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Should a Survival Knife Be Serrated?

Serrated survival knife

One of the best pieces of equipment that you can have with you for surviving in the wild is a survival knife. There are lots of situations where a knife can come in handy, and having one with you can be a lifesaver at times. There are lots of different types of serrated knives available on the market, which can make it difficult to choose which one would be the best one for you. 

This is why we are going to tell you everything that you need to know about survival knives and their uses. Many people wonder whether they should get a standard knife or one with a serrated edge, and we will tell you which one will be more beneficial for different scenarios below. To find out everything that you need to know about survival knives, just keep reading.

What is the Serrated Edge On a Survival Knife For?

The serrated edge on a survival knife can be used for a variety of different purposes, and they are helpful for different types of cuts. Typically, the way that we cut things can be split into two categories, which are the push cut and the slice cut.

The push cut is a method of cutting that involves pushing the edge of the knife through an object to cut it. Plain edged knives are typically those that are used for this purpose as they are able to give clean cuts with high levels of accuracy. They are also able to provide you with higher levels of control for this type of cutting. 

The slice cut is typically done by dragging the edge of the knife across an object in order to cut it. This sawing method of cutting is best done by using a serrated knife, as these are usually the best for cutting tough and hard surfaces. Additionally, serrated knives are also used to grip the surface of the object that you are cutting, and they provide rigidity and control as the serrated edge of the knife meets the object. These knives also increase the pressure per area through their different points, and they have better slicing abilities in these circumstances.

Should a Survival Knife Be Serrated?

Your survival knife should be serrated if you are using a sawing method for cutting as the edges of the knife are great for this purpose. A serrated knife will carve into the item that you are cutting with higher amounts of force, and they work better for cutting things that are more solid. 

If you are looking to cut through something in a shorter amount of time, the serrated knife can come in really handy. It provides you with a lot more strength in terms of cutting in a slicing motion, especially for those surfaces that are tougher and harder to work through. This is due to the fact that the serrations on the knife can grip onto the surface with ease, allowing the knife to cut through it more efficiently. There is a lot more power behind this knife that there would be for a standard flat-edge knife, which is why even a dull knife will still do its job.

Situations That May Require a Serrated Survival Knife

There are situations that can occur where the use of a serrated survival knife would be the most beneficial, including tasks like hunting, creating shelter, and fire building. We will explain some of the uses of a serrated knife below.

Hunting and Food

When it comes to surviving in the wild, you are going to need to find food at some point in time. A knife with a serrated edge can be really helpful for hunting purposes or even by helping to create hunting tools by cutting and sharpening through them.

Building Shelter

As you might already know, the average person can only survive for around 3 hours without shelter in harsh conditions. Building a shelter is going to be one of your top priorities in a survival situation, and a serrated knife can be used to cut the tougher and harder materials that you need to build your shelter.

Fire Building

The first thing that you could make using a serrated knife is tools that could be useful for building a fire. It will also help you to cut up any wood that you have collected to make your fire. 


A serrated knife is really handy for cutting through bandages and making things like slings, which you might need in a medical emergency.

The Benefits of Serrated Survival Knives

There are many benefits of serrated knives, and we will list some of them below for you to learn about:

  • Serrated knives do not require as much maintenance as other knives
  • Serrated edges can remain sharp for a really long time, which means that they do not need to be sharpened often
  • Serrated knives are the best to use for downward cuts
  • They are the best knives to use for cutting through tough and fibrous materials
  • These knives are recommended for self-defence
  • Cuts that are made by a serrated knife are often very precise
  • It features a smaller surface area than a flat knife

What to Look for in a Good Survival Knife?

If you are looking for a good survival knife, there are some things that you can look out for. Some of these features include:

  • Fixed blade
  • Full tang
  • Solid handle with hilt and flat pommel
  • Carbon steel or stainless steel metal materials
  • A straight edge, partially serrated, flat, or serrated spine
  • A blade length between 4 and 9 inches
  • Useful sheath
  • Survival not Tactical


Due to the fact that a serrated survival knife has so many useful features and benefits, we would recommend that you have one in your survival kit.  The standard survival knife with a flat edge is probably always going to be your main choice, but having a serrated knife for when you need one could help you to be more efficient in certain situations.