How to Sharpen VG10 Steel? [Complete Guide]

Your premium VG10 knife got dull, and you tried everything to get the sharpness back. You may have even heard some rumors that VG10 steel is difficult to sharpen.

Finally, you ask Google “how to sharpen VG10 steel?”

To sharpen VG10 steel, you need only two tools to be specific. A ceramic honing rod and a 400/1,000 multi-grit whetstone. First of all, hone your knife with the honing rod. Then, use the 400-grit whetstone to create an even burr. Finally, use the 1,000-grit whetstone to sharpen your VG10 steel.

Is that all you’re here for? I don’t think so.

I’ve made this whole content to guide you through every step of sharpening your VG10 steel. Also, you’ll find some tips so that you don’t make the mistakes that most people do.

So, let’s start with the myth-busting.

Is VG10 Steel Hard to Sharpen?

Is VG10 Steel Hard to Sharpen

VG10 steel is premium steel. They’re built for toughness and durability. However, you may be thinking it’s hard to sharpen VG10 steel because of its toughness. But are they?

Well, from my experience, I found it quite easy to sharpen them. But you need to distinguish between easy and fast. They may take a bit more time for their double-sided bevel. But they’re not at all hard to sharpen if you follow the right approach.

What Are The Tools Needed to Sharpen VG10 Steel?

You’ll certainly need some tools to sharpen your VG10. But don’t worry. They’re not that expensive and you can use them for a long time.

So, what are the tools you need? Let’s explore them.

Ceramic Sharpening Rod:

You may have a steel sharpening or honing rod in your house. But let me tell you, a steel rod is not ideal for sharpening VG10 steel.

I personally used both of them. And, I found ceramic honing rods to perform exponentially better than steel honing rods.

You should hone your knife a bit to prepare it for the whetstones.


You may need different types of whetstones to sharpen your VG10 knife depending on the profile. The duller the profile of your knife is, the more whetstones you’ll need to have.

Follow the table to get a better understanding of how many whetstones you need to have.

VG10 Knives Current ConditionWhetstones to Start with
Dull (Haven’t been used for over a year or the profile is too dull)400 Grit Whetstone (Low Grit)
Fine (Haven’t been used for a long time or the profile is fine but not sharp)1,000 Grit Whetstone Medium Grit)
Sharp (The profile is sharp but you want to refine more)3,000-8,000 Grit Whetstone (High Grit)

As you see from the table above, you may need 3 different grits of whetstones.

But wait, there are some multi-grit whetstones available on the market. And, in most cases, a 400/1,000 grit whetstone is more than enough for sharpening VG10 steel.

Leather Strop & Diamondstone:

Let me be very honest with you. These two tools are not recommended for beginners. If you’re not an expert in knife sharpening. You should avoid these tools. Because it’s easy to deform your knives with these tools if used incorrectly.

So, why do I even mention them? Well, these tools can make your knives even sharper than a whetstone.

When you become an expert in sharpening knives, you can use them. There are thousands of videos available on youtube on using leather strop and diamond stones.

Now, it’s time to dive into the real business. Let’s find out how you can sharpen your VG10 steel properly.

How to Sharpen VG10 Steel?

how to sharpen vg10 steel

Follow the steps I’m providing to properly sharpen your VG10 knives. It’s to make sure you get your desired result. Let’s start.

Preparing The Whetstones:

Before starting the actual sharpening process with your whetstone, you need to prepare them. Here’s how you do that.

For low and medium-grit stones, you need to soak them in water for 10-15 minutes.

However, for the high-grit ones, don’t ever soak them in water. This can make them break when sharpening. Keep them as they are. I’ll tell you later how to prepare the high-grit stones.

Honing The VG10 Steel:

When your whetstones are being soaked, you can hone your knife with the honing rod. Follow the steps to properly hone your VG10 knife.

  1. Place your ceramic honing rod upside down on a firm surface.
  2. Hold your knife firmly, keeping the sharp edge facing down.
  3. Place the heel of your knife beside the rod.
  4. Make sure you get the proper angle of your knife with the rod. (Most Japanese knives have a 12 to 15-degree angle. However, follow your manufacturer’s manual to make sure of the angle.)
  5. Pull your knife toward your body so that the knife hones from the hill to the tip.

Pro Tip: It’s easy to mix up the angle while pulling the knife. I recommend keeping your wrist and elbow locked and pulling your knife by the shoulder. This makes your hands more steady, thus ensuring a more consistent angle

  1. Work on one side of your knife five times and do the same for the other side.
  2. Finally, alternate the sides with a single pull for 5 to 10 times.

That should be enough to get your VG10 knife prepared for the real sharpening. Let’s start.

Sharpening & Creating The Burr on The VG10 Knife:

When you’re sharpening a knife, you’ll find the edge folds over and creates a ridge. This ridge on the opposite side is called a burr. And we’re going to do it intentionally. Because the whole point of this sharpening is to get a burr evenly.

Follow the steps below to create a burr on your VG10 knife.

  1. Place your knife on the soaked whetstone. (Start with the grit I mentioned in the table above.)
  2. Hold your knife firmly, maintaining the proper angle.
  3. 4 o’clock for right-handers and 8 o’clock for left-handers are the recommended holding positions.
  4. Place two fingers on the tip of your knife.
  5. Push and pull the knife, dividing them into small sections. 3-4 sections are ideal to cover from hill to tip. Remember to apply slight pressure depending on the side you’re working on. The below image can be helpful for you in this case.
  6. Work on one side until you feel the burr spread evenly throughout the opposite edge.
  7. Flip onto a different side and repeat the whole process.
  8. Finally, continue flipping on different sides to reduce the burr.

This process should be enough to sharpen your VG10 steel knife. However, if you want a more refined edge, you can use the finer grit stone now.

Refining The Edge:

To refine the edge with the finer grit stone, you need to prepare the stone now. To do that, spray a bit of water on the stone. The surface should be perfectly wet.

Now, it’s time to refine the edge of the VG10 steel knife.

It’s no different than working with a medium grit stone. However, you need to make sure you apply a lot less pressure this time. Another important thing to remember is to alternate the sides frequently. It’s to make sure that no burr is forming on any edge.

That’s all for sharpening your VG10 steel knife. If you follow the steps properly, your knife should be able to cut through paper.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What’s The Difference Between VG10 & S30V?

The main difference between VG10 & S30V is the materials used in them. Anyway, in reality, you feel the difference in maintaining them. The VG10 is tougher than the S30V. Hence, you need to sharpen them more frequently than the S30V. However, VG10 is less likely to break than S30V.

Does Honing Rod Sharpen My Knives?

The honing rod doesn’t sharpen your knives. Rather, it realigns the edges of your knives. However, there are different types of honing rods available. The most common of these are steel, ceramic, and diamond tip honing rods. And among them, only ceramic rods sharpen your knives to some extent.

Can I Sharpen Japanese Knives at Home?

You can sharpen Japanese knives at home. This can be done using some whetstones of different grits. 400/1,000 grit whetstone is the best for sharpening Japanese knives. Start with the 400 grit to create a burr on your knives. Then move on to 1,000 grit to sharpen them.

Take Away

So, did you get your answer on how to sharpen VG10 steel? If you did, please share your experience with me in the comments.

Anyway, if anyone tells you “it’s hard to sharpen a VG10 steel,” refer them to this content.

The thing is, if you’re doing it wrong, you’ll find it difficult. But, if you take the right approach, the process should be as easy as it can get. Just spare 10-15 minutes and your VG10 knife will shine like a new one.

Robert Dennis

I am Robert Dennis - A professional grill and smoker technician, I have over 10 years of experience in the industry. I am skilled in the repair and maintenance of all types of grills and smokers and am knowledgeable in the use of a variety of tools and techniques. I share my knowledge and experience to help readers understand the inner workings of grills and smokers and how to maintain them properly. I am dedicated to providing the best information to help readers keep their grills and smokers in top working condition. - Serve Yourself -

Leave a Reply