Serrated blade

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A Meyerco bolt action knife, designed by Blackie Collins, and featuring a partially serrated blade.

A serrated blade is one with a toothlike rather than a plain edge, and is used on saws and on some knives and scissors. It is also known as a dentated, sawtooth, or toothed blade. Most such blades are scalloped,[1] having edges cut with curved notches, common on wood saws and bread knives.

Serrations give the blade's cutting edge less contact area than a smooth blade, which increases the applied pressure at each point of contact, and the points of contact are at a sharper angle to the material being cut. This causes a cutting action that involves many small splits in the surface of the material being cut, which cumulatively serve to cut the material along the line of the blade.[2]

Cuts made with a serrated blade are typically less smooth and precise than cuts made with a smooth blade. Serrated edges can be difficult to sharpen using a whetstone or rotary sharpener intended for straight edges but can be sharpened with ceramic or diamond coated rods. Further, they tend to stay sharper longer than similar straight edges. A serrated blade has a faster cut, but a plain edge has a cleaner cut. Some prefer a serrated blade on a pocket knife.[3]

Types of serration[edit]

  • Tooth serration — Vertical serration along edge of blade
  • Single edge serration — Serration on one side, the other remains flat
  • Double edge serration — Serration on both sides
  • Fan serration — Side-to-side serration without necessarily having a toothed edge
    • Micro-serration — Serration much smaller than thickness of blade creating something like a fan pattern


  1. ^ "Williams Sonoma". Retrieved 13 January 2023.
  2. ^ Alloway, David (2000). Desert Survival Skills. University of Texas Press. p. 38. ISBN 978-0-292-70492-3.
  3. ^ Hertzmann, Peter (2007). Knife Skills Illustrated: A User's Manual. W. W. Norton & Company. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-393-06178-9.

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