Is VG 10 A Good Knife Steel? (And Reasons Why Its Common)

When it comes to knife steels, you want to find the best. You want the most durable and quality steel for the purpose you will be using it for.

Knife steels have a wide range and when one buys a knife, they want to be assured that the steel used will serve them adequately. So knife makers make it their job to get the best for their consumer’s satisfaction.

I’m sure you have come across the VG 10 and that’s why you are here to learn more about it or maybe you are just curious about its functionality as a knife steel.

Well, you have come to the right place because we are just about to tackle more about it. Keep reading.

Is VG 10 a good knife steel?

VG 10 steel is good knife steel. The VG 10 is a Japanese steel that was designed by Takefu Special Steel Co. Ltd. The name VG 10 stands for V Gold 10 to show the gold standards that the steel is made of. It is very hard, has great edge retention, rust resistance, and is very easy to sharpen too. Blades made with the steel are highly durable and have a good cutting edge.

Composition of VG 10 Steel

  • Carbon at 1.05 % – Carbon enhances the steel’s hardness and resistance to corrosion and wear, but lowers the strength if its in high quantities.
  • Chromium at 15.5 % – Chromium increases the corrosion resistance, wear resistance, and enhances strength and edge retention.
  • Cobalt at 1.5% – Cobalt will act as a booster and it enhances the functioning of all the other added elements.
  • Molybdenum at 1.2% – Molybdenum works in improving strength and machinability.
  • Manganese at 0.5 % – Manganese makes the steel harder.
  • Phosphorus at 0.03% – Phosphorus adds to the strength.
  • Vanadium at 0.3% – Vanadium will enhance the hardness of the steel and its resistance to wear.

VG 10 Steel Hardness

VG 10 steel is on the hard side of the Rockwell scale. The maximum hardness of the scale is 65 HRC.

VG 10 comes in at 61 HRC making it have a very hard edge.

Is VG 10 Steel Stainless Steel?

VG 10 is stainless steel.

To know whether steel is stainless or not, you need to look at its Chromium and Carbon levels. If the steel has above 10.5% Chromium and below 1.2% Carbon, then it is stainless.

For VG 10, the Chromium quantity is at 15.5%, and the Carbon at 1.05%. This makes it stainless steel.

Properties of VG 10 Steel

The properties of any type of steel will be determined by what it’s made up of. For VG 10 steel, its composition gives it the following properties:

Edge Retention

VG 10 steel is very hard because of its 61 HRC giving it really good edge retention.

Rust Resistance

Chromium levels determine the resistance of steel to rust. The 15.5% of chromium in VG 10 steel gives it really good rust resistance.

Corrosion Resistance

Although the steel does have some resistance, it needs to be maintained well to resist corrosion better.

Wear Resistance

VG 10 steel has a high carbon content above 1%. This makes it have great wear resistance.


The steel is of very high quality which would make one think that it’s very hard to sharpen too. However, the steel is easy to sharpen and it achieves a really good cutting edge.


The steel has good machinability due to the presence of molybdenum.

Toughness Quality

The toughness quality of steel is what gives it resistance to cracking and nipping. VG 10 steel has high toughness levels.

VG 10 steel blades

VG 10 steel is common for knife blades. These types of blades are very popular in the kitchen because of the high quality of the steel.

When it comes to most knife steels, you may have to compromise one factor for another like picking a sharp knife that can rust easily or a rust-free knife that is not that hard.

VG 10 steel, however, comes with the best of both worlds. With that blade, you get a high carbon hardness that makes it very sharp and high chromium levels making it stainless and rust-free.

VG 10 vs VG 1

These two can get easily confused because of their name similarities. VG 1 came first though making VG 10 its improved version.

In comparison, VG 1 does not have a lot of chromium in it so it’s not very good stainless steel and can rust. However, it is harder than VG 10 making it easily chip when in use.

So VG 10 is definitely an improvement of VG 1 because it’s highly stainless and doesn’t chip as easily as VG 1 when in use.

VG 10 Steel Alternatives

VG 10 steel is really good but there are other alternatives that you can choose from depending on the purpose of the knife. Some comparisons are:

S30V Steel– the edge retention and corrosion resistance of both VG 10 and S30V is the same. VG 10 is easier to sharpen than S30 but S30 beats it in toughness.

D2 Steel – When it comes to D2 steel its toughness is higher but VG 10 has much better edge retention, ease of sharpness, and corrosion to resistance.

S35VN Steel – The corrosion resistance and ease of sharpness of both S35VN steel and VG 10 steel are the same. However, the edge retention and toughness of S35VN is better.


VG 10 steel is great for knife blades. It is hard offering a good cutting edge, is easy to sharpen, and is stainless making it resistant to rust.

Knives made with this steel are very common and popular with many chefs in the kitchen. The corrosion resistance is not that good so ensure that you take very good care of the knife.

Do not put it in the dishwasher and remember to oil it regularly for more sustainability.

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