Add Serrations to a Pocket Knife

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Introduction: Add Serrations to a Pocket Knife

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 Comments

    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

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    I have always gone for straight edged pocket knives. What is the advantage to having a serrated edge?

    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

    Cut a tomato with both sorts and see what works best *for-you*

    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.

    If you have to cut something tough like plastic.

    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.