What Is a Serrated Knife?

what is a serrated knife

You will have often seen this kind of knife used in ​bakeries to cut a loaf of crusty bread, which is why people often tend to call it a bread knife. ​

So, what is a serrated knife? Why do they look so different from regular knives? Do they actually have any use other than cutting through bread?

We understand that ​quite a few people don't really understand the benefits and various uses of ​ serrated knives due to its unique blade. ​However, serrated knives do much more than just cutting through bread. In fact, we would go as far as saying that this is a brilliant knife with many varied uses and every kitchen ​should have at least one.

What Is a Serrated Knife?

A serrated knife is known for its unique tooth-like edges. This blade ​has teeth that are quite similar to the ones ​used on saws. This kind of blade ​can also be referred to as a toothed blade and you​ can even find serrated scissors on the market.

A serrated blade comes with a cutting edge. Due to its tooth-like design, it has a ​smaller contact area ​compared to a smooth blade, ​the teeth mean that the applied pressure at every single point of contact with the food is much greater.

​The points of contact are at a much sharper angle to the material that is being cut than that of a normal kitchen knife. This results in a cutting action that involves several small splits in the surface of the food, ​and serves to cut the food along the line of the knife.

​A serrated knife is great for cutting or slicing food like melons, tomatoes and bread as these tend to have a tough exterior and a soft interior. ​A serrated knife cuts the exterior skin or crust efficiently without harming the delicate interior.

You'll also often find that the best steak knives used as cutlery also have a serrated edge to tear through tougher cuts of steaks with ease.

​A different technique is required for sharpening serrated knives vs straight edge knives. You can find out all about how to sharpen a serrated knife here.

what is a serrated knife

What Is A Serrated Knife Used For?

​These are not the usual everyday knives, so​ often ​people tend to ask what ​a serrated knife is used for. ​Other than just bread, there are quite a few uses of a serrated knife that will make having this knife in your kitchen worthwhile. Let's delve in.

Chocolate

The tooth-like edged blade on serrated knives makes cutting through a hard block of chocolate a much easier task. With this knife, you will easily be able to break down a block of chocolate into smaller pieces.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are, without a doubt, one of our most favorite alternative use for a serrated knife. This type of knife works fantastically and ​usually ​much better than a regular knife. With it, cutting tomatoes, especially those tender ones, into thin pieces is easy.

Since it works ​so well on tomatoes, it goes without saying that it also works well on other tender-flesh and thick-skinned foods such as nectarines and peaches.

Cake

​I bet you are surprised ​we have included cake on this list, but take a minute to think about it. Whenever you have cut into a cake with a regular knife, it is highly likely that the knife will rip the tender cake to shreds and then spreads its crumbs all around it. Thankfully, with a serrated knife, you are assured of having a clean slice.

Melon

​A serrated knife works great on melons as well. ​Next time you ​cut ​a melon, start by slicing off the top and bottom with a regular knife and then use a serrated knife ​to shave away the outer rind before you cut it into pieces. This works well every single time.

Slashing the Tops of Loaves

If you ​love to bake your own bread, you will know ​that you'll need to make a shallow cut in the top so that it can expand evenly in the oven. Serrated knives ensure that this process can be done easily and also offer the cleanest cut compared to other knives.

Sharpening Serrated Knives

Serrated vs. Non-Serrated Steak Knives

Meat lovers waste absolutely no time when it comes to tearing into their mouthwatering piece of steak, which is why it is essential to know the differences between serrated vs. non-serrated steak knives.

​To be honest, there isn't one steak knife that is better than the other. ​Both serrated and non serrated  come with their own set of advantages. ​When it comes to selecting one or the other, it is basically personal preference.

Below, are some top points to consider between the two.

Serrated Steak Knives

  • Serrated knives need almost no maintenance in comparison to a straight-edged steak knife. This means that they are great when you do not want to put too much effort into cutting.
  • The blade of a serrated knife tends to stay sharper much longer, which means that you will not need to sharpen it constantly.
  • Serrated steak knives work with all types of meat of any texture and can also work well with foods such as fruits and bread, thus making it quite versatile compared to a straight-edge knife.

Non-Serrated Steak Knives

  • While a serrated knife can cut through any piece of meat of any texture, it will not be able to do so neatly. Only a straight-edge knife will offer a clean-cut, thus making it ideal for cutting steaks and other meats without the fear of losing the meat juices or the flavor.
  • It goes without saying that the motion of cutting with a straight edge knife requires far less effort on the part of the user in comparison to a serrated steak knife. With a straight-edged knife, you will not have to saw back and forth to cut the steak.

Conclusion

​Hopefully, you now know what a serrated knife is. Serrated knives come with ​their own set of advantages. Whether you are using it to just cut a steak or to cut through various other foods, we highly recommend having at least one serrated knife in your kitchen knives set.