SE...rounded points or sharp, and why?

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Evil D
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SE...rounded points or sharp, and why?

Postby Evil D » Sun Jul 12, 2015 4:03 am

I can see merits for both. When you really analyse serrations, the points serve two purposes. 1) they protect the edges between them when cutting against damaging surfaces like a ceramic plate etc. 2) when sharp and pointy they initiate the cut for the edges between them to do their job.

Now, what about more rounded points? One complaint I see a lot with using serrations is snagging, and from my experience that is largely due to the points. I don't have any SE blades that have either rounded points by design or have worn to the point that they are, but it seems logical to me that rounded points would reduce snagging, albeit at a loss of that penetration that pointed serrations provide.

The question I have is, do we really NEED that penetration? Consider a PE for a moment... You have just one point, and it's the tip. Still, you cut most things, even rope, quite easily. So are those points really that important or would rounder, or maybe a better word to use would be softer...points perform better?

They will still initiate a cut...it's a simple matter of surface pressure and those points focus the pressure of the cut into a smaller spot and so they're going to cut aggressively. Also, in the end you'll always have the point of the blade just as you do on your PE blades right?

The negative I see here is that rounder points would basically have an edge to them, and that edge will dull when cutting on those harsh surfaces. At that point you don't have points at all, so cutting would be reduced to what you have between the points, and so if you're cutting hard/firm material you may have no choice but to puncture it with the blade tip and cut from there, which isn't always an option.

Thoughts? Or have I just answered my own question? Or does the argument about cutting on ceramic plates only matter at the steak house? How often do you really use a knife that way? 99.9% if the cutting I do is on things that are typically held by my off hand up in the air, never really when laid down on something because I know the surface underneath is usually hard on my edge.

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Re: SE...rounded points or sharp, and why?

Postby Surfingringo » Sun Jul 12, 2015 5:08 am

Well, I have several salts that (because of LOTS of sharpening) have slightly more rounded points than they did when they were new. I don't see any notable drop in performance or cutting ability as this gradually happens. Of course you lose a tiny bit of "grab" as you said, but they still do exactly what a serrated edge should. I kind of like the way they cut once they mellow out just a bit. For me its just one of those things that I see as a natural evolution. Kind of like breaking in a new pair of shoes or a new car. The tranny on your corvette might not feel quite as crisp after 20k miles as it did the day you drove it off the lot but the car will run a 1/4 just as fast (if not faster) because after 20k miles that tranny is going to feel right just where it is.

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Re: SE...rounded points or sharp, and why?

Postby elena86 » Sun Jul 12, 2015 7:21 am

I have another question: is there a sharpening method that maintains the pointy tips ? That's how I like them: pointy .

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Re: SE...rounded points or sharp, and why?

Postby yablanowitz » Sun Jul 12, 2015 7:37 am

Sharpening a single scallop at a time with a round Diamond or ceramic hone of the correct diameter will maintain the points, and even restore rounded points. For me, it is an annoying and time consuming process. Luckily, I've found that more rounded tips on serrations work better for my uses than extreme points. I was quite surprised that the more rounded teeth of the Byrd Crossbill cut through vines and grasses with less effort than the more pointed teeth of the Spyderhawk.

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Re: SE...rounded points or sharp, and why?

Postby twinboysdad » Sun Jul 12, 2015 11:18 am

Pac salt shallow>Dfly salt snaggy

Of course the greatest H1 knife of all time, the LBHB has a set of teeth unlike any others as well

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Re: SE...rounded points or sharp, and why?

Postby Evil D » Sun Jul 12, 2015 11:59 am

yablanowitz wrote:Sharpening a single scallop at a time with a round Diamond or ceramic hone of the correct diameter will maintain the points, and even restore rounded points. For me, it is an annoying and time consuming process. Luckily, I've found that more rounded tips on serrations work better for my uses than extreme points. I was quite surprised that the more rounded teeth of the Byrd Crossbill cut through vines and grasses with less effort than the more pointed teeth of the Spyderhawk.

Yeah, I think the problem is that the points themselves at some point have very little edge on either side and are basically just a spike. If you're not IN the serrations, you're snagging on the points. I've noticed a very significant difference between how my Dfly performs vs. how my Native does, because I've always sharpened the Native with a diamond rod that keeps the points crazy pointy.

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Re: SE...rounded points or sharp, and why?

Postby spydutch » Sun Jul 12, 2015 12:19 pm

I like the LOOKS of aggressive serrations but for use I like them a little rounder.
Way less chance of snagging when they are not that super sharp anymore.
I had very deep and pointy serrations on my SS Cricket and they snagged all the time so I very carefully rounded them off a bit with the browns on my Sm.
Much better this way.

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Re: SE...rounded points or sharp, and why?

Postby JD Spydo » Sun Jul 12, 2015 6:49 pm

Surfingringo wrote:Well, I have several salts that (because of LOTS of sharpening) have slightly more rounded points than they did when they were new. I don't see any notable drop in performance or cutting ability as this gradually happens. Of course you lose a tiny bit of "grab" as you said,
That's exactly why I tout the Spyderco 701 Profiles for sharpening serrations. Because the 701 Profiles tend to maintain the original factory serration pattern. Oh the 204 Sharpmaker will get your Spyderedges sharp all right but over the long haul your serrations get deformed as time goes. When I got one Harpy model from a guy who used nothing but the Sharpmaker to keep it sharp for over 2 years I had one helluva time getting that pattern back to it's original form.

Answering EVIL's question about rounded versus spikey serrations I think there is something to be said for both patterns and I can give testimony as to how good both patterns do with certain cutting jobs. My K-04 & K-05 Spyderco kitchen knives have that rounded type pattern which is good for most culinary/food jobs but I wouldn't want to use it on an outdoor hunting, fishing type application.

My ultimate favorite serration pattern that I've ever used is on my older AUS-8 full SE Catcherman. I've only ever seen that serration pattern on Catcherman models when they made them in full SE many years ago. It's almost as though that pattern kind of gives you the best of both patterns. I wish I could get set up again to do photos because if I had it going I would put up a pic of that knife to show you all what I'm talking about.

I hope that down the road Spyderco's research and development will look into newer and more advanced serration patterns. I do believe that better patterns could be done with a little work and testing. And with Spyderco more or less being the king of serrated knives at this time I would think they would want to check out different patterns.

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Re: SE...rounded points or sharp, and why?

Postby bdblue » Sun Jul 12, 2015 9:49 pm

does it depend on the material to be cut?
It seems that sharp points could go farther into a soft material and allow each serration to cut more. OTOH if the points go too far into a fibrous material does it give more chance to bind up?

If you are cutting against a hard surface then the points would limit the amount of edge that gets blunted. I have wondered about this because my wife has a set of cheap serrated steak knives that we use and they have upside down scallops, so the middle of the curve touches the plate and not the points. These knives seem to work well for cutting cooked meat. It doesn't have points to dig in and bind, but much of the length of the edge that is touching the meat is what has been blunted from rubbing on the plate.

I'm still interested in what common materials would I be cutting that a serrated knife would work better on than a sharp plain edge. And also would this material or another material be good for tests comparing a serrated edge vs. a plain edge? I had bought a SE Endura to do some testing with but my daughter borrowed it and I might not get it back.

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Re: SE...rounded points or sharp, and why?

Postby akaAK » Mon Jul 13, 2015 8:55 am

I prefer rounded points for two reasons:

1. my sharpening method (SM only for serrations) is quick and painless but also results in rounded points. Don't have the time to spend sharpening individual scallops on knives I primarily use for yard work and rougher chores. Time spent does not equal increased performance for me.
2. I find rounded points snag less while doing the type of work I use serrations for. this is yard work, fibrous materials, stems, vines, opening packages, cutting trimmer line.

I watched EvilD's sharpening video and is something I would like to try but for now I'm good with rounded points.

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Re: SE...rounded points or sharp, and why?

Postby Evil D » Mon Jul 13, 2015 11:04 am

akaAK wrote:I prefer rounded points for two reasons:

1. my sharpening method (SM only for serrations) is quick and painless but also results in rounded points. Don't have the time to spend sharpening individual scallops on knives I primarily use for yard work and rougher chores. Time spent does not equal increased performance for me.
2. I find rounded points snag less while doing the type of work I use serrations for. this is yard work, fibrous materials, stems, vines, opening packages, cutting trimmer line.

I watched EvilD's sharpening video and is something I would like to try but for now I'm good with rounded points.

It will still work as a follow up to using a Sharpmaker, rounded points or not.

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Re: SE...rounded points or sharp, and why?

Postby Donut » Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:07 pm

So, what do we think the most efficient way of rounding the corners off the end of our serrated edges? If we choose to round them off.
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Re: SE...rounded points or sharp, and why?

Postby Cliff Stamp » Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:28 pm

I have serrations in all kinds of patterns, here are three customs from Kyle Bettleyon :

Image

As serrations get more pointy then they are more able to cut through hard plastics, saw in woods and similar. A more rounded pattern will tend to just skip over those materials. If you want to see some interesting patterns then have a look at Jay Fisher who has some really sharp/jagged patterns :

- http://www.jayfisher.com/Serrations.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Image

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Re: SE...rounded points or sharp, and why?

Postby Evil D » Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:32 pm

Donut wrote:So, what do we think the most efficient way of rounding the corners off the end of our serrated edges? If we choose to round them off.

Good question. I would assume the easiest and probably safest way is to just use it a lot and sharpen it in a specific way that doesn't deliberately retain the shape of each serration. You'd have to be careful not to just make the points shorter...I'd imagine you could shorten them up and they still be pointy, and each serration basically just gets wider. If you look at Lance's Pacific, it looks like a bunch of sharpening on a SM will do the trick eventually, depending on how round you want them.
Cliff Stamp wrote:I have serrations in all kinds of patterns, here are three customs from Kyle Bettleyon :

Image

As serrations get more pointy then they are more able to cut through hard plastics, saw in woods and similar. A more rounded pattern will tend to just skip over those materials. If you want to see some interesting patterns then have a look at Jay Fisher who has some really sharp/jagged patterns :

- http://www.jayfisher.com/Serrations.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Image

Yeah I think you've posted those before. The "vampire teeth" seem pretty ridiculous to me, but the idea of random pattern/size seems like it may have some merit.

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Re: SE...rounded points or sharp, and why?

Postby Cliff Stamp » Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:41 pm

Evil D wrote: Yeah I think you've posted those before. The "vampire teeth" seem pretty ridiculous to me, but the idea of random pattern/size seems like it may have some merit.
I have not used Fisher's work, not a lot of commentary on it, which is not surprising given the prices. I have used a lot of those type of teeth though. They can work very well in a lot of situations but they are also terribly fragile. Just imagine the tip on the slimmest knife you have and now just think about an edge made from a pile of that. If you put a lot of force into the cut they can shred even normally impossible material to cut, black ABS pile for example is trivial. But it is also not at all difficult in the same kinds of situations to break them off. I would be curious about H1 in that kind of pattern. The make some pretty ugly wounds if you cut flesh with them.

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Re: SE...rounded points or sharp, and why?

Postby Donut » Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:53 pm

I might be an expert since I hand ground the serrations off of two Lil Matriarchs, but I didn't test it anywhere between when I started to when I finished.
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Re: SE...rounded points or sharp, and why?

Postby JAfromMN » Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:57 pm

Two sharp points and a deep curve.

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Re: SE...rounded points or sharp, and why?

Postby Bill1170 » Tue Jul 14, 2015 1:00 am

I also prefer the less grabby patterns of serrations, so more rounded points are my preference. I feel they give me better control.

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Re: SE...rounded points or sharp, and why?

Postby JD Spydo » Tue Jul 14, 2015 3:47 am

Cliff Stamp wrote:I have serrations in all kinds of patterns, here are three customs from Kyle Bettleyon :

Image
I've never seen a serration pattern quite like those>> that type of pattern would probably do very well with the 204 Sharpmaker. Also the serration pattern on Spyderco's older C-27 Jess Horn model were unique because I've never seen that pattern on any other knife blade other than the C-27 model>> as they tended to have a more rounded pattern

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Re: SE...rounded points or sharp, and why?

Postby akaAK » Tue Jul 14, 2015 8:26 am

Evil D wrote:
akaAK wrote:I prefer rounded points for two reasons:

1. my sharpening method (SM only for serrations) is quick and painless but also results in rounded points. Don't have the time to spend sharpening individual scallops on knives I primarily use for yard work and rougher chores. Time spent does not equal increased performance for me.
2. I find rounded points snag less while doing the type of work I use serrations for. this is yard work, fibrous materials, stems, vines, opening packages, cutting trimmer line.

I watched EvilD's sharpening video and is something I would like to try but for now I'm good with rounded points.

It will still work as a follow up to using a Sharpmaker, rounded points or not.
Completely understand, just a time limit thing on my end. I can run a blade (pe, ce or se) on the sharpmaker and have it back to reasonable sharpness in a couple of minutes (including set-up). I haven't been sucked into the slicing atom sharpness levels vortex yet.


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