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Combo Edge Cooperative - partial to partially serrated blades 1749

No Life Club Posts: 2,864
Combo Edge Cooperative - partial to partially serrated blades
« on: August 30, 2020, 04:22:01 AM »
When I was in my teenage years, I first got interested in edged tools by way of lockbacks that had serrations on the inner half of the blade.  One of my friends would get these sorts of knives from a hardware store and would use them to within a millimeter of their limit. He would keep the plain edge razor sharp, and when he had sharpened the curved belly of the blade to a straight edge with the angles of a box cutter, he'd shelf the knife and get a new one. I envied how he could do precision work but also tear through rope and even metal tins with that knife.

This began a series of both budget and brand name locking folders that I used for EDC.. Buck and Cold Steel being my favorites.  When I switched to multiools, I rather liked having separate plain and serrated edges, starting with the Leatherman SuperTool.  Meanwhile, another friend of mine started carrying the LM PST II for basic thinks when he went away to school. I have to admit that I was a bit jealous of his PST II, if only for the fact that it didn't have that finicky locking mechanism.  Though the lighter but similarly equipped toolset with the combo edged blade was also an advantage for light work in day to day bachelor life in the suburbs.  Having different priorities myself, I eventually replaced my SuperTool with a Gerber MP600, then a LM Wave... And then as I replaced the Wave with a SAK, combo edged blades were very much a thing of the past.

As I learned more, carried more, and did more, I became a proponent of plain edged blades like most people.  "A razor sharp plain edge can do anything to a serrated edge can do", we'd say.  "They're easier to sharpen", I told myself, while if I'm honest, I rarely sharpened my blades anyway.  Meanwhile my old pal was sharpening his combo edges to nothing more than a stump of factory sharp serrations and a shank on the end. 

Fast forward almost two decades later and combo edges slowly make a comeback, but are little more than a pet peeve among most of us.  At this stage, when there are so many options it's very easy to overlook anything with a combo edge, and move on. But doing so would be short-sighted.  So many interesting and high quality tools come with a combo edge... Like it or not.

The Victorinox One Handed Trekker, and the Soldier have a combo edge.  But in a twist, the serrations are on the outer two thirds - allowing for precision and leverage on the plain edge but allowing for momentum and slashing with the serrations.

I'd say that they deserve a chance.  I searched high and low for a Vic OHT NS and found one at a pretty penny.  I shelled out the extra money, not knowing when I'd find another one... Let alone at a better price.  Satisfied that I had the best version of a 111mm SAK, I purchased a few more ... One for a lighter carry in town... One for the novelty of it... And I was pleasantly surprised by the serrations.  They didn't diminish the utility of the knife in any way. Then I'm looking at the offerings from Leatherman... the company that changed the way multiools use us just as much as (if not more than) the way we use multitools. Several of their light and medium duty models still use combo edges, despite the general distaste for them.  But we go at great length to swap them out to plain edges, or even grind off the serrations.  But are they really that bad?  Intolerable? They get the job done, don't they?

All told, I think combo edges have their place.  Victorinox has done a great job with them on certain tools, especially given the reverse configuration.  The butter blade on the Vic Sprit hasn't let anyone down yet.  Leatherman seems to continue to use them on the multiools that serve in a complimentary system for outdoor recreation with the Signal, Skeletool, and several of their knife based tools. Then going back to basics... For people that need a tool just to make life easier, there's the Wingman.

When you're not filleting a fish or carving a wooden spoon... When you have a plain edge blade on one tool and you have a complimentary tool with a combo edge... Or when you just want to pack as many options into an efficient multitool or even a folding knife...  What are you carrying?
Thread Killer 2019 No Life Club Posts: 4,800
Re: Combo Edge Cooperative - partial to partially serrated blades
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2020, 08:04:11 PM »
I've always been a fan of combo edges. The serrated section is great for cutting fibrous material such as rope and palm fronds and I happen to live where I tend to encounter such fibrous materials.  I don't cut enough of them to the point where I would want a fully serrated edge though, and that's where the combo edge comes in. I can understand why most people don't care for the serrations.  I probably would prefer just a straight edge too if I lived where I was less likely to encounter fibrous materials and found only hard woods or smooth items that I needed to cut.  That's why everyone makes their own decision on knife edges, except in the case of military or employer issued equipment. :cheers:
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 18,403 Bon Journee!!
Re: Combo Edge Cooperative - partial to partially serrated blades
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2020, 05:23:56 AM »
I have a couple of knives with the combo edge.  My Spyderco Endura is probably my favorite version, but the Vic Trekker is no slouch either.

Barry
No Life Club Posts: 2,066
Re: Combo Edge Cooperative - partial to partially serrated blades
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2020, 10:40:23 PM »
I have a few with combo or serrated edges as well.  I'm definitely primarily a PE guy, but if a model I otherwise like is only available with CE or SE, that isn't an automatic deal-breaker.  Also, I always want to be carrying at least one PE blade, but a CE or SE as a second (or third or fourth  :angel: ) blade (either on the same knife/tool or on separate knives/tools) provides an additional option and some variety.

I think it's worth noting that all serrations are not created equal.  Just like PE blades, the cutting geometry of some is much better than others.

Possibly fodder for separate threads, but for those (all four of us, apparently :D) who see at least some redeeming qualities in CE blades for at least some applications:
  • Do you prefer the serrations near the tip of the blade, and the plain section near the handle?  Or would you rather have the plain section near the tip, and the serrations near the handle?  Explain the reason(s) for your choice.
  • How much of a CE blade should be serrated?  Half?  Three quarters?  One quarter?  Why?  Does your answer change based on the total length of the blade?
No Life Club Posts: 2,864
Re: Combo Edge Cooperative - partial to partially serrated blades
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2020, 11:34:28 PM »
I think it's worth noting that all serrations are not created equal.  Just like PE blades, the cutting geometry of some is much better than others.

Possibly fodder for separate threads, but for those (all four of us, apparently :D) who see at least some redeeming qualities in CE blades for at least some applications:
  • Do you prefer the serrations near the tip of the blade, and the plain section near the handle?  Or would you rather have the plain section near the tip, and the serrations near the handle?  Explain the reason(s) for your choice.
  • How much of a CE blade should be serrated?  Half?  Three quarters?  One quarter?  Why?  Does your answer change based on the total length of the blade?

Great topics for discussion on this thread  :hatsoff:

Different serrations are definitely made for different tasks... Though I can't figure out in what way. If you look at the serrations on the regular LM Skeletool and the LM Skeletool Rx (a very clever model identifier for an EMT tool, I might add), they're quite different... The latter deep, wider serrations being for cutting through seatbelts, denim and other tough clothing material.
   The Cold Steel serrations have micro teeth in between the deeper concave scallops. Those do bite in to rope better.

I suppose that the total length of the blade, and the blade shape matters, but I would estimate that I would prefer no more than 1/3 of the blade being serrated.  While aesthetically I feel that the inner 1/4 to 1/3 of the blade having serrations looks better... Functionally, the outer portion of the blade having the serrations (like on the Vic OHT) works best.

I can't say that a combo edge is my preference... Or even a fully serrated blade for that matter.  But the last few times I reached for a serrated blade, it was on the sheepfoot blade on the LM Wave... and it was the blade shape as much as the serrations that I was after....  Which again gives the nod to the Vic OHT which has a blunt tip. 

I will say though... The fully serrated sheepfoot blades are good for tearing through tough material.
Global Moderator Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 25,749
Re: Combo Edge Cooperative - partial to partially serrated blades
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2020, 12:17:17 AM »
I think like a lot of new knife buyers the lesser expensive options had combo edges so thats what I bought.  As time went on I realized I did like the serrated portion but preferred a fully serrated blade.  I bought a Spyderco Native fully serrated and WOW.  I then got a fully serrated Delica and again WOW.  Spyderco does a great job on their serrations. 

I then got a Spirit with butter blade  :think:.  I was not used to the serrated portion towards the tip so I was initially not sold.   The serrated portion is about 75% in my estimation.  After some time with it I was sold.  Victorinox did a great job on their serration and the style of blade was also to my liking. 

I picked up a fully serrated Spyderco Jumpmaster from Barry and this is a heck of a work knife.  I really like having a fully serrated fixed blade for hose line, nylon rope, paracord, plastic banding, and everything else I can use this knife on. 

As to combo edge knives in general  :dunno: well I'd prefer PE or SE and while I get along with my butter blade on my Spirit, its to my mind mostly a serrated edge knife. 

Esse Quam Videri
Thread Killer 2019 No Life Club Posts: 4,800
Re: Combo Edge Cooperative - partial to partially serrated blades
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2020, 10:33:14 AM »
1)  I think the Vic type with the serrations towards the tip makes a lot of sense because that should give you the best leverage for cutting rope and such and the non serrated rear portion of the blade should give you the most control for cutting a feather stick or sharpening a pencil, etc..  However most knives are the other way around and that is what I learned on and have more of.  Absolute best combo edge was on a Schrade CH-7 I had years ago. It would rip through palm fronds (palm fronds are my benchmark) without much effort at all and even out performed some fully serrated blades.  If I'd had the sense to buy several of them I'd still be using it but I don't want to risk the one I still have.  The worst combo edge or fully serrated for palm fronds are Leatherman blades, but most Leathermans have an excellent saw blade so I just use that instead.

2)  I think 1/2 serrated is enough for most tasks and probably the best compromise, but it can go to 3/4 and still be usable.  I have a partially serrated rigging knife that is 3/4 serrated and the plain edge is at the tip and on this particular knife I always wish it had less serrations.  My solution is to always carry 2 or more knives and use whichever one is best suited to a particular task.
No Life Club Posts: 2,864
Re: Combo Edge Cooperative - partial to partially serrated blades
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2020, 02:45:45 PM »
1)  I think the Vic type with the serrations towards the tip makes a lot of sense because that should give you the best leverage for cutting rope and such and the non serrated rear portion of the blade should give you the most control for cutting a feather stick or sharpening a pencil, etc..  However most knives are the other way around and that is what I learned on and have more of.  Absolute best combo edge was on a Schrade CH-7 I had years ago. It would rip through palm fronds (palm fronds are my benchmark) without much effort at all and even out performed some fully serrated blades.  If I'd had the sense to buy several of them I'd still be using it but I don't want to risk the one I still have.  The worst combo edge or fully serrated for palm fronds are Leatherman blades, but most Leathermans have an excellent saw blade so I just use that instead.

2)  I think 1/2 serrated is enough for most tasks and probably the best compromise, but it can go to 3/4 and still be usable.  I have a partially serrated rigging knife that is 3/4 serrated and the plain edge is at the tip and on this particular knife I always wish it had less serrations.  My solution is to always carry 2 or more knives and use whichever one is best suited to a particular task.

The issue I always had with a priori choosing a blade for a particular job... Keeping in mind that doing this sort of work becomes more fun because I get to use a MT... I ever really know which tool is the best one for the job because I did the whole thing with the blade I selected first  :think:  Most of the time if it isn't the SAK in my pocket then it's the fully serrated blade on the Wave. The combo edge on the Cold Steel Voyager and the Victorinox have gotten in on the action within the last year too, but the Wave has always been handy... So it gets more use.
Point is... I would never seem to mind that I would have to adjust my grip to use the "common" combo edge for most things.

It's also interesting that the combo edge is (almost) always the cheaper option and tends to be people's initial experienced with an EDC.  Hopefully the trip down memory lane will make the Combo Edge Cooperative a fun thread.

I tend to think that most of the time a decision that a company makes which seems counterintuitive is really based on focus groups or some other market research.. or some sort of human factors analysis... (to give an example... in surveys and focus groups: commuters overwhelmingly would rather stand than be in the middle of a 3-seater... so new train cars are designed with fewer seats)
Though I could be giving the MT manufacturer more credit than is due.

So when a Leatherman Signal, or a Vic OHT which is designed for outdoor recreation have a combo edge

Maybe people who have a preference for a particular blade steel or insist on sharpening their own knives is a remarkably small minority.  :dunno:
No Life Club Posts: 2,864
Re: Combo Edge Cooperative - partial to partially serrated blades
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2020, 03:56:38 PM »
The standard blade on the Skeletool is a combo edge.  I got this KBX for the "cool factor" mainly.  It's pretty easy to change the grip and choose whichever edge I want to use, especially with this modified Wharncliffe shape.

This sort of knife would be great for backpacking, particularly for people who don't reach for their knife all the time and have deeply ingrained habits.  It's sort of a multitool in and of itself.

I think that sometimes, real "users" that know how to keep a razor's edge on their own knives really miss out on some of these "out of the box" gadgets (that is... if you like gadgets).  It's true, there are gadgets and there are tools. 

But in some circles, a multitool or knife gadget has a similar fun factor as a backpacking stove gadget.  Is it easy to cook a full meal on a single burner backpacking stove? No.  Are feather sticks made with a KBX going to come out looking professional? No.  But sometimes it's more fun.
No Life Club Posts: 2,864
Re: Combo Edge Cooperative - partial to partially serrated blades
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2020, 10:21:54 PM »
I think that most people will agree that this part serrated blade is not half bad.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,532 I'm blue!
Re: Combo Edge Cooperative - partial to partially serrated blades
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2020, 06:41:57 PM »
I like serrated blades but I prefer a different kind of combo  ;)
No Life Club Posts: 3,169
Re: Combo Edge Cooperative - partial to partially serrated blades
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2020, 06:46:08 PM »
I like serrated blades but I prefer a different kind of combo  ;)
That is nice  :drool: :like:

They don't like it up 'em!
No Life Club Posts: 2,864
Re: Combo Edge Cooperative - partial to partially serrated blades
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2020, 04:13:11 PM »
Would there be any interest in a Combo Edge Challenge?
A combo of months from February 1 to March 2 would be apropos.

Several Leatherman tools, Cold Steel folders, and many others would qualify.
Thread Killer 2019 No Life Club Posts: 4,800
Re: Combo Edge Cooperative - partial to partially serrated blades
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2020, 11:47:45 PM »
That might be interesting depending on the rules and requirements of the challenge. :2tu:
No Life Club Posts: 2,864
Re: Combo Edge Cooperative - partial to partially serrated blades
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2020, 12:28:37 AM »
That might be interesting depending on the rules and requirements of the challenge. :2tu:

I'm thinking.... Simply.... Carry any multitool or single blade folder for the month as long as it has a combo edge.

Skeletool, Trekker, PST-2.

No fully serrated or plain edge blade allowed. 

The inspiration for this challenge comes from Leatherman advertisements that I had been looking at.  Leatherman's catch phrase will be something about resourcefulness, and the tool being able to help with any job.  Meanwhile, someone is bound to comment that they would prefer a plain edge.

I said to myself... Maybe I would prefer a plain edge too, but...  Out of the box, the tool would (or wouldn't) get the job done, edge style notwithstanding.

So the challenge is... To use any one of the perfectly good tools like the Skeletool or Signal or Trekker, and see how you get on with the blade as is.
No Life Club Posts: 2,864
Re: Combo Edge Cooperative - partial to partially serrated blades
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2020, 01:16:32 AM »
I'm thinking.... Simply.... Carry any multitool or single blade folder for the month as long as it has a combo edge.

Skeletool, Trekker, PST-2.

No fully serrated or plain edge blade allowed. 

The inspiration for this challenge comes from Leatherman advertisements that I had been looking at.  Leatherman's catch phrase will be something about resourcefulness, and the tool being able to help with any job.  Meanwhile, someone is bound to comment that they would prefer a plain edge.

I said to myself... Maybe I would prefer a plain edge too, but...  Out of the box, the tool would (or wouldn't) get the job done, edge style notwithstanding.

So the challenge is... To use any one of the perfectly good tools like the Skeletool or Signal or Trekker, and see how you get on with the blade as is.

Anyone up for this in 2021?
No Life Club Posts: 2,066
Re: Combo Edge Cooperative - partial to partially serrated blades
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2020, 09:05:39 AM »
Anyone up for this in 2021?

Probably me, depending on when we do it.  I've been looking for an excuse to get a Myerchin titanium Crew Pro.
No Life Club Posts: 1,672
Combo Edge Cooperative - partial to partially serrated blades
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2020, 08:19:30 PM »
This is one of the few pairs of EDC that I  have new in box copies of.

I have lived with the Delica for a long time and it could easily be my only knife any time. :hatsoff:


M
No Life Club Posts: 2,864
Re: Combo Edge Cooperative - partial to partially serrated blades
« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2020, 08:33:05 PM »
This is one of the few pairs of EDC that I  have new in box copies of.

I have lived with the Delica for a long time and it could easily be my only knife any time. :hatsoff:

(Image removed from quote.)
M(Image removed from quote.)

 :like:

There are a lot of classic EDC knives from the 90s and 2000s (I guess) that can be an "only" knife... Spyderco, Cold Steel....
No Life Club Posts: 2,864
Re: Combo Edge Cooperative - partial to partially serrated blades
« Reply #19 on: June 08, 2021, 02:25:17 AM »
With discussions of 2022 challenges underway I wanted to start drumming up some interest in a Combo Edge Challenge for February/Mar 2022 (what timeframe can be more appropriate?)

There are lots of tools that qualify, and lots of tools that people carry daily without any issue (though often with a secondary plain edge blade)

At this point, I'm thinking of doing the challenge with the Skeletool. 

Anyone else interested?  It's a long way away, but... might as well start planning early. 

No Life Club Posts: 3,619
Re: Combo Edge Cooperative - partial to partially serrated blades
« Reply #20 on: June 08, 2021, 04:01:37 AM »
I’d be in EB :tu:
Thread Killer 2019 No Life Club Posts: 4,800
Re: Combo Edge Cooperative - partial to partially serrated blades
« Reply #21 on: June 08, 2021, 07:50:28 PM »
I would be interested too. :cheers:
Thread Killer 2017 Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,751 Born to multitask.
Re: Combo Edge Cooperative - partial to partially serrated blades
« Reply #22 on: June 08, 2021, 08:04:40 PM »
I guess I could use the Signal and get its badge, unless this gets its own dedicated one. :tu:
No Life Club Posts: 2,864
Re: Combo Edge Cooperative - partial to partially serrated blades
« Reply #23 on: June 09, 2021, 12:09:28 AM »
I’d be in EB :tu:

 :cheers:

I would be interested too. :cheers:

 :cheers:

I guess I could use the Signal and get its badge, unless this gets its own dedicated one. :tu:

That's an idea - if we don't get enough people to get a Combo Edge badge, it makes good sense to use a tool that already has one, like a...
Signal,
Swisstool Spirit (with butter blade),
Leatherman MUT,
Spyderco,
SOG Powerlock
Victorinox Soldier or 111mm
Skeletool
Gerber MP 400
or even the Discontinued MT or Off Brand MT badges

Lots of great options   :woohoo:
Thread Killer 2017 Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,751 Born to multitask.
Re: Combo Edge Cooperative - partial to partially serrated blades
« Reply #24 on: June 13, 2021, 02:56:16 PM »
Do the serrated blades of the Wave/Surge/Rebar/ST300 count? :D
Seriously. That tiny plain edge tip of the ST300 serrated blade is just brilliant.
I usually use those for short draw cuts. Nothing too ambitious. But I had to wrap a birthday present, so I did a draw cut of about 50cm, about 1.5 ft. Man, did it knock it out of the park! I kept a steady hand, and dragged the blade tip along a straight line, and the wrapping was easy as pie.
No Life Club Posts: 2,864
Re: Combo Edge Cooperative - partial to partially serrated blades
« Reply #25 on: June 13, 2021, 03:34:09 PM »
Do the serrated blades of the Wave/Surge/Rebar/ST300 count? :D
Seriously. That tiny plain edge tip of the ST300 serrated blade is just brilliant.
I usually use those for short draw cuts. Nothing too ambitious. But I had to wrap a birthday present, so I did a draw cut of about 50cm, about 1.5 ft. Man, did it knock it out of the park! I kept a steady hand, and dragged the blade tip along a straight line, and the wrapping was easy as pie.
(Image removed from quote.)

I'm thinking that they don't :think:  If it's like the Wave-OG or ST-OG, it's really a dedicated serrated blade.  That tiny plain edge benefits from the chisel grind that many of these combo edge blades have.  Especially when you use it along a straight edge like a ruler or a square... you know exactly where your edge is.  For regulation purposes, I'd say it has to be one of the blades that was intended for use as a combo edge, like the Skeletool.   ;)

I friend of mine has been carrying a part serrated knife for most if his life... for the last few years it's been a SOG.... SOG Flash, or something similar.  The other day he asked me to run it through the carbide "sharpener" I happened to have - the blade was chisel ground, but really nicely done.  That knife of his was well worn, and had many stories to tell.  It wasn't well kept, but it was used over and over and over again - and that's the important thing... isn't it?  :tu:
Thread Killer 2017 Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 8,751 Born to multitask.
Re: Combo Edge Cooperative - partial to partially serrated blades
« Reply #26 on: June 13, 2021, 03:51:14 PM »
 :cheers:
No use going with a tool I've carried previously anyway. I'll go with the Signal maybe. I also have a Wingman. Weird. I can't think of any more, though I am sure I have more with combo edges. I must.  :think:
No Life Club Posts: 2,864
Re: Combo Edge Cooperative - partial to partially serrated blades
« Reply #27 on: June 13, 2021, 04:07:56 PM »
:cheers:
No use going with a tool I've carried previously anyway. I'll go with the Signal maybe. I also have a Wingman. Weird. I can't think of any more, though I am sure I have more with combo edges. I must.  :think:

Yep, and there's plenty of time before next February to acquire some more  :pok:  So far, I'm thinking of splitting the 30 days between a Skeletool KBX and a Victorinox Nomad.  My Skeletool is the Topo edition, and I can't bring myself to scuff up the blade.   :facepalm:
No Life Club Posts: 3,169
Re: Combo Edge Cooperative - partial to partially serrated blades
« Reply #28 on: June 13, 2021, 04:21:22 PM »
:cheers:

 :cheers:

That's an idea - if we don't get enough people to get a Combo Edge badge, it makes good sense to use a tool that already has one, like a...
Signal,
Swisstool Spirit (with butter blade),
Leatherman MUT,
Spyderco,
SOG Powerlock
Victorinox Soldier or 111mm
Skeletool
Gerber MP 400
or even the Discontinued MT or Off Brand MT badges

Lots of great options   :woohoo:
I could be up for this as well. I quite like the combo edge as it comes in handy for SAR stuff and, if I use my Gerber (work issue before the Surge trial) then it's handy for that as well  :tu:

So, here are my current options (can't use my Skele as the CX is P/E  :'( ::) )

They don't like it up 'em!
No Life Club Posts: 2,864
Re: Combo Edge Cooperative - partial to partially serrated blades
« Reply #29 on: June 13, 2021, 05:08:04 PM »
I could be up for this as well. I quite like the combo edge as it comes in handy for SAR stuff and, if I use my Gerber (work issue before the Surge trial) then it's handy for that as well  :tu:

So, here are my current options (can't use my Skele as the CX is P/E  :'( ::) )

Those are some good options SurgeUk   :cheers:

They do come in very handy for rescue, as long as you're careful in the event you're cutting clothing.  The Vic Rescue has a blunted tip which makes it safer.  For the Wingman and Gerber MP 400, it's helpful to run the edge across the material you're cutting such as a strap or seatbelt, and get the feedback in your hand as to which edge works better... often it's the serrated edge to start the cut and plain edge to finish it off.   :salute:

 

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