Today we're taking a quick look at a crowd favourite, VG10.
Made by the Takefu Steel Company, VG10 is a great steel for many applications.
Why cooks love it so much:
VG10 is a very approachable steel for someone just getting into buying Japanese knives. It's typically hardened to around 60-62 HRC, meaning it retains a nice sharp edge and is a pleasure to sharpen. Knives made with VG10 come in a wide price range depending on the maker and the finish of the knife.
Here's some pros and cons of VG10
First the Pros:
- VG10 is considered a high carbon stainless steel, meaning it takes a very good edge and holds it well.
- Works well with It works polished, acute edge but also cuts well with a stronger, thicker edge.
- It's generally a more affordable steel, so easier on the bank account.
- It is a bit softer than the higher carbon steels, so it's a bit more forgiving in terms of wear and tear.
- Stainless construction means very low maintenance as far as upkeep goes. No fear of patina or tarnish should it be left unattended while in use.
- Its versatility/ductility also makes it great for outdoor knives and pocket knives.
The very few cons:
- Having a higher carbon content means it can be more brittle than common western steel. No frozen foods or cutting through bones.
- Not dishwasher safe.
- Being on the slightly softer side compared to high-speed tool steels, VG10 will need to be sharpened a little more often.
Some Fun Science info on this wonder metal:
0.95 - 1.05% Carbon (C) is present in all knife steels, increases tensile strength and edge retention and improves resistance to wear and abrasion.
0.10 - 0.30% Vanadium (V) Contributes to wear resistance and hardening-ability and, as a, carbide former, it contributes to wear resistance.
14.50 - 15.50% Chromium (Cr) Added for increased wear resistance, hardness, tensile strength and for corrosion resistance.
0.90 - 1.20% Molybdenum (Mo) A carbide former, prevents brittleness, and maintains the steel's strength at high temperatures. It also improves resistance to corrosion.
0.50% Manganese (Mn) Manganese improves grain structure and contributes to hardening-ability, strength and wear resistance.
1.30 - 1.50% Cobalt (Co)- Increases hardness, also allows for higher quenching temperatures (during the heat treatment procedure). Intensifies the individual effects of other elements in more complex steels. Co is not a carbide former, however adding Cobalt allows for higher attainable hardness.
0.03% Phosphorus (P) Present in small amounts in most steels, phosphorus is essentially a contaminant, which reduces toughness. In very small amounts, it improves strength, machinability and hardness.
In conclusion, VG10 is an amazing go-to-knife steel for kitchen knives and serves as a great intro steel for those curious about taking the plunge into Japanese knives. Low upkeep but with all the good edge sharpness of its high carbon counterparts. It serves as a great steel for beginner sharpers as well.The steel isn't super hard, so it makes for ease of use when grinding in a new bevel or maintaining a decent established edge.
Here is a showcase of some of our VG10 offerings here at the shop: