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How to pick between a serrated knife and a plain-edged blade

There are advantages and disadvantages between serrated knife blades and plain blades. The most sensible answer is to carry a folding knife that has both types of blades, or to get one with an integrated blade that has serrations for a portion of the blade’s length. There are situations (when you can’t afford to have multiple knives laying around, for instance), when you’re going to wind up having to pick one or the other.