Reader Nathan spends his days working with knives in a true ‘working’ sense: just like one of my good friends who’s a produce manager, Nathan uses his knives to open packaging and break down cardboard boxes all day long. He offers this perspective on why VG-10 is the ideal knife steel for him. Since he certainly knows that of which he speaks, I’ll let Nathan take it from here:
Out of all of the steels offered by knife companies, I have decided that VG-10 is the best. I do not have the most time spent with knives, only about a year and a half. In this time I have used about 10 different steels. Spyderco’s offerings in VG-10 steel have impressed me beyond belief…
I do not know much about the composition of steels, only how they perform. I work in a grocery store and have to cut many boxes and a lot of tape. Occasionally I’ll have extra time to just cut massive amounts of cardboard for the hell of it. It is from this background that I have made this decision.
First off, none of my blades in VG-10 have rusted. Sometimes I go a week between washing and/or oiling them. They just refuse to rust. I believe Nutnfancy has a video where he stuck an Endura in snow overnight and it didn’t rust.
Second is its ability to take an edge. All of my VG-10 blades have come razor sharp and I have been able to get them razor sharp after dulling. I am not the best sharpener. I use a Sharp-maker. No strops, no diamond stones. It does not take long to get it sharp. All of them shave hair in the end.
Third is the ability to hold an edge. Lately my main usage has been when I work in the freezer on weekends. Those are usually heavy-use days, compared to when I work cashier and stock shelves (mostly a box cutter). I often go two or three weeks without sharpening my Endura, and it still shaves hair. Last week I cut down a slip sheet into tiny bits. It was about 4’ x 5’ and the Endura was no longer hair shaving sharp afterward, but it was still cutting.
Fourth is the price point. This is where it really shines. You can find the above qualities in plenty of other steels, but many are more expensive and out of reach for some people. An Endura has a 3.75 inch blade. An S30V blade of comparable length will probably cost you about $75 and goes up from there with other steels [Ed: tell me about it; I just picked up an S30V Spyderco] but the Endura can be had for a mere $60, often times less. And that is where the steel shines.
The price point of VG-10 knives has made me question why I’d buy higher end knives, but I cave in sometimes. I like plenty of other steels, but for the reasons above, VG-10 is the best in my opinion.