlike partially-serrated blades where the serrations are out-of-line with the plain part, my combo-grit blade still has one long in-line edge. And, the grit finish doesn't matter that much for food prep, so this knife still works just fine.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* mossyoak's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blade Serrations

    i don't care for serrations either when i was young and stupid i thought they looked cool but now i've realized that they are just a waste of perfectly good blade although my edc (kershaw chive) is serrated the serrations are not that agressive and don't detract from every day use

  15. #15

    Default Re: Blade Serrations

    You really do learn something new everyday. Mr. Talmadge, being a newbie, I didn't know you were into "dem bright things" in addition to "dem sharp things". Thank you for the response and the tip. I've also been the longest lurker over at BF.

    By the way, any Christmas charity directed towards my direction would be welcome, especially anyone who wants to donate the aforementioned BENCHMADE 710HS PLAIN EDGE (on a recurve edge, i prefer plain).
    Such bare-faced shamelesness, I know. . .sorry. . . [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/yellowlaugh.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hahaha.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mpr.gif[/img]

  16. #16

    Default Re: Blade Serrations

    I prefer partially serrated blades, but only if the blade is big enough. Serrations are pretty handy to have for some types of material, but a combo edge on a small blade sacrifices too much of the normal edge.

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* knifebright's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blade Serrations

    Hey all
    I use some knives with partial serations. For the most part cheaper companies put the serations on the wrong side of the blade. Serations should be cut on the right side of the blade. Companies don't do this because it doesn't look as good in pictures. Check out the Mission knives line to see what serations should look like. All there knives look backwards because off all the knives out there with wrong serations. As far functioning serations for every one inch of serations, the cutting force equels three inches of strait blade. So if you have a 3 inch knife with one inch of partial serations then you have the cutting force of a five in strait blade.
    jimmy

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