Spyderco serration history

Discuss Spyderco's products and history.
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Doc Dan
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Re: Spyderco serration history

Postby Doc Dan » Fri Apr 03, 2020 9:15 pm

sal wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 9:06 pm
Doc Dan wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 12:54 am
sal wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 3:28 pm
VooDooChild wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 2:12 pm
The other thread answered one of my biggest questions. That serrations on the "show" side direct the edge away from your other hand and body when cutting through something.

I guess I will ask, with all the other serration patterns out there, what are your thoughts on them? Is there another type of pattern you might give a shot at, or does the spyderege still outperform these other patterns?
Hi VooDooChild,

We use a single size serration on our bread knife because testing in Japan by our kitchen knife maker indicated that on hot fresh bread, it worked better. We haven't tested this ourselves. Of all of the other serrations we've tested, we found that angles were very important, edge geometry was also important and the height and width ratio was important, as was the "pointiness" of the tooth. With those considerations, I would still opt for the set-up we are using. If something comes along that we think would perform better, we would switch.

I also maintain that sharpening those serrations with a sharpmaker for 10 -20 strokes on the corners of the white stone improves the performance considerably by softening the sharp teeth.

sal
Sal, I appreciate this thread. I have a question about the serrated bread knife. I bake bread at least twice weekly. I have not tried the Spyderco bread knife, but I have tried a number of them from other makers and they do not do well on hot bread. The best I have found is a very thin Santuko that is sharp enough to pick up hair and cut it. So, my question is, why is the serrated a Spyderco more efficient than other bread knives? Is the knife very thin bladed and thin behind the edge? Is it that the serrated pattern is more efficient? Also, how would it be more efficient than the Santuko?

Hi Doc,

I would suggest trying out a Spyderco bread knife. Also sharpen it a few strokes on the Sharpmaker. I can offer some theory:

1) Very thin blades make a big difference. It took many years for me to make the makers in Seki to do them the way I wanted. They felt they knew better than me how to make knives, since they were 2nd generation. Eventually the popularity of the brand and serrated edges convinced them to let me lead. I always appreciate their opinion. But now at least we discuss it.

2) I can only tell you that people that make hot bread say it's better. That's why I suggest you try it. It's quite thin and an excellent kitchen steel.
Gail is a excellent cook (I mean really good) and she kind of drove the bread knife design. Our next one will be a little wider which Gail says helps for directional stability. (CQI).

3) Serrations take a little more thought:

A) On a plain edge knife, the center of effort (cutting effort) goes in only one direction. Down at 90 degrees to the cutting table. It might vary
due to the moving motion of the blade?
B) On a serrated edge, the center of effort constantly changes in an arc, cutting the material from many different directions very quickly. The
center of effort to the material is 90% to the top of the shape of the serration, which is an arc.
C) The edge geometry, angles and arcs all make a difference. "When one of our serrated edges is proper and finely tunes, it will impress".

sal
Thanks. This will give me something to ponder. That broad, thin Santoku blade really goes through bread easily. I will give the bread knife another look and think on this some.

Really good cook, huh? What time do we eat? :D Just joking.
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Re: Spyderco serration history

Postby sal » Fri Apr 03, 2020 9:28 pm

JacksonKnives wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 12:28 am
sal wrote:
Wed Apr 01, 2020 11:36 am
...
We knew that there were some advantages to serrations, so we really studied "teeth" when developing our sharpener. The multiple sized serration we traced back to Germany in the '40's. Another "Pitchman" named Ronny Popeil ( Ronco - a great inventor, pitchman and producer) developed a kitchen knife based on that concept called the "Feather touch" knife. It was a really effective Kitchen cutting tool, though inexpensively made. Most of the knife Pitchmen bought and sold his knife. It had one large serration and one small serration.

Then another Pitchmen named John Spyker (another really good Pitchman) designed a larger knife with one large serration and two small serrations called the "Sharpcut carving and serving knife". Made in Ohio, John had "broken the Ex" (exclusive) of Popeil's knife, sold them for less money and the Pitchmen eventually gravitated to the new "Pitch Knife".

Then another company designed and created a similar and larger model promoted on Television called the "Ginsu" knife. All based on the multiple sized serrated edge. Gail and I with microscopes studied serrations to determine why they worked better and how to sharpen them. ...
Sal,
I saw some interesting scalloped edges on 16th and 17th century arms & armor (mostly Italian, if I remember correctly) when I had a chance to visit the Wallace collection in London a few decades back.

They looked a lot like the big-small-small pattern you use for the Spyder Edge, and I've wondered ever since if there was a connection.

Sadly, I didn't get any pictures, and the notebook with all the collection reference numbers I wrote down is long gone. I'm not finding anything like the pieces I remember in a quick web search. I can't even remember now if there were any sword edges with the same pattern, I'm pretty sure the most similar were on breastplates.

The pattern is also very reminiscent of the pattern left by some pinking shears for finishing fabric edges that my mother had. (Can't remember the brand, but I remember the similarity to my first SE Endura in the late 90s distinctly.) Any connection there?

Hi Jackson.

I don't think serrations are new. They will be found through-out Nature (our big teacher) , sharks teeth, etc. It's an area of "cut" that's a big part of cutting tools ., history, in my opinion.

We, (Spyderco ) have been studying and using this concept as part of our education on making the "cut" better in performance, and making the "cutter" better in time.

We humans have been smart and innovative as a species for many years. A lot of folks on this forum have a genuine interest on "Edge-ology. We all learn. We get to stand on each others shoulders and see farther.

It is my believe that one of the reasons Damascus was considered a better performer in the "cut" was because in time and "Proper" sharpening, the soft steel gave way to the hard steel and created a "serration". I'v had some custom knife makers say they tested that and didn't see difference, but I don't think they sharpened them on a sharpmaker. "Proper" sharpening would be to use a single point abrasive to tune the edge of damascus,..... in my opinion. :o

sal

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Re: Spyderco serration history

Postby VooDooChild » Fri Apr 03, 2020 11:08 pm

Whats that sword thats a piece of wood with shark teeth for the edge.

Since sharks teeth have serrations its basically giant serrations with serrations along the edge of each serration. Thats pretty cool. Like nested serrations.

Mathematically I guess a fractal serration pattern would be amazing, but thats not going to happen.

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Re: Spyderco serration history

Postby Doc Dan » Fri Apr 03, 2020 11:49 pm

I note that most raptor dinosaurs had serrated teeth.
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Re: Spyderco serration history

Postby Larry_Mott » Sat Apr 04, 2020 4:44 am

Thanks for the insight/Article Sal!
My mom bought a kitchen knife off of a pitchman in a supermarket back in the late 60's, it had Spyderco-like serrations on one side and finer, uniform pattern "waves" on the other. Also the point was forked. It wasnt very expensive, but that dang knife was the most useful one she had up until her passing last spring. Unfortunately my faincé put it in the "charity box" together with a lot of other cutlery and kitchen utensils.
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Re: Spyderco serration history

Postby Evil D » Sat Apr 04, 2020 5:42 am

Larry_Mott wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 4:44 am
Thanks for the insight/Article Sal!
My mom bought a kitchen knife off of a pitchman in a supermarket back in the late 60's, it had Spyderco-like serrations on one side and finer, uniform pattern "waves" on the other. Also the point was forked. It wasnt very expensive, but that dang knife was the most useful one she had up until her passing last spring. Unfortunately my faincé put it in the "charity box" together with a lot of other cutlery and kitchen utensils.


And you still plan to marry this woman? :eek:


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Re: Spyderco serration history

Postby Jazz » Sat Apr 04, 2020 7:50 am

Larry_Mott wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 4:44 am
Unfortunately my faincé put it in the "charity box" together with a lot of other cutlery and kitchen utensils.

Yah, not cool, if it was important.
- best wishes, Jazz.

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Re: Spyderco serration history

Postby Larry_Mott » Sat Apr 04, 2020 8:22 am

It wasn't really important. There were 1001 items that all triggered fond memories, but in those situations you just have to be selectiive. I have still 10 boxes of stuff I can't even remember what's in them all to take care of.. Plenty of memorabilia!
Went through one of them earlier today and found an old pill punch she got from the factory floor (she worked as a secretary for many years at Pharmacia Upjohn, before it was called LEO) I actually value that higher than that old knife :)
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Re: Spyderco serration history

Postby James Y » Sat Apr 04, 2020 8:27 am

VooDooChild wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 11:08 pm
Whats that sword thats a piece of wood with shark teeth for the edge.
It’s called the Leiomano; it was a weapon of Pacific Islanders.

Jim

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Re: Spyderco serration history

Postby curlyhairedboy » Sat Apr 04, 2020 8:35 am

I have to admit that part of the appeal of a serrated hawkbill is just how primal it looks. I reckon a lot of humans have imprinted on such shapes as worth paying attention to ;)
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Re: Spyderco serration history

Postby JD Spydo » Sat Apr 04, 2020 9:11 am

For a long time I've been curious as to whether or not there might be newer serration patterns to be introduced at some point to try on some of the older and newer models. Personally I think the best overall Spyderco serration pattern I've found is my older AUS-8 ( 1990s era) Spyderco Catcherman model full Spyderedge. The serrations on that model were lower profile and just a bit more rounded than most of the Japan made Spyders. There is just something unique about that older Catcherman in full SE. I love that particular model so much that I used it in the kitchen almost 3 times every week ever since I bought it back around 2002.

Also I wish that there would be more fixed blades made available in different SE patterns. Take the older TEMPERANCE 1 model which was available in SE & PE both. I have a set of those ( SE & PE) that I mainly keep for kitchen uses. That model is so good in SE & PE both. I would love to see that TEMP 1 return in SE in the same type of rounded/wavy type serration pattern like the serrations you see on the K-04 & K-05 culinary models.

I'm so much looking forward to all of the responses of this thread to see what kind of consensus we can come to.

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Re: Spyderco serration history

Postby 40mm » Sun Apr 05, 2020 11:46 am

Hey Sal! Love the serrations history lesson, and being that a SE H1 Dragonfly is basically my only carried knife I've become accustomed to their use but also their look. When I look at plain blades now they just don't look as......interesting :). Question for you, how do you all determine serration size/depth for each knife? I ask this because when I had a hawkbill ladybug I noticed the serrations seems much shallower than on the Dragonfly and that the D'fly serrations seemed about as deep as the Salt 1/2 even though the blade is shorter. Just curious as to how those decisions are made. Have said that, I've found the relatively large and deep D'fly serrations allow me to season them to taste through sharpening and use.

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Re: Spyderco serration history

Postby sal » Sun Apr 05, 2020 6:11 pm

Hi 40mm,

Serrations are a constant variable. They are made by plunging a formed wheel into the edge of the blade. Each time a serration is cut, there is a little bit of wear to the wheel. every 40 or 50 blades, the wheel is reformed with a diamond dresser. That added to the thickness of the edge, the type of grind (hollow or flat) and the steel being used all go to form the shape of the serration.

Once the serration is formed, the Sharpmaker takes over. I use the 3 to 1 ratio ( ground side to back side, and I hold the back side flat to the stone just to remove the burr.

Hope that makes sense.

sal

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Re: Spyderco serration history

Postby Monty » Sun Apr 05, 2020 6:53 pm

JD Spydo wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 9:11 am
For a long time I've been curious as to whether or not there might be newer serration patterns to be introduced at some point to try on some of the older and newer models. Personally I think the best overall Spyderco serration pattern I've found is my older AUS-8 ( 1990s era) Spyderco Catcherman model full Spyderedge. The serrations on that model were lower profile and just a bit more rounded than most of the Japan made Spyders. There is just something unique about that older Catcherman in full SE. I love that particular model so much that I used it in the kitchen almost 3 times every week ever since I bought it back around 2002.

Also I wish that there would be more fixed blades made available in different SE patterns. Take the older TEMPERANCE 1 model which was available in SE & PE both. I have a set of those ( SE & PE) that I mainly keep for kitchen uses. That model is so good in SE & PE both. I would love to see that TEMP 1 return in SE in the same type of rounded/wavy type serration pattern like the serrations you see on the K-04 & K-05 culinary models.

I'm so much looking forward to all of the responses of this thread to see what kind of consensus we can come to.
Great thread Sal, thanks for sharing with us. I agree on the need/want for more fixed blades. Personally I'd like a Serrated Waterway added one day.

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Re: Spyderco serration history

Postby SolidState » Sun Apr 05, 2020 10:26 pm

sal wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 8:35 pm
Hi SolidState,

Malcom Gladwell had a book out on pitchmen. Many of whom I knew. A good read, at least for me. I found most of Gladwell's book very good reads and I highly recommend them. I would suggest beginning with "Blink".
Thanks for the suggestions, they are going in the queue.

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Re: Spyderco serration history

Postby LouisSeacamp » Mon Apr 06, 2020 1:30 pm

I have an old Ginsu knife I got at a fair in Pomona with a spiral thing and a juicer from a guy! I think it was the LA County fair way back when!!!

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Re: Spyderco serration history

Postby LouisSeacamp » Tue Apr 07, 2020 9:31 am

LouisSeacamp wrote:
Mon Apr 06, 2020 1:30 pm
I have an old Ginsu knife I got at a fair in Pomona with a spiral thing and a juicer from a guy! I think it was the LA County fair way back when!!!

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Re: Spyderco serration history

Postby sal » Tue Apr 07, 2020 9:34 am

Hi Louis,

We worked the LA Country fair in Pomona for decades with our sharpeners and knives.

sal

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Re: Spyderco serration history

Postby LouisSeacamp » Tue Apr 07, 2020 10:22 am

Very cool what building? These guys worked right by the entrance on your way into like the first building. Watched them for hours! Went inside a room and saw a microwave oven there for the first time. Amazing fair, it was huge. I loved the horse races there too.
Louis

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Re: Spyderco serration history

Postby FK » Tue Apr 07, 2020 11:31 am

Sal,

I remember meeting you in the 1980's at a woodworking show in Springfield, MA.
You sharpened my Buck folder on the new to me Sharpmaker. I was so intrigued that the next day, back on the road from NW CT to Springfield to purchase your new sharpening device.

Your kitchen knives have been in my wooden block for well over 20 years, thanks again.

Regards,
FK


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