I have heard many arguments in regard to the serrated vs straight edge knife dilemma. The truth is that there are pros and cons of both types of knife edges, and the choice of which type is better largely depends on the function you expect it to serve and the situation you will be using it for. For slicing, I would recommend a serrated edge, but for push cutting you should choose a knife with a straight edge.
Straight Edge Knife Benefits
The benefits of straight edged knives are many. They are extremely sharp and pointed, which allows for better control and precision when using them. This type of knife is great for push cuts, such as cutting potatoes, chopping wood, shaving and other cutting tasks. Plain edged knives are also much easier to sharpen as compared to serrated ones. The main problem with this type of knife is that it can slip and fly off the object you are attempting to cut or slice. Also, if the edge is too short, you can’t use it for deep cutting. Even though they are easier to sharpen than the serrated blades, very sharp straight knives tend to get duller faster than knives with serrated edges.
Serrated Edge Knife Benefits
As for the knives with serrated edges, they are great for slicing things, such as: ropes, bread, tomatoes and others. Its contact area is smaller than that of the straight edge knife which is another benefit, so there is minimum resistance from the material which you cutting. This makes this type of blades perfect for cutting hard and tough items and materials, such as plastic and wood. Also, it is a great choice for cutting in situations when you can’t achieve a stable grip of the object you are cutting. The geometric design of serrated blades allows you to use lateral movements instead of just friction when cutting.
Partially Serrated Knives:
There is actually an option to choose a hybrid knife which incorporates the best of straight edged and serrated edged knives. This type of hybrid knife with a straight edge on the top and serrations at the bottom is a multi-functional knife, which is a perfect choice for survival purposes. Choose a hybrid knife with small serrations located in the right place, and you will get a knife with excellent functionality and great speed when inflicting cuts.
Choose the edge depending upon the intended use:
If you are looking for a knife for survival and/or self-defense, then you should get a straight edge type. Serrated edges can get caught to the fibers you are cutting and this can limit the depth of the penetration of your cut.
If you are looking for a good utility knife, then one with a serrated edge is probably the better choice because they are better for slicing soft fruits, vegetables and other foodstuffs.
The problem with serrated knives is that they are tricky to sharpen and it is difficult to make very smooth and controlled cuts with a blade like that. Make sure that the serrations are not too large, because they will likely tend to get caught up in the material you are cutting. If you choose to use a straight edged knife for utility purposes, you need to make sure that it is sharp enough at all times, for a better performance as well as for safety purposes.