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VG10 Steel, Opinions
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Thread: VG10 Steel, Opinions

  1. #1

    VG10 Steel, Opinions

    As I approach my first year of membership here, mostly lurking rather than posting (depending on my work schedule), I've gravitated much more to the carbon knife as many would expect. Before joining, I had (and still do I guess), a Shun 3.5 inch pairing knife, 7-inch Asain cooks knife, and 9.5-inch slicer.

    There are a number of reasons I'm looking to ditch these knives at this point, and I'll probablty have my best luck at school. I'm the only owner of a carbon blade, or stainless-clad carbon blade (I have a Carter) that I've seen. The students see the Shun or Miyabi line as gospel. Sure, theyre sharp and prettty OOTB, but get a few scratches on that fake damascus and dull up the edge and you stuck with what they still consider a good knife, in spite of performance and accredited to the name.

    So what is the deal with VG10? I think I've seen it alluded to on here and have my own experience. Does it come sharp OOTB, but is rediculously hard to sharpen, especially given a total amateur's expereince on a school's tri-stone? I know i have my own problems with Dave's core kit. Thoughts on VG10 or the knives that use them in general? Also, if anyone wants to buy some used Shuns I have some for sale, though I doubt this is the place to pawn them.

  2. #2
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    I have a hattori hd and the stuff is pretty decent. Sharpens up pretty darn easily and edge keenness and retention are much better than expected given reviews of other vg10 knives. I think it's on par with my TKC wrt edge retention. Hattori/ryusen must do a good job HTing the stuff.

  3. #3
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    depends on the maker and how they heat treat.

    only vg10 knives that i think that are good with vg10 is tojiro (only vg10 i've experienced that does okay with me), my mother has a shun santoku i gifted her, but she doesn't use it a lot coz she doesn't wanna "waste" the knife. but i've played around with it and shun does an okay job with them if you know how to use thinner knives in general. i also have a yoshihiro petty 135mm that's vg10 core that has gets plenty sharp but loses it quite quickly and retains a "blah" type sharpness for a long time. most japanese knives aren't designed for whacking away at ingredients as opposed to softer steel knives that are tougher and less sharp.

    from what i've read, hattori does a great job with their vg10 lines and so does another company that i forgot who that heat treats hattori's FH line for them.

    in my experience, it really isn't much the knife's fault as to more like the fault of the user not knowing how to use it properly. vg10 from what i've seen is a finicky knife steel if not done right.

    =D

    i'll let everyone else say what they think of vg10.

  4. #4
    Senior Member labor of love's Avatar
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    vg10 might get a bad wrap sometimes because companies like shun and myabi among others dont always have real good geometry OOTB. any knife thats thick behind the edge at first is going to take a little extra time to perform better and sharpen easier. i have many many friends that cook professionally that still love their shuns, and having sharpened them many times i would say vg10 isnt nearly as bad as people make it out to be. at worst, vg10 seems to take longer to develop a burr than most other steels ive used. i spend more time on my bester 500 with vg10 than i do other knives. i really like tojiros dp line with vg10 alot more than shuns or myabi. that being said, theres more than a few stainless knives out there that i think are much superior to vg10 in edge taking and edge holding, but for a $100 budget i think i think vg10 is okay. i never understood some of the fancier vg10 knives that are priced close to swedish steel or ginsanko.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Benuser's Avatar
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    I would note the unusual dulling curve with VG-10. It looses its crazy fresh from the stones sharpness very quickly, but will stay almost forever at some 80% level, which normal people will still call very sharp.

    Sharpening VG-10 is an art in itself. Don't expect any burr to disappear with chasing only, it really has to get abraded, and the last little bit won't give up before the finest stone or strop.

  6. #6
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    The other night I sharpened a Tojiro DP, finishing on a naniwa ss 10k, and a lot of stropping on 0.75CBN on leather. But the knife still retained a micro-burr, which I would estimate to be in the region of 0.5-2 microns long. This burr extended along the entire edge. After an hour or so of flip-flopping it on the strop, trying to pull it off on various materials and cutting it off on the stones (even one pass would remove it, and create a new one at the same time), I gave up, and left it there. The result is a near instant loss of a perfect feeling edge. A larger burr would exacerbate this and make the loss of sharpness higher.

    Even with these problems it is streets ahead of standard soft stainless at angles of 20 degrees per side (even just microbevels at this angle). Unfortunately the true nature of vg-10 is revealed at lower angles where the edge will just fall to pieces and become full of chips (and carbide pull-out?).

  7. #7
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    I sharpen alot of abused Shuns,they are popular knives in the stores here,agree wt. Franz much of it is people get a little harder Japan gyuto & treat it badly because they do not know better.Usually when repair & sharpen teach a little knife care when return them.

    I find the VG-10 sharpens up easy,use a strop to finish give the edge some polish.Not so much the chef knife,but some of the Shuns have not so good profiles & geometry + you pay for the bling,while you can get good Japan Gyuto's for less without the surface decoration that are much better blades.

  8. #8
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    if you want an easy to sharpen knife that's stainless, choose another kind of knife steel. maybe 19c27 or aeb-l......

  9. #9
    Senior Member Chefdog's Avatar
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    I think it's VERY dependant on the particular knife. My experience with my Hattori FH is that the VG-10 performs like any other high quality stainless. Easy to grind, takes a fairly keen edge, feels very clean on the stones, and takes a little extra effort to deburr compared to carbon steels. This version of VG-10 is very different than the few Shun knives I've sharpened.

  10. #10
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    I think it's VERY dependant on the particular knife. My experience with my Hattori FH is that the VG-10 performs like any other high quality stainless. Easy to grind, takes a fairly keen edge, feels very clean on the stones, and takes a little extra effort to deburr compared to carbon steels. This version of VG-10 is very different than the few Shun knives I've sharpened.
    i agree but i was talking about vg-10 knives in general, they aren't as good as the FH line. =D

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