4116 Steel vs VG10 Steel – What’s the Difference

4116 Steel vs VG10 Steel

If you are a fan of kitchen knives, you may have heard of the two popular steels- 4116 and VG10. But what sets them apart from each other? Are they both suitable for your kitchen tasks? In this blog post, let’s dive into the details and explore the differences between 4116 steel and VG10 steel.

What is 4116 Steel?

4116 Steel is a high-carbon, cutlery-grade martensitic stainless steel. It has excellent edge retention and corrosion resistance and good stain and wear resistance due to its high hardness level (54-58 HRC). It contains approximately 15% chromium, 0.70% carbon, and small amounts of molybdenum and vanadium for optimal performance. Adding these elements makes it an ideal choice for making durable kitchen knives and hard enough to take on tough tasks.

What is VG10 Steel?

VG10 is a type of high-carbon Japanese stainless steel used in making knives. It contains 1% carbon, 15% chromium, 0.2% vanadium, and 0.1% molybdenum for edge retention; Cobalt or Nickel can also be added to further enhance the properties of the steel. It’s exceptionally corrosion-resistant and holds its sharpness well even after repeated use in tough conditions. VG10 makes an excellent material for durable and reliable kitchen knives that will hold their edge longer than other steels.

Difference Between 4116 Steel and VG10 Steel

Composition and Hardness:

The primary difference between 4116 and VG10 steel is their composition. 4116 is a stainless steel alloy with 0.45% carbon, 14.5% chromium, 0.5% molybdenum, and 0.1% vanadium. On the other hand, VG10 is a high-quality Japanese steel consisting of 1% carbon, 15% chromium, 1% molybdenum, and 0.2% vanadium.

When it comes to hardness, VG10 is considered to be harder than 4116 steel. The Rockwell hardness scale for VG10 ranges from 58-62 HRC, whereas 4116 steel has a 56-58 HRC hardness. This means that VG10 can retain its sharpness for longer and is more resistant to chipping and rolling.

Sharpening and Maintenance:

Since VG10 steel is harder, it can be sharpened to a finer edge than 4116 steel. However, this also means that it is more challenging to sharpen. Beginners may find it challenging to sharpen and maintain a VG10 steel blade; professional sharpeners may be required.

In contrast, 4116 steel is more comfortable to sharpen, and its edge can be restored with sharpening tools such as stones and honing rods. It also requires less maintenance than VG10 steel, making it an excellent option for everyday kitchen tasks.

Corrosion Resistance:

Both 4116 and VG10 steels are stainless and offer good corrosion resistance. However, VG10 steel is known for its superior rust resistance since it has a higher chromium content. Therefore, if you live in a humid area or leave your knives wet for an extended period, a VG10 steel knife may be the better option.


As expected, the price is significant when choosing between 4116 and VG10 steel knives. VG10 steel is a higher quality steel than 4116 steel, and the knives made from it are generally more expensive. On the other hand, 4116 steel is more affordable, making it accessible to those on a budget while still providing decent quality.


The choice between 4116 and VG10 steel largely depends on how you intend to use your kitchen knife. If you are looking for a knife that can retain its sharpness for long periods and offers superior rust resistance, VG10 steel knives are the best. However, it may require more maintenance and may not be suitable for beginners. In contrast, 4116 steel knives are more comfortable to sharpen, affordable, and require less maintenance. They are perfect for everyday users who don’t need a top-of-the-line knife or are just starting with kitchen knives. When choosing between the two, consider your budget, skills, and intended use to make the best decision.



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