Pros & Cons of Serrated Edge vs Plain Edge?

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Pros & Cons of Serrated Edge vs Plain Edge?

Postby DansGunBlog » Sat Jul 04, 2015 10:57 am

Hey guys!

Doing an article on pros/cons of SE vs PE. Focusing strictly on Spyderco models to get over the variability in different manufacturer offerings.

Consider for simplicity the Spyderco knives that come in both PE and SE.

What are the top pros/cons you see for Serrated vs Plain Edge?

Thanks!
Dan
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Re: Pros & Cons of Serrated Edge vs Plain Edge?

Postby HarleyXJGuy » Sat Jul 04, 2015 11:06 am

SE has the ability to remain useful for a very long time without being resharpened.

PE is a lot easier to sharpen.
On my radar: 110V Military, Police 4 and some sweet Rex 45 Military action.

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Re: Pros & Cons of Serrated Edge vs Plain Edge?

Postby Johnnie1801 » Sat Jul 04, 2015 11:57 am

I think Joyce mentioned in Nutnfancy's SHOT Show video that 15 years ago Spyderco would sell 80% SE knives and 20% PE, whereas now its the opposite, 80% PE and 20% SE.
Currently enjoying Spyderco's in - S30V, VG10, Super Blue, Cruwear x4, CTS XHP, S110V x2, M4 x3, S35VN, CTS 204P x2, S90V, HAP 40, K390, RWL34, MAXAMET, ZDP 189, REX 45


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Re: Pros & Cons of Serrated Edge vs Plain Edge?

Postby Kirko » Sat Jul 04, 2015 12:33 pm

The more I think about it I am liking serrated in a spider on knife , if the Delica did not come in a full flat grind I would have gotten it in serrated .. Flat grinds are so easy to sharpen and tweak with a strop. I have a jump master coming and I KNOW IT it will be a terror when it come to cutting.

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Re: Pros & Cons of Serrated Edge vs Plain Edge?

Postby SpyderEdgeForever » Sat Jul 04, 2015 1:00 pm

I would say, overall, I tend to prefer the combo-edge because I get the best of both SE and PE. Sometimes fully SE is best, depending on the cutting task. From personal experience combo edge works well on cutting down cardboard boxes and PE for opening mail. For food prep, it all depends on the items you're cutting and processing, like fish vs carrots.

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Re: Pros & Cons of Serrated Edge vs Plain Edge?

Postby Surfingringo » Sat Jul 04, 2015 2:10 pm

Kirko wrote:The more I think about it I am liking serrated in a spider on knife , if the Delica did not come in a full flat grind I would have gotten it in serrated .. Flat grinds are so easy to sharpen and tweak with a strop. I have a jump master coming and I KNOW IT it will be a terror when it come to cutting.
Hi Kirko, I just sharpened my jumpmaster for the first time two days ago. Had some very slight deformation on the tips of a couple of the teeth and it had just generally lost some of its bite. I put the brown rods in the sharpmaker at 40 degrees and worked the edge for about 12-15 passes which took care of the damaged tips of the teeth. After that i moved to the fine rods for another dozen or so passes. The knife is back to treetopping arm hair and will instantly bite when i touch it to the hair of my beard. The entire sharpening probably 90 seconds. :)

Fwiw, when sharpening I keep the knife vertical on the serrated side and sharpen it almost flat against the stone on the backside...probaby about 5 degrees. I find this is enough to take off any burr without fattening the edge bevel too much.

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Re: Pros & Cons of Serrated Edge vs Plain Edge?

Postby zhyla » Sat Jul 04, 2015 2:13 pm

SE is a good default. It goes thru everything with ease. It grips material instead of slipping off it. It's not very precise and no fun to sharpen even with the right equipment.

PE is prettier, doesn't set off our OCD sensibilities (SE are chisel ground, essentially), and straight forward to sharpen. It's more flexible. I would never use SE for food prep. But for just general cutting PE takes a little more effort than SE.

Combo edge... On big blades CE is just a short SE knife. On short blades CE is just stupid.

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Re: Pros & Cons of Serrated Edge vs Plain Edge?

Postby Surfingringo » Sat Jul 04, 2015 2:19 pm

Ok, to the original question, I'd say that I prefer a plain edge 90% of the time but serrations definitely have their place. They work well when you need those teeth to "bite" into certain types of hard or slippery media, whether that be fish scales or hard plastic...teeth will grab and cut when a pe might slide. They can also work well cutting certain types of soft material where you need to use a sawing motion. Think bread knife.

I find if you keep serrations nice and sharp you can do most everything with them that you can do with a plain edge, but a plain edge excels at in more areas than a serrated edge IMO.

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Re: Pros & Cons of Serrated Edge vs Plain Edge?

Postby DansGunBlog » Sat Jul 04, 2015 2:28 pm

Kirko wrote:The more I think about it I am liking serrated in a spider on knife , if the Delica did not come in a full flat grind I would have gotten it in serrated .. Flat grinds are so easy to sharpen and tweak with a strop. I have a jump master coming and I KNOW IT it will be a terror when it come to cutting.
JumpMaster is next up on my list as well...
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Re: Pros & Cons of Serrated Edge vs Plain Edge?

Postby DansGunBlog » Sat Jul 04, 2015 2:31 pm

Surfingringo wrote:
Kirko wrote:... I have a jump master coming and I KNOW IT it will be a terror when it come to cutting.
Hi Kirko, I just sharpened my jumpmaster for the first time two days ago. Had some very slight deformation on the tips of a couple of the teeth and it had just generally lost some of its bite. I put the brown rods in the sharpmaker at 40 degrees and worked the edge for about 12-15 passes which took care of the damaged tips of the teeth. After that i moved to the fine rods for another dozen or so passes. The knife is back to treetopping arm hair and will instantly bite when i touch it to the hair of my beard. The entire sharpening probably 90 seconds. :)

Fwiw, when sharpening I keep the knife vertical on the serrated side and sharpen it almost flat against the stone on the backside...probaby about 5 degrees. I find this is enough to take off any burr without fattening the edge bevel too much.
@Surfingringo ha, your fault I started looking at the JumpMaster lol! glad you posted that last week, I'd overlooked this very interesting blade until then.

Could you describe how you sharpened the JumpMaster on the SharpMaker in more detail please - I can finally sharpen my PE knives just fine on the SharpMaker (now that I have the diamond rods as well), but not quite sure how to do the SE without damaging them...

Thanks!
Dan
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Re: Pros & Cons of Serrated Edge vs Plain Edge?

Postby Surfingringo » Sat Jul 04, 2015 2:59 pm

I'd be happy to Dan. I need to copy this into a word file so I can start just pasting it in when asked. :) ok, I'm going to give you the quick description...and remember, theres a thousand ways to do this, this is just MY way.

Fine rods in the 40 degree slots. Three passes on the serrated (left) side pulling straight down like normal. Then 2 very light passes on the back side. When working the back side, tilt the knife so it is almost flat with the rod...about 5 degrees instead of the 20 degree angle you would get if you pulled straight down. Repeat until sharp. Thats pretty much it. One tip is you want to go fairly slow and keep the pressure fairly light so that you don't "jump" the serrations. If you go too slow it doesn't work....too fast either. There is a certain speed at which the rod will smoothly enter and sharpen each of the individual serrations as you pull the knife down. It will be pretty obvious once you are doing it and have a tactile feel for it.

If you have more severe damage to the teeth you can work them on the medium rods first but use light pressure as they eat the thin edge of the teeth quite quickly. I have never had to use the diamond rods on my serrations.

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Re: Pros & Cons of Serrated Edge vs Plain Edge?

Postby Kirko » Sat Jul 04, 2015 3:18 pm

Surfingringo wrote:
Kirko wrote:The more I think about it I am liking serrated in a spider on knife , if the Delica did not come in a full flat grind I would have gotten it in serrated .. Flat grinds are so easy to sharpen and tweak with a strop. I have a jump master coming and I KNOW IT it will be a terror when it come to cutting.
Hi Kirko, I just sharpened my jumpmaster for the first time two days ago. Had some very slight deformation on the tips of a couple of the teeth and it had just generally lost some of its bite. I put the brown rods in the sharpmaker at 40 degrees and worked the edge for about 12-15 passes which took care of the damaged tips of the teeth. After that i moved to the fine rods for another dozen or so passes. The knife is back to treetopping arm hair and will instantly bite when i touch it to the hair of my beard. The entire sharpening probably 90 seconds. :)

Fwiw, when sharpening I keep the knife vertical on the serrated side and sharpen it almost flat against the stone on the backside...probaby about 5 degrees. I find this is enough to take off any burr without fattening the edge bevel too much.
Terrific advice and will use it in the future ..... Appreciated !!!!!!

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Re: Pros & Cons of Serrated Edge vs Plain Edge?

Postby elena86 » Sat Jul 04, 2015 3:59 pm

I am a spyderedge guy.For me Police,SS,SE is the most beautiful, fascinating and the most iconic Spyderco :spyder: .And my SE Pac Salt is my go to allarounder.The only thing I can't do with a spyderedge is to peel a tomato :).That being said in the last 2 months or so,I every-day-carried and used a PE Salt1 and I have to admit that this blade is more versatile than my spyderedges.But even so, in a catastrofic scenario I would grab my SE Pac Salt for sure.The same in a trip around the world :cool: .

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Re: Pros & Cons of Serrated Edge vs Plain Edge?

Postby JAfromMN » Sat Jul 04, 2015 4:13 pm

With a serrated blade I know I can cut through just about anything with plane edge I can make more detail cuts and fast push cuts through softer materials.

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Re: Pros & Cons of Serrated Edge vs Plain Edge?

Postby dubya3 » Sat Jul 04, 2015 5:50 pm

I prefer a plain edge but I love my zdp delica SE for work. I like making clean, precise cuts if I want with a plain edge but the SE just tears through anything and keeps going.
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Re: Pros & Cons of Serrated Edge vs Plain Edge?

Postby JD Spydo » Sat Jul 04, 2015 6:08 pm

I can honestly say that I use a plain edge Spyder about 60% of the time and I'm sure I use one of my Spyderedged folders at least 40% of the time. I deal with a lot of cordage, rope twine and nylon straps that all come in packaging we get here where I work. Since I got my M390 Military model I've been using my plain edged Spyder more often than I recently did before.

I guess that's why my C-44 Dyad is probably my all time favorite EDC folder closely followed by my C-60 Ayoob>> and I so much wish that they would do a Sprint of the C-60 Ayoob in one of the supersteels. MY SE 440V Native still gets a ton of abuse that I know a plain edged model just couldn't endure.

One of the "pros" of the Spyderedge is that they can endure much more abuse than most plain edged models can. One of the "cons" of a Spyderedge is that they do take a bit of time and patience to sharpen>> however they don't need sharpening nearly as often as a plain edge does.

The "pros" of a plain edge IMO are ease of sharpening, more versatile for cutting jobs that need precise cutting such as straight line cutting. One major advantage of a serrated edge is that they can endure extremely brutal cutting jobs. I'm sure that SURF will find that out when he breaks in his new JUMPMASTER.

Serrated fixed blades can take on much tougher and more fibrous materials than plain edges can as a general rule. Bottom LINE>> Both edge types are needed if you have a job which requires you to use a knife a lot during the course of the day.

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Re: Pros & Cons of Serrated Edge vs Plain Edge?

Postby HarleyXJGuy » Sat Jul 04, 2015 7:12 pm

JAfromMN wrote:With a serrated blade I know I can cut through just about anything with plane edge I can make more detail cuts and fast push cuts through softer materials.
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On my radar: 110V Military, Police 4 and some sweet Rex 45 Military action.

Newest Spydies: S90v Ti Military, Pacific Salt and a special Kiwi.

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Re: Pros & Cons of Serrated Edge vs Plain Edge?

Postby Archimedes » Sat Jul 04, 2015 7:38 pm

I have not much to add here, but I find a serrated edge far more appealing to my eyes. Serrated edges just have this appeal to me at this point in my life. Like teeth, something primitive, primeval, not only to cut but to shred, tear and rip.

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Re: Pros & Cons of Serrated Edge vs Plain Edge?

Postby Cliff Stamp » Sat Jul 04, 2015 7:57 pm

As a maybe bit of a different take :

-there is no real difference in ease of sharpening if you are looking for functional sharpness
-serrations don't cut rope/plastics better than a plain edge which is properly sharpened for such work

Why use serrations then? A couple of very big points :

-serrations will tear even when dull, you can cut sods with them for practically forever for example
-serrations protect the edge from heavy damage

Cut a box and hit a heavy staple and a serrations catches it and tends to pull it out as it stays in a scallop. However a plain edge will grate along it and can take the entire edge off. As well take a knife and cut right on concrete. The serrations dull in the points, the plain edge dulls completely. In very heavy cutting this happens sometimes by accident similar to a staple when it looks like you are cutting something soft but there is something very hard hidden inside. In these kinds of demanding situations a serrated blade keeps working .

Why not use them?

-they are much easier to damage and much harder to repair to "perfect"

It is pretty easy to break points off serrations in most steels in most patterns

Now broken points don't stop cutting, but most people will spaz a little about a damaged point or several of them. However this is trivial to repair for a plain edge.

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Postby Ray Allen » Sat Jul 04, 2015 8:00 pm

On serrated edges unlike some, I will use a medium rod hand held like a file and go down into the scallops to touch up if needed. I also have a tapered round diamond sharpener I use for this also. Wicked sharp edges every single time. This is in addition to using the Sharpmaker in the traditional way suggested by many. Like Lance mentioned, I knock the burr off by a light pass or two on the backside using a very slight angle. I find sharpening serrated blades very easy to do and maintain, easy pie if you touch them up routinely.


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