tough time with VG10

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zeaderan

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Does anyone else have trouble getting VG10 sharp? I've got a 150 Tanaka petty that i have never really been able to get nearly as sharp as my other knives by a long margin. My sharpening skills are still at a learning beginner stage after all this time but i feel a bit frustrated and now wondering if there is something about this steel that makes it tougher than b1/2 or wh1/2 which most of my other knives are.
 

sidey

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Vg10 is regarded by most as a little trickier/ less enjoyable to sharpen than blue or white.
I have acheap vg10 petty that takes a very keen edge, easily getting shaving sharp. Edge leading debuting strokes really help.
 

M1k3

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dafox

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Do you have another petty in another steel to compare the Tanaka to? The reason I ask is I find pettys more difficult to sharpen than gyutos.
 

madmotts

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I had that experience with my only VG10 (Kurosaki) and was a little frustrated with it. I'm a pretty "new" sharpener, but I came back to it a few days after reading posts about focusing on getting a good edge at 1k. I redid my progressions with a good amount of time on the 1k Chosera. I also did the light pressure strokes which really helped with the debur. After doing 2k, 5k and stropped and it became surprisingly sharp. I was thinking of getting rid of it, but it was really user-error. Good luck!
 

applepieforbreakfast

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I don't know. I sharpened my Tojiro DP's on Shapton Pro 1k followed by 5k last year, and it was the first edge on them that I was satisfied with in 6 years of owning them.

Maybe my technique has changed, maybe I'm better at holding a consistent angle, maybe it's the stones, maybe the stars aligned.


Do you have another petty in another steel to compare the Tanaka to? The reason I ask is I find pettys more difficult to sharpen than gyutos.
This is something that's worth looking into. Maybe your motion doesn't really jive with pettys?
 

zeaderan

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what kind of issues are you seeing?
Oddly enough the left side of the blade feels gummy on the stones. Right side seems to sharpen well but I can't seem to get anywhere on the left side, esp with a grit higher than 1k. It feels like it just rubs more thean grind/scratch.

I had that experience with my only VG10 (Kurosaki) and was a little frustrated with it. I'm a pretty "new" sharpener, but I came back to it a few days after reading posts about focusing on getting a good edge at 1k. I redid my progressions with a good amount of time on the 1k Chosera. I also did the light pressure strokes which really helped with the debur. After doing 2k, 5k and stropped and it became surprisingly sharp. I was thinking of getting rid of it, but it was really user-error. Good luck!
For sure, definitely a sizable amount of user error for me but it's tough to see I'm not getting any better. I'm used to having the edge dull a bit while I go up in grit cause I'm not super steady with my angles but it just won't get very sharp at any grit... I seem to deburr just fine on my b2 and wh2 gyuto so that don't seem to be it.

Do you have another petty in another steel to compare the Tanaka to? The reason I ask is I find pettys more difficult to sharpen than gyutos.
I have a yoshi sld hammered petty but I don't use it a lot cause I'm not fond of the profile. It sharpens to what I expect my skill level is based on how I get my gyutos. Also sharpens rather quicker which really helps since a lot of my troubles are stable angles at my point of the journey
 

Unstoppabo

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VG-10 is notorious for hanging on to a wire edge and being a pain in the @xx to sharpen. You really need to cut off the burr because more gentle techniques don't work. Maybe try Kippington's technique for cutting off the burr.

If it feels like the left side isn't getting cut like the right side on higher grits, it might be because the bevel angle is slightly higher on the left side and you're hitting the shoulder instead of the face of the bevel. Most Japanese knives are asymmetric to a certain extent with the left edge ~3 degrees higher so you either have to adjust your angle or thin that shoulder enough to reset the bevel. If your sharpening motion on the left side is a bit more parallel with the edge instead of perpendicular to it, that could be causing the gummy feeling too. I have the same problem with my backhand strokes and still trying to figure out how to hit that side more like my forehand.
 

zeaderan

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Wow lots of info in such a short time. Guess it's time to pull out the stones and reevaluate what I'm doing.

From reading a bit in the edge leading thread link I wonder if I'm applying a much greater pressure when I flip sides so I'm pressing too hard on the lead when scrubbing on the left side and possibly undermining my efforts from the former.

As for the asymmetric sides, after looking at the blade I prob did dip the angle of the left side too parallel as mentioned. I guess I'll have to try keeping closer attention next time I get a chance to work on this and reapply the sharpie more often to check progress in shorter intervals

Maybe your motion doesn't really jive with pettys?
Hahaha... If you can see me sharpen, it could be argued that my motion doesnt jive with any knives... 😅
 

Matt Jacobs

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I agreed with you when I first started sharpening. Infact I sold 3 VG10 knives just because I hated to sharpen them. Now I have a VG10 paring knife I really like and a Yaxell Nakiri that is not bad. The trick for me was that sharpening VG10 just takes longer and more effort. On White or Blue steel not only do I need much less pressure but they sharpen much faster. Now I set my own bevels and understand that I really have to work on the low grit stones to both produce and remove the burr. My VG10 knives get very sharp now. It just takes more effort and I dont like it as much as the carbons.
 

DHunter86

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When I started sharpening, I had some issues with my VG10 blades as well. While technique definitely plays a huge part, and I am now able to get my VG10 blades very sharp on any stone, I find that using the "right" stone works best for VG10. In particular, I prefer to use my Choseras for VG10, burr removal is really easy on the Chosera 3000 after setting the bevel on the Chosera 800. My Naniwa Lobster and Shun sharpening stones (which don't get much attention these days) just doesn't seem to cut it for VG10, hard to deburr on these stones.

The HT on the VG10 definitely affects the burr formation and removal - had different experiences when sharpening VG10 from Scanpan, Miyabi, and Hattori, especially on my Naniwa Lobster.
 

demirtasem

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Same here. I don't know if I'm impatient or have a delusion but I don't think I reach the same performance comparing with OOB. I have absolutely better results with 52100, W#2(I know I can't compare with carbon) but I spend more time on that to get rid of the wire edge with Jon's way. I don't know man, before I come to KKF I was thinking VG10 is one of the better steals after R2 (at least vendors communicating that way) but I don't know is it a perfect steel newbies like me.
 

dafox

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When I started sharpening, I had some issues with my VG10 blades as well. While technique definitely plays a huge part, and I am now able to get my VG10 blades very sharp on any stone, I find that using the "right" stone works best for VG10. In particular, I prefer to use my Choseras for VG10, burr removal is really easy on the Chosera 3000 after setting the bevel on the Chosera 800. My Naniwa Lobster and Shun sharpening stones (which don't get much attention these days) just doesn't seem to cut it for VG10, hard to deburr on these stones.

The HT on the VG10 definitely affects the burr formation and removal - had different experiences when sharpening VG10 from Scanpan, Miyabi, and Hattori, especially on my Naniwa Lobster.
What did you think of the Hattori vg10?
 

DHunter86

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To be honest, that knife hasn't seen much use as I got the 270mm version of the gyuto. My kitchen is not big enough for such a long knife. On the few chances I've had to use the knife and also to sharpen it, I find that it take on quite a sharp edge, and retains it longer than both my Scanpan and Miyabi. If I had to guess Hattori takes the VG10 to higher HRC values. For HRC, I'd reckon the following Hattori > Miyabi > Scanpan. None of my VG10 blades has had chipping issues thus far; granted only my Miyabi VG10 is used for pushing cutting produce, the other two are mainly used for slicing.

However, I'm not sure whether it's the HT, but Hattori's version forms a patina on small spots on the blade quite easily when used to slice cooked red meat (when warm).
 

Benuser

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With VG-10, don't expect the burr to fall off like with simple carbons. It has to be abraded, through the entire progression. Don't leave the first stone before the burr can't be reduced any further, and it only flips.
 

daveb

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I would rather take an ass whipping than sharpen VG10. Tough to get it started, tough to finish. I don't have any in my personal lineup.

But friends and their Shun and Shun Lite have me sharpening VG10 (and VGMAX) periodically. My approach is SG500 to start burr, SP1000 to even out everything and finish on SP2000 or Gesshin 6K diamond plate. For me I finish with some light edge leading strokes. I find this an ideal line up. And I still hate it.
 

Bobby2shots

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Huh, what's that?
Here's Cliff Stamp's take on it; basically, you run the apex of the blade perpendicular to the stones' surface, to remove the apex,, creating a tiny plateau,,, thus avoiding the need to produce a burr,,, then, you sharpen the bevel as you normally would, sneaking up on a new apex, creating a micro-bevel.

Go to the 8:05 mark of this video;


Here's one by Jef Jewell;


Here's another by Stefan Wolf;

 
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daveb

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Cliff. Yeah.
 

dafox

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Here's Cliff Stamp's take on it; basically, you run the apex of the blade perpendicular to the stones' surface, to remove the apex,, creating a tiny plateau,,, thus avoiding the need to produce a burr,,, then, you sharpen the bevel as you normally would, sneaking up on a new apex, creating a micro-bevel.

Go to the 8:05 mark of this video;


Here's one by Jef Jewell;

Thanks, I see!
 

kayman67

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I do, sometimes, pretty much the routine you saw above. I've tried everything I could ever found on sharpening.
 

ModRQC

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The third knife I ever sharpened was a Takayuki VG-10. I thought it went rather well considering it was pretty dull OOTB because they had rolled the edge when polishing - can still use that edge I gave it very well, although it didn’t see much action, perhaps 2-3 hours since.

I don’t use the same technique anymore for sharpening. I remember creating a burr not too big on SP320 and using a bit lighter pressure to make it very hairy and consistent, then flipping it with even less pressure, about five times. Same process exactly on the 1k but there it started to deburr of itself. Finished on 5K with only light pressure edge trailing - that’s what I don’t do anymore but it worked well.

@Benuser gave solid advice saying that you had to flip until it can’t be reduced further down. Weaken it. Flip it 10 times if you must. Key is there more than in progression or technique.
 
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