The world of Japanese kitchen knives is much bigger than you think. There are so many types of Japanese knives that it is kind of hard to keep track of. Once you get to the knives, the blade material comes up naturally.
Just like Japanese knives, there are various types of Japanese steel as well. Although traditionally Japanese steel was used to make katana or Japanese swords, after a sword ban, the creation of Japanese kitchen knives skyrocketed.
Japanese steels are known for their high-quality performance, strength, and durability. AUS10 and VG10 are two of the most common and famous Japanese knife steels, among many other types.
There are many qualities that make AUS10 steel different from VG10 steel. Knives made of these steels possess different uses. To make it easier, we have put together this AUS10 Vs. VG10 in-depth comparison guide for you.
Let’s get started!
AUS10 Steel: Stainless, Affordable, And Sharp-edged
The creation of AUS10 can be traced back to the Tōkai Region of Japan. A Japanese steel company named Aichi Foundry is the leading manufacturer of AUS10.
The AUS series contains a few other types of steel, among which, the AUS10 is considered as the strongest due to its high carbon content. It is well-known steel for Japanese knives. If you are a beginner in the world of Japanese cutlery, then an AUS10 knife is perfect for you.
The hardness of an AUS10 knife is remarkable. It ranges from 58 to 60 on the HRC scale. HRC refers to “Rockwell hardness” or the hardness of the blade of a knife.
There is no ideal HRC for a knife as the hardness and toughness vary from one to another. However, HRC 60 is considered the ideal fit as it means the knife will offer maximum durability without breaking or getting brittle.
Longer Edge Retention
The edge retention of a knife depends on its HRC score. A knife with 60 HRC like AUS10 means it is extremely hard. Higher hardness means the edge of the knife is razor-sharp and has better edge retention.
In their chemical composition, high amounts of carbon (1.10%) and Vanadium (.27%) form finer carbides that promote better edge retention in AUS10 steel.
In simpler words, the edge will not dull down for a long time despite heavy, rough, and frequent usage in the kitchen. Therefore, you will no longer have to worry about frequent sharpening at all.
The AUS10 steel offers excellent corrosion resistance due to its chemical composition. A unique concoction of 14.50% Chromium, 0.49% Nickel, and 0.27% Vanadium increases tensile strength and promotes corrosion resistance and rust resistance in the blade.
Our Recommended AUS10 Knife
The AUS10 steel in the blade makes a knife outstanding, but there are other important factors too. Finding the ideal AUS10 knife can be overwhelming. Don’t fret because now we will be talking about the two best AUS10 knives.
The TUO Damascus AUS10 kitchen knife is our favorite because-
- A flat and narrow-edged blade makes it easier to do tough kitchen work.
- Premium AUS10 steel is the core of the blade, while the outer part consists of 66 layers of steel to achieve the optimal balance between the hardness and toughness of the knife.
- The edge is created using a traditional Japanese knife sharpening technique called “honbazuke.” Due to this process, the edge of the blade is ultra-sharp and easy to use.
- An ergonomic handle made with pakkawood ensures elegance and comfort.
The KEEMAKE 8-inch Damascus AUS10 knife is our second pick because-
- 60HRC blade comes with 67 layers of steel, and AUS10 core steel makes the knife stronger from within while the soft steel ensures it is not brittle.
- Made with 50 steps, including heating treatment, hand honing, etc., this knife offers the ideal angle of 12 to 15 degrees for the edge.
- The hammered texture of the knife blade acts as Granton edges and makes cutting easier than ever.
- The handle is made with G-10 woven fiberglass, military-grade fiberglass to ensure ultimate grip and comfort while working.
VG10 Steel: Durable, Premium, And Resilient
The VG10 stainless steel is one of the most well-known Japanese steels belonging from the high-end and premium side. It is extremely strong, razor-sharp, and durable.
The creation of VG10 can be dated back to the 1940s, where it was developed by Takefu Special Steels in the Fukui Prefecture, Japan.
Originally it was called V-kin-10, kin meaning Gold in Japanese. Once the production became international, “kin” was replaced by “G” or gold. The Gold in the name is a testament to its outstanding quality and performance.
Although this super steel has a high amount of Carbon (1%) in its chemical composition, it is not as high as the AUS10. But the presence of Cobalt in the steel increases the performance of the other chemical components and makes this steel unique.
Hardness And Toughness
The HRC score of VG10 steel is 60, making it a pretty hard knife. A higher concentration of Carbon is the reason behind this.
However, most VG10 knives are made with Damascus steel as the outer layer to balance out the toughness and hardness of the steel.
The optimal balance between these two elements ensures durability, strength, and resilience in the knife.
Excellent Corrosion Resistance
One of the most unique qualities of VG10 steel that sets it apart from all the other Japanese steel is its corrosion resistance.
Due to 15.5% of Chromium, and 1% of Carbon in its structure, the VG10 is a top-notch stainless-steel offering maximum protection from rust and corrosion.
Due to the excellent rust and corrosion resistance of VG10, it is well-loved by Japanese fishermen and hunters all across the globe.
Many think steel as hard and tough as VG10 is not easy to sharpen. But that is not true at all. While it is hard to sharpen regular hard knives, VG10 steel can be sharpened quite easily.
With the presence of non-ferrous alloys in the chemical components, sharpening VG10 is easier than you can think.
Our Recommended VG10 Knife
VG10 knives are considered as the top of the line Japanese knives due to their premium quality and performance. It can be quite hard to find an authentic VG10 knife made with Japanese VG10 steel. To make it easier for you, we have picked two excellent VG10 knives.
The WeKit Damascus VG10 Gyuto knife is our favorite because-
- This gyuto knife offers 10 to 15 degrees in the edge, which offers maximum sharpness and precision in a Gyuto.
- 67 layers of stainless steel with VG10 stainless steel as the core, this knife is made with vacuum heat treatment.
- Rounded handles made of military-grade G10 woven fiberglass provide the optimal balance between the handle and the blade of the knife.
- Forged ultra-thin edge offers maximum sharpness, durability, and rust resistance.
The KYUKO 8-inch VG10 chef knife is recommended by us because-
- Authentic VG10 steel imported from Japan as the core and 67 layers of Damascus steel as the outer layer offers the best VG10 blade experience at a limited price.
- Damascus wave pattern enhances the beauty as well as acts as Granton edges, allowing fast, rough and heavy chopping.
- The developing process of the knife includes cryogenic liquid nitrogen treatment to ensure balanced hardness, toughness, and flexibility of the blade.
- The ergonomic G10 handle offers maximum user comfort and longer usage.
AUS10 Vs VG10: The Winner
So, have you decided which steel to pick for your next favorite kitchen tool? For us, the winner in this debate is VG10. It is one of the best steels for Japanese knives due to the high amount of Chromium in it.
All Japanese knives are made with excellent and durable steel. Good steel in the core will ensure the knife is rust and corrosion-proof. Both VG10 and AUS10 are equally great and will last you for a long time.
You may pick AUS10 if-
- You have never used a Japanese knife and want to start.
- You like more hardness and less toughness in your knife.
- You are looking for an affordable knife with good edge retention and durability.
- You work with vegetables a lot.
- Don’t like sharpening your knives frequently.
You may pick VG10 if-
- Work with meat, fish, and proteins a lot.
- Do a lot of precise slice and cutting.
- Live in a moist and humid area and need excellent rust resistance from your knife.
- You prefer sharpening your knives.
- Want to buy a high-end Japanese knife.
With this elaborate AUS10 Vs. VG10 comparison guide, you will no longer feel confused about your ideal knife steel blade.
Before purchasing your next Japanese knife, find out more about the core steel, the handle, and its usage. Working in the kitchen requires comfort. And you will only feel comfortable with the tools if you pick them according to your preference.
Although the VG10 is our pick this time because of its razor-sharp edge, durability, and rust resistance, many may feel more comfortable with an AUS10 knife.
If you are someone like this, then don’t worry at all. AUS10 knives are well known for their sharpness and durability.
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