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Username Post: VG10 and 3G (SGPS) steel        (Topic#845847)
Master Member KnifeNut!
02-28-09 03:02.15 - Post#1776112    

repeatedly we have been talking here about the advantages of both these great steels, Fällkniven is offering.
Some models are offering a preset steel range only(here the decision is made by the model)
and some leave a choice for the customer.

Like H1, WM1 and in 2009 as limited production run again the F1.

What are now real differences between the steels in practical use and the consequences for the related knifeuser?

I want to compare by my own experiences with my favourite knifemodel: the H1.

I am sure this is indeed a fair comparison as there is no difference in blade geometry causing different knife capabilities.
A H1 is a H1, no matter whether VG10 or 3G steel is inside.
So this is not about pro and contra certain geometry/steel combination, but which steel fits which purpose best.

concerning my personal experience with a H1, here´s the frame data:
1st bought in solid VG10 in 2001.
2nd bought two years later in lam VG10.
3rd and 4th are in 3G steel from Peter´s 1st production run early 2007.

one 3G and the lam VG10 model still today sit unused in their white factory box, only sharpened to a max, like I am used to do with any new knife.

Especially the oldest in solid VG10 and one in 3G have seen intensive field use being carried as almost sole fixed blade knife during hunting and outdoors activities in Germany, Denmark and England.

They have been used during all seasons for general campchores like whittling fuzzy sticks, cutting notches into limbs for easier breaking into campfire-size logs, trimming branches and saplings,
cutting bread and sausage at picknicks,
cutting meat and veggies in the kitchen
and of course opening, skinning and butchering various species of game:
hare, muntjack, roe, fallow and wild boar as well as a couple of ducks and the X-mas turkey.

After all this business I can state 1st of all that VG10 is a steel which performs everything extraordinarily well.

You can skin and butcher a 80 kg (opened+cleaned) wild boar with a VG10 blade perfectly, and then it still will be sharper than the average hunter´s knife is anyway.
Sure it will not shave anymore but using a good emery cloth on a mousepad will fix the issue again within fifteen minutes back to a scary sharpness, popping the hair off your arm in an amazing way!

So what is the difference to 3G steel composite blades?

3G steel is simply harder and offers HRC 61 instead of HRC 59 for VG10 edges. All other capabilities are similar and this results in a 3G-edge standing longer.

Noticeably longer. About 3 times, depending on the particular use.

Cleaning an 80++ kg boar, skinning and butchering it freezer-ready requires a single man, no butchering-pro but good with a knife, about three hours.
I did it several times with my H1/3G and after cleaning the knife from the fat and blood I still could shave hair off my arm! Sure I had been carefully avoiding bone contact and cut through joints only. Bones can be a brutal edge killer with any steel.

But finally the results were interesting.

What now about sharpening:
If inspected closely, a 3G edge after such a business surely was slightly damaged and imperfect, too. No wonder after 3 hours real labor. Sharpening it again to the limit took me - the same way as described in the turorial - noticeably longer, say around 25-35 mins.

Sure, admitted, I am a perfectionist and don´t simply get a diamond and rub the edge across it. I want a perfect edge. that´s why I use such knives and no butchering knives for ten dollars only.

Perfect means no nicks and dings and shining in a good even polish after the maintenance procedure.

And here comes a real difference between 3G and VG10 steel:

You will re-achieve a perfect grind within about twice the time compared to a "standard" VG10. And as the 3G steel is so hard, you should be wise and use a table or bench standing even and steady and being illuminated well.

If you have this opportunity, perfect, I recommend you get a 3G blade,
use it during day-trips to mother nature and do the maintenance when back home. While outdoors you will have a hell of a knife. And using the knife brains-engaged will ensure you have sharpness lasting well during a day or a weekend before you get home and can do some knife-maintenance.

Maintenance will be the essential point. Never let 3G steel become dull. It will hold it´s dullness in the same perfection it has held an edge before!

What´s the advantage of the "old" traditional VG10 Fällkniven still uses?

It resharpens noticeably easier and you don´t loose much of an edgeholding compared to 3G.

So if you are the guy wishing an easy and quick sharpening procedure anyway, the decision is done.

As well VG10 offers a real benefit if you don´t have access to perfect sharpening conditions. Say: no solid bench with good light available to put your abrasive on. This is usually the fact during longer outdoors stays.

Sharpening after a day´s exhausting hunt besides the campfire in the rain:
You are by yourself not in a perfect condition, sweaty, dirty and have to prepare and maintain equipment for the day to come. Light will go quick and night falls. And finally after all the camp business is done, there´s still the knife to resharpen.

I am sure the last thing most of us may want now is a careful long strop of a powdersteel blade crying for a service besides the flickering light of the campfire.

This is the time for a necessary quick restorage of a relatively easily maintaining lam VG10 blade!

Concluding in short:

3G powdersteel
is the best choice for
short trips and
enough of time to maintain the edge in between!

is the recommendation for
longer outdoors stays and
expected need of field sharpening or
requirement of less time spent for knife maintenance!

If you are now torn in your decision, as your wallet actually permits just one fixed blade:

there´s absolutely nothing wrong with VG10.

If you are willing to spend some extra money so add a U2 to your VG10 fixed blade. It features the most reasonably priced powdersteel blade of the entire Fällkniven line and this small folder makes a great backup just anywhere!

Re-thinking this experience and related memories has made me activating the lam VG10 H1 these days. It will surely be put considerably more into action during the future.

I am sure it has been underestimated (bought as backup anyway) all the time I mainly used 3G.
But there´s a clear justification for both steels and for harder and extended missions I am tending nowadays back to the traditional "softer" VG10.



the sharper your knife - the easier your life!

see you at the Fällkniven forum


Journeyman KnifeNut!
02-28-09 09:05.39 - Post#1776279    

    In response to foxhunter

Excellent and very practical review, thanks for taking the time to compare these steels and passing on your findings.
Journeyman KnifeNut!
02-28-09 10:25.13 - Post#1776303    

    In response to foxhunter

Great info Goert. Many people are used to steels with an rc of 55-57 so I am sure that VG10 would be plenty for most.
Showing the Nords how Aussies do it...(and looking damn good in the process).

Edited by samthedog on 02-28-09 10:25.47. Reason for edit: No reason given.
Banned USER
02-28-09 10:31.22 - Post#1776307    

    In response to foxhunter

G'day Goert

  • foxhunter Said:

But there´s a clear justification for both steels and for harder and extended missions I am tending nowadays back to the traditional "softer" VG10.

I agree there is still a place for both steels.

However with regards to which is better for extended field trips I disagree

Based on my field experiences with both steels, I'm tending more and more towards 3G.

Diversity of opinion is a good thing

Kind regards
"There's more than one way to skin a cat"

02-28-09 12:20.51 - Post#1776376    

    In response to foxhunter

Thanks for this review! I recently acquired my first Fallkniven - a U2, which has blown me away. I decided that the H1 was next on the list, and have been trying to decide between the two steels. Looks like I'm going to start with the VG10!

Journeyman KnifeNut!
02-28-09 12:29.07 - Post#1776384    

    In response to DarkStar11

I envy you!! I still can't decide what to get. H1, TK2 and now even the S1 looks good. Based on the good words spoken I might just bite the bullet and splurge on the H1 in 3G.... but, who knows? Tomorrow I might change my mind again
Showing the Nords how Aussies do it...(and looking damn good in the process).

Edited by samthedog on 02-28-09 12:29.47. Reason for edit: No reason given.
Master Member KnifeNut!
02-28-09 20:18.56 - Post#1776608    

    In response to samthedog

I must add another thing too!

I've got two VG10 knives, one S1 I bought this winter and one NL4 Frej I bought 1,5 years ago.
Both are very similar both in shape and material, laminated VG10.

However, the S1 is much easier to sharpen and gets a lot sharper than the NL4!

So I can imagine that Fällkniven came up with some new heat treatment somewhere between those or something....

Anyone else who has noticed this?
Rickard H

Master Member KnifeNut!
02-28-09 22:26.56 - Post#1776638    

    In response to SouthernCross

  • SouthernCross Said:
Diversity of opinion is a good thing

Mick, I don´t believe we are really apart from each other.

I don´t make a fuzz about the fact I use and like 3G powdersteel blades a big lot. And I´d never miss a 3G folder in my pocket!

However from time to time this hard stuff makes me re-think my preferrence. Especially when the edge got damaged say by a bone or so.

Sharpening VG10 is a big lot faster and easier despite it´s a tough steel anyway.

Removing a nick perfectly out of a 3G edge can be annoying. Same procedure on VG10 is no fun either, but you can reach success a lot easier especially under primitive conditions.

So I am nowadays tending to use a 3G edge when a day or weekend-trip is intended only.
During extended outdoors activities I am going to (re-)activate my F1 and H1 in solid or laminated VG10.

Maybe I´m getting older now and am just getting tired of too much of powdersteel maintenance ?

the sharper your knife - the easier your life!

see you at the Fällkniven forum

Banned USER
02-28-09 23:36.37 - Post#1776648    

    In response to foxhunter

G'day Goert.

I must admit that I have found edge holding to be important in the way I use a knife. I much rather be using the knife to get the job finished, than stopping to sharpen more often.

To me, that is the key difference between the 2 steels.

SGPS will indeed hold its edge significantly longer than VG10. Over the course of a day in the bush, I've found this increased edge holding will actually reduce the amount of time required to maintain the edge.

With three times the edge retention, I need to sharpen the 3G blade 1/3 as many times as the VG10 (assuming the same starting level of "bluntness"). Over the course of a day, this does result in a significant reduction in the total sharpening time for 3G compared to VG10 .

I've also found that if I sharpen a 3G blade after the same amount of work as a VG10 blade, it actually takes less time to sharpen the 3G because it will have a much sharper starting edge than the VG10.

I admit that when maintaining the edge on my knives, I'm not after perfection. What I'm after is a good working edge that will do the job. Spending up to a week in the bush at a time means that I do maintain the 3G in primitive conditions (not many tables or chairs where I camp ). To be honest, I can't say I've experienced any difficulties in maintaining a good working edge on a 3G blade whilst in extended camp.

Add the fact that 3G has good corrosion resistance and hasn't proven to be prone to chipping and I'm very happy with this steel

Please don't think that my disagreement is intended to be confrontational or meant to convince you to change your mind. Rather it's intended to explain why I'm leaning towards 3G for my using knives. Because at the end of the day, every knife user should choose the steel that suits them .

Take care my friend.

Kind regards

"There's more than one way to skin a cat"

Master Member KnifeNut!
03-01-09 00:09.03 - Post#1776657    

    In response to SouthernCross

Hi, Mick!

no offense taken at all

there is more than one way to skin the cat one wise man said

Maybe the biggest difference in approach is about the perfectness of a grind. And I admit here I am rather demanding with my own skills. I guess most of my edges are ground behind a plain working level. because it´s so much fun haveing the cutlery sliding without resistance through the stuff to be cut!

A fellow once asked if the knife was new although it had been already in EDC use for over three years.

Even a cheap Mora (best for opening a really muddy boar with a skin full of clay, sand and pebbles) will not be allowed to have any scars/chippings after the maintenance job. However this usually lasts on a Mora barely 5 mins due to the soft steel.

I love to use my Fällknivens for any game, but for these muddy beasts I have a separate red plastic handled mora in my rucksack when after boar.

Finally being mostly out for daytrips in my densely populated country, there´s mostly a 3G blade at my belt, and in the evening or next day there will be the kitchen table and sufficient illumination.

Being out for many days in our northern climate mostly means to deal with cold, humidity and often rain for at least 50% of the time. That´s why I don´t like blade maintenance afield and during trips so much anymore and want to keep it quick.



the sharper your knife - the easier your life!

see you at the Fällkniven forum


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