When to Use the Serrated Edge on a Survival Knife – And How to Use It?

What’s the deal with knives that have half a serrated blade? Many survival knives these days are fine-tuned for every aspect of the wild. And if you were to get stuck in the outdoors, your best companion would be a serrated survival blade. There’s a great need for a straight edge, but you can get away with a serrated only blade for the most part.

So what if you could have both on one knife? That’s the real deal and probably the best type of survival knife you can have when out and about in the wilderness. We have often found the problem with a serrated edge because people don’t know when to use them and end up using them for things that might damage the survival knife.

The straight edge is less likely to get damaged because it is smooth and sharp, whereas the serrated part has contours that stick out to create a sawing action. However, this can be a disadvantage. We’re going to take you through the ins and outs of survival knives to shed some light on issues like these and dive into the details. Let’s get started.

Table of Contents

What Is a Survival Knife?

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What’s the difference between a survival knife and any other knife out there? The reality is that you could use any knife as a survival knife if it came down to a serious situation and you were in danger. The place where survival knives come in is where you require the most effective tool out in the wild.

A pocket knife might save your life, but it’s not something that you can depend on, whereas a survival knife is something made to be used as a life-saving tool. Whether it’s defending yourself against a dangerous animal or wrenching open a tree trunk to find water, the survival knife is optimized to save your life if ever you need it. The most popular survival knives are the fixed blade kind.

Fixed blades have larger blades and don’t have any moving parts making them highly durable and tough, which are the two main aspects needed in survival knives. Survival knives are made with German high carbon steel, which is very hardy and great at staying sharp even under harsh conditions.

These knives are made with stainless steel to stop the environmental conditions from rusting the blade. But even if the knife is left inside a puddle for a long time and the blade does start rusting – the knife will still be highly effective for survival tactics. The full tang handle on survival knives is the key to the formidable strength of the knife. And the handle is well supported even if the blade is used vigorously for long periods.

What Is the Straight Edge for?

Straight edges are brilliant for slicing open softer surfaces and cracking open things with a sharp point. The straight edge can also be used to carve out a spike on a piece of wood and slice fillets off fish if you had to find food. The straight edge is hugely beneficial in many ways, and so it’s essential to have a straight edge on a survival knife. Because it will carry out all the functions that a serrated knife edge cannot.

Straight edges lead into the tip of the blade, which is what creates a piercing advantage. A serrated blade can also lead into a tip, but there’s a lot more resistance against the knife because of the teeth on the blade edge.

What Is the Serrated Edge of a Knife for?

Serrated survival knives with no straight edge are helpful but cannot perform the subtle tasks that a straight edge can. That’s why knife makers have gone into the split blade venture, with half of a straight and half of a serrated blade. The serrated part of the knife is excellent for several reasons.

A serrated edge acts very much like a hand saw, perfect for cutting down branches and cutting open hard-skinned fruits and roots. The serrated teeth on the blade are incredibly sharp and have that extra bit of friction that helps to perform more demanding tasks that a straight edge would struggle with.

Serrated blades work wonders for cutting through tough material like ropes – maybe you need to tie something, and the extra rope could be used elsewhere; serrated edges will plow through it in no time. Other tough fabrics like seat belts and backpack straps are a breeze for serrated edges.

You may get into an accident one day, or someone else may be stuck in a crashed car where you would need to cut them out of their jammed seat belts, in which case the serrated edge would get the job done in no time. That’s the true jazz when it comes to survival knives. They are not just to help you survive in the outdoors but also for everyday protection and safety, including other people’s safety.

The straight edge-serrated edge combo is a fantastic one, and it has proven to come to the rescue on countless occasions and will continue to do so for many people to come. You just ask someone like a firefighter how many times they’ve needed to use their survival knife to save lives.

How to Choose a Good Quality Survival Knife

Survival knives are one of the types of knives that have to be high quality because if it is cheap quality. You might wind up with no help in the form of a knife when you need it. The type of steel has to be highly durable and able to withstand a lot of harsh use. High carbon German steel is the only way to go here.

Try to make sure you get a stainless steel version so that you don’t have to worry about rust. This doesn’t mean that you don’t have to take care of the knife because even stainless steel knives rust if they get abused. The handle needs to be made of a very tough material like nylon, carbon fiber, titanium, or synthetic rubber.

The handle is where a load of force ends up, and if the handle is weak, then the whole knife is weak. It would help if you went for the serrated-edged knives instead of the straight edge knives as previously outlined in the purpose of serrated knives. The blade should stretch from the tip to the back of the handle continuously for maximum strength – this feature is called a full tang.

Final Thoughts

The beauty of survival knives might only become clear to you when your life or someone else’s life has depended on it. But, for now, take our word on it and get yourself a strong survival knife with a serrated edge – straight blade and you’ll see how often you need it.

Keep researching tips on using the serrated edge on a survival knife and learning skills on how to survive out in the wild. Survival tactics are always a good idea to learn because even if you don’t use them now, you’re ready for a time when you do.

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