EDC Knife Blade Edges (The 3 Types Explained)

When purchasing an EDC knife, you’ll need to choose a type of blade edge. Each is unique but some are more suitable for specific tasks.

In this ProSurvivalStrategies.com Guide, we are concentrating on the three types of blade edges commonly found on EDC knives. 

When choosing the right blade edge for your specific needs, you must make sure the blade edge meets the specifications of your intended use.

That’s why it is important to first understand the different types of cutting actions and then determine which blade edge is perfect for you.

Our goal is to provide you with in-depth information on this topic. So if you are confused or undecided, put your worries aside because we are here to help.

Read on to learn about the different types of cutting actions, blade edges and the pros and cons of each. 

In this ProSurvivalStrategies.com Guide, you will learn:

  • Which EDC blade edge is the best?
  • What are the four common types of cutting action?
  • What are the three types of blade edges?
  • And much more!

In a hurry, below is a quick list of the 3 types of EDC knife blade edges.

Plain Edge
Serrated Edge
Partially Serrated Edge

OK . . . let’s get started!

Which EDC Blade Edge Is The Best?

This question has always haunted knife enthusiasts for centuries and the debate is never-ending. The physical features are obvious but the answer to this question is complicated. It simply depends upon what you’ll use the knife for and in what situations.

The most common recommendation is to choose a plain edge (which we will examine later).

There are two alternates you must keep in mind, “serrated and combo edges”. These two blade edges add teeth to the blade.

As you will read below, there is no such thing as the “best” blade edge for your EDC knife. At the end of the day, it depends upon what is “best” for you. 

What Are The Four Common Types of Cutting Action?

Before we even begin discussing blade edges, it is vital to know and understand the four common types of cutting action. This will definitely assist in determining which blade edge best suits your personal needs. 

The Four common types of cutting action are as follows:

  1. Pull Cut: These are cuts that require you to pull the knife across something in order to cut it (like rope/cord and bread). 
  2. Push Cut: This is when you place the edge of the knife on the material and then just push the knife through. 
  3. Slicing Cut: The cutting action is substantially done by dragging the edge across the thing-to-be-cut. When you slice meat or a tomato, you drag the edge across the tomato as you cut through it. 
  4. Chopping: Chopping is cutting with a single directional force. Chopping happens in a downward motion to take advantage of gravity and acceleration. 

Now that you understand the four common types of cutting action, it’s time to get into knife blade edges. 

What Are The Three Types of Blade Edges On EDC Knives?

The Three types of blade edges on EDC Knives are: 

  1. Plain Edge Blades.
  2. Serrated Edge Blades.
  3. Partially Serrated Blades. (Also known as combo blades). 

What Is a Plain Edge Blade?

This is the most common and versatile blade edge. These blades have one continuous sharp edge.

Their most powerful application is exactly what we think of when using a knife, “a strong steady pressure.” Since your main cutting action is to apply steady pressure, an unbroken edge allows you to perform cuts with minimal resistance.

This design has been proven for centuries and serves a much wider purpose for tactical and outdoor operations. A solid plain edge blade with exceptional steel will not disappoint. 

What Are The Pros And Cons of a Plain Edge Blade?

Pros:

  • Easier to sharpen and maintain. (depends on the blade steel used).
  • Almost always cuts cleanly.
  • More versatile and useful for most tasks.
  • Doesn’t snag or fray when cutting through most ropes or cables.
  • Better at performing push cuts.
  • Increased accuracy when cutting. 

Cons:

  • Tougher material will give a plain edge trouble.
  • The blade may slip when cutting ropes made of plastic or synthetic material.
  • Inability to saw or perform pull cuts. 

Two examples of EDC Knives with Plain Edge Blades are the Benchmade Turret 980 and Zero Tolerance 0350

What Is a Serrated Blade Edge?

Serrated edges are blades that have toothed or saw-like ridges grounded into the cutting surface. This feature is intended to be used like a small saw with a back and forth motion.

If you’ve ever handled a bread knife, you know exactly what’s being described.

The mini edges make it easier to cut into harder material than a plain edge blade. Once the teeth sink in, the cutting momentum allows you to tackle harder material.

They are great for cutting through ropes, fabric and other textured material. 

What Are The Pros And Cons of a Serrated Blade Edge?

Pros: 

  • Easier to cut tougher materials. (plastic or synthetic).
  • Easier to cut through belts and ropes.
  • Easier to cut through harder and uneven material.
  • Specialized tool for useful for firefighters, police and other professionals in similar trades. 

Cons:

  • Easily cause fraying with ropes and fabrics.
  • Difficult to sharpen when the blade dulls and requires special sharpening equipment or a professional to get it back to factory sharpness (unless you have a diamond rod).
  • Does not make clean cuts cut as a plain edge.
  • Serrated blade makes it a more specific purpose type of knife as compared to a plain edge blade. 

Two Examples of EDC Knives with Serrated Blade Edges are the Spyderco Paramilitary 2 and Spyderco Delica 4

What Is a Partially Serrated Blade Edge?

At times, you simply can’t choose which edge suits your needs and you don’t want to carry two EDC knives. Don’t stress, we got you covered.

A third option to consider is a combination or partially serrated blade edge. It unifies the plain edge and serrated edge giving you the best of both worlds of utility.

This allows you to tackle just about any cutting you may be faced with. However, maintaining both edges gives you twice the work.

A combination blade incorporates a plain edge and serrations, but provides less cutting length. Most of the blade is a plain edge which allows you to make clean cuts which is further away from the handle. This gives you better leverage and precision.

The serrations are located closer to the handle giving you a better grip to push and pull when the serrations are applied to tougher cuts. 

Keep in mind that on a 3.25″ (just over 8cm) blade, there may be 1.25″ (just over 3cm) of serrations. The detractors of this format feel that the length of serrations is too short to be really useful, and the length of the plain edge is being sacrificed for no good gain.

What Are The Pros And Cons of a Partially Serrated Blade Edge? 

Pros:

  • Can tackle almost any cut you are faced with.
  • Saves you from carrying two knives. “Kills two birds with one stone”.
  • Having options is always beneficial. 

Cons:

  • Maintenance (due to the serration, it requires specialized equipment or a professional).
  • Maintenance is more complex in the field.
  • Blade length is lost to accommodate both types of edges.
  • Cutting ability is limited due to blade length as stated above. (The length of the serrations may be too short for real use). 

Two Examples of EDC Knives with partially serrated blades are the CRKT 14SF and Benchmade Mini Barrage 585

A Final Note. 

If you are looking for the “best” blade edge for your EDC knife suited for all uses, it doesn’t exist. That’s why it is important to know and understand the different types of EDC knife blade edges and the pros and cons of each.

A plain edge blade is a design that has been proven for centuries and serves a much wide purpose for both tactical and outdoor users. They are easier to sharpen, versatile, and provide increased accuracy when cutting.

A serrated blade is a more specialized tool used to cut tougher materials and highly sought after by firefighters, police officers and other professionals in similar trades.

A partially serrated blade edge “kills two birds with one stone.” It incorporates the advantages of both plain and serrated edges. However, be advised that the length of the serrations on this blade edge may be too short to be really useful.

I want you to take into consideration cost. So what do I mean? Let’s take a look at the Benchmade Turret 980 which is available in two different blade edge styles. The plain edge costs $187.00 and the partially serrated edge cracks the wallet at $208.00. That is a difference of $21.00. So, is giving up part of the blade edge worth it? Only you can decide.

My mission was to assist you in choosing the right blade edge for your EDC knife.

What’s your perfect blade edge?  I’d like to know. 

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