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This is my experience with VG-10

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by TheEdge01, Nov 3, 2018.

  1. TheEdge01


    Apr 3, 2015
    I have owned numerous knives in this steel, the Spyderco Endura 4, Spyderco Centofante, Kizer Vanguard Gemini, Kizer Kesmec, Sog Pentarc, and the AL Mar Nomad.
    The Spyderco Endura 4 is my first VG-10 knife and the one that helped inspire me to improve my sharpening skills. Well, my sharpening skills have improved significantly over the past couple of years. I can put nice keen edges on just about every steel I come into contact with including D2, S30V, 154cm, S35VN, Niolox, etc. However, VG-10 just seems to be more difficult for me to work with. I can get it sharp enough to shave arm hair and cut paper, but it seems when I try to get that nice keen final edge like I could with 154CM, VG-10 seems to dull instead of getting sharper.
    I don’t know if VG-10 just requires special sharpening skills or what the deal is. Some folks don’t seem to have the same issues I’m facing. Has anyone else had any trouble getting a nice razor sharp edge on VG-10?
    drfoil likes this.
  2. DeadboxHero

    DeadboxHero Triple B Handmade Knives, Big Brown Bear

    Mar 22, 2014
    My questions are.

    Is the burr being created? Is it being removed propely without crushing and rounding the apex? How consistent is the angle being held? What edge finish? What angles?
    TheEdge01 likes this.
  3. TheEdge01


    Apr 3, 2015
    Excellent questions!!!! It’s something I’m doing wrong. I just seem to have more issues putting the edge I prefer on knives with VG-10 blades than others.
  4. Wowbagger


    Sep 20, 2015
    Zero problem sharpening VG-10, or any other steel up to and including ZDP-189, S90V, S110V
    . . . but then I use an Edge Pro Apex and the right stones for the steel.
    Make a list of the steps from the YouTube Vids and or factory instruction sheet.
    Mindlessly follow the steps, being sure to use the stop collar and to set the guide rod block with the next stone in line between the stop collar and the guide rod block.

    Result . . . easily hair whittling edges . . . with a little attention to detail tree topping edges.
    No strops.
    Yes VG-10 is a good all around steel. I love it.
    Nothing problematic though other than maybe it is a stainless and doesn't debur instantly like my M4.
    Edge Pro and some practice.
    TheEdge01 likes this.
  5. DeadboxHero

    DeadboxHero Triple B Handmade Knives, Big Brown Bear

    Mar 22, 2014
    It's not my favorite steel but with so much experience and so many options at my disposal how can it be?
    No problems with vg10 getting sharp AF
    I'd say get back to the stone with those variables in mind then see if it changes your mind.

    JJ_Colt45 and TheEdge01 like this.
  6. thebrain

    thebrain Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 12, 2007
    In my experience VG10 can hold the wire edge pretty well. I have in the past had the burr fold back and forth without breaking or being shorn off by the stone or strop. If you know to start looking for that with some of the more "smeary"(for lack of a better word) will do that if brought down to a fine grit.
    Ourorboros and TheEdge01 like this.
  7. Ourorboros


    Jan 23, 2017
    Yes, VG-10 has a reputation for keeping that burr.
    TheEdge01 likes this.
  8. mycough


    May 20, 2007
    Do a search on BF. There are two threads that may solve your problem.
    Vg10 is an interesting Mistress, she can drive you mad, but she is one hella respectable all around steel.
    Japanese knifemakers use it for really expensive cooking cutlery.

    TheEdge01 likes this.
  9. Mo2


    Apr 8, 2016
    No problem with vg10 here. I find that it can be very chippy depending on how you sharpen it. I've also heard things like the sharpmaker ceramic rods can cause it to be chippy and when using something else it doesn't chip out. I can't confirm that but I usually do sharpen with ceramics and I do have chipping. It's not a steel I use anymore to really say otherwise.

    But I have gotten them super sharp without issues.
    TheEdge01 likes this.
  10. TheEdge01


    Apr 3, 2015
    Interesting!! I have been trying to sharpen it with my Sharpmaker. I recently bought a new ultra fine stone for it and that thing usually makes a ton of difference especially if I strop afterwards. As a another post mentioned I will give YouTube a try.
  11. Wowbagger


    Sep 20, 2015
    I wouldn't use the Spyderco ultra fine triangle rod on the middle grade stainless (VG-10) . . . doesn't take the bur off.
    For the harder high alloy (nonstainless) steels I have found that stone to be the only "strop" I need; hand held we are talking tree toppong edges in say . . . M4.

    For VG-10 the final stone should be a more friable water stone.
    RipD, TheEdge01 and Mo2 like this.
  12. TheEdge01


    Apr 3, 2015
    Would you stop with the medium rods?
  13. Wowbagger


    Sep 20, 2015
    Well . . .
    I sharpen all my VG-10 on my Shapton Glass and debur with those or if I were to run across a stubborn bur ( I don't recall that with the VG-10 that I have) I would use my Norton 8,000 water stone. It is great for deburing. Not saying it is quick or easy but it does it when the other stones won't.

    That said I understand that another steel called H-1 gets its final hardness from work heartening the surface of the steel while sharpening. That is a good thing but perhaps the VG-10 gets overly work hardened on the ceramic stones on the Sharpmaker.

    I don't have a Sharpmaker so I can not speak to that.
    I would say keep using the Sharpmaker with the medium or coarse stones and see how it goes. If you get chipping then perhaps the ceramic stones are work hardening the very edge.

    As I said for the final passes it may be easier to use something else; a strop or water stone . . . there are other stones for the Sharpmaker right ?

    I'm all about a guided sharpener, even more guided than the Sharpmaker for ALL of the real sharpening then I occasionally take a few licks on a handheld stone to get the lightest, lightest fragments of the bur off or to touch up an edge from near shave sharp to hair whittling. If it won't ALMOST shave forget the touch up and I just go to a full Edge Pro session to keep the geometry crisp.

    But sure . . . experiment with the medium ceramic stones and see how it goes !
    TheEdge01 likes this.
  14. Alberta Ed

    Alberta Ed

    Jun 29, 1999
    VG-10 is an excellent steel but getting that burr off takes a little extra effort. My buddy and I once skinned a black bear, he with his CS Red River elk skinner in Carbon V (a.k.a. 50100) and me with my F1 in VG-10. I was amazed at the edge retention cutting through that greasy, gritty hide, but the Carbon V was definitely easier to touch up on my Diafold. VG-10 seems to have fairly large carbides, like D2, and cuts very well with a slightly coarse edge (DMT red/600 grit seems ideal).
    TheEdge01 likes this.
  15. kreisler


    May 11, 2012
    Good to know about VG10 burr, thanks! I have a Endura VG10, still with unused factory edge, just used for few paper cut tests. I noticed that the grind is asymmetrical (left side is ground at a different angle than right side) but i won't really reprofile the bevel. I am sure i'll have no problems with deburring the edge with my 204-freehanding technique. If i experience trouble, i'll be reminded of this thread and chime in again.
    I am looking forward to the day when i get to resharpen my Endura.
  16. Chris "Anagarika"

    Chris "Anagarika"

    Mar 7, 2001
    White compound on jeans over hard flat surface or on paperboard. Autosol can do if white compound isn’t available.

    I had initially problem with Endura VG10 but once I overcome it, my skill improved. There’re some old threads where I got advices from the masters here :thumbsup:
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018
    mycough and TheEdge01 like this.
  17. JD Spydo

    JD Spydo Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2004
    I've actually had far more chipping problems with S30V than I ever did with VG-10. I have several of Spyderco's great knives with VG-10 and I have about a dozen "users" with that steel and I've found it to be really dependable in hard use. Oh I know that it doesn't rank up to one of the newer supersteels that have taken the knife world by storm but several of my VG-10 blades I've used for years with great results.

    Also on sharpening I put it through about 6 stages of different angles, different grit selections on stones and I also strop and steel it when I'm finished and I've come up with some really super sharp blades over the years. But I do find this thread to be very informative and I'll look into that burr problem. I guess I eliminate my burr problem but all the steps of progression I use when sharpening it?
  18. lonestar1979


    Mar 2, 2014
    Many people are afraid to sharpen the knife untill they have the burr.Thats the key,otherwise it will not get as sharp as it can be and will get dull easily.Also the burr has to be removed properly.vg10 is not bad steel but nothing special especially tdone by spyderco,its little soft,i guess so less people break the knives.Just keep grinding off the metal,thin out the edge and get the burr.

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