Ultimate Edge Retention: Spyderedge vs Plain Edge

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JD Spydo
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Ultimate Edge Retention: Spyderedge vs Plain Edge

Postby JD Spydo » Tue Sep 12, 2017 2:50 pm

Many of you know that I'm a big fan of Spyderco's great serrated blades and just about every serration pattern they offer as well. The biggest complaint I've heard over the years against Spyderco's serrated/Spyderedged blades is the difficulty ( or perceived difficulty) in keeping them sharp. So most people that even frequent the Forum here at Spyderville by and large are mostly plain edged fans.

Oh yes there are a great number of Spyderedged fans here too but I can assure you that we Spyderedged fans are outnumbered>> at least at this time. Well there is one huge factor that I truly wish people would deeply consider before they completely decide against ownership and using Spyderedges. Because it's just a scientific fact that Spyderedges/serrations remain sharp far longer than plain edges do.

It's is much easier to dull a plain edge as it is to dull a Spyderedge. And sharpening serrations/Spyderedges just isn't all that difficult with the right sharpening tools. I have two questions here: What is the main reason that many of you dislike Spyderedges? For you intense plain edge fans tell me what you feel the main advantages the plain edge ultimately has over a Spyderedged model?

Let's compare and discuss the two edge types. Let's weigh the advantages and disadvantages of both edge types.

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Re: Ultimate Edge Retention: Spyderedge vs Plain Edge

Postby carrot » Tue Sep 12, 2017 2:58 pm

All you gotta do is clip a glass table with your plain edge and you have an instant huge flat spot. On Spyderedge, the tips will save the scallops and you'll still be able to keep cutting! I learned the former hard lesson on vacation once and didn't have a sharpener on hand.

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Re: Ultimate Edge Retention: Spyderedge vs Plain Edge

Postby elena86 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:31 pm

I became a spydermaniac when I first saw a SS SE Police in a movie, many years ago.When I bought my first one, I was in haven and using it I realized what a terific cutting power a spyderedge packs . My beloved spyderedge wharnie Delica never left my pocket for the last three months or so.It is the ultimate cutting tool for me.I allways maintain the edge stupid sharp and never feel the need for a plain edge blade.That's the secret: keep it wicked sharp ! Enough said :eek:

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Re: Ultimate Edge Retention: Spyderedge vs Plain Edge

Postby The Mastiff » Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:51 pm

In many cases the tips are what is doing the cutting before it gets to the scallops. Sawing rope for instance.

Joe, I don't know what science says about this but I do think serrations will cut when partially dull better but I'm not sure that is staying sharp longer. For some stuff serrations are completely unsuited. I have both. My daily use favors plain edges and I like mine sharp. I still have a bunch of serrated Spydercos but I do admit I haven't mastered getting them as sharp as I can easily get my plain edge knives. I will advocate for the "different tool" philosophy which includes steel types and edge types in my choices so I can say one is more useful most of the time for me but I can't say it's better.

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Evil D
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Re: Ultimate Edge Retention: Spyderedge vs Plain Edge

Postby Evil D » Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:02 pm

Well I've voiced my thoughts on this in the other thread, but all out edge retention just isn't a big concern for me when it comes to serrations, because using them past peak sharpness is far too aggravating for me. Once they stop slicing and start doing more ripping and I have to start making sawing motions to cut something I'm just done. I've also found myself frustrated in the past when I couldn't get serrations sharp, so I'm OCD about keeping them sharp so my steel choice leans more towards ease of sharpening and toughness so that the edge doesn't chip or need significant sharpening.

It's a bit backwards from what most people want but I'm a backwards kind of guy and it works for me.
SHARPEN IT LIKE YOU LOVE IT, USE IT LIKE YOU HATE IT
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JD Spydo
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Re: Ultimate Edge Retention: Spyderedge vs Plain Edge

Postby JD Spydo » Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:26 pm

The Mastiff wrote:In many cases the tips are what is doing the cutting before it gets to the scallops. Sawing rope for instance.

Joe, I don't know what science says about this but I do think serrations will cut when partially dull better but I'm not sure that is staying sharp longer. For some stuff serrations are completely unsuited. I have both. My daily use favors plain edges and I like mine sharp. I still have a bunch of serrated Spydercos but I do admit I haven't mastered getting them as sharp as I can easily get my plain edge knives. I will advocate for the "different tool" philosophy which includes steel types and edge types in my choices so I can say one is more useful most of the time for me but I can't say it's better.
Very interesting comment Mastiff :) Well all I can say is that I've put my 440V, SE Native through literal hell and back to where I've had to completely sharpen the serrations on it almost daily when I had that one brutal job I testified about a few times here on the Forum. And even toward the end of the day I was still able to sever a few items that I needed to get the job done. So for me when partically dull I still had fair results with my Spyderedged 440V Native model.

Now Evil D kind of echoes my sentiments because I too am a sharpening fanatic and even if one of my blades gets just a little bit dull or dinged up I get the sharpening tools out immediately. And I can identify with what he says about the "Snag Factor" when serrations lose their optimal edge. But you can still get through many fibrous materials even when they are beginning to dull.

But to respond to both of you guys I still maintain that you can do a lot more with a slightly dull Spyderedged blade than you can with a slightly dull plain edge. Just the other day I couldn't even open a bag of potato chips when I got my M390 Military about as dull as I've ever gotten it. But I did put it through a lot of horrendous cutting chores during that day.

Now I will say that it's a lot quicker to restore a plain edge especially with Spyderco's great tools like the GOLDENSTONE, Sharpmaker and 701 Profiles and let's not forget the DOUBLESTUFF. Because it only took me about a dozen strokes on each side of the blade on the GOLDENSTONE to make my M390, PE Military model shaving sharp again. I still say that there is plenty of raw evidence that says serrations will perform much longer after being somewhat dull by our demanding standards.

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Re: Ultimate Edge Retention: Spyderedge vs Plain Edge

Postby El Gato » Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:40 pm

Even with all the "scientific facts" and personal opinions in favor of the SE, I still won't have a knife with a SE blade. I just don't like them, never have and never will. I prefer a plain edge blade of high performance non-stainless tool steel and I like to maintain that blade insanely sharp. For me it's all about the blade steel and blade geometry in any knife I spend my money for. I am very happy that Spyderco offers a variety of knives with the SE for those who like them. Everyone deserves to have what they like, including myself, but I will leave the SE models for those who prefer them.

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Re: Ultimate Edge Retention: Spyderedge vs Plain Edge

Postby cabfrank » Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:58 pm

I am not a great sharpener, so I also try to touch up on the Sharpmaker pretty often, instead of really dulling a knife. I can say though, that when my SE Ladybug gets a little dull, it might snag more, but it still cuts much better than my PE Manbug, when it is slightly dull.

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Re: Ultimate Edge Retention: Spyderedge vs Plain Edge

Postby Evil D » Tue Sep 12, 2017 5:29 pm

Joe I'm with you 100% that dull serrations are still more effective than a dull PE, it's just a quality that I personally don't put much value in since I never let them get that dull to worry about it. We're fortunate enough to have some really amazing steels for PE where edge retention is just outstanding so I almost feel like that argument is a bit outdated.
SHARPEN IT LIKE YOU LOVE IT, USE IT LIKE YOU HATE IT
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Re: Ultimate Edge Retention: Spyderedge vs Plain Edge

Postby ZMW » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:03 pm

Is there a straight forward catra comparison? Se (H1) vs pe (any steels)

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Re: Ultimate Edge Retention: Spyderedge vs Plain Edge

Postby Mora2013 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:23 pm

If I were to carry one blade it would be a plain edge. I don't have anything against serrated edges.

I find that the majority of my cutting tasks do better with plain edge, flat or convex ground blades; with a blade with a point and a belly - preferably spear point shaped or leaf shaped.

I find that serrated blades are, by default, chisel ground. This does cause a little bit of a deviation of a push cut away from the serrated face which I don't like. I do own a dragonfly H1 salt, which I use basically as a water activity knife. Not only is it chisel ground, it also is hollow ground. I find the shoulders of a hollow ground knife can bind in materials that are stiffer and thicker - which is something else I don't like.

With my above preferences, I use the dragonfly vg10 ffg as my general edc.

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Re: Ultimate Edge Retention: Spyderedge vs Plain Edge

Postby JD Spydo » Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:59 am

ZMW wrote:Is there a straight forward catra comparison? Se (H1) vs pe (any steels)
That's an interesting question>> I do know that Spyderco did do tests on H-1 and it's overall performance in Spyderedge and the results were that H-1 outperformed everything else at the time they did the test. Since then we've had another Nitrogen based steel come on the scene and that being LC200N. The jury is still out on how it is going to perform in Spyderedge. I've already heard good testimonies about LC200N's performance in plain edge.

We do know that quite a few of the newer/better blade steels like M-4, M390, 204-P, XHP, PSF-27 and several others I could mention that it's evident that many of these newer blade steels have superior performance in plain edge. But in the Spyderedge category I haven't heard of any of the newer blade steels standing out in Spyderedge.

It's kind of funny and somewhat ironic that many of the blade steels I've found that perform well in Spyderedge don't seem to do at that well in plain edge. Some of the steels I've found the perform well in Spyderedge are GIN-1, ATS-55, AUS-8 and 440V. Now some of these steels aren't bad in plain edge but most of them don't even hold a candle compared to many of the newer blade steels I've mentioned.

it seems like Spyderedges really do well in many blade steels with different properties. I was actually shocked when I discovered that H-1 was a superb performer in SE. One steel that seems to do well with both edge types is VG-10. I've had just as good of results in SE & PE both with VG-10. But it's one of the very few steels I can make that statement about.

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Re: Ultimate Edge Retention: Spyderedge vs Plain Edge

Postby vivi » Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:17 pm

I've had extremely good results from my SE knives ever since I learned how to sharpen them. Prior to that I did not like them. I think teaching yourself how to get them as sharp as a plain edge is key to getting the full experience. I can get by with only a serrated knife and no plain edge as long as its nice and sharp.
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Military DLC | Police 4 K390 / Pakkawood | Manix XL M4 DLC / Micarta

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Re: Ultimate Edge Retention: Spyderedge vs Plain Edge

Postby JD Spydo » Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:08 pm

Vivi wrote:I've had extremely good results from my SE knives ever since I learned how to sharpen them. Prior to that I did not like them. I think teaching yourself how to get them as sharp as a plain edge is key to getting the full experience. I can get by with only a serrated knife and no plain edge as long as its nice and sharp.
Very interesting point "Vivi">> because that's probably the biggest complaint I've heard from most people who are either phobic or predjudist against serrated edges. And they also complain that sharpening them is just too complicated or too demanding :rolleyes:

With the wide array of great sharpening tools that Spyderco offers there just isn't any excuse that holds water at all in that regard.

With the Spyderco 204 Sharpmaker I've honestly had a few people tell me that they could get a working edge on a serrated blade faster than they can on a plain edged blade. I can believe that too especially if your plain edge is just really badly banged up.

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Re: Ultimate Edge Retention: Spyderedge vs Plain Edge

Postby vivi » Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:35 pm

I can touch up SE faster than PE now that I know what I'm doing, and I have less then a year of experience working with SE sharpening VS over 20 with PE. Just gotta stick with it.
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Military DLC | Police 4 K390 / Pakkawood | Manix XL M4 DLC / Micarta

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Re: Ultimate Edge Retention: Spyderedge vs Plain Edge

Postby Evil D » Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:53 pm

The biggest thing I've learned about sharpening SE is what I'd call "sharpening break in". I've noticed I have a much easier time sharpening SE blades that I've already sharpened a lot, even so far as to having a visible micro edge along the serrations. I think this had to do with hitting the apex and or making too much burr, can't really say. I definitely prefer SE that have more rounded teeth and I think those edges are far easier to sharpen because the edge tends to flow over the Sharpmaker rods better and less jumpy and notchy feeling than the sharp points do.
SHARPEN IT LIKE YOU LOVE IT, USE IT LIKE YOU HATE IT
~David

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Re: Ultimate Edge Retention: Spyderedge vs Plain Edge

Postby JD Spydo » Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:25 pm

Evil D wrote:The biggest thing I've learned about sharpening SE is what I'd call "sharpening break in". I've noticed I have a much easier time sharpening SE blades that I've already sharpened a lot, even so far as to having a visible micro edge along the serrations. I think this had to do with hitting the apex and or making too much burr, can't really say. I definitely prefer SE that have more rounded teeth and I think those edges are far easier to sharpen because the edge tends to flow over the Sharpmaker rods better and less jumpy and notchy feeling than the sharp points do.
This "sharpening break-in" concept you speak of makes me think a lot about my uses of the Spyderco 701 Profiles. Which is the tool I use most for sharpening serrated/Spyderedges. I'm sure I don't get that advantage mainly because I don't round off the spike parts of the serrations which I'm beginning to see could be advantageous in some ways.

One thing I've recently been concentrating on is the "de-burring" of the back side of the serrated edge. I've been talking to my good friend who is a very knowledgeable machinist and he's convinced me that eliminating any kind of a burr created during the sharpening process is even far more vital that I originally thought. Some burrs are so microscopic that it's sometimes very difficult to determine what needs to be honed or not honed. I think that's where stropping can also be a serrations best friend if done right. Because with the right compound on the leather strop you can eliminate any burr which will greatly enhance your apex.


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