I'd choose the ZDP189 every time, although I'm well familiar with sharpening it. Depending on what your buddy is used to sharpening, and the gear he has, it could be a learning curve.
I love the steel. After all this time it's still one of the best high carbide stainlesses Spyderco offer IMO.
The V-Toku 2 would probably amaze with its ability to take screaming sharp edges with minimal effort, but I tend to favour stainlesses, or tool steels for field dressing game and meat processing.
John Juranitch's book The Razor Edge Book of Sharpening details fairly extensive tests performed in in abattoirs and industrial meat packing plants, comparing identically ground knives in simple carbon steel to stainless. (I can't remember if the grades were specified, but if so I don't recall them.)
The stainless steel blades consistently kept a better edge in that setting, probably due to the corrosion resistance to blood and other fluids, and better abrasion resistance.
Sometimes pausing while field dressing, to take stock for a moment and hone your knife isn't as much of a problem as people might think. I know plenty of experienced hunters who just use skinning and boning knives in 420HC, 1.4116, 12C27 and the like, along with a worn diamond honing rod, to periodically refresh a toothy edge while they work.
Although I don't have a V-Toku 2 knife, it sounds like a steel which I'd be glad to try out field dressing one fine morning or afternoon, with ample time and the Doublestuff 2 at hand to do quick edge touchups. It would likely be no problem or inconvenience.
At other times, darkness might be coming on, and you might be facing a long carry out, and in those cases I want a steel with a long lasting edge, like ZDP189, HAP40 or PSF27 to get the job done quick without any pauses for touch up sharpening - so those are often my default choices.
Last edited by Cambertree
on Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:15 am, edited 2 times in total.