VG10 Steel, Opinions

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Gravy Power

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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.
 

James

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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.
 

franzb69

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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.
 

labor of love

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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.
 

Benuser

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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.
 

Squilliam

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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?).
 

Keith Sinclair

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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.
 

franzb69

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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......
 

Chefdog

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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.
 

franzb69

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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
 

Lefty

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I just sharpened 3 Tojiro DPs, for a customer, a couple weeks ago, and while they were stubborn at the outset, they turned out great. I had to do a crap load of reprofiling on the parer (parers are harder to sharpen, in general, I find), and that wasn't fun. However, the keenness and tooth combo they ended up with was fantastic. VG10 is just tougher to deburr, but if you flip it back and forth more times tha you might think you need to, deburr and then refine from there, you're laughing.

I currently have two Hattori FH gyutos I'm studying and along with the Tojiros, I've decided that VG10, when done properly is much MUCH better than most people think. As they say on the shaving forums, YMMV.
 

Keith Sinclair

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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.
Yeh maybe the HT in the Hattori FH is better than the mass produced Shuns,tho just a guess really don't know.I like sharpening carbon the best,others knives most all stainless much of it low quality.The VG-10 is a major step up compared to alot of the cheap stainless most people buy.
 

Pensacola Tiger

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I think it's time to put the "VG-10 is chippy, hard to sharpen and won't hold an edge" meme into the "myths" thread.

Just my two cents.
 

JBroida

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i dont know about that... i still sharpen a lot of vg10, and i would say the vast majority of it is so-so at best. Its not that its a bad steel, its just that there are so many better options now days.
 

Pensacola Tiger

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i dont know about that... i still sharpen a lot of vg10, and i would say the vast majority of it is so-so at best. Its not that its a bad steel, its just that there are so many better options now days.
I can't argue about there being better options, and my experience is limited to Shuns, Hattoris (both FH and HD), Yoshikane and Mcusta. Maybe I've just been lucky enough to not run into a "so-so" knife.
 

JBroida

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i sharpen a lot of shuns, hattori, mcusta, etc... they are all the same to me. The hattori FH series is nice for vg10, but i dislike the HD series. There are also a few other brands that dont publicly share that their knives are vg10, and some of them do a good job. But shun, hattori hd, mcusta, henckles myabi, etc, are all so-so at best IMO. That being said, i'm not giving up on vg-10... i just dont like those ones. I've got a new vg-10 knife coming to me soon to test out... i'm hoping they do a good job with it.
 

cclin

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i ..................There are also a few other brands that dont publicly share that their knives are vg10......,
I'm agree your statement about VG-10! however, :knife:I'm more interesting which brands are you talking about???:scratchhead:
 

stevenStefano

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I think it's time to put the "VG-10 is chippy, hard to sharpen and won't hold an edge" meme into the "myths" thread.

Just my two cents.
I agree completely. It ain't amazing, but I don't find it hard to sharpen at all and my VG10 knives aren't chippy. As others have said already, the Hattori FH is probably the best line of VG10 knives there are. I thinned a Tojiro DP for a co-worker and it has kept a decent edge for a surprisingly long time
 

labor of love

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im just glad my first gyuto wasnt a vg10 knife. its probably the last knife you want to use to learn to sharpen with.
 

mpukas

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I had a Hattori FH gyuto as one of my first J-knives, and I didn't have any problem sharpening it as I was learning. I did find it didn't get quite as sharp as I could get AS or SG2, and found it pretty tough and didn't chip.

I've only sharpened one Shun (my mom's) and I was sucky. The steel and the knife. It would get sharp, but I had to work at it. No idea how it's held up since.
 

JBroida

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the list can be very long, but assuming a proper HT, here are some steels i would take over vg-10:
ginsanko
aeb-l/13c26
aeb-h/19c27
srs-15
sdk11
sdk12
cpm-154
ats-34
alot of the CPM Steels
Elmax
aus10

just to name some of the more well known ones
 

labor of love

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I had a Hattori FH gyuto as one of my first J-knives, and I didn't have any problem sharpening it as I was learning. I did find it didn't get quite as sharp as I could get AS or SG2.
well my konosuke in white steel gave me alot of confidence as a sharpening noob. it was my first j knife where i could tell my strokes were sharpening the edge. some other stainless ones frustrated me early on.
 

Chefdog

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the list can be very long, but assuming a proper HT, here are some steels i would take over vg-10:
ginsanko
aeb-l/13c26
aeb-h/19c27
srs-15
sdk11
sdk12
cpm-154
ats-34
alot of the CPM Steels
Elmax
aus10

just to name some of the more well known ones
Woah.
That's quite a longer list than I was expecting...
If you had to pick just a couple for your personal use? (Nothing too specialized, just general use)
 

Customfan

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Well... as stainless goes... sure, I prefer CPM, AEB-L, etc.

But I have no big problem with VG-10, its served me well in knives like Glestain and Masanobu. I guess, some would say it depends on brand and personal preference.
 

mpukas

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well my konosuke in white steel gave me alot of confidence as a sharpening noob. it was my first j knife where i could tell my strokes were sharpening the edge. some other stainless ones frustrated me early on.
When I got my first Yusuke knives in white #2, I really learned what sharp is - or at least the potential. Still learning...
 
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