Vasil Kanchov was born in Vratsa. Upon graduating from High school in Lom, Bulgaria, he entered the University of Harkov, then in Russia. During the Serbo-Bulgarian War 1885 he suspended his education and took part in the war. Later, he went on to pursue studies at universities in Munich and Stuttgart, but in 1888 he interrupted his education again due to an illness.
In the following years Kanchov was a Bulgarian teacher in Macedonia. He was a teacher in the Bulgarian Men's High School of Thessaloniki (1888–1891), a director of Bulgarian schools in Serres district (1891–1892), a headmaster of Bulgarian Men's High School of Thessaloniki (1892–1893), а chief school inspector of the Bulgarian schools in Macedonia (1894–1897).
After 1898 Kanchov returned to Bulgaria and went into politics. In the beginning of 1902 he became an educational minister of Bulgaria, but was killed in his office by a psychopath.
He travelled extensively after 1888, visiting and researching all over Macedonia.
- Macedonia — ethnography and statistics 1900 ("Македония. Етнография и статистика"').
- Orohydrography of Macedonia 1911 ("Орохидрография на Македония").
- The region of Bitola, Prespa and Ohrid. Travel notes.. 1890 ("Битолско, Преспа и Охридско. Пътни бележки").
- The present and the past of the town of Veles. 1892 ("Сегашното и недавнашното минало на гр. Велес").