What Is A Serrated Knife Used For?

People are used to knives with straight-edged blades.

Some may find it weird owning a serrated knife, that has sections that are similar to a saw.

It is funny to imagine using a saw for fruits and vegetables, right?

But it is more helpful than what most people think it is.

What is a serrated knife?

As mentioned, serrated knives are those that have a tooth-like edge that resembles a saw.

Some of them have a letter U or a letter V shape per section, while some manufacturers may add creativity to the blade’s edge by giving different designs.

Having sections in the blade edge, it is usually less smooth and does not give the same precise cut compared to the straight-edged ones.

The pressure of the force applied to it goes to the tip of each tooth, while the sections will help in cutting the item.

The sharpness on this kind of knife is usually longer than those of straight-edged ones, as the ‘teeth’ assist in slicing the item.

Similar to a saw, it is used with a sawing motion.

What is it used for?

The serrated knife works like this: the teeth help on breaking the outer edge and the sharp sections inside it are used for the inner portion.

That’s why it is commonly used for slicing loaves of bread.

The bread knife is the most popular knife with a serrated blade.

There are loaves that have a very thick crust, where using a straight blade will not do any cut.

Forcing the straight-edge knife can damage the bread when applying full pressure, breaking its beauty.

You may use it to get through the crust and slide all the way to make a slice.

Due to its looks, the blade cannot be used for creating perfect slices, dicing, or chopping.

It sometimes leaves a mark on the item, which can affect the look of the food when cooked.

However, if you are having a hard time opening an item using a straight-edged blade and need a cut on the item to start slicing, you can use this kind of knife.

Aside from bread, do you know that some bakers use a serrated bread knife for cakes too? Its narrow surface allows the cake to be sliced easier without sticking too much on the blade.

The serrated edge helps in making a cleaner slice instead of using a smaller knife that might need another round of slicing.

For use in fruits, this type of knife will help in slicing whole citrus fruits.

This knife will prevent having straight blades slipping on the skin and extracting the juice when applied with a lot of pressure.

It will be able to get through the peel easily and slice the fruit smoothly.

Aside from the kitchen, serrated knives can also be used in pocket knives.

It can be helpful during camping, as it can easily get through cutting ropes.

Some prefer having this type of blade as it can do tasks easier than those of straight-edged ones.

Some pocket knifemakers can create the best of both worlds – a serrated blade on the lower half near the handle and a straight edge on the other half going to the tip.

Maintenance tips

Since serrated knives have teeth-like edges, pack up some patience in sharpening them.

It is not recommended to use a flat whetstone on this kind of knife, as it can damage the edges seen on the blade.

If you prefer sharpening them, there are two tools that can help you.

Use a ceramic rod and the patented pocket knife sharpener.

In using the ceramic rod, you have to sharpen each of the sections one by one by gliding them at an angle where the inside edges touch the rod.

Repeat until all sections are done and to the other side.

Some serrated knife only has one side, and be careful with the side which has a flatter edge (no indentions due to the sections).

Consider the thickness of the rod whenever buying one when you like to sharpen serrated knives.

If you own the patented pocket knife sharpener, it is a bit easier.

The triangular-sized small rod will assist in sharpening each section continuously, compared to a ceramic rod that needs to be done per section.

Use one of the pointed edges on the topmost section near the edge, while carefully gliding as each section scratches to the triangular rod.

Repeat until all sections are done.

Whatever method you choose, do not apply excessive force as it can damage the knife and the sharpening too.

In terms of cleaning it, this knife can be hand washed or in a dishwasher.

Carefully check each section before storing it to make sure that it has no residue left on it.

It will also be helpful to refer to the user’s manual if available, to get more detailed information on how to properly care for serrated knives.

Conclusion

A serrated knife can be helpful and convenient not just in the kitchen, but on camping, hunting, or even during emergency cases in its pocketable version.

Try to get one today and see how it will be a great addition to your knife set.

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My name is Andy Wang, and I'm a retired chef. I used to work at the City Vineyard restaurant in NYC. I also had a culinary degree from the Institute of Culinary Education in New York. And this blog is where I share my love for knives and cooking with people like you.