I don't think I need the sharpest knife in the world. My knife skills are novice (but I'm getting better and practicing good pinch grip technique) and I don't anticipate performing surgery with the thing. But I enjoy working with quality materials and I'd like a **** good chefs knife.
Price isn't really a concern, but I'm not a collector and I don't need a showcase piece. I'm expecting to spend something north of $100 and probably no more than $200-300. From what I've read here I think I can get a fine knife for about $100 bucks. (right?)
I'm leaning toward a carbon steel Sabatier for a few of reasons. I like the shape and it seems to me that leaning on a classic french knife makes some sense. I also like that they are unpretantious. I don't really go for flashy damascus-type knives but I understand why some people like them. The Sabatier seems timeless. I also like the idea of carbon steel but I have to admit I've never worked with a CS knife. I also don't know how to sharpen a knife (although if I can keep it sharp with a honing steel I can always have a professional sharpen it). I think the idea of forcing a patina on a Sabatier might be a good one. I understand the patina will help protect the blade.
I've also considered the Hiromoto AS. I guess most of you think the Japanese knife is a far better blade... but will a novice really notice the difference? Again, I'm inclined toward the Sabatier mostly for emotional / aesthetic reasons ... but I'm no dummy. If the Hiromoto is a no-brainer, I'll buy that one.
Anyone have any advice about the Sabatier? Given my profile... do you think I'll like it? Or will I be making a mistake by not buying Japanese?
Anyone have any other knife recommendations? I've heard good things about a range of Japanese knives, from MAC to Misono UX10 to Hittori to Yoshikane SDK. Again, I'm not an expert in cooking, knife technique, cutlery or sharpening!! I just want a **** good knife to have fun with and continue to learn.
By the way, the Sabatier I like is the four-star elephant version from Best Things. Probably the one with the real olive wood handle, 8 or 10 inches ... also like the nogent but I don't know if these are as easy to hold as the ones with the western handle.
Thanks in advance!!!