VG10 is one of the most popular steels used for kitchen knives, though you can also find it in folding knives. If you’re reading this article right now, you’re probably looking at a vg10 steel knife. But you want more info on its sharpenability, how it stays sharp, toughness, and resistance to corrosion. We’ve researched a lot about this steel and found very important details that we have shared below so that you can quickly decide whether a vg10 steel knife is good for you.
What is VG10 steel?
VG10 is high-end stainless steel produced by the Japanese Takefu Special Steel in Fukui brand. Its name comes from its Gold-standard quality, V-Gold-10. It’s sometimes referred to as V-Kin-10 (where Kin means Gold in Japanese). The material contains high carbon content (up to 1%).
VG10 is one of the oldest steels in the Japanese and one of the most popular materials used in their cutlery market. Today, vg10 steel enjoys international popularity. It’s used to manufacture premium-grade kitchen knives as well as high-end tactical, hunting, and pocket knives.
VG10 Steel Chemical composition
Vg10 chemical composition is characterized by high amounts of carbon, chromium, molybdenum, and Cobalt. Chromium makes the steel stainless and gives it excellent corrosion resistance, while high carbon content means high hardness. And the presence of Cobalt in this composition helps amplify the effect of each element in this steel.
1% carbon increases the material hardness and resistance to wear.
15.5% chromium enhances the strength and sharpness of this steel. But most importantly, it makes the steel stainless—giving it excellent corrosion resistance.
1% Molybdenum enhances the material strength and makes it much easier to work with (i.e., increases its machinability).
1.2% Vanadium boosts its hardness and abrasion resistance.
0.03% Phosphorous increases the steel strength.
0.5% Manganese increase VG10 hardness but too much of it could increase its brittleness.
1.5% Cobalt enhances the individual effects of all the other elements that make up VG10 steel.
VG 10 Stainless steel properties
The number 1 property of VG10 that gives it unmatched popularity is its great edge retention. It also delivers good rust resistance and is pretty easy to sharpen. These properties are exactly what you expect from a high-end steel blade.
Let’s get a closer look at the key properties of VG10:
How hard is VG 10 steel?
The hardness of the blade material is crucial as it helps determine the blade’s ability to resist wear and abrasion. Plus, it affects how the steel holds an edge during use.
VG10 steel hardness lies between 56 and 60 HRC. This high hardness is attributed to its high carbon content. The hardness can vary from 56 to 60 depending on the heat treatment process a given manufacturer uses.
One of the most adorable traits of any knife blade is its ability to keep a good cutting edge with long periods of use. This is exactly what you get with a VG10 steel knife. The carbon, molybdenum, chromium, and cobalt elements join forces to give your VG10 knife impressive edge retention. No more sharpening your knife after every few hours or days of using it!
Don’t confuse a knife’s hardness with its toughness. The latter refers to the steel’s ability to withstand impact and lateral forces that might end up breaking or chipping your blade. The higher the steel hardness, the lower its toughness. This is the rule of steel...but you will be surprised this rule doesn’t quite hold up when it comes to VG10 steel. Despite its high hardness, the material can still put up good toughness and trust it to withstand tough conditions.
Does VG 10 steel rust? Not, it doesn’t. VG10 has excellent anti-corrosion performance. This is because of its high chromium content (up to 15.5%)—making it a high carbon stainless steel that fights corrosion when used in wet, humid, or marine environments.
However, keep in mind that the steel might not be fully corrosion-resistant. And you might need to take regular care of your blade to ensure it doesn’t get rusted.
One of the most asked questions about this steel is…” Is VG 10 steel easy to sharpen?” Well, this material is easy to sharpen. Although hard steel, its chemical composition balances so well it doesn’t compromise its sharpenability. This makes the steel easier to sharpen than most of the hard steels out there. And, once sharpened, this steel can hold its edge fairly well.
VG10 vs other steels
VG10 steel vs S30V
These two steels offer the same level of edge retention, corrosion resistance, and ease of sharpness. However, S30V has higher toughness than VG10.
VG10 vs S35V
VG10 takes the crown for high toughness. Other than that, these two steels lie in close range in terms of edge retention, easy sharpening, and corrosion resistance.
VG10 steel vs D2
VG10 offers better edge retention, corrosion resistance, and sharpness than D2. But D2, being high carbon steel, outshines VG10 with high toughness.
VG10 vs SG2
Both steels are from the same manufacturer and SG2. SG2, referred to as super gold 2, boasts higher chromium and Vanadium amounts, giving it better corrosion and wear resistance than VG10.
Is VG10 a good knife steel?
VG10 is good knife steel with a handful of good qualities you’re looking for in a knife. It has high levels of chromium, which gives it excellent corrosion and rust resistance. It also holds a sharp edge quite well and is relatively easy to sharpen when the need be. High Vanadium content in its composition gives it good wear resistance.
The price for the vg10 steel knives is also reasonable for the blade steel quality.
If you’re looking for a high-quality knife for use in your kitchen, you can’t go wrong with anything made of VG10. Professional chefs have been using vg10 steel knives for years. Manufacturers are now using this steel to make outdoor knives, and it’s holding up pretty well.
Best VG-10 knives:
We also researched some of the most popular VG10 knives on the market today. We found the following top models, which are a favorite for professional chefs and outdoor enthusiasts.
1. Spyderco Dragonfly Signature Folding Knife
This is an incredibly compact, lightweight, and superb quality knife that will take up very little space in your pocket. But the small size doesn’t make it incapable in any way. It’s armed with some of the coolest features you could ever wish for in a locking folding knife.
One of these features revolves around a grippy G10 handle that feels quite secure in your hands. The handle material is also durable and will hold up to shock, extreme temperatures.
The blade is made with VG10 stainless steel, which comes sharp out of the box and holds an edge quite well. It also has great rust and corrosion resistance, making it ideal for use in humid and wet conditions. Its full-flat grind shape helps reduce cutting friction while decreasing the overall knife weight.
The included wire pocket clip makes the knife easy to carry in your pocket without drawing attention. Remember, you can easily take off this clip if you want to.
The beautiful knife is 100% safe and isn’t threatening to the eye. Its small and compact design makes it comfortable for you to carry. It’s easy to open and close with just one hand and comes in just the right size—not too big to intimidate and not too small to limit its functionality.
2. FANTECK Damascus Professional Chef Knife
If you’re looking for a classy and stylish professional chef knife, you’ll love this Fanteck Damascus knife. The blade is engineered with a V-sharp edge and accurately hand-sharpened at 10-15% on every side to offer you an effortless slicing experience. It’s the perfect knife for mincing, chopping, slicing, or dicing meat, fruits, fish, veggies, or sushi.
The blade is made from the Japanese 67-layer VG10 Damascus high carbon steel material to ensure exceptional strength, durability, and stain resistance. It comes razor-sharp out of the box and holds its edge well, so you don’t have to sharpen it often.
It also comes optimized with a comfortable ergonomic pakkawood handle, which gives you excellent grip, perfect balance, and comfort. This ensures you enjoy total control over your kitchen knife. You’ll be able to use this knife in your hand for long sessions without experiencing any wrist fatigue or developing hotspots.
When you purchase this knife, it will come with a mini sharpener plus an elegant looking knife sheath for your own convenience. On top of all this, it comes with a premium gift box, which is great if you’re planning to give out this knife as a gift to a chef or someone who loves cooking.
3. YAIBA Kiritsuke Professional Chef Knife
This meat cleaver will make a perfect gift for that cook or professional chef in your life. It’s nicely designed optimized for smoothly cutting through meat in your kitchen. It has eye-pleasing looks and comes in a nice sheath and premium gift box ready to gift
The gorgeous knife has an 8.3-inch long forged out of VG10 Damascus steel for exceptional strength and corrosion resistance. It comes super-sharp out of the box. And with a convex-shaped grind, this blade will let you cut into veggies, meat, fruits, and fish smoothly and effortlessly.
As it’s expected of VG10 steel knives, this blade holds its sharpness for a long time, setting it apart from those low-quality kitchen knives that require you to sharpen them more often.
It also feels quite comfortable to hold during cutting, thanks to its non-slip, ergonomic shaped G10 handle. This handle material is military-grade—highly waterproof, extreme temperature, and shock-resistant—and will stay in top condition with continued use in your kitchen.
Overall, this is a great knife for gifting your mom, wife, or anyone in your life who loves spending time in the kitchen. The knife is good quality and looks really nice. It’s made with a super-strong steel blade designed to deliver clean and consistent cuts.
For the price, this knife will give you value for money.
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That’s it about VG10 steel. Key reasons to choose this steel for your next knife include great edge retention, corrosion resistance, and a good balance between high hardness and decent toughness. VG10 stainless steel will make high-performance knives for kitchen, everyday carry, and hunting knives. Although these knives might come at a bit higher cost than what you get in other steels, their quality and performance are well worth it.