Lifetime of a Serrated Edge

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Left Hand Path
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Lifetime of a Serrated Edge

Postby Left Hand Path » Thu May 17, 2007 2:10 pm

This may be a stupid question, but I am wondering how many times a serrated edge can be sharpened with a Sharpmaker before the serrations will become visibly shorter; and at what point will this impact performance?

It seems to me that if you sharpen a SE on the Sharpmaker, you are creating a microbevel and reducing the height of the serrations by removing metal - this would happen at both the 15 and 20 degree setting b/c on most of my Spydercos the serrations are ground at less than 15 degrees.

When this happens on a plain edge, the knife edge develops "shoulders" because the blade has become shorter and wider. It is no big deal to re-profile and then apply a micro bevel to PE. But with SE, this is not as easy.

Basically I am curious if anyone out there has sharpened the same SE knife MANY MANY times with a sharpmaker, and what does the edge look like now? Are the serrations shorter or more rounded? Has performance been affected?

Do any of you reprofile your SE blades?

This forum has been a great resource for me in the past. Thanks for your input.

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I prefer the 701 PRofiles for SE Spyders

Postby JD Spydo » Thu May 17, 2007 3:01 pm

You bring up some very thought provoking points there Left Hand Path. I am truly glad that you put some of them on the table to look at closely.

First of all I want to say up front that I have the utmost respect for the 204 Sharpmaker. I own 2 of them and use them both a lot. However I am not a fan of using that unit for sharpening serrated blades. I much prefer Spyderco's 701 Profiles ( medium & fine) set for sharpening serrated blades. The 701 Profiles do such a superb job on any of Spyderco's serrations that I don't even bother to even attempt to use any other sharpening tool on them.

For a lot of reason you put down I don't like the results I get from the 204 Sharpmaker on serrated blades. It grinds away some of the scallops and spikes and tends to round them off. Oh it will make the blade sharp>> that it will do if you work it like they show you in the video. But if you want your serrated blades to look like they did when they came new from the factory then you will like the 701 Profiles much better. It is a slow and laborious process and it takes a little more time to do it with the 701 Profiles but for no more times in one year that you need to sharpen your serrated blades the effort is worth it.
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Keys to blade longevity

Postby JD Spydo » Thu May 17, 2007 3:19 pm

I am sorry that I didn't answer your basic question on the last post but I think you sort of got the jest of it by what I said on the last post. That is another reason I touted the Spyderco 701 Profiles is that not only do I think that they do a much superior sharpening job on serrated blades but I also think they do a more precise and controlled sharpening job as well which in turn will make your blade last much longer too.

Albeit even with the 204 Sharpmaker you should be able to get at least 5 hard years of service from about any fully serrated Spyderco blade. Now if you were lucky enough to find a discontinued Spyderco fully serrated, stainless handled Rescue model ( C-14 or C-45) I would say you would easily get 10 years out of one of them. And that would be considering using it daily. Unless you give the knife a lot of punishing jobs I seriously doubt if more than 1 out of 500 knife users would ever wear out one of Spyderco's premium serrated blades in less than 5 years. It would also depend on what handle material your knife would have. Obviously stainless handles would last longer than FRN handles would. And Micarta would also be a very long lasting handle material.

But in short I don't even think you would have to even consider longevity of the blade when you are considering a Spyderco. If you are wanting a premium, fully serrated bladed knife then Spyderco is the ROLEX, Cadillac of the production serrated knife world>> HEy SPYDUTCH YOU CAN BACK ME UP ON THAT ONE CAN't YOU :D
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Postby Murdoc » Thu May 17, 2007 5:25 pm

Hi,

it's funny you bring this topic on the table, Left Hand Path!

As I mentioned earlier, I just purchased an old, used EDC'd Police with a GIN-1 blade that obviously was sharpened more than once (and not always in the best way) on a sharpmaker.

I tried to sharpen it on my 204, too, but I must admit that my sharpening skills for serrated blades are POOR. It STARTS to get sharp, but I think it will be impossible for me to get it to pushcut paper ever again :-(

Anyways, I made some pics of the blade to show what 10 years of existance (NOT constant use for sure!) will do to a serrated blade.

I like this knife a lot (even more than I thought I would when buying it), but I'm afraid I would have to do an overseas shipment to Golden if I wanted the serrations nice an toothy ever again....

In pic 6 and 7, you can see what happens when you sharpen serrated blades like shown in the 204 video and not every serration separately...


ok, here you go:

1
Image
2
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3
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4
Image
5
Image
6
Image
7
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8
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9
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10
Image

Dennis

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Postby spydutch » Fri May 18, 2007 1:54 am

JD Spydo wrote:I am sorry that I didn't answer your basic question on the last post but I think you sort of got the jest of it by what I said on the last post. That is another reason I touted the Spyderco 701 Profiles is that not only do I think that they do a much superior sharpening job on serrated blades but I also think they do a more precise and controlled sharpening job as well which in turn will make your blade last much longer too.

Albeit even with the 204 Sharpmaker you should be able to get at least 5 hard years of service from about any fully serrated Spyderco blade. Now if you were lucky enough to find a discontinued Spyderco fully serrated, stainless handled Rescue model ( C-14 or C-45) I would say you would easily get 10 years out of one of them. And that would be considering using it daily. Unless you give the knife a lot of punishing jobs I seriously doubt if more than 1 out of 500 knife users would ever wear out one of Spyderco's premium serrated blades in less than 5 years. It would also depend on what handle material your knife would have. Obviously stainless handles would last longer than FRN handles would. And Micarta would also be a very long lasting handle material.

But in short I don't even think you would have to even consider longevity of the blade when you are considering a Spyderco. If you are wanting a premium, fully serrated bladed knife then Spyderco is the ROLEX, Cadillac of the production serrated knife world>> HEy SPYDUTCH YOU CAN BACK ME UP ON THAT ONE CAN't YOU :D
You bet I can JD ;) :D

Very nice pics Murdoc :cool: :cool:
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Postby dialex » Fri May 18, 2007 2:19 am

Excellent close-ups Murdoc, thanks for sharing.
Indeed, the 204 tends to round the serrations tips. The edge of my poor SE Delica can prove this (and also the slow learing curve of an unexperienced user) :o
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Postby Left Hand Path » Fri May 18, 2007 7:39 am

Thanks guys for the responses - I knew I could depend on this forum :) . JD Spydo - I have read enough of your posts to learn that you are wise in the ways of Spyderco. In fact, it was some of your threads/posts that drew me to purchase the 701 Profile set a few months ago. Now I am determined to use them more and master the art. I can see that they are truly the best way to go for sharpening serrated edges - I just need more practice with them!

Murdoc - those pictures are EXACTLY what I was looking for! I have witnessed the effect of the Sharpmaker on my Salt SE (my most frequently carried SE) over the past year or so, but I haven't seen a lot of heavily used SE. Those are great pictures - thanks for posting them.

I think JD made a good estimate in longevity of SE combined with 204 - and as he suggested a knife's lifespan is of course dependent on other factors as well. Trust me I have no doubt that Spyderco is king of serrations! That is one of the main factors that drew me to Spyderco - I have never seen a knife from another company with serrations that are up to par.

Well, this settles it - I am going to clamp my SE in a padded vice and break out the 701 Profiles next time a sharpening is needed. While the 204 is a great tool and I have been VERY happy with its results, the Profile sounds like the way to go for preserving the serrations, which appeals to the collector/perfectionist in me. The 204 will still see all my PE knives though! We need a 701 Profile instructional video!!!

spydutch and Wotanson, I have added your signature after reading that SE Fan Club thread.
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Pic request!

Postby Mr. Shawn » Fri May 18, 2007 8:37 am

Could someone post a picture of a Profile stone next to a Sharpmaker stone? I would like to see the shape difference because I am wondering if I could use the corners on the Sharpmaker stones to sharpen serrations individually. Thank you!
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Postby Left Hand Path » Fri May 18, 2007 8:51 am

I won't be able to take a picture for a few days - maybe someone else can help - but I can tell you:

The spyderedge has a two-step pattern of 1 big serration and 2 small serrations. The corner of the Sharpmaker stone and the Profile both fit the small serration nicely, but the Profile has the advantage b/c it has a larger radius to fit the big serration also.
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Postby Mr. Shawn » Fri May 18, 2007 8:55 am

Thank you, Left Hand Path. Your description makes sense.
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Postby Murdoc » Fri May 18, 2007 9:25 am

Hi Mr. Shawn,

as you probably already know, you can see a transverse section of teh ProFiles in the Spyderco catalogs, for example here on page 2 resp. 3 . Don't know if that helps you without the direct comparison to a 204 stone, though.

The 204 stones more or less fit into the SMALL serrations of my police.



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Postby spydutch » Fri May 18, 2007 12:13 pm

IIRC it was Wouter(MrBlonde) who said that you can keep you serrations prestine with the 204 as well if you don't put excessive pressure when sharpening serrations.

Just light clean strokes.

That's what I've been doing lately ;)
Arend(old school Spydie lover)

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...I would love to have one in full SpyderEdge:p

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Life span of SE

Postby bell » Fri May 18, 2007 4:32 pm

OK if you are married to the Sharpmaker you will eventually blunt out the whole cutting surface. Let think outside the box. I say the blade will last as long as there is steel. Get your diamond rat tail sharpener rod and just file down the main serrations maybe once a year .5 to 1 mm, maintain the existing angle. Now use the Sharpmaker (fine) to polish off those large valleys. Never mind the small serrations. If you want razor sharp, use shoelace with some strop compound (Vampirewolf). Shazam, the SE will last a lifetime and be killer sharp.

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Postby JD Spydo » Fri May 18, 2007 8:43 pm

bell wrote:OK if you are married to the Sharpmaker you will eventually blunt out the whole cutting surface. Let think outside the box. I say the blade will last as long as there is steel. Get your diamond rat tail sharpener rod and just file down the main serrations maybe once a year .5 to 1 mm, maintain the existing angle. Now use the Sharpmaker (fine) to polish off those large valleys. Never mind the small serrations. If you want razor sharp, use shoelace with some strop compound (Vampirewolf). Shazam, the SE will last a lifetime and be killer sharp.
Hey BELL on those small spiky serrations you mentioned I have found that for touch ups you can use the corners of the 204 Sharpmaker stones and they really restore the spiky geometry quite well. That is one thing that I use the 204 stones for on serrations from time to time. Give it a try sometime I think you will be impressed. Try the gray/medium stones first then the fine or even the Ultra-fine if you have them. ;) Good Luck
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Postby peacefuljeffrey » Sat May 19, 2007 12:35 am

Left Hand Path wrote:Basically I am curious if anyone out there has sharpened the same SE knife MANY MANY times with a sharpmaker, and what does the edge look like now? Are the serrations shorter or more rounded? Has performance been affected?
I am curious about that, myself.

I see people who say that the best blade is a fully serrated one, and I strongly disagree, personally. A large part of my aversion to serrated blades is the issue of resharpening. I just don't see that resharpening serrated blades can possibly be as simple as doing a straight blade, and I don't see how the teeth of the serration will not suffer from repeated sharpening.

Off I go to read the responses you got (I have the habit of posting and then going back to read, unfortunately. I like to give an untainted reply.)

-PJ

edit: Okay, HOLY GEEZ what a TRAIN WRECK that edge looks like! OMG that was painful to look at! :eek:
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Postby Murdoc » Sat May 19, 2007 4:47 am

I just don't see that resharpening serrated blades can possibly be as simple as doing a straight blade, and I don't see how the teeth of the serration will not suffer from repeated sharpening.

Amen to that, brother! Although I know there are porfessionals out there that resharpen a SE blade forever without any damage. Not me, though. :o

Actually, the pics make it seem worse than it really is. That close-ups made me twist in pain when I saw them the first time - even although I made them myself and I carry that knife as EDC right now.

It is like in real life: the closer you look, the more flaws you discover :-)
Lesson: don't look too close at what you love ?? :D

To restore the reputation of my trusty old Police, that's what it looks like in total (keep in mind it is about 10 years old):

Image

Image

Image

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Postby Fred Sanford » Sat May 19, 2007 2:30 pm

Murdoc wrote:Hi,

it's funny you bring this topic on the table, Left Hand Path!

As I mentioned earlier, I just purchased an old, used EDC'd Police with a GIN-1 blade that obviously was sharpened more than once (and not always in the best way) on a sharpmaker.

I tried to sharpen it on my 204, too, but I must admit that my sharpening skills for serrated blades are POOR. It STARTS to get sharp, but I think it will be impossible for me to get it to pushcut paper ever again :-(

Anyways, I made some pics of the blade to show what 10 years of existance (NOT constant use for sure!) will do to a serrated blade.

I like this knife a lot (even more than I thought I would when buying it), but I'm afraid I would have to do an overseas shipment to Golden if I wanted the serrations nice an toothy ever again....

In pic 6 and 7, you can see what happens when you sharpen serrated blades like shown in the 204 video and not every serration separately...


Dennis


I would send it in. They will make the edge look like new. It will be sharp and fresh and crisp again.

In my opinion it would be well worth the wait and the time. :)
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Postby Capt. Carl » Sat May 19, 2007 9:28 pm

Yeah, send it in. It will take a few weeks but it will come back with beautiful new serrations and your splinter picking tip will return!

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Postby Native Justice » Sat May 19, 2007 11:31 pm

I love SE edges and especially the big Dyad SE edge. The problem with sharpening a SE edge with the SM is that the forward portion of the SE is sharpened, not the back side. The 701 profile stones allow the entire SE edge to be sharpened and honed.

Gotta try it to believe it. The Profile stones are the "end all catch all" of SE treatments. If you like SE edges then, you gotta try the Profile stones. They're the best of the best and prolong the life of your SE edges to no end. They take a little more patience and practice but are the best of both worlds. If you love your SE, then you have to buy a 701 profile set.

My $.02.

NJ
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Postby Mr Blonde » Sat Jun 02, 2007 10:27 am

[quote="spydutch"]IIRC it was Wouter(MrBlonde) who said that you can keep you serrations prestine with the 204 as well if you don't put excessive pressure when sharpening serrations.

Just light clean strokes.

That's what I've been doing lately ]

I think the profile set will give you the best results in preserving the factory 'pointiness' of the teeth; but I'm just too addicted to my Sharpmaker to try and learn freehand sharpening. :D

For me, the Sharpmaker works just fine for preserving the pointy teeth. My advise is indeed to use light strokes on the Sharpmaker, regardless of the edgetype, though I go even lighter on the strokes with an SE edge. My recipe for sharpening SE also includes 3-4 strokes on the hollow side and a single stroke on the non-sharpened side of the SE edge.

Wouter
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