Serrata

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David R
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Serrata

Postby David R » Sat Mar 16, 2019 10:59 pm

Read about the Serrata while lurking here a few weeks ago. The design of it really caught my eye. A little thicker stock than I usually like, but FFG so potentially would cut well. I did some research - there's not a lot of discussion about this one. A few people expressing concern about the steel used. I understand that when you compare this other other knives with "super" steels.

I asked myself: Why would Spydero make a knife with (relatively) poor performing steel in 2014 given all the other steels available? The answer is they wouldn't. I had to believe they chose cast 440C for a reason and it likely performed well. Stuart Ackerman has shared the advantages of this steel on this forum (easy to sharpen and long-lasting toothy edge). I haven't see where he compared it to other steels for edge retention.

I got one last week. The design is quite good, comfortable handle, good balance, excellent blade shape for cutting. This is a stout knife that feels great in the hand.

I decided to do some rope cut testing similar to Cedric & Ada. (Go to Youtube if you're not familiar with him.) The factory edge didn't do well. It was about 55 degrees inclusive. I took it to 22 degrees per side with a 600 grit silicon-carbide stone. This edge didn't do well either and really didn't want to cut rope easily. I re-sharpened and stropped it. Better, but still not great.

Stuart recommends 400 grit. With a 400 grit AlOx stone it did much better. Some stropping helped. I then re-profiled it to 19 degrees per side at 400 grit. Now cutting like crazy with edge retention on par with D2 (or so).

This steel is unusual in a few ways. When it's sharp it will cut newsprint, but not against the grain. I suspect the toothy edge is catching the paper and keeping from cutting(?). As I was testing on paper while cutting rope the paper cuts got smoother. Guessing that as the edge dulled it got less toothy and cut more smoothly. This steel also looks different - not sure how to describe it. It just reflects light differently. I kept thinking I had gotten different angles for the bevel. Nope - just reflecting light differently than I'm used to.

I'll go out tomorrow and cut/whack stuff with it. Wood, vines, shrubs, and whatever else needs to be cut. So far this seems like a really nice knife that is perhaps under-appreciated due to the name of the steel. Maybe they should have named it Rex 440.

Nice job Stuart and Spyderco. Really liking this knife.

The Meat man
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Re: Serrata

Postby The Meat man » Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:10 pm

Very nice review David. I have also been curious about the Serrata since reading about the nature and performance of dendritic blade materials. I think you're right, a lot of the lack of interest has to do with the supposedly ho-hum blade steel used.
- Connor

Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6)

ZMW
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Re: Serrata

Postby ZMW » Tue Apr 02, 2019 11:32 pm

Awesome info!

SF Native
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Re: Serrata

Postby SF Native » Tue Apr 02, 2019 11:48 pm

Nice write up. I have had my eye on this one but not really sure I need another fixed blade. I seem to recall Sal saying that they wouldn’t do another with steel like this. Unique. Only chance to try it out.

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Stuart Ackerman
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Re: Serrata

Postby Stuart Ackerman » Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:16 pm

Thanks David for the review.

It seems that folk on the Interwebs see 440C and go "ho hum... " investment casting makes it way better at the edge.

I have David Boye to thank for his pioneering experimental work in seeing if 440C could be made "toothy" through investment casting.
I have being very pleased with the Serrata Project, and Spyderco have produced a fine representation of my dream.

My edges are thinner behind the edge and my version is slightly lighter, but they work just the same. :)

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Re: Serrata

Postby yablanowitz » Sun Apr 07, 2019 3:40 pm

The Serrata was never on my radar, but not because of the steel. Being something of a geezer, I rather like 440C, and I've carried and used it a lot over the last 50 years. I just looked at pictures of the knife when it was introduced and thought "that looks odd" and moved on.

I finally picked one up at the last Seconds Sale because the price was just too good to pass up. A few months of handling and using it have pretty much confirmed my initial eyeball assessment. The handle is about a half inch too short for my hands, so I find myself choking up on the blade. Yes, onto the unguarded, sharpened edge of the blade. No amount of performance is going to make that into a winning proposition.

TomAiello
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Re: Serrata

Postby TomAiello » Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:26 pm

How big are your hands? I have small-to-medium hands and there is plenty of handle real estate on the Serrata for me.

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Re: Serrata

Postby yablanowitz » Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:51 pm

Size XL gloves are tight, size 12 rings fit on my pinkies. I've been told that my hands make a Delica look like a Dragonfly, and I've completely given up on Schempp designs. So yes, my hands are large and I knife shop accordingly. I don't like having the butt of the handle rubbing on the heel of my hand, so I end up choking up on the Serrata until my index finger is on the edge.

David R
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Re: Serrata

Postby David R » Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:29 pm

I get that with XL the handle may be small. I have L hands, sometimes I can squeeze into a medium (wide hands, shorter fingers for L). Finger on the edge is obviously no good.

I did a bunch of outside work with the knife the last two weekends. Nice to use - no issue with my fingers sliding down to the blade. I suppose it could happen, but I never felt like it was a risk. Pretty sure I'm going to use this knife a lot.

I generally don't use micro-bevels. I added a micro-bevel to the 19 degree bevel (maybe 22 degrees or so) and edge retention was better by ~30% with fibrous material. Hoping Stuart will give some input on his preferred edge for this steel.

If I recall Sal sad he wouldn't do this again because it was a hard process to get right for production, not because the steel isn't good.

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Stuart Ackerman
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Re: Serrata

Postby Stuart Ackerman » Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:52 pm

The main difference in my models and the Spyderco version, is that the edge in mine is in a more secure place.
The scales drop right down to the ricasso part behind the edge, and the edge only begins around a half inch forward of the handle area.

Still, if you have large hands, the ergos might still be an issue.

Yablanowitz, if can trace your open hand onto a piece of paper, with a ruler alongside...send me a pic via PM...
I am just curious for future reference, is all... :)

BTW, the Spydie and mine both are the same-ish length, handle-wise. And both are a tad longer than needed for my hands.
Last edited by Stuart Ackerman on Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Stuart Ackerman
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Re: Serrata

Postby Stuart Ackerman » Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:08 pm

Have a look here...
The arrow shows where the edge begins...

Click on the image to make it bigger, and you will see the dendritic pattern on the blade.
serrata 15.jpg

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roger-roger
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Re: Serrata

Postby roger-roger » Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:01 am

Stuart Ackerman wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:08 pm
Have a look here...
The arrow shows where the edge begins...

Click on the image to make it bigger, and you will see the dendritic pattern on the blade.

serrata 15.jpg

Hi Stuart,
Is your website down? I'm getting directed to cheap Air Jordan shoes.

yablanowitz
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Re: Serrata

Postby yablanowitz » Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:01 pm

Stuart Ackerman wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:08 pm
Have a look here...
The arrow shows where the edge begins...

Click on the image to make it bigger, and you will see the dendritic pattern on the blade.

serrata 15.jpg
That would be a deal-breaker for me. If the edge doesn't go all the way to the plunge grind, I consider it defective.

This is where I would normally hold this knife. Note where the butt hits the heel of my hand.
Image

This is where I end up to get the butt to a comfortable spot.
Image

Yeah, my hands are that big.
Image

Image

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Stuart Ackerman
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Re: Serrata

Postby Stuart Ackerman » Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:21 pm

I SEE the problem!!!!!

Remind me to never challenge you on anything you say or do! :)

yablanowitz
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Re: Serrata

Postby yablanowitz » Mon Apr 08, 2019 4:35 pm

LOL. I just thought you should know that there may be other issues in play besides the "440C ho hum".

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Stuart Ackerman
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Re: Serrata

Postby Stuart Ackerman » Tue Apr 09, 2019 3:57 am

I, of course, based in the Southern most part of the universe, am unable to get to any Seconds Sale.
If I had a Seconds Serrata, I would remove the scales, cut, enlarge and paste the handle by maybe an inch, using judicious welding, and create a Yablanowitz-Serrata. :)

Is there anyone near you who could do the same? Just a thought?

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captnvegtble
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Re: Serrata

Postby captnvegtble » Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:49 am

I like the design, size, ergonomics, steel... none of that was an issue for me. The main stopper was the 6mm blade stock thickness. I just don't need/want a knife that thick and heavy. Was that thickness necessary for casting 440C? Can you cast 440C in a thinner stock?

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Re: Serrata

Postby bearfacedkiller » Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:57 am

I still plan to pick one up at some point. I wish for thinner stock but with the distal taper I can live with it. My biggest hang up is the unsharpened edge. That drives me nuts. I would have to either sharpen it or grind the finger groove forward to remove it.
-Darby
sal wrote:Knife afi's are pretty far out, steel junky's more so, but "edge junky's" are just nuts. :p
SpyderEdgeForever wrote: Also, do you think a kangaroo would eat a bowl of spagetti with sauce if someone offered it to them?

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Re: Serrata

Postby yablanowitz » Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:05 am

Stuart Ackerman wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 3:57 am
I, of course, based in the Southern most part of the universe, am unable to get to any Seconds Sale.
If I had a Seconds Serrata, I would remove the scales, cut, enlarge and paste the handle by maybe an inch, using judicious welding, and create a Yablanowitz-Serrata. :)

Is there anyone near you who could do the same? Just a thought?
Oh, I could do that, I have the tools and skills. By the time I got the handle resized, I doubt it would fit the sheath, so I'd have to make a new sheath as well. Diminishing returns.

The Meat man
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Re: Serrata

Postby The Meat man » Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:10 pm

It's a very interesting knife. I got to hold one in hand the other day.

The blade thickness is awe-inspiring, and yet it doesn't feel imbalanced, or out-of-place on the knife.
- Connor

Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6)


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