Add Serrations to a Pocket Knife





Introduction: Add Serrations to a Pocket Knife

About: Awesome Gear I've designed myself.

After buying this pocket knife I found out it's also sold serrated. Instead of returning it I added the serrations myself. For doing it by hand I think it turned out well. All you need is a dremel tool, or something similar, and some diamond bits. 

Step 1: Mark Out Your Pattern

Start out by marking where the center or each serration will be. Make sure to extend the mark just a little past the bevel of the blade. I did one mark every 1/8".

Step 2: Cut in Guides

These little grooves will serve as guides for the next step. Using a diamond blade I cut into the blade just up to the edge of the bevel. 

Step 3: Shape the Serrations

These diamond bits can be found through Harbor Freight for around $7 a set. Start with the smallest bit. Grind away while holding the knife at a steep angle. Move your way up to the largest bit. While you're doing this check often to make sure your grinding is centered with the guiding groove.

Each groove will eventually disappear. Once you can no longer see them, your guide changes to the shape of the serrations. Gently put pressure towards each tooth until you have a uniform pattern.  

Step 4: Clean Up the Backside

This side has less aggressive channels. During this process burs are forming on the backside. This step is for getting rid of them. Repeat the same process except with just enough grinding to remove them. I used the medium sized bit here.  



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    48 Discussions

    Great and simple. I make knives regularly but never have been able to perfect serrations, I think I'm making it too complicated on the 72 inch grinder. Serrations are good for cutting synthetic fibers in a pinch like seatbelts, webbing, and rope. I dislike the purests that think there's only one way to be and it's their way. Good job. I think my modified wharnclif belt buckle blade could benefit from half serrations


    I frequently work on small engines, and need a knife for cutting fuel line, stripping wire, etc.

    Having grown up in the 60s when serrated kitchen knives made their debut, and often finding them lacking, I thought the same things about serrations on a pocket knife.

    A few years ago, though, I got a Wenger Canyon as a gift for a friend, but ended up giving her something else. The Canyon has a half-serrated blade. I finally started using it because it's Phillips blade is at the end of the handle, making it easier to use in tight spots.

    I soon found when I'm trying to cut through fuel line, especially when it's got hard from age, that the serrated edge works MUCH better than a straight edge. It's also helpful when I need to strip a piece of wire and have my wire strippers with me...

    My two bits' worth.

    It makes it easier to cut through a large amount of rope or cloth. This is a highly debated topic though do some research, many buy one of each if you've got the funds for it and try them out. If your like me you will probly just end up liking them both

    If your serrated knife works better than your straight edge knife, you do not have the straight edged blade sharp. No serrated knife can cut a tomato as easily - and certainly not as cleanly - as a really sharp straight edged knife.

    If I need to cut a small branch I get the right tool for the job, which is certainly not a knife. Of course, a truly sharp knife will go through a small branch like butter.

    Serrations also give a knife for cutting surface area. Also give a ripping/sawing option on the same blade. eg small branches can be harvested quicker with a sawed edge than a straight, just one instance.

    Serrations give the false impression a dull blade is sharp. A properly sharpened blade cuts and leaves a smooth edge. With serrations the points each grab and since the cutting "edge" is so short it rips through. 15 years of making custom knives (hobby, maybe 3 a year) its only the armchair commandos that want saws.

    Serrations work better if they span the blade, because you need the 'sawing action' to cut something. Shorty portions of serrations like this are not as effective.

    How about putting the serations on the spine and not on the blade? You get more length plus the blade is intact. Great instructable.

    3 replies

    They don't because your thumb could slip onto them depending on the size of the knife, and if it is a folder it could cut you in the closed position witch is REALLY not good, and they would be awkward to use in my opinion. But if you've got a big fixed blade and you don't mind them being on top go at it !

    Yea, most blades don't use the spine and I still haven't figured out why. Only thing that comes to mind would be that it take away from the lateral integrity of the blade since the spine tends the thickest part of the blade and bares the most lateral force.

    They do well,they tend to wear out the sheath though, I made a survival knife (straight blade) out of an unwanted saw ,and left the saw teeth on the spine.Being the blade is 8" long,its not as flimsy as I thought it would be,It worked out well.

    Cool instructables! I imagine this is also a good way to sharpen serration that are already there…I was wondering how to do it myself.

    2 replies

    Ya this is How you would sharpen them, I did it on my leatherman skeletool ( great EDC utility knife btw ) and it turned out great. One thing to note though, make sure you don't heat up the blade to much or through sparks with the Dremel because you will mess up the heat treating. Also it's worth polishing them afterward if you've got polish and a polishing wheel lying around, just to make it look nice ;)

    You're right, these guys are definitely comparing serrations to saws. I have a kabar that has razor sharp serrations. I repeat, the serrations came RAZOR sharp. I shaved with serrations. Can't do that with a saw.

    Funny enough I have the exact same knife as the on in the very first picture or the same knife you were using but already with serrations. Good job

    Which model is it?