It’s important to understand serrated utility knife uses when you’re searching for a cutting tool, because this will help you determine whether or not you need this kind of blade edge. The other blade-edge option, which is more common, is a straight or smooth blade. These blades cut most materials, which is why they’re the standard go-to style. But they can’t cut everything.

If you’re wondering, “What is a serrated utility knife used for?” read on and see if your materials will require this kind of tough cutting tool.

Serrated Blade Versus Straight Blade

Before diving into specific uses of a serrated blade, let’s be clear on what it is and how it differs from a straight blade. From a design standpoint, a straight blade is just what it sounds like: a blade with a straight or smooth edge, like a razor blade.

Serrated blades feature a notched or toothed blade edge. They’re similar to a saw blade, but with slightly less aggressive teeth. Common kitchen knives that feature a serrated edge include bread knives and tomato-cutting knives.

What Do You Use a Serrated Utility Knife For?

Serrated knives work well for tough and fibrous materials—any material that you need to saw through. Common items that serrated blades are good for include:

  • Twine
  • Netting
  • Rope
  • Burlap
  • Drywall
  • Thin wood
  • Thick straps and harnesses

The cuts of these toothy blades leave a rough edge and are less precise than a straight blade. You can use them for softer, easier-to-cut materials—like cardboard—but you won’t get a clean cut.

So, in many cases, you can use a serrated edge to cut the same sorts of materials a smooth blade will cut—if you don’t care about making that ragged edge. However, it doesn’t work the other way around—for instance, you can’t cut through drywall or twine with a smooth blade. When you need a serrated blade, there is no substitute (albeit, you can “cut” thick string without a knife if you’re really in a bind, but having the right tool is always preferable).

What If You Need a Utility Knife That Does It All?

Utility knives are meant to be the workhorse cutters, to cut whatever needs cutting. They’re sturdy, tough tools. However, you can only use one blade at a time, so what if you need both a serrated blade and a smooth blade for your utility knife?

You have some choices, other than the obvious choice of simply buying two knives.

There are knives that feature an edge that’s partly smooth and partly serrated. Some people prefer these blades for their dual purpose abilities, but others complain that it’s two half-measures that don’t do either option well.

Slice® offers some handy options that provide the best of both worlds: tools that accommodate both smooth and serrated replaceable blades.

Slice Utility Knives: Serrated or Smooth, Always Safe

Slice makes serrated and smooth replaceable blades for its long-lasting metal-handle utility knives. Choose from two models: the 10490 Manual Metal-Handle Utility Knife and the 10491 Auto-Retractable Metal Handle Utility Knife. The handle type you choose depends on the level of safety you require.

The blade garage™ in the handle stores extra blades. Blade changes require no extra tools, so switching between serrated and smooth blades is convenient and easy.

If you’re looking for a longer blade, Slice also makes two styles of industrial knives: the 10559 Manual Industrial Knife and the 10560 Auto-Retractable Industrial Knife. The blades—whether smooth or serrated—extend up to a generous 7.6 centimeters (3 inches) long.

The manual cutter offers five different blade stops—6, 28, 53, and 76 millimeters—so you can lock in the cutting depth that’s appropriate for the job. The handle for our industrial knives is made of glass-infused nylon, a lightweight and highly durable material.

Among many other uses, these long-blade tools are excellent for thick, soft materials like foam and insulation, as shown here:

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As with all Slice tools, these four cutters offer our pioneering safety design, beginning with the blade. Our proprietary blade edge design is safe enough to touch: it’s finger friendly®.

Slice blades are made from super-hard 100 percent zirconium oxide, an advanced ceramic. Because of the hardness of this material, and our unique design, they last up to 11 times longer than conventional metal blades.

This is value-added, as well as safer: changing the blade puts you at greater risk for lacerations. The less often you do it, the safer you’ll be.

All Slice tools can be used by lefties and righties. Here, with the metal-handle tools, simply switch hands. With the long-blade tools, you only need to flip the blade orientation.

The goal of a utility knife is to be the go-to tool for cutting a wide range of materials: it’s the generalist in the tool box. Serrated utility knife uses are many, so having the ability to swap in this blade allows you the ultimate in versatility.