With a plethora of blade steel varieties in the market, you can easily be overwhelmed whilst making a choice. For many, buying a knife is no biggie but then, there are people like you who like to probe further and get the best there is.
Amongst the many steel varieties used in knives, the 2 most commonly used are the 154cm and VG10 steel. So we’ll see how they compare against each other and help you find out the better one out of the two.
What is 154cm Steel?
The 154cm steel was primarily developed for heavy-duty industrial applications. However, now it’s also being used in cutlery, mostly knives due to its tough nature.
The 154cm is a premium quality stainless steel manufactured by Crucible industries. This steel is known for its hardness and wear-resistant properties. Due to its remarkably tough material, the 154cm steel is often considered best for hunting knives as well. For example this beautiful knife on Amazon is made of 154cm steel and has pretty good reviews
What is VG10 Steel?
The VG10 is yet another high-end stainless steel variety manufactured in Japan. It is considered to be a cutlery grade steel and the name VG10 stands for V Gold 10 (gold being referred to for quality).
This variety of steel is known for its excellent sharpness and rust resistance.
Both VG10 and 154cm are close competitors so the comparison is going to be a tough one.
Let’s start with that now!
The 154cm is at 60-61 HRC on the Rockwell’s hardness scale which makes it amongst the toughest varieties of knife steels. This steel is harder than most typical knives.
The excellent hardness level is attributed to the high content of carbon in its composition. Other than that, small amounts of vanadium and chromium also add to its hardness.
The VG10, on the contrary, has an HRC rating between 56 to 60 according to Rockwell. So we can consider the VG10 slightly less hard than the 154cm but the difference is almost negligible.
The VG10 contains carbon, cobalt, and vanadium in its composition which gives the steel its characteristic hardness.
Is 154cm steel easy to sharpen?
Typically, steel varieties with a greater hardness level are hard to sharp. But the 154cm is not that. Despite having a high hardness rating of 60 to 61 HRC, the 154cm is easy to sharp.
So whenever you start noticing an underwhelming performance of your knife, you can simply sharpen the knife to get razor edges within no time.
A Reddit user about the sharpness of the 154cm:
How long does it retain those edges? Well, we’ll talk about that later but for now, I’m really a fan of the 154cm.
Is Vg10 steel hard to sharpen?
VG10 again is a really tough variety of steel. Since VG10 is a close competitor of 154cm with an HRC rating between 56 to 60, it is also amongst the hardest varieties of steel which are usually hard to sharp.
But just like the 154cm, the VG10 also is quite easy to sharpen. In fact, it is slightly easier to sharpen than the 154cm. So, with the VG10 steel, you won’t have to spend long times sharpening your knife.
The 154cm steel is composed of carbon, chromium, molybdenum, manganese, silicon, phosphorus, sulphur, tungsten, and vanadium.
Each of these components adds to the different characteristics of the steel which you’ll find out as we discuss each of them.
The VG10 contains carbon, chromium, molybdenum, vanadium, cobalt, manganese, and phosphorus in different amounts.
The VG10 lacks sulphur, tungsten, and silicon, each of which is an important component of steel.
The 15% chromium content alongside different amounts of carbon and vanadium in the VG10 increase its corrosion resistance property. These components are known to reduce wear and tear in addition to their other important functions. It also gives it a brighter appearence, for example this knife on Amazon looks pretty shiny!
Similarly, the 154cm isn’t short of amazing components either. It boasts a 14% chromium content as well as carbon, vanadium, and cobalt in adequate amounts that promote corrosion resistance and increase the durability of the knife.
The VG10 lacks sulphur and silicon in its composition which is why it slightly lacks in its edge retention capacity as compared to the 154cm that contains both these components.
Anyway, the situation is not bad at all because the VG10 still contains other components like 15% chromium that help it retain its sharpness for a decent amount of time.
“When done right, it performs well,” says this person about the VG10:
Which one is better for knives: 154cm vs VG10?
Well, it’s really a close call because both 154cm and VG10 are fantastic choices for knives. They are almost equally tough and offer razor-like sharpness with an adequate amount of hardness, corrosion resistance and edge retention. So we think both of them will be a great choice for knives.
Since there aren’t any considerable differences between the VG10 and 154cm, both can prove to be an excellent fit for knives. They can perform the same kind of tasks with an equally promising efficiency so you can go for either of them!