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Pocket knives: plain edge or serrated?

When you are looking for a new pocket knife, you undoubtedly think about it: will you go for a plain or a serrated edge? To help you out we made an overview of all pros and cons.

For years the choice was easy: plain edge. Not because it was that much better, but because it was the only option. Serrated knives became popular only recently, which is why today you can choose between the two.

The main difference can be found when you look at the type of edge. A plain edge produces a so-called push cut, while a serrated blade leaves a pull cut. You notice the difference when you cut through a loaf of broad.

A plain edge blade


  • A plain edge leaves better push cuts. You notice when you peel an apple.
  • Because your cutting surface is completely flat you have a little more control over the edge. In addition, it allows you to be more accurate.
  • The cut a plain edge leaves is much neater.
  • A knife with a plain edge is also easier to sharpen, even if you want to do it yourself.


  • You cannot use your plain edge blade like a saw, which could, in certain circumstances, come in handy.
  • You cannot make pulling movements to, for instance, cut through a piece of rope.

A serrated blade


  • Strong materials can easily be cut with a serrated blade. Think of rope or a net.
  • The pressure per cutting section is higher to make sure you can carry out demanding tasks as well.
  • You can also use this type of knife as a saw. Great during outdoor situations.


  • You are less accurate when you use a serrated edge. Imagine if, during a surgery, you find out your doctor is about to use a serrated blade. You wouldn't want that!
  • Also: the edge is a little 'messier'.
  • A serrated blade is also a little more difficult to sharpen.

A partially serrated blade


  • The best of both worlds: you can make push and pull cuts.
  • The plain edge leaves you with an accurate cut.
  • With the serrated part you can carry out the more demanding tasks.


  • Sharpening this type of blade is more difficult than sharpening a completely plain edge.
  • For many tasks you cannot use the entire edge, which could be inconvenient.

Hopefully, we were able to shed some light on the matter. Each type of blade has its pros and cons. Which knife will suit you best depends on your purpose for it.

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