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Let's Get It Right

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I am a new participant and glad to be here.  I would welcome BDL and Chris Lehrer to add to this, but I've seen some misinformation here about knives.  One fellow, who seems to have worthy credentials, made a post here a couple months ago claiming  that a micro bevel on knives "makes them sharper".  Obviously this is untrue.  The micro bevel adds some measure of strength to the blade but actually  blunts the blade slightly.  Not enough to worry about, perhaps, but it definitely does not make it sharper.  I also note that a lot of people and publications get it wrong when they describe the type of edge on a knife.  Everyone seems to know what a granton edge is but many people get it wrong when they describe or illustrate a serrated edge.  Even CIA gets it wrong sometimes.  In their publication, In The Hands Of A Chef, they show a photo of a scalloped edge and called it serrated.  They do get it right in The Professional  Chef's Knife Kit, though.  Kind of hard to describe, but a serrated edge is a small saw-tooth pattern that is clearly visible from both sides of the knife, and it looks the same from either side.  A scalloped edge is smooth on one side of the knife, with  and irregular surface showing at the edge, and the other side features small scallops cut into the side of the blade.  The two sides do not look at all alike.  Personally, I do not own a serrated knife, but I very much like my scalloped blade knife for crusty bread or cakes.  IMHO, serrated knives are for people who don't want to take the time to sharpen a knife properly.  Sorry if that sounds arrogant, just meant to say it like it is.

post #2 of 7

Just out curiosity, MAC knives refer to their BS-90 - Chef Series 9" Bread/Roast Slicer as having 

revolutionary "scalloped" serrations

so when I use it, what kind of edge am i using?


Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
post #3 of 7

I might have posted that the micro bevel makes the knife sharper.  What it really does is clean up the edge by removing the burr and make the edge more durable.  There are other ways to remove the burr like a leather strop or a real fine stone.  I feel that for most cutting tasks, the only exceptions I can think of are surgery and shaving, a micro bevel makes the edge last longer with no loss of performance.  I use the term micro bevel because that is what people sharpening wood working tools call it, knife manufacturers call it a compound edge.

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 



Good question.  MAC tries to cover both bases, I guess.  They do indeed call it a scalloped serrated knife.  I have not seen it except for poor pictures, but it has the appearance of a scalloped knife.  More confusion, this time caused by an eminent producer.  In real terms, think of a steak knife in a restaurant.  What you usually get is a serrated knife, one with little teeth at the edge, but totally smooth sides.  That is serrated.  When you have scallops, divots, scoops, whatever, along the sides, it is a scalloped edge (unless it has the granton ovals).  Hope this helps,



post #5 of 7

Sal, I'm a little confused. What's the question? You want to debate what scalloped, serrated, and those terms mean, properly speaking? Or something else?


Sorry -- I may be exhausted (long, weird, ugly day at work!), but I'm a little uncertain.

post #6 of 7

Sal, good to hear that you're at least a self-aware arrogant.....IMHO - humble my ass.

Leave it to a home cook to have a higher-than-thou opinion on professional knives and the time it takes to keep them properly sharpened and honed.


I do love my knives.  I value my knives.  I have a carbon-steel handmade Sabatier 11" extra-wide chef knife that kicks ass!  Bought it at Bridge Kitchenware as a culinary school graduation present for myself many years ago.  I haven't used it for a thing in over 2 years.  But I love it and always will.

My knife of choice for most things we do at work is the Forschner 10" "bread" knife with the curved and serrated blade.  It's sharp and stays sharp - until it dies and then it gets replaced with a new one for about $25.  We always have 4 in rotation, and everyone who's had the "straight-edge chef knives are the only ones a chef should use" attitude who's come through and used this knife, has converted to loving this knife.  Know why?  Cuz it gets the job done easily and efficiently.  If you open your mind and try one, you'll know what I'm talking about.

I keep my chef knives sharp and use them for specific tasks, but that Forschner bread, it's a workhorse.


post #7 of 7 and


What's so difficult to understand, Sal?  Regular serrated knife = sharp teeth and tearing; MAC scalloped serrations = rounded teeth and smooth slicing.

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