Pocket survival knives are a great way to have a knife on your person at all times and ready for any eventuality, but which type of blade should you choose to carry? There are knives that come with serrated edges and others with a straight cutting edge. Which blade type will be best suited to carry as a survival knife?
Straight edge pocket survival knives have more versatility as a survival knife than a serrated edge knife. A serrated edge has benefits, but not enough to warrant having a blade edge that is completely serrated. If you like a serrated edge, a partially serrated edge would be a better choice.
Serrated edge knives and straight edge knives both have strong points which give them advantages in different circumstances. To choose between the two, we would need to consider the strong points and disadvantages of each blade type before making a selection.
Personal preference may play a role in the choice of blade type that you would prefer to have with you in a survival situation, but you would still need to consider the practicalities of both options.
Is A Serrated Pocket Survival Knife Better Than A Straight Edge Knife?
Due to the fact that your survival pocketknife needs to be able to handle anything that you would need to survive whatever disaster befell you, it needs to be durable enough and versatile enough for multiple uses. When it comes to survival, which knife blade would be the most useful to have with you?
Before we take a look at which one would be best for survival, we need to take a look at the design features of each blade type to find out what tasks each one is good for and which ones they are not that great for. This may give some insight into the right blade for survival-type tasks.
Advantages Of Serrated Edge Knives For Survival
Serrated edge knives have some advantages that could prove useful in many survival-type situations, but they have characteristics that may not be suitable in all situations.
- Serrated edges stay sharper for longer. Because the edge of a serrated knife is not as long and exposed as a straight edge knife and the edge is better supported by the peaks of the teeth, a serrated edge blade stays sharper longer than a straight edge blade does.
- Serrated knives cut rough items better. The sawing motion and cutting style of a serrated edge makes this type of edge cut through rough items such as rope and wood much easier than what a straight edge knife can. Serrated knives are also better at cutting through materials such as rigid plastics.
- Serrated edges are strong. The additional metal on the edge gives a serrated edge strength and supports the blade closer to the edge. Robust qualities are a characteristic that you want in a survival knife.
Even though serrated edge knives have some positive characteristics, they do have some disadvantages, which may be a cause for concern for having a serrated knife in a survival situation.
Disadvantages Of A Serrated Edge Knife For Survival
Some of the problems that could be associated with using a serrated knife in the field can include the following characteristics of a serrated edge.
- Serrated edges are difficult to sharpen. Even though a serrated edge will stay sharp longer than a straight edge knife, it is more difficult to sharpen this type of edge than a straight edge, especially with limited tools.
- Serrated edges do not make a precise cut. A serrated edge slices and rips at the same time, which is a good thing when it comes to rough items, but if a precise, delicate cut is required, a serrated edge falls short in this area.
- A serrated edge does not cut fabric or soft foods very well. A serrated edge will hook and catch on fabric and will rip soft foods to shreds.
- Processing game. Skinning game and processing game is not a strong point for a serrated blade.
Advantages Of A Straight Edge Knife For Survival
Many bushcraft and survival knives have a straight edge on the blade, and this is for good reason. Even though a serrated edge has some advantages, a straight edge has the advantage of versatility in the wilderness.
- Good for carving. Carving is an important task for survival. The ability of the blade to be able to carve will give you the ability to make tools and craft traps and even make hunting and fishing equipment. A straight edge for these tasks is easier than using a serrated edge.
- Good for making feather sticks. Fire starting is an important survival skill, and feather sticks are a good resource of tinder for making a survival fire. A straight edge is better for making feather sticks than a serrated edge.
- Batoning firewood. A straight edge is a good edge to have on a knife for processing chunks of wood into smaller pieces of firewood. A serrated edge does not do well in this task since it is designed to hook and rip rather than slice.
- Skinning and processing game. A blade with a straight edge makes skinning an animal easier as well and processing the carcass into smaller pieces.
- Straight edge knives make clean, precise cuts. A knife with a straight edge is better for making clean cuts that are more precise, such as for slicing softer items of food.
- Straight edge knives are easier to sharpen. A knife that has a straight edge is easier to sharpen, particularly in the field, than a serrated knife. You could even find a suitable stone in the wilderness that can be used to re-establish the edge on the knife.
If we to recommend, which we do on our other knives articles , then this Gerber hunting knife is an example of a hunting knife with a gut hook notch and it portable with a blade made from high-carbon stainless steel, and the sheath comes with a built-in sharpener. You can take a look at the knife here or from the picture below.
Disadvantages Of A Straight Edge Knife For Survival
While a straight edge knife is a good choice for many survival tasks, it can have some disadvantages where a serrated edge may be a better option.
- Does not stay sharp as long. A straight edge on a knife is more susceptible to damage and becoming dull in comparison to a serrated edge knife.
- Does not cut through wood as well as a serrated blade. Other than batoning, a straight edge knife cannot cut through wood like a saw as easily as a serrated edge.
Should You Get A Serrated Knife Or A Straight Edge
Some people have a personal preference and opt for a pocket survival knife that has a straight edge, and while this is a good choice, a serrated edge can come in handy in some instances.
However, a knife that has a serrated edge has more limitations from a survival perspective than a straight edge, even though in some situations, it would be better than the straight edge. A knife that has a purely serrated edge would therefore be less versatile in a survival situation than a straight edge.
Fortunately, there are pocket survival knives that offer the best of both worlds and have partially serrated blades. This is where a portion of the blade, usually the section of the blade closes to the handle, is serrated, and the half of the blade towards the tip of the knife is a straight edge.
People who see the benefit of a serrated edge would be better equipped to choose a knife that has a partially serrated edge rather than a completely serrated edge.
For a survival situation, the best choice for a pocket survival knife would be one that has a straight edge over one that has a completely serrated edge.
Even though a serrated edge does bring some benefits, a completely serrated edge does not have as many benefits as a straight edge. A partially serrated edge would be a better option since it will give the benefits of a straight edge and a serrated edge on the same blade.