Serrated Axes, Swords, Machetes: How come we don't see this?

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SpyderEdgeForever
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Serrated Axes, Swords, Machetes: How come we don't see this?

Postby SpyderEdgeForever » Sat Apr 20, 2019 8:45 pm

Note: I am not referring to saws or sawbacks. There are machetes with saws on the back of them.

But my question is this: Is it because of practical drawbacks that we do not see any practical swords, machetes, axes, or hatchets with actual serrations like we in the knife-user community understand serrated edges to be, such as the serrated patterns found on Spyderco knives?

I can see how a serrated edge may not work with an axe or hatchet head. Serrations are designed for draw and push cuts, not chops. But does this also apply to larger blades such as machetes, and swords? Would a Spyder-type serrated or other form of serrated edge cause such blades to catch and get in the way of smoother cutting than the standard plain edges we see on them?

The only serrated axe or hatchets I could find are ones on those cheap-quality "tactical zombie killer" type things.

Here is an example:

https://www.amazon.com/Z-Hunter-ZB-047- ... B00IPOA3KK

I do not consider that to be a practical axe or hatchet.

I could picture a combat sword or saber having serrated edges if those edges could cause more devastating wounds to an enemy.

Various animals and insects in nature do often times have serrated edges on their claws, teeth, and other defense/attack tools, so in an interesting sense, that was ahead of man's weaponry. Early human weapons such as knapped stone and animal teeth adhered to wood and bone hafts made use of serrated edges. But it seems that the use of serrations on blades did not come into major use until the 20th century.

While this quote is from someone else and not me, it is very worthwhile and touches on the subject:

"Predatory animals have a slightly different use-case for their natural weapons then that which human weapons are designed for. Animals generally kill one thing, then eat it. This means that having your weapon (teeth / claws) get briefly stuck in your target is less dangerous then if you were a soldier on a battlefield. Serrated teeth are also better at cutting flesh when eating it."

This would tend to explain why ancient to more "modern" human combat blades did not have serrations (Bronze age to 1800s).

Beaks are plain-edged but then some have small serrations, too.

Someone also pointed out that when you have a serrated blade, that means you have to sharpen those serrations. With more primitive technology than such things as the Sharp Maker and with blades in excess of 10 inches or more, that would mean having to essentially sharpen each serration by hand.

As an example: Look at the Spyderco Pacific Salt. Now, extend that same basic blade shape, the serrated-edge version, to about 10 or 12 inches or longer, as a fixed blade sword. Would it work well or would it not work well for field-combat like they used to do? What would be the effect if someone made such a beast from H1 steel? I guess the Whale Rescue is something along those lines and also the Warrior.

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Re: Serrated Axes, Swords, Machetes: How come we don't see this?

Postby kwakster » Sun Apr 21, 2019 2:43 am

You mean like this old Indian Zulfiqar sword ?

http://users.wpi.edu/~virtualarmory/Col ... s/2240.jpg

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Re: Serrated Axes, Swords, Machetes: How come we don't see this?

Postby SpyderEdgeForever » Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:04 am

Thank you for posting that, very neat!

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Re: Serrated Axes, Swords, Machetes: How come we don't see this?

Postby OldHoosier62 » Sun Apr 21, 2019 11:07 am

I've toured several armories around Europe in my travels and to my surprise i saw examples of serrated/partially swords, daggers, battle axes and other bladed weapons in various countries....Britain, France, Belgium, Denmark, Switzerland...just to name a few.

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Re: Serrated Axes, Swords, Machetes: How come we don't see this?

Postby Crux » Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:56 pm

Why? Because they don't work. Machetes are used to cut brush, not saw limbs and such. Serrated blades are used for slow cutting while machetes need a fast and clean cut. Can I ask if you've ever used one in the bush, because serrated would totally gum up within moments of use?
Can you find it and can it cut? :eek:

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Re: Serrated Axes, Swords, Machetes: How come we don't see this?

Postby The Mastiff » Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:22 pm

Serrated edges for the most part won't stand up to repeated hard use impacts. They don't improve chopping either so no real upside to having them on axes or machetes. If it was practical they would be in use.

Joe

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Re: Serrated Axes, Swords, Machetes: How come we don't see this?

Postby SpyderEdgeForever » Sat Apr 27, 2019 7:43 am

The Mastiff wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:22 pm
Serrated edges for the most part won't stand up to repeated hard use impacts. They don't improve chopping either so no real upside to having them on axes or machetes. If it was practical they would be in use.

Joe
When it comes to the strength as in durability of serration patterns, do you think the current Spyderco (such as we see on the Endura and Pacific Salt and other serrated edges they use) and the Cold Steel serration patterns are two of the most durable and most useful available?

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Re: Serrated Axes, Swords, Machetes: How come we don't see this?

Postby Evil D » Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:50 am

Crux wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:56 pm
Can I ask if you've ever used one in the bush, because serrated would totally gum up within moments of use?
Can I ask if you have used one in the bush to know that it would "gum up"? If so, where can I buy one to try it out for myself?
SHARPEN IT LIKE YOU LOVE IT, USE IT LIKE YOU HATE IT
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Re: Serrated Axes, Swords, Machetes: How come we don't see this?

Postby michaelm466 » Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:29 am

I think the easiest answer would be- sharpening, if its something that's used often (machete/tool or combat) and it's in a standard/common carbon steel then it's going to need to be sharpened often, serrations will make that take a lot longer and you wont be able to use a standard sharpening stone or river rock you'll have to have a special tool narrow enough for the serrations. Also, the points will be weaker for something taking impacts against a hard surface (wood/rock if you swing through and hit the ground, or armor).

I guess if you really wanted to try something like a serrated machete just use the backside of a sawback machete, or use a regular wood saw blade from the hardware store, you could probably modify it rather easily to be more machete like.

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Re: Serrated Axes, Swords, Machetes: How come we don't see this?

Postby Crux » Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:10 am

Evil D wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:50 am
Crux wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:56 pm
Can I ask if you've ever used one in the bush, because serrated would totally gum up within moments of use?
Can I ask if you have used one in the bush to know that it would "gum up"? If so, where can I buy one to try it out for myself?
No, because they don't exist but I have used a lot of machete's. I think I have around 11 of them. I've also extensively used sling blades to cut through brush and while it's more of a waffle then a serration, vines and stuff gets caught the waffle so it's easy to see that a serration would be far worse.
Can you find it and can it cut? :eek:

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Re: Serrated Axes, Swords, Machetes: How come we don't see this?

Postby Evil D » Sat Apr 27, 2019 2:00 pm

Crux wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:10 am
Evil D wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:50 am
Crux wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:56 pm
Can I ask if you've ever used one in the bush, because serrated would totally gum up within moments of use?
Can I ask if you have used one in the bush to know that it would "gum up"? If so, where can I buy one to try it out for myself?
No, because they don't exist but I have used a lot of machete's. I think I have around 11 of them. I've also extensively used sling blades to cut through brush and while it's more of a waffle then a serration, vines and stuff gets caught the waffle so it's easy to see that a serration would be far worse.

Sounds like you're assuming they wouldn't perform just as much as anyone's assuming they would. I cut a lot of foliage with serrations and have never experienced any "gumming up". I think it's more likely nobody makes them because they're not as easy to sharpen in the field.
SHARPEN IT LIKE YOU LOVE IT, USE IT LIKE YOU HATE IT
~David

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Re: Serrated Axes, Swords, Machetes: How come we don't see this?

Postby Crux » Sat Apr 27, 2019 2:07 pm

Evil D wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 2:00 pm
Crux wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:10 am
Evil D wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:50 am
Crux wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:56 pm
Can I ask if you've ever used one in the bush, because serrated would totally gum up within moments of use?
Can I ask if you have used one in the bush to know that it would "gum up"? If so, where can I buy one to try it out for myself?
No, because they don't exist but I have used a lot of machete's. I think I have around 11 of them. I've also extensively used sling blades to cut through brush and while it's more of a waffle then a serration, vines and stuff gets caught the waffle so it's easy to see that a serration would be far worse.

Sounds like you're assuming they wouldn't perform just as much as anyone's assuming they would. I cut a lot of foliage with serrations and have never experienced any "gumming up". I think it's more likely nobody makes them because they're not as easy to sharpen in the field.
Cutting is fine but for slinging on a machete it isn't.
Can you find it and can it cut? :eek:

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Re: Serrated Axes, Swords, Machetes: How come we don't see this?

Postby Evil D » Sat Apr 27, 2019 2:13 pm

Crux wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 2:07 pm
Evil D wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 2:00 pm
Crux wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:10 am
Evil D wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:50 am


Can I ask if you have used one in the bush to know that it would "gum up"? If so, where can I buy one to try it out for myself?
No, because they don't exist but I have used a lot of machete's. I think I have around 11 of them. I've also extensively used sling blades to cut through brush and while it's more of a waffle then a serration, vines and stuff gets caught the waffle so it's easy to see that a serration would be far worse.

Sounds like you're assuming they wouldn't perform just as much as anyone's assuming they would. I cut a lot of foliage with serrations and have never experienced any "gumming up". I think it's more likely nobody makes them because they're not as easy to sharpen in the field.
Cutting is fine but for slinging on a machete it isn't.

OK but again you're just speculating here since neither of us have one and neither of us have used one. I'm just looking for actual reasons why it wouldn't work. Point damage is a reasonable issue but could probably be remedied by changing the serration pattern. I don't think a small serration pattern like Spyderco use would be idea because the points are so small, but I don't see why a larger maybe quarter inch wide serration wouldn't work just fine for chopping vines and saplings.
SHARPEN IT LIKE YOU LOVE IT, USE IT LIKE YOU HATE IT
~David

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Re: Serrated Axes, Swords, Machetes: How come we don't see this?

Postby Crux » Sat Apr 27, 2019 2:22 pm

Sure, I agree.
Can you find it and can it cut? :eek:

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Re: Serrated Axes, Swords, Machetes: How come we don't see this?

Postby Daveho » Sat Apr 27, 2019 4:04 pm

Given the intended use of axes, swords and machetes I don’t see why serrations would be a benefit, unless the intent is to star in a zombie movie?

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Re: Serrated Axes, Swords, Machetes: How come we don't see this?

Postby SpyderEdgeForever » Sun Apr 28, 2019 9:48 am

Daveho wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 4:04 pm
Given the intended use of axes, swords and machetes I don’t see why serrations would be a benefit, unless the intent is to star in a zombie movie?
Well let's consider this: A quality convex ground axe with serrated edge like the Pacific Salt. Do you think that would give it more cutting power to cleave through wood and other materials? How long would such serrations last under heavy use?

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Re: Serrated Axes, Swords, Machetes: How come we don't see this?

Postby Daveho » Sun Apr 28, 2019 2:27 pm

I think it would make the axe substantially worse.


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