What is V-Toku2 Steel?
V-Toku2 steel is alloy steel with very few impurities manufactured by Takefu Special Steel and belongs to the V series line of steels including V1, V2, V-Toku1, V-Toku2, V-Gin1, and the “V Gold” series that includes VG10.
The components of V-Toku2 form hard carbides, making them durable and contributing to their ability to hold an edge for a long time. In addition, V-Toku2 steel is easy to heat treat because it contains very few impurities.
This improves its formability and workability. V-Toku2 steel is used to make different knives, including cutlery knives at HRC 65 and sporting knives at a hardness level of 61HRC.
V-Toku2 Steel Composition
- Carbon C 1.05%: Increases edge retention, hardness, and tensile strength. It also improves steel resistance to wear, abrasion, and corrosion.
- Chromium Cr 0.25%: Chromium Increases the hardness, tensile strength, and corrosion resistance of a blade.
- Vanadium V 0.20%: Forms hard vanadium carbide in combination with other elements that improve wear resistance.
- Tungsten W 1.25%: Mostly added to improve hardness in high-temperature applications.
- Manganese Mn 0.50%: Improves the strength and hardness of steel. When the steel is heat-treated, hardenability is improved with increased manganese.
Properties of V-Toku2 Carbon steel
V-Toku2 Steel Hardness
V-Toku2 Steel has a Rockwell hardness of up to 65HRC, depending on the heat treatment. At different hardness levels, V-Toku2 steel is used to make different types of knives. For instance, at 65HRC, the steel is used to make high-end cutlery knives, and at 61-62 HRC, it is used to make sporting knives.
The heat treatment of V-Toku2 is easy and can take various techniques depending on your requirements. The high tungsten in its alloy composition enables it to be treated at high temperatures with no adverse effect on its performance as a blade steel.
V-Toku2 Steel Edge retention
V-Toku2 knife steel offers good edge retention abilities due to the very hard carbides formed by the blend of Chromium, Vanadium, and Tungsten elements in its composition. Knives made from V-Toku2 do not require frequent sharpening after every use.
V-Toku2 edge retention is slightly better than other steel like Nitro V steel and HAP40 steel. It offers good edge retention but is not the best, falling short of other popular knife steels like CPM Cruwear and S45VN.
The ability to remain sharp for a long time also increases the durability of your V-Toku2 knives because they are not exposed to wear and tear from frequent sharpening.
V-Toku2 Steel Wear resistance
The wear resistance of steel is measured by its ability to withstand abrasion and sharpening, and it determines the durability of steel. V-Toku2 steel has high wear resistance and durability because of the fine and hard carbides formed by its elements.
The high attainable Rockwell hardness of V-Toku2 blade steel ensures that V-Toku knives will serve you across generations.
V-Toku2 Steel Toughness
The toughness of steel reduces with its hardness. With a hardness of 65HRC, it is almost obvious that V-Toku2 steel has poor toughness, but this is not the case. V-Toku2 offers excellent toughness due to the Tungsten in its composition.
At high temperatures, V-Toku2 attains high toughness due to the tungsten present in its alloy composition. Knives made from V-Toku2 steel have enough strength to handle tough applications without chipping and breaking.
V-Toku2 Steel Corrosion resistance
One of the downsides V-Toku2 steel is not stainless steel because it contains few Chromium elements to make it stainless. V-Toku2 knives easily develop patina and may rust when exposed to water or moisture, and this calls for proper care. Make sure to wash and dry your knives after every use.
Also, apply a coat of oil on the blade if you plan to store your knives for an extended period of time. You can get better corrosion and rust resistance with other knife steels like VG10 and Za-18 if you are keen on an easy maintenance knife.
Ease of sharpening V-Toku2 Steel
The ease of sharpening steel is directly affected by its hardness; therefore, we expect that V-Toku2 steel is hard to sharpen. However, sharpening V-Toku2 knives is not that difficult because its alloy composition gives it fine carbides which are easy to sharpen.
In addition to gaining a sharp edge very fast, V-Toku2 knives retain the sharp edge for a long time. This balance makes the knives a favorite of many users keen on edge retention and the ability to get back a good edge after use.
V-Toku2 Steel Comparison
V-Toku2 vs Maxamet
Maxamet steel exhibits a higher Rockwell hardness than V-Toku2 and contains more Tungsten than V-Toku2 steel. Maxamet is better than V-Toku carbon steel and most other knife steels in edge retention. Maxamet edge retention is the best among all blade steels in the market, the only steel that beats Maxamet in edge retention is Rex 121 steel.
On the other hand, V-Toku2 steel offers better toughness than Maxamet steel which is highly brittle due to the hard Vanadium Carbides in its composition. Maxamet knives can not be used for tougher applications like V-Toku2 knives.
V-Toku2 blade steel also takes an edge faster than Maxamet steel; it is easier to sharpen due to the reduced hardness and wear resistance. Both blade steels do not offer good corrosion resistance and are more susceptible to rusting when not well cared for.
V-Toku2 vs HAP40
The difference between HAP40 Steel and V-Toku2 steel is that HAP40 seel is powder metallurgy produced steel while V-Toku2 steel is conventionally produced steel. Powder Metallurgy process results in finer grain structure hence making it is easier to sharpen than HAP40 steel compared to sharpening V-Toku2 steel.
Both steels tend to offer almost the same level of edge retention when harden to the same Rockwell hardness. However, V-toku2 in cutting test from various YouTubers has shown to perform slightly better than HAP40 steel.
HAP40 steel however offers better toughness than V-toku2 steel due to the finer grain structure compared to the coarse grain structure of V-Toku2 which makes it a bit more brittle.
V-Toku2 knife steel and HAP40 Knife steel are not stainless steel, both will be susceptible to rust and corrosion. V-Toku2 steel will rust faster than HAP40 steel due to the low amount of chromium elements in its composition.
V-Toku2 vs VG10
VG10 steel is stainless steel and thus offers better corrosion resistance than V-Toku2 steel. V-Toku2 steel is tougher than VG10, and as a result, it does not chip or break easily when used for tough applications. V-Toku2 knife steel tends to hold an edge longer than VG10 knife steel, it is also much easier to sharpen than VG10 steel.
Spyderco uses v-toku2/sus410 steel combinations on some of its knife offerings like Delica 4. V-Toku2 steel is used as the core of the blade that is involved in cutting while SUS410 is used to laminate the steel. SUS410 steel is an excellent stainless steel that offers excellent corrosion resistance.
The cladding of SUS410 stainless steel thus enhances the performance of V-Toku2 steel in terms of corrosion resistance, it also improves the strength of the blade in general. This is the similar combination that Spyderco uses in HAP40/SUS410 blades too with HAP40 being the Core steel.
Is V-Toku2 good knife steel?
Looking at the properties of V-Toku2 steel, we can conclude that it is good knife steel. It offers excellent hardness, edge retention, wear resistance, and decent toughness.
The only downside is that it is not stainless steel. V-Toku2 blade steel quickly develops patina after a short time of use, which may prevent it from further corrosion.
You can get V-Toku2 blade steel pre-laminated with stainless Steel DPS to further prevent rusting. Or you can get it in prelaminated V-toku2/SUS410 Steel that comes with some Spyderco knives like Delica 4 and Stretch 2.