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 a type of blade used on saws and on some knives or scissors. It is also known as a dentated, sawtooth, or toothed blade.

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.[1] It can also give more structural integrity to a thinner blade, like how a fan fold is stronger than flat paper. This is because the zig-zag pattern resists force from different angles, called the "moments of area".

Cuts made with a serrated blade are typically less smooth and precise than cuts made with a smooth blade. Serrated blades can be more difficult to sharpen using a whetstone or rotary sharpener than a non-serrated, however, they can be easily sharpened with a diamond. Serrated blades tend to stay sharper longer than a similar straight edged blade. A serrated blade has a faster cut but a plain edge has a cleaner cut. Some prefer a serrated blade on a pocket knife.[2]

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. ^ Alloway, David (2000). Desert Survival Skills. University of Texas Press. p. 38. ISBN 978-0-292-70492-3.
  2. ^ 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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