After reading these forums, a couple things are pretty plain and clear. I'm not an executive chef, so I don't need 20 different knives at $800 a pop. I also need to consider sharpening and upkeep as part of the equation.
So I've set my eye on the MAC line. It seems they offer key advantages for me, the at home cook. They rate high in performance and value, and they offer western style knives as a Japanese maker that can be maintained like a Western made knife.
Can anyone offer any insight on the relative merits of the Pro line versus the Ultimate line? There is a significant jump in price, but I'm unsure of what advantages there would be. I can get the 9" ultimate chef for $220 as well as the 10.25" ultimate slicer for the same price. That doesn't sound unreasonable to me for a high quality knife, although I'd be more than pleased to spend the 120 each for the pro line if anyone thinks there is little difference.
As far as sharpening goes, it sounds like the MAC line uses a regular V shaped blade instead of a one side sharp, one side flat of other Japanese lines. I currently have a Lansky diamond sharpening system. Essentially, a jig that lets me hold a constant angle for the blade while I sharpen using the diamond hone. I'm not that good at freehand yet although I can learn. Can I use this for the MAC line???
If this is not recommended, please recommend a sharpening system that I may use, as well as something to regularly hone the edge (perhaps a ceramic rod?).
I also am looking for a good set of steak knives, I could go get the Wusthofs, but I am unsure what to look for in this category (serrated or not, brands). Any help would be appreciated.