N690 vs VG10:Everything You Need To Know

VG-10 is a high-carbon steel alloy that is used for making knives and tools. VG-10 is a manganese-based alloy that contains chromium, nickel, molybdenum, vanadium, titanium, tungsten, copper, and iron. The two most well-known steel variants, N690 and VG10, will be thoroughly explained in this post.

The major difference between N690 and VG-10 is that N690 is low-carbon steel while VG-10 is high-carbon steel. VG-10 is a high-carbon stainless steel alloy, while N690 is low-carbon steel. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.

With the low carbon composition in N690 steel, it means it’s soft. This makes it easier to work with, but harder to weld. On the other hand, VG-10 is high-carbon steel, which makes it hard and brittle. This makes it difficult to work with, but easier to weld.


Edge retention: N690 vs. VG10

When using a knife, you want to make sure that the cutting surface stays sharp. If you use a dull knife, then you may have to spend extra time sharpening it. Dull blades lose their sharpness over time due to repeated use.

When you purchase a knife, you should look at how well it holds its edge. A knife with a good edge retention rating will stay sharper longer than a knife with a lower rating.

The VG 10 is strong steel that gives excellent edge retention with 60HRC steel. Its edge retention is among the greatest of all steels, easily exceeding the N690. In addition, the VG-10 blade is compatible with any standard knife pocket.

VG-10 has 15.5 % of Chromium which improves Edge retention while N690 is known to have Chromium, 17%: thus N690 should hold a better edge retention than %VG-10.

Rust resistance: N690 vs. VG10

VG10 is cheaper than N690, but it’s not as good at resisting rust. Its corrosion resistance is lower than N690, but its magnetic property makes it easier to work with. N690 steel has a corrosion resistance of 80% while VG10 steel has a corrosion resistance value of 60%. If you don’t dry the water on your VG-10 it could rust easily.

Hardness: N690 vs. VG10

The VG-10 steel is much harder than N690. The more chromium, molybdenum, vanadium, nickel, and manganese elements in the VG 10 make it stronger and more durable than N690. It is also tougher than N690.

N690 has a 59-60 on the Rockwell hardness while VG 10 steel has a Rockwell rating of 60/61 HRC. You could clearly see that VG 10 is more harder although much more difficult to sharpen. N690 looks easy it is to sharpen when compared to VG-10

Toughness: N690 vs. VG10

The fact that the toughness rating decreases as the hardness rating increases is one of the key issues with super-hard steels in general. However, the N690 steel delivers decent toughness due to its moderate hardness. This indicates that it is not overly brittle and won’t break off readily.

N690 is low alloyed carbon steel that is used for cutting and drilling applications. Its high carbon content makes it strong enough to withstand heavy loads without breaking down. However, it does not hold up well under extreme temperatures.

VG-10 is a higher-quality version of the same material. Chromium, molybdenum, vanadium, nickel, and manganese features in it, make it stronger than N690.

molybdenum increases both hardness and toughness of a steal thus N690 has Molybdenum 1.1% and VG-10 is about 1.2%.

Ductility: N690 vs. VG10

Based on Tensile tests performed at room temperature using a universal testing machine, each test was conducted until failure occurred. The results show that N690 steel exhibits higher ductility than VG10 steel. This means that N690 is much stronger than VG10.

Sharpness: N690 vs. VG10

N690 steel is known for its high corrosion resistance and hardness. It is often used in knife blades due to its durability and ease of sharpening. It is also known for its ability to hold an edge well and maintain its sharpness over time.

VG-10 steel is well-known for being extremely hard and durable. It is also known to have good toughness and wear resistance. Wear resistance refers to how long a knife lasts before it starts losing its sharpness.

You don’t want to buy a knife that will only last a few months. You need to consider how much you plan to use your knife. If you’re going to use it often, then you’ll want to invest in a knife with a higher wear resistance rating.

Strength: N690 vs. VG10

The N690 is a much stronger material than the VG10 steel. The tensile strength of N690 steel is approximately 1,200 MPa. VG10 steel’s tensile strength is about 1,000 MPa. However, both sheets of steel have similar yield strengths. Yield strength refers to the maximum amount of force that can be applied before plastic deformation occurs.

The N690 can withstand higher temperatures. The N690 is also much stronger than the VG10 steel, meaning that it can take a larger amount of force before breaking.

Composition: N690 vs. VG10

VG 10 Steel is a high-quality carbon steel alloy that is commonly used in construction projects and industrial applications. VG 10 steel contains less than 0.03% vanadium, making it suitable for use in food processing equipment.

N690 is low-alloy carbon steel that is commonly used in agricultural machinery. N690 contains approximately 0.15% chromium, 0.35% nickel, and 0.05% molybdenum. Both steels are excellent choices for use in a variety of industries.


  • Carbon, 1.07%
  • Cobalt, 1.5%
  • Manganese, 0.4%
  • Molybdenum, 1.1%
  • Vanadium, 0.1%
  • Silicon. 0.4%


  • 1.05 % of Carbon: It improves hardness and wear/corrosion
  • 15.5 % of Chromium: For tensile strength and Edge retention and enhances corrosion resistance and wear resistance.
  • 0.5 % of Manganese: Increases hardness and brittleness.
  • 0.03% of Phosphorus: Increases strength
  • 1.2% of Molybdenum: Increase Machinability and strength.
  • 0.3% of Vanadium: Improves wear resistance and hardenability

1.5% Cobalt: boosts the individual effects of other components


Is N690 good steel?

Yes, N690 is good steel. It is strong, durable, and corrosion-resistant. N690 steel is a high-strength steel that is commonly used in construction projects due to its durability, ease of use, and affordability. However, it is not recommended for use in any type of industrial application where corrosion may occur.

Why do I need to know about N690 steel?

You should know about N690 because it is a popular material for making kitchen knives. You may want to buy a knife made out of N690 if you enjoy cooking and have sensitive hands.

What is N690 similar to?

The N690 steel is similar to AUS 8A, which is a popular choice for cutlery. Both are tough and strong, but they have different uses. AUS 8A is a little bit easier to sharpen and holds up better to repeated sharpening. N690 is slightly harder, which makes it ideal for knife making.

Can you forge N690 steel?

First what is forged steel?

Forged steel is a type of steel that has been heated above its recrystallization temperature (the point at which iron atoms rearrange themselves) and then cooled slowly. As a result, the structure of the metal is changed and the material becomes harder than normal steel.

Why do we need forged steel?

There are many reasons why we use forged steel. One of the biggest reasons is that it is stronger than regular steel. Another reason is that it is easier to work with. You don’t have to worry about welding together two pieces of regular steel.

How does forging affect steel?

When you forge steel, the structure of the steel changes. When you weld regular steel, the structure remains the same.

Can you forge stainless steel?

Yes! Stainless steel is steel that contains chromium. Chromium gives the steel its color. There are different types of stainless steel.


N690 steel requires less time to sharpen and keeps its edge for a longer period. Although VG10 is good steel in terms of edge retention and less time spent honing, it excels in terms of corrosion resistance.

If you live somewhere where water tends to collect, then you’ll want a knife that’s not prone to rust. You can prevent rusting by storing your knife properly. If you store your knife in a dry place, then you won’t have to worry about rusting.

Both the N690 and VG 10 are great steels. However, their features and price will help you make your choice.