Tanaka VG10 gyuto

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jbart65
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Tanaka VG10 gyuto

Post by jbart65 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:07 pm

This is a review of the Tanaka VG10 210 gyuto sent on passaround by Chefspence.

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=2126&start=20

I’ve been ogling this knife for a long time. I already own a Tanaka Sekiso 240 and Tanaka ginsan 240. They are two of my best-performing knives.

The VG10 is suppose to be lighter and more laser than the two Tanakas I already own.

Why haven’t I bought one already? Guess I got scared off by the VG10 steel. That’s why I jumped on the chance to test out a pair of VG-10 knives offered by Spence for passarounds. What could a master smith do?

Quite a lot, it turns out.

Like its siblings the Tanaka VG10 is an excellent all-round performer and one of the best values in the small world of Japanese knives.

Let get a few things out of the way. The basic Western handle is not something I would keep were I to buy this knife. Jmcnelly covered it well in his own review; no need to rehash.

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=2126&start=20#p22978

I also find the 210 a bit too light for my taste. When comparing it with my Sekiso and ginsan 240s, the 210 faltered in comparison on thicker ingredients. More force and speed was necessary.

Still, the Tanaka VG 210 compares well with a variety of other 210s I’ve tried.

I did test out carrots to see if I experience the same sweet-bun stickiness as jcm. I don’t do the same volume as jcm, but yeah, carrots stick.

Other ingredients were less of an issue. The Tanaka ghosted through them.

As a home cook, though, separation is not a big deal to me. By and large the Tanaka VG10 is in the middle of the pack.

Now the good - almost everything else. The knife cuts extremely well, has a dextrous tip, gets sharper than I expected and held an edge longer than I anticipated. The damascus finish is of course nice; fit and finish is pretty good, too.

After comparing the Tanaka VG10 with my other Tanakas, the resemblance was obvious. Looks, profile, cutting ability, versatility. All in the family, all right.

Perhaps the only drawbacks: The VG10 can’t match the longevity of the Sekiso’s B#2 edge or its brawny ability on the toughest ingredients. I found the VG10 edge to lose that “ultimate sharpness” feel quicker than the ginsan as well.

Yet if you like the look of the Sekiso damascus but want stainless, the VG10 is the way to go. Just keep in mind it’s lighter and thinner than the Sekiso in both the 210 and 240 versions.

The VG10 and ginsan are more similar. Both have a bit of a bird’s beak tip, unlike the Sekiso, and they are thinner from heel to tip. The ginsan is heavier mainly because of the semi-custom Knives and Stones handle.

Neither the VG10 or ginsan, however, can best the all-round package of the Sekiso. Even the Sekiso’s slightly thicker tip seemed to perform almost as well as its more svelte siblings.

Since jcm sharpened the VG10 to quite a peak, I only stropped it on 1 micron loaded balsa before boxing up. Still extremely sharp if not quite as edgy as how I received it.

Thanks very much, Spence. What I have to determine is whether the profile and performance of the VG10 240 is different enough than the ginsan to justify another Tanaka gyuto.

If I didnt own the ginsan I would have bought a VG10 pronto. This is a severely underrated knife on CKTG and something any pro should consider. With a rehandle, I’d also recommend to home cooks who want a high-performance stainless knife.

After using it, I forgot all about VG10 steel.
Jeffry B

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Kit Craft
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Re: Tanaka VG10 gyuto

Post by Kit Craft » Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:16 pm

jbart65 wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:07 pm
This is a review of the Tanaka VG10 210 gyuto sent on passaround by Chefspence.

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=2126&start=20

I’ve been ogling this knife for a long time. I already own a Tanaka Sekiso 240 and Tanaka ginsan 240. They are two of my best-performing knives.

The VG10 is suppose to be lighter and more laser than the two Tanakas I already own.

Why haven’t I bought one already? Guess I got scared off by the VG10 steel. That’s why I jumped on the chance to test out a pair of VG-10 knives offered by Spence for passarounds. What could a master smith do?

Quite a lot, it turns out.

Like its siblings the Tanaka VG10 is an excellent all-round performer and one of the best values in the small world of Japanese knives.

Let get a few things out of the way. The basic Western handle is not something I would keep were I to buy this knife. Jmcnelly covered it well in his own review; no need to rehash.

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=2126&start=20#p22978

I also find the 210 a bit too light for my taste. When comparing it with my Sekiso and ginsan 240s, the 210 faltered in comparison on thicker ingredients. More force and speed was necessary.

Still, the Tanaka VG 210 compares well with a variety of other 210s I’ve tried.

I did test out carrots to see if I experience the same sweet-bun stickiness as jcm. I don’t do the same volume as jcm, but yeah, carrots stick.

Other ingredients were less of an issue. The Tanaka ghosted through them.

As a home cook, though, separation is not a big deal to me. By and large the Tanaka VG10 is in the middle of the pack.

Now the good - almost everything else. The knife cuts extremely well, has a dextrous tip, gets sharper than I expected and held an edge longer than I anticipated. The damascus finish is of course nice; fit and finish is pretty good, too.

After comparing the Tanaka VG10 with my other Tanakas, the resemblance was obvious. Looks, profile, cutting ability, versatility. All in the family, all right.

Perhaps the only drawbacks: The VG10 can’t match the longevity of the Sekiso’s B#2 edge or its brawny ability on the toughest ingredients. I found the VG10 edge to lose that “ultimate sharpness” feel quicker than the ginsan as well.

Yet if you like the look of the Sekiso damascus but want stainless, the VG10 is the way to go. Just keep in mind it’s lighter and thinner than the Sekiso in both the 210 and 240 versions.

The VG10 and ginsan are more similar. Both have a bit of a bird’s beak tip, unlike the Sekiso, and they are thinner from heel to tip. The ginsan is heavier mainly because of the semi-custom Knives and Stones handle.

Neither the VG10 or ginsan, however, can best the all-round package of the Sekiso. Even the Sekiso’s slightly thicker tip seemed to perform almost as well as its more svelte siblings.

Since jcm sharpened the VG10 to quite a peak, I only stropped it on 1 micron loaded balsa before boxing up. Still extremely sharp if not quite as edgy as how I received it.

Thanks very much, Spence. What I have to determine is whether the profile and performance of the VG10 240 is different enough than the ginsan to justify another Tanaka gyuto.

If I didnt own the ginsan I would have bought a VG10 pronto. This is a severely underrated knife on CKTG and something any pro should consider. With a rehandle, I’d also recommend to home cooks who want a high-performance stainless knife.

After using it, I forgot all about VG10 steel.
Nice review, thank you for taking the time to write it up. I wonder how this compares to the Wa VG-10 that Mark sells or the Nashiji VG-10 that is sold at Japany. It seems that every Tanaka knife line is different in some way or another!

jmcnelly85
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Re: Tanaka VG10 gyuto

Post by jmcnelly85 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:26 pm

The specs on the blade, and overall appearance based off photos of this knife vs the j handled one carried here lead me to believe that it's probably the "same" knife. Tanaka is known to have variances blade to blade, I feel confident assuming impressions on this knife translate over. At least, I'm telling myself that. This knife, (and the ginsan, for that matter) is a serious contender if I do ever switch my roll to all stainless. Tanaka really knows how to make a good knife.

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Kit Craft
Posts: 2401
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:57 pm
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: Tanaka VG10 gyuto

Post by Kit Craft » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:18 pm

jmcnelly85 wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:26 pm
The specs on the blade, and overall appearance based off photos of this knife vs the j handled one carried here lead me to believe that it's probably the "same" knife. Tanaka is known to have variances blade to blade, I feel confident assuming impressions on this knife translate over. At least, I'm telling myself that. This knife, (and the ginsan, for that matter) is a serious contender if I do ever switch my roll to all stainless. Tanaka really knows how to make a good knife.
Good enough for me, thank you. I think I will go ahead and throw the VG-10 Wa on my wish list.

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