Serrated Edge Vs. Straight Edge: Which Do You Prefer?

It’s an age old debate that many knife enthusiasts have discussed for hours into the night in windowless rooms: serrated edge or straight edge?

I think the discussion is often unfairly simplified to a this-one-is-overall-better-than-that-one debate, which is simply untrue.

While you may have personal preferences for different reasons, the functionality of a serrated blade versus a straight-edged blade really depends on what you’re using it for. So, if you’re thinking about what type of blade you’re like to get, here are some pros and cons about serrated, straight and partially serrated blades.

Straight-Edged Blade

A straight-edged blade looks exactly how it sounds: straight. The great thing about straight-edged blades is that it is typically extremely keen and pointed. This sharpness allows for better precision and control over the knife. It’s also ideal for anything that requires push cuts, which are cuts that find you pushing through things instead of actually slicing them. Push cuts are used for things like shaving, cutting apples and potatoes and chopping wood.

Serrated Blade

Edges with fine-protruding teeth are serrated. Unlike the straight-edged blade, serrated blades are less precise but are fantastic for slice cuts. Slice cuts are cuts that require you to drag the edge of the the blade back and forth over the object to cut it. For example, items like bread, tomatoes, rope and strappings need to be sliced.

Partially Serrated Blade

Many knives now have the best of both worlds with a straight edge at the top and serrated edge at the bottom of the blade. These are particularly useful for survival knives that are used for a variety of purposes out in the wild. The major downside, which you can read more about here, is that they are sometimes serrated at the wrong place and can be very difficult to sharpen.

So the short answer to the question “serrated or plain” is it depends on what you’re using it for. If you push cut more, than a straight edge is better. If you slice cut more, than serrated is better.

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40 Comments

  1. Posted April 14, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    Depends on the task :)

  2. Posted April 14, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    Straight—-I like to keep mine shaving sharp.

  3. Posted April 14, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    straight.

  4. Posted April 14, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Depends on what I’m doing, but everyday I have a straight edge blade with me.

  5. Posted April 14, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    i prefer a combination of the 2

  6. Posted April 14, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    i didn’choose. went out and got a diving knife with a straight edge and a serrated back edge.

  7. Posted April 14, 2011 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Straight

  8. Posted April 14, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    I prefer Straight……though I do like Serrated…

  9. Posted April 14, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    combo…..good all around

  10. Posted April 14, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Straight

  11. Posted April 14, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    straight, but can I have both?

  12. Posted April 14, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    serrated…

  13. Posted April 14, 2011 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    Straight

  14. Posted April 14, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    Combo

  15. Posted April 14, 2011 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    Definately combo. Slice OR rip… Slice AND rip

  16. Posted April 14, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Both.

  17. Posted April 14, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    Both

  18. Posted April 14, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    Strait front sarated in back

  19. Posted April 14, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    This is an easy choice for me I prefure a straight blade over serated because they are so much easier to sharpen. Serated blades need special stones to sharpen and they usually need sharpened less offten but seam to tear the meat. Most of my serated knives stay in the cabnet and the straight edges go with me to the field.

  20. Posted April 14, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    Serrated sucks knives should slice through meat not tear.

  21. Posted April 14, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    Strait front sarated in back!!!!! is a good

  22. Posted April 14, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    knife

  23. Posted April 14, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    problably straight

  24. Posted April 14, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    Well it depends on the item I’m cutting if I’m cutting wood I’ll use serrated but if I’m cutting fabric I’ll use strait

  25. Posted April 14, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    Serrated all the way

  26. Posted April 14, 2011 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    Depends on function and use. Have both.

  27. Posted April 14, 2011 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    i like straight simply because with work the serated edge gets in the way. and a straight edge is more effeciant and more practical

  28. Posted April 14, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    Just bought CRKT Jim Hammond Cruiser with LAWKS technology and half-serrated blade on eBay for $15 brand new and it has better functionality than straight edge alone, especially for cutting lines quickly on the river.

  29. Posted April 14, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    it depends on the use of the knife. either way a good sharp knife is all you need

  30. Posted April 14, 2011 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    I say straight edge because it is more practical for the use around the property rather than a serrated edge which tears everything up when you cut into it.

  31. Posted April 15, 2011 at 12:09 am | Permalink

    both in one, only way 2 go!

  32. Posted April 15, 2011 at 12:49 am | Permalink

    almost always strait (and solid body only to no folding knifes for me at least) and I agree with the person who said shaving sharp

  33. Posted April 15, 2011 at 1:56 am | Permalink

    Its really a knife by knife decision for me depending on tasks I must perform. I prefer a straight edge in a self defense blade but a serrated in a utility blade.

  34. Posted April 15, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    Well I enjoy one that has both actually, that way when either’s needed you have both in one simple blade

  35. Posted April 16, 2011 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    Im asian i prefer throwing knives

  36. Posted April 18, 2011 at 1:06 am | Permalink

    straight edge :)

  37. Posted April 18, 2011 at 2:26 am | Permalink

    serrated

  38. Posted April 18, 2011 at 3:41 am | Permalink

    Straight edge

  39. Posted April 18, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    straught

  40. Posted April 21, 2011 at 4:03 am | Permalink

    Serrated top straight edge blade

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  1. [...] = 'wpp-256'; var addthis_config = {"data_track_clickback":true};A few weeks ago, we posted on the debate between straight-edged knives and serrated knives, so we decided to explore another common choice knife enthusiasts have to make: fixed blade or [...]