Plain Edge vs. Combo Edge Knives
Contributed by Laura Cromwell, Cabela’s


This hotly-debated topic boils down to a matter of personal preference, whether it’s for on-the-job needs, tactical situations or just your go-to EDC. Choosing a blade edge comes with different benefits and degrees of maintenance that need to be taken into consideration. Usefulness, ease of care and even the aesthetics of the blade all come into play when selecting a knife. So how do you choose?

A good old-fashioned showdown, that’s how.

Round 1: Usefulness

Clean-cutting plain-edge blades excel in slicing, ease of use and accuracy.

The more aggressive combo edge-blade gnaws through difficult materials and retains the ability to cut long after plain-edge blades lose their sharpness.

Winner: Combo Edge

Round 2: Ease of Care

Caring for a plain-edge blade is relatively simple—knife stones or electric sharpeners revive your knife’s edge easily and in a timely manner.

With the combo edge, you get two functions on one blade, but requires a more thorough sharpening process. Sharpening the different serrations of a combo edge can be a chore, but with dedicated sharpening rods, those serrations can be put back in razor-sharp condition.

Winner: Plain Edge

Round 3: Looks

Plain edges rely on handles and blade coatings for aesthetic appeal.

As for combo edges, they’re more attractive to tactical enthusiast with the intimidating serrations and militaristic appearance.

Winner: Combo Edge

Round 4: Survival

When it’s just you and the wild outdoors, your survival can hinge on a knife’s performance. Knives can be attached to branches for as a makeshift spear, making snares, feather sticks and more.

Plain-edged blades offer the full length of the blade and are easily sharpened using smooth-faced stones.

The serrations of the combo-edge knives saw through brush and other debris but can snag connective tissue when field dressing an animal.

Winner: Plain Edge


And the overall winner is….

Plain edge.

When it comes to style vs. substance, it all boils down to being useful. Substance will always trump style, especially in terms of performance and care.

Stay sharp in 2015 and consider asking for a brand new EDC for Christmas


Steel Sahlute to Laura!