Sorry, but must disagree.
In most cases, if you need a big-fat plastic grip as opposed to the standard style, you're squeezing the handle hard because the knife is dull. Don't feel singled out, it's incredibly common. Far more common than not. Most people, even most professional cooks, can never bring an edge which has begun to wear anywhere close to adequately sharp, let alone anywhere near where it was when it was fresh, out of the box, let alone "extremely sharp" -- which really should be the standard.
If a cheap knife lasts for years and years, it's not getting sharpened. If any knife lasts for years and years in a professional kitchen, it's either not getting sharpened or the cook doesn't mind working with a toothpick.
How do I know? What makes me think I'm so smart? Well beyond been there, done that, got the t-shirt, there are the fundamental laws of the universe. One of which is: Sharpening eats knives. Always. Bad sharpening eats them faster. Good or bad, sic transit gloria mundi, nothing lasts forever, pay the man.
Steeling is not sharpening. It's truing. Done well, with the right rod, it's effective maintenance, and will keep your knives working efficiently and away from the stones much longer than otherwise. But it's not sharpening.
Okay. Slight overstatement, there. But it was for your own good. Yes, using a "sharpening steel" such as a "diamond steel" IS sharpening, but it's bad sharpening of the most aggressive. knife-eating, ruin it in other ways sort.
J. U. S. T. D. O. N. O. T. D. O. I. T. Promise me.
The good thing about a good knife is how sharp it gets with appropriate sharpening and how much longer it can stay sharp than a crap knife; e.g., a couple of shifts vs a couple of minutes. A properly sharpened, high-quality knife makes prep sooooooooo much less unpleasant. Everyone's entitled to their opinion, but if you think a shift with a $10 knife is the same thing as a shift with a sharp, $150 knife, I have a LOT of questions.
A truly sharp knife lets you do all sorts of things in terms of textures, sizes, while preserving colors, aromatic oils, and flavors, a dull knife won't.
How many times have you seen fish cut with a blister pack, white handle knife in a good sushi-ya?
Surely (Shirley?) skill makes the craftsman and not the tool. But Is there a greater false economy than cheap tools?