About a year ago, I posted here looking for some advice, which I duly got (http://www.cheftalk.com/forum/thread/57510/horses-for-courses-living-with-a-new-japanese-knife). Thanks, it was all really helpful! A little over a year's passed, and I'm back in Japan and have a small-ish shopping list. If anyone can give any more advice this time round, it'd be greatly appreciated...
I got back last year with a Misono 440 210mm, a 180mm Deba, plus some stones. I've since been to japan on a number of occasions and subsequently picked up a Masamoto 135mm carbon petty. I've given those knives/stones a lot of use and am now a lot clearer about things now. So here are my thoughts and potential shopping targets...
The Misono was/is an excellent knife. I thought this until I got the Masamoto and went through some sharpening iterations with them both. I completely get carbon steel now! I find it much easier to get a very keen edge on it and the Masamoto is an absolute delight to use, I'm totally in love with it. Now, my thought was to replace the Misono with a carbon Masamoto chef's (the same size, 210mm); the Misono has a happy home to go to, in the shape of my brother's. I'm sure this will be an outstanding knife. However, while i must check the prices out in Union Commerce when I go, it seems from JCK the exchange rate changes make this quite an expensive knife. Conversely, the Euro is getting hammered and I note that I can pick up a 8" K-Sabatier carbon for roughly half the price. This is possibly too tempting... the Masamoto will be a delight to use but half-price is half-price! Anyone used both, any thoughts? (PS the sabatier I mentioned in the original post is vaguely retired. I realised it had been quite abused plus it proved a little long for our small kitchen).
180mm Stainless Chef's & 120mm Stainless Petty
My girlfriend has also been loving the new knives. However: the 210mm chef's is too long; carbon steel is not, ahem, compatible with her cooking style ;-) I'd like to get her a decent smaller stainless chef's and a smaller petty. She's less bothered by absolute sharpness and edge retention, more about lightness/ease of use and toughness (she's less kind on knives than I am!); she also has small hands. I was thinking for her Masamoto VGs (based solely on the outstanding performance of the carbon masamoto petty), but I note also that the Hiromoto G3 from JCK is extremely good value. I know german/french knives are generally tougher than japanese, but are there any japanese knives that are good in this regard?
Absolutely love the deba, so good for dealing with fish! I'll probably look to get a bigger one, depending on overall budget :-)