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Old 03-01-2004, 09:59   #39
Bill Harsey
Bladesmith to the Quiet Professionals
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Oregon, Land of the Silver Grey Sunsets
Posts: 3,871
To: Ird

Dear lrd, You asked a great question, How to sharpen a partially serrated blade in the field.
First please know I'll answer this question and you will get a very serviceable sharp edge back but it won't be quite as acutely sharp as most of them come from the factory but it will have better edge endurance.
Spyderco is the modern re-inventor of the serrated blade. I like those people and they deserve credit for the innovations they brought to the worlds knife industry.
I get a number of Spyderco serrations in my shop for sharpening.

The advantages of the serrated edge is it's acute sharpness and aggressive cutting due to it's extremely acute bevel angle.
Also why I think they are so popular is that when real hard stuff is cut with it and the edge is abused, it is dulled in a selective manner leaving some part of the serrations that can still cut.
The gullets (valleys) between points stay sharp because they are protected by the points which usually dull first. This is what makes this type of edge seem to stay sharp longer. Spyderco does very good work.

Sharpening Serrations- Most serrations are ground in from one side only.
The "Yarborough" knife we make for the men of the Untied States Army Special Forces is a different kind of serration. This is a Chisel Point serration, this designed to cut very tough materials and be resharpened perfectly using the same angle as the main edge and at the same time. Just ignore the serrations and sharpen the entire length of the blade.
The reason I bring this up is what I'm about to describe applies more to the Spyderco type serrations.

With apologies to Sal Glesser, founder of Spyderco:
I sharpen the Spyderco type here in the shop just like you will do in the field. I turn the knife over to the side opposite the serrations being ground in from and establish a fine bevel on the back of the serration with a hand held stone.

Match this bevel to your main edge and it should work great. This will resharpen both the points and gullets of that edge. It will also be a stronger edge thus holding up to more hard work better. I stated before they may not be factory sharp but you'll be surprised how sharp they come back up. Some of you are good at going in the front of the serrated grind with shaped stones and matching the initial grind plunge. I don't have that kind of patience. Does this help? Please advise. Bill

Last edited by Bill Harsey; 03-28-2009 at 10:34.
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