Is VG 10 A Good Knife Steel? [Complete Steel Guide]

When it comes to finding the right kind of steel for your knives and blades, it’s very easy to feel like you’re running circles.

There are so many different types of steel out there that trying to research them all can feel like an impossible task.

That’s where we come in. Check out this complete guide to VG 10 so you can find out everything you need to know about this type of steel.

Is VG 10 A Good Knife Steel

Here, you can find out about its composition and qualities to see if it’s really the best steel for your knives and their purpose.

So, check out the information below to find out everything you need about VG 10 steel!

What Is VG 10 Steel?

VG 10 is a high-end type of stainless steel that was first produced in Japan by the Takeu Special Steel Company.

It’s a cutlery grade stainless steel that was aimed towards Japanese chefs who needed a high quality type of blade to help with their culinary works.

VG 10 was so renowned for its high quality, that the G was added to its name to stand for ‘glod’ to symbolize its value and quality.

However, since then, VG 10 has found other uses and has made its way into other brands of knives.

Both Spyderco and Kizer use VG 10 in some of their knives, and Fallkniven also uses a type of laminated VG 10 in some of their products too.

The secret behind VG 10’s success lies in its composition.

It’s high in carbon and features a range of other elements that all work together to make this type of steel very much desired.

Now, Takefu have created another type of VG 10 called VG10W but VG 10 still remains to be a popular type of steel.

So, let’s take a closer look at its composition and properties to see what this steel has to offer.

VG 10 Steel Composition

VG 10 steel has a lot of different elements in its composition that help make it a very high end, desirable steel to a lot of bladesmiths and knife manufacturers.

One such element is carbon. There is approximately 1.05% of carbon in VG 10 steel, which helps improve its hardness and makes it a tough type of steel.

Is VG 10 A Good Knife Steel (1)

Not only that, but carbon is great for helping improve a steel’s resistance to wear and corrosion, but too high amounts can also turn the steel brittle.

Luckily, 1.05% is a great amount of carbon that is perfectly balanced between these two great qualities.

Another important element in VG 10’s composition is chromium. Chromium is great for improving a steel’s tensile strength and allows it to maintain its edge for longer periods of time.

It’s also great for improving a steel’s resistance to corrosion, further enhancing its durability. Because VG 10 features more than 12.5% of chromium in its composition, this means that it qualifies as a stainless steel.

VG 10 steel also features a fair amount of molybdenum in its composition. Molybdenum not only improves a steel’s strength, but also increases its machinability which makes it a great steel for manufacturers to use.

And finally, another key component of VG 10 steel is cobalt. It contains 1.5% cobalt in its composition and this helps enhance all the effects of the other elements featured in this steel’s composition.

Cobalt is a rare element found in steel compositions, but its presence is greatly felt and helps improve the overall quality of the steel.

There are other minor elements included in the composition of VG 10 steel that all adds extra qualities.

VG 10 also features 0.3% vanadium which helps its resistance to wear and damage, 0.03% of phosphorus which increases the steel’s strength. It is also made up of 0.5% of manganese which further increases its hardness.

So, overall, VG 10 features a lot of great elements in its composition. Let’s check out how these elements work and which qualities they bring to VG 10.

VG 10 Steel Properties

VG 10 is a type of stainless steel that boasts a lot of positive properties that makes it desirable for lots of bladesmiths.

On the Rockwell scale of hardness, it measures in at a maximum of 60 HRC – which is a little on the soft side but still tough enough to cut through many materials like cooking ingredients.

Despite this, its high carbon content means that it is pretty resistant to wear damage, making it a durable type of steel best used in knives that are intended for repetitive use over long periods of time.

It’s fairly sturdy but has a lot more impressive qualities elsewhere.

For example, VG 10’s status as a stainless steel means that it is very resistant to rust.

The high amount of chromium in its composition means that a blade made of VG 10 is far more durable than other types of steel and can handle jobs underwater well.

It also means that it will not rust easily after many washes, so it’s great for use in the kitchen which requires knives to be frequently washed and sterilized.

While tough, VG 10 is not hard enough that sharpening is tricky and a chore. Many knives that are very strong and hard are often difficult to sharpen, but VG 10 does not have that problem. So, if you want to give it a quick sharpen before you use it, VG 10 will sharpen up in no time.

Another great property of VG 10 is how it retains its edge for long periods of time.

This means that even after frequent use, VG 10 does a great job of keeping itself sharp so you don’t have to waste time constantly trying to sharpen the blade’s edge.

This is a very desirable quality in knives and hence VG 10 is so sought out by culinary chefs.

Is VG 10 A Good Steel For Knives?

The answer to this question all comes down to one factor – what you intend to use your knives for.

VG 10 was created to be a high end steel for kitchen knives and culinary use, which is why so many of its composition and qualities are featured to push it towards the best qualities needed for kitchen knives.

It’s easy when it comes to sharpening means it’s easy to maintain.

Plus, its resistance to corrosion means that knives made with VG 10 can withstand wash after wash each time it is used in cooking – which in some kitchens, is basically every single day!

So, VG 10 is a great type of steel to be used for culinary and kitchen knives.

It’s also a good choice for knives used in water-based activities like diving or fishing because it is unlikely to rust even after prolonged exposure to water.

However, there are likely other steels out there that are harder and still feature this level of resistance to corrosion.

Culinary kitchen knives do not require such a high level of hardness because most of the materials they cut (like vegetables and meats) are fairly soft compared to other materials like wood.

So, VG 10 really is the best type of steel for culinary knives but is second best when it comes to other knives used for other purposes.


So, if you’re looking for a high end steel that is specifically designed for culinary use, VG 10 is probably the right steel for you.

It was designed to have all the best possible qualities for kitchen knives and it’s safe to say that its creators have succeeded.

So, check over the above information again to finally decide if VG 10 is the best type of steel for your knives!

Tom Bower