Serrated knife blades

Read on a kayak fishing board that a serrated knife blade may not work that well on nylon type rope. The author tried a serrated blade on some paracord and the knife got hung up on the nylon material . What worked for him was a no-serrated blade. He posted this as a safety concern . Anyone had similar experiences with the serrated blade on nylon or synthetic rope?


I think it depends on the type of blade. My leatherman has no problem cutting any type of rope. A kitchen serrated blade is a little different and kinda catches on the rope. My serrated blade is razor sharp and I think thats the big difference.

A valid concern

– Last Updated: Dec-16-04 7:53 AM EST –

Lots of variables come into play here.These would in clude,depth and spaceing of serrations,angle at which cut is made,preassure on blade,thickness of material being cut,sharpnes,etc.
Each blade has it's own strength and weaknes in a given situtation.
The choices are endless,fixed blades with serations and plain on the same edge or opposite edges,folders with one of each blade in the same knife,or both styles on the same blade; and they all come in a variety of lengths.
Happy shopping!

Well known
Serrated blades main advantage is on thick rope or rope under pressure. A slack line can be tricky to cut with serrations. Usually you have to put pressure on it.

Serrations are overated. I find they are generally an excuse for not keeping your knife sharp. A non serrated edge, properly sharpened, is a much more versatile tool, and every but as effective as a serrated edge in 99% of situations. There are, however, applications where the sawing mechanism can be very helpful. For instance, if your primary usage was on loaded or thick rope/webbing.

Is it possible to sharpen a serrated knife yourself?

sure…use a rat tail diamond file or
the edge of a stone…you just have to pay more attention to the scalloped part of the edge…

I found a sharpener made for serrated edges at a gun show. The sharpener is made by Smith and Wesson and if I recall correctly it costs about $10. I’m not real impressed with serrated edges but then I’m an ole redneck who has always kept and edge on my blades that you can shave with. It’s a suthern thing…

The serrated edges do work well on thick rope as outlined above.

Get a hook instead
Hook cutters, such as the Benchmade Model 6 H2O cut any type of rope/cord/fishing line instantly and are a lot safer to carry than knives.

Spyderco Sharpmaker
triangular ceramic rods in medium and fine grit. Keeps all sharp things sharp.


Yeah but Cord cutters
are One trick Ponies… Personally I have worked with para cord all my life, and find a serrated blade cuts it much better then a smooth blade, matter of fact, from my experience a serrated blade cuts anything better, its only draw back is the Cut is not as clean.

Dive knife
I carry my diving knife in my boat, one side is serrated, the other side is a straight edge. The knife is made for salt water exposure so the tang isn’t exposed and the handle is solid neon yellow in color so if dropped into somewhat shallow water very easy to find.

Also has a hole in the handle to put a cord through.

With a real knife and
scalloped serrations no worry.

If a knife cannot cut through parachute cord as fast as you can think, it belongs in peanut butter, and is nothing but a detriment to safety.

Have you ever messed with MRE peanut butter?? You could use that stuff as Bondo!!

Nope…but I ate an Ethiopian once…!

Lasky also makes nice sharpening

that peanut butter is good glue. Also some of the entries (atleast gen 1) are good for weight loss. As for serrated blades, never had a problem with cutting nylon rope or para cord.

Do you mean
"Lansky?" Lansky is ok for smaller knives, but IMHO it will never do as good a job as a proper stone and technique.

Personally, I’ll take a Norton Fine India stone and a bottle of mineral oil.

It’s A “Fine” Art

– Last Updated: Dec-17-04 6:12 AM EST –

the use of India stone and oil. Works well with straight edge blades. For serrations, it's to hard to beat the edge of a triangular ceramic sharpener.

I use to have a fine India stone, 1/4" square X 3" long, that fit perfectly in the corner of my wallet. Protected from breakage by the lump of credit cards, driver's license, etc. Great for field sharpening knives, including serrations. It did break at some point, forgot how. I miss that little stone. I have the little DMT diamond pocket hones but they don't cut it with serrations at all.


Actually, it’s a two-trick pony

– Last Updated: Dec-17-04 6:31 PM EST –

The hook works for cutting cord and the back works for clearing debris from skeg boxes. Granted, it doesn't spread peanut butter well, but it also won't disembowel me if it comes out of its sheath during rescues rock/surf play.

Different strokes
I like using the lansky(?) tool; its just a smallish set of stones and a guide clamp. With the serrated tool and that guide clamp I doubt you’d find a better way to sharpen a serrated knife. Not a set of wheels or a drag over thing (though I think they make that too)

I also like diamond stones too. I still have a soft arkansas in my collection somewhere as well.

I used to be pretty heavy into the knife thing.