AUS-10 vs VG-10 Steel: Know the Difference Before You Buy
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When it comes to the stainless steel used to make the best kitchen knives, AUS-10 and VG-10 are very popular because they produce sharp and durable blades.
AUS-10 and VG-10 are Japanese steel types, and they’re used to make quality knives like gyuto, santoku, Yanagi and more1
But how to know which is better, and how do these types of steel differ?
AUS-10 is known for its toughness, durability, and corrosion resistance, while VG10 is known for its excellent edge retention, corrosion resistance, and ease of sharpening. VG10 typically has a higher Rockwell hardness rating, but AUS-10 is considered tougher and more durable.
So, the choice depends on the specific needs and preferences of the knife user.
In this guide, we’ll go over these two common Japanese steel types, what they’re used for, and how they differ.
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Comparing AUS-10 to VG-10 steel
AUS-10 and VG-10 are Japanese steels used to make high-quality knives.
But what makes them so special?
First off, let’s talk about their composition. AUS10 and VG10 are both types of stainless steel, which means they contain a minimum of 10.5% chromium.
This element helps to prevent rust and corrosion, making these steels ideal for use in damp environments like kitchens.
So, the main difference between these two types of steel is their composition.
AUS10 and VG10 contain different amounts of carbon, which affects their hardness and edge retention.
AUS10 has a carbon content of 0.95-1.10%, while VG10 has a slightly lower carbon content of 0.95-1.05%.
This means that AUS10 is slightly harder and more durable than VG10, but VG10 is easier to sharpen.
Another important factor to consider is the presence of other elements like vanadium and manganese, which can affect the steel’s toughness and ductility.
AUS10 contains more vanadium than VG10, which makes it slightly tougher, while VG10 contains more manganese, which makes it slightly more ductile.
AUS-10 and VG10 are two popular types of Japanese steel used in knife-making, and they have some key differences in their composition and properties.
AUS-10 is a Japanese steel that contains 0.95-1.10% carbon, 0.50% manganese, 0.40% silicon, 0.10-0.30% molybdenum, 0.10-0.25% vanadium, and 0.15-0.50% nickel.
It is known for its toughness, durability, and corrosion resistance, making it a popular choice for outdoor and survival knives.
VG10, on the other hand, is a high-quality stainless steel that was developed in Japan specifically for use in cutlery.
It contains 1.0% carbon, 15% chromium, 1.5% cobalt, 0.5% manganese, 0.2% molybdenum, and 0.1% vanadium.
VG10 is known for its excellent edge retention, corrosion resistance, and ease of sharpening.
VG10 steel has a higher corrosion resistance than AUS10 steel, but AUS10 steel has higher wear resistance.
In terms of hardness, VG10 typically ranks higher on the Rockwell scale, with a typical range of 59-61 HRC, compared to AUS-10’s range of 58-60 HRC.
However, AUS-10 is generally considered tougher and more durable than VG10, which can be brittle and prone to chipping if not properly heat-treated.
Ultimately, the choice between AUS-10 and VG10 will depend on the specific needs and preferences of the knife user.
AUS-10 may be a better choice for those looking for a durable, all-purpose knife for outdoor or survival use, while VG10 may be preferred by those looking for a high-quality, high-performance kitchen knife.
AUS-10 vs VG-10: which is better?
So, let’s talk about the battle of the steels – AUS-10 vs VG10.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, “What’s the big deal? They’re both just types of steel.”
But some major differences will blow your mind (or at least mildly interest you).
First off, let’s talk about hardness and grain structure. These two factors play a big role in steel’s performance.
Hardness refers to how hard the steel is, and grain structure refers to the size of the grains in the steel.
Generally speaking, the harder the steel, the better it will hold an edge, but it will also be more brittle and prone to chipping.
On the other hand, softer steel will be more durable but won’t hold an edge as well.
First up, AUS-10. This steel is known for its toughness and durability, making it a popular choice for knives that will be put through some serious use.
I have lined up some of the best options available when it comes to AUS-10 knives here
It’s also a bit more affordable than VG10, so if you’re on a budget but still want a quality blade, AUS-10 might be the way to go.
Now, let’s talk about VG10. This steel is like the fancy, high-end version of AUS-10.
It’s known for its incredible sharpness and edge retention, making it a top choice for chefs and other professionals who need their knives to perform at the highest level.
It’s also more corrosion-resistant than AUS-10, so if you’re prone to leaving your knives in the sink (you know who you are), VG10 might be the better option.
But wait, there’s more! VG10 is also a bit harder than AUS-10, which means it can hold a sharper edge for longer.
Find the best VG-10 knives reviewed here for some top options for your kitchen
AUS-10 is a type of stainless steel that is known for its durability and resistance to rust.
It’s a bit softer than VG10 steel, which means it’s easier to sharpen, but it won’t hold an edge as well.
So, if you’re looking for a knife that can handle some heavy-duty tasks and won’t rust, AUS-10 might be the way to go.
On the other hand, VG10 steel is a bit harder than AUS-10 and has a finer grain structure. This means it will hold an edge better and be sharper overall.
However, it’s also a bit more brittle, making it more prone to chipping.
So, if you’re looking for a knife that can slice through anything like butter, VG10 might be the way to go.
Ultimately, it all comes down to what you’re looking for in a knife.
Do you want something durable and rust-resistant, or do you want something that’s super sharp and can handle heavy-duty tasks?
Either way, Japanese steel has got you covered. So, go forth and chop like a pro!
In conclusion, both AUS-10 and VG10 have pros and cons, and the choice ultimately comes down to personal preference and intended use.
Have a chipped knife? Here is a full guide on how to restore a chipped Japanese knife
What is AUS-10 steel?
AUS10 steel is a type of Japanese stainless steel that is commonly used in making knives. It is produced by Aichi Steel, a company based in the Japanese city of Tokai.
AUS10 steel is part of the AUS series of steels, which are known for their high quality and durability.
Chemical composition of AUS10 steel
AUS10 steel comprises a unique blend of chemicals that give it its unique properties. Its chemical composition includes a high percentage of carbon and vanadium, as well as a significant proportion of chromium alloy.
AUS-10 is a type of Japanese steel with the following chemical composition:
- Carbon (C): 0.95-1.10%
- Chromium (Cr): 13.00-14.50%
- Manganese (Mn): 0.50%
- Silicon (Si): 0.40%
- Molybdenum (Mo): 0.10-0.30%
- Vanadium (V): 0.10-0.25%
- Nickel (Ni): 0.15-0.50%
AUS-10 steel also contains trace amounts of other elements, such as phosphorus, sulfur, and copper.
The specific composition of AUS-10 may vary slightly depending on the manufacturer and production process.
Advantages of AUS10 steel
AUS10 steel has several advantages that make it a popular choice for knife makers and enthusiasts. These advantages include the following:
- Corrosion Resistance: AUS10 steel is highly resistant to corrosion, which means it can withstand exposure to moisture and other corrosive substances. This makes it an excellent choice for use in kitchen knives, which are often exposed to water and acidic foods.
- Durability: AUS10 steel is a durable material that can withstand heavy use without chipping or breaking. This makes it an ideal choice for knives that are used frequently and subjected to a lot of wear and tear.
- Sharpness: AUS10 steel can be sharpened to a very sharp edge, which makes it an excellent choice for cutting tasks that require precision and accuracy.
- Easy to Clean: AUS10 steel is easy to clean and maintain. It can be wiped clean with a damp cloth or rinsed with water and dried thoroughly. This makes it an ideal choice for kitchen knives that need to be cleaned frequently.
- Versatility: AUS10 steel is a versatile material that can be used for various cutting tasks. It is suitable for use in kitchen knives, hunting knives, and other cutting tools.
Overall, AUS10 steel is a high-quality material that offers several advantages over other types of steel.
Its durability, corrosion resistance, sharpness, and ease of maintenance make it a popular choice for knives and other cutting tools.
Disadvantages of AUS10 steel
While AUS10 steel has many advantages, it also has some downsides to consider. These downsides include the following:
- Toughness: AUS10 steel is known to be relatively brittle, making it prone to chipping or breaking under heavy use or impact.
- Edge Retention: Compared to some other high-end steels, AUS10 does not hold its edge as long. This means that it may need to be sharpened more frequently, which can be a hassle for some users.
- Difficulty in Sharpening: While AUS10 steel can be very sharp, it can also be challenging to sharpen. It requires a high level of skill and knowledge to achieve the best results, which may not be suitable for beginners or those without the right equipment.
- Maintenance: As with any steel, AUS10 requires proper maintenance to keep it in top condition. If it is not cared for correctly, it can become dull or corroded, which can shorten its lifespan.
Overall, AUS10 steel is an excellent choice for many cutting applications, but it has disadvantages.
When choosing a knife or tool made from AUS10, it is essential to consider your needs and the potential drawbacks before purchasing.
What is VG-10 steel?
VG10 steel is a high-quality Japanese steel that is known for its superior hardness, edge retention, and corrosion resistance.
It is a popular choice for knife makers and is often used in high-end kitchen knives and outdoor knives.
VG10 steel is stainless steel with a high percentage of chromium, making it resistant to rust and corrosion.
It also contains vanadium, which helps to increase its hardness and edge retention.
Chemical composition of VG-10 steel
VG-10 steel is a high-quality stainless steel that is commonly used in knives and other cutting tools. Its chemical composition is as follows:
- Carbon (C): 0.95-1.05%
- Chromium (Cr): 14.5-15.5%
- Molybdenum (Mo): 0.9-1.2%
- Cobalt (Co): 1.3-1.5%
- Vanadium (V): 0.1-0.3%
- Manganese (Mn): 0.5%
- Phosphorus (P): 0.03%
- Sulfur (S): 0.02%
- Silicon (Si): 0.4%
The high carbon content of VG-10 steel gives it excellent hardness and edge retention, while the chromium content provides it with corrosion resistance.
The addition of cobalt and vanadium improves its toughness and wear resistance, making it an ideal choice for cutting tools that are subjected to heavy use.
Overall, the chemical composition of VG-10 steel makes it a high-performance steel that is popular among knife enthusiasts and professionals alike.
Advantages of VG10 steel
VG10 steel is a high-quality stainless steel that is commonly used in knives and other cutting tools.
It has several advantages that make it a popular choice among knife enthusiasts and professionals.
Some of the key features and advantages of VG10 steel include the following:
- Sharpness: VG10 steel can be sharpened to a very sharp edge, which makes it an excellent choice for cutting tasks that require precision and accuracy.
- Edge retention: VG10 steel has excellent edge retention, which means it can hold a sharp edge for a long time even with heavy use.
- Corrosion resistance: VG10 steel is highly resistant to corrosion, which means it can withstand exposure to moisture and other corrosive substances. This makes it an excellent choice for use in kitchen knives, which are often exposed to water and acidic foods.
- Durability: VG10 steel is a durable material that can withstand heavy use without chipping or breaking. This makes it an ideal choice for knives that are used frequently and subjected to a lot of wear and tear.
- Versatility: VG10 steel is a versatile material that can be used for a wide range of cutting tasks. It is suitable for use in kitchen knives, hunting knives, and other cutting tools.
- Ease of maintenance: VG10 steel is easy to clean and maintain. It can be wiped clean with a damp cloth or rinsed with water and dried thoroughly. This makes it an ideal choice for kitchen knives that need to be cleaned frequently.
Overall, VG10 steel is a high-performance steel that offers several advantages over other types of steel.
Its sharpness, edge retention, corrosion resistance, durability, versatility, and ease of maintenance make it a popular choice for knives and other cutting tools.
Disadvantages of VG-10 steel
While VG-10 steel has many advantages that make it a popular choice for knives and other cutting tools, it also has a few potential disadvantages.
Here are some of the main disadvantages of VG-10 steel:
- Difficulty in sharpening: VG-10 steel is a hard steel, which can make it difficult to sharpen for some people. It may require a sharpening stone with a higher grit and more time and effort to sharpen it to a desired sharpness.
- Cost: VG-10 steel is a high-quality steel, and as such, it can be more expensive than some other types of steel. This may make knives made with VG-10 steel more expensive than comparable knives made with other types of steel.
- Brittleness: VG-10 steel can be brittle if it is not heat treated properly. If a knife made with VG-10 steel is subjected to too much stress or impact, it may chip or even break.
- Sensitivity to acidic foods: While VG-10 steel is highly resistant to corrosion, it can still be sensitive to highly acidic foods, such as citrus fruits and tomatoes. This can lead to discoloration or even corrosion if the knife is not cleaned properly.
Overall, VG-10 steel is a high-performance steel that is well-suited for use in knives and other cutting tools.
VG10 steel is a popular choice among Japanese knife makers and is widely used in the production of high-end kitchen knives and outdoor knives.
However, it is not without its potential drawbacks, and users should be aware of these potential issues when considering knives made with VG-10 steel.
Is AUS-10 the same as VG-10?
Let’s get one thing straight: AUS-10 and VG-10 are not the same steel. They may have some similarities, but they are two different types of high-quality Japanese steel.
While both types of steel are considered premium, they have different compositions. Here’s a breakdown of the differences:
Aus 10 steel has a higher carbon content than Vg-10, which makes it harder and more wear-resistant.
But VG-10 steel has a higher percentage of chromium, which makes it more corrosion-resistant than AUS-10.
Aus 10 steel has a slightly higher toughness than VG-10, which means it can withstand more impact without chipping or breaking.
Are AUS-10 and VG-10 steel Japanese?
So, you want to know if AUS10 and VG10 steel are Japanese? Well, let me tell you, they sure are!
Both AUS-10 and VG-10 steel were developed in Japan and are commonly used in Japanese knife-making.
AUS-10 was developed by the Aichi Steel Corporation in Japan in the 1980s, while VG-10 was developed by the Takefu Special Steel Company in Japan in the 1970s.
Japanese knife makers have long been known for their craftsmanship and attention to detail, and both AUS-10 and VG-10 steel have become popular choices for high-end Japanese kitchen knives due to their excellent edge retention, hardness, and toughness.
However, these steels are also used by knife makers and enthusiasts around the world due to their superior quality and performance.
So, there you have it! AUS10 and VG10 steel are both Japanese and known for their high quality and durability.
Whether you prefer AUS10 for its hardness or VG10 for its ease of sharpening, both types of steel are great choices for kitchen knives.
Just make sure to keep them dry and clean to prevent rust and corrosion!
History of AUS-10 and VG-10 steel
AUS-10 and VG-10 are two types of high-quality stainless steel commonly used to produce knives and other cutting tools.
AUS-10 steel was developed in Japan by the Aichi Steel Corporation in the 1980s. It is a high-carbon, high-chromium stainless steel with a composition similar to that of VG-10 steel.
AUS-10 steel is known for its excellent edge retention, corrosion resistance, and toughness.
It is also relatively easy to sharpen, making it a popular choice for both professional and amateur knife makers.
VG-10 steel, on the other hand, was developed by the Takefu Special Steel Company in Japan in the 1970s.
It is a premium quality steel that is known for its exceptional edge retention, hardness, and toughness.
VG-10 steel contains a high percentage of carbon, as well as significant amounts of chromium, molybdenum, and vanadium.
This combination of elements gives VG-10 steel its unique properties and makes it a popular choice for high-end kitchen knives and other cutting tools.
Both AUS-10 and VG-10 steel have a long and rich history in the world of knife making.
Over the years, they have been used to create some of the finest and most durable knives on the market.
Today, these steels continue to be widely used by knife makers and enthusiasts around the world thanks to their exceptional quality, reliability, and performance.
Which is more expensive AUS-10 or VG-10 steel?
Alright, folks, let’s talk about the big question on everyone’s mind: which steel is more expensive, aus10 or vg10?
Now, I know you’re all dying to know the answer, so let’s get right to it.
The truth is both of these high-quality Japanese steels are pretty pricey, but generally, VG-10 can be more expensive, but it’s not a general rule.
In general, AUS10 steel is considered to be cheaper than VG10 steel. But the truth is, if you go to Japan to buy a knife there, you’ll find the prices are similar!
The cost of both types of steel can vary depending on factors such as the manufacturer, the quality of the steel, and the specific knife or tool being made.
However, due to the differences in the manufacturing process and the materials used, VG10 steel is often considered to be higher-end steel than AUS10 steel.
As a result, it is typically more expensive.
But AUS10 is also pretty high-end, so don’t think you’re getting a cheap steel blade!
That being said, the cost of knives made with either AUS10 or VG10 steel can vary widely depending on other factors, such as handle materials, brand name, and design, among others.
So, while AUS10 is generally considered to be less expensive than VG10 steel, the cost of a knife made with either steel will ultimately depend on a variety of factors.
Which knife steel to choose: AUS-10 or VG-10?
So, you’re in the market for a new knife, and you’re wondering which steel to choose: AUS10 or VG10? Well, let me break it down for you in layman’s terms.
If sharpness and edge retention are the top priorities, then AUS-10 steel may be the better choice.
If toughness and ease of sharpening are the top priorities, then VG-10 steel may be the better choice.
I’ll start by saying both AUS10 and VG10 are high-quality Japanese steels that are known for their superior hardness, edge retention, and corrosion resistance.
However, there are some differences between the two.
Aus10 steel is somewhat tougher than vg10 steel, but vg10 is more expensive.
Additionally, aus10 steel has a lower percentage of chromium than vg10 steel, which means it is not as resistant to rust and corrosion.
Regarding edge retention, both aus10 and vg10 are great choices. However, aus10 has a slight advantage in this area due to its lower carbon content.
In terms of hardness, both types of steel are pretty similar.
However, the hardness of stainless steel is generally determined by the amount of carbon present in the alloy structure, as well as the presence of other elements like manganese and ferile.
When it comes to toughness, both aus10 and vg10 are strong and durable. However, the presence of vanadium in the blade can increase its toughness.
Finally, when it comes to sharpness, both aus10 and vg10 are known for their ability to stay sharp for a long time.
However, aus10 blades are known to be more difficult to sharpen than vg10 blades.
So, which steel should you choose? Well, it really depends on your personal preferences and needs.
If you’re looking for a slightly tougher, more affordable steel, aus10 might be the way to go.
However, if you’re willing to spend a bit more for a steel that is more resistant to rust and corrosion, vg10 might be the better choice.
Either way, you can’t go wrong with either of these high-quality Japanese steels.
When it comes to Japanese knives, there are many options to choose from. AUS-10 and VG-10 are 2 of the most popular.
AUS-10 is a higher-quality steel with superior hardness, edge retention, and corrosion resistance.
VG-10 is also high-quality steel with superior hardness, edge retention, and corrosion resistance.
The merit of AUS10 steel over VG-10 steel is that it is less expensive and has somewhat higher toughness.
Both are stainless steels having a high percentage of chromium. In conclusion, both of these Japanese steels make excellent kitchen knives!
Next, find out what exactly is so special about Japanese Damascus steel
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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.