I've got a couple of cooks who in the last 8 weeks or so upgraded from tojiros to new gyuto's, specifically AS steel knives. They seem to have nothing but problems getting a good edge or keeping a good edge. Most of the sharpening is being done on Shapton glass stones (220,1k,4k).
Before they bought these knives I reminded them that harder isn't always better, in fact sometimes softer is more preferable. The example I use is boning knives, my carbon sabs ( both flexible filet & boning ) get plenty sharp but no so sharp that when we bone veal or pork we cut THROUGH or CHIP the bone.Giving extra bone matter on a plate isn't value added in my kitchen. I routinely stop sharpening after 1K because I like a bit more tooth on my knives for boning, still get plenty sharp and the edge retention is decent With my gyuto's, suji's and petty I 'll go all the way to 4K.
The 2nd problem with all this super hard steel is getting it sharp. I have put a screaming good edge on AS steel knives but it can take a long time. While I don't mind my cooks using some company time to sharpen, I can't give them 45min. every 2nd or 3rd shift to sharpen not to mention that I get tired off listening to them complain. Although I don't seem to get tired of telling them " you should have listened grasshopper! Chef is wise and shrewd and you should have listen to him.".
When I bought my last Gyuto (fujiwara 240 stainless) all my grasshoppers laughed at me ! They waved there AS steel at me like a vuvuzela in South Africa but it is I who got the last laugh, just like the vuvuzela, their precious AS knives lie in a drawer collecting dust. Now my kitchen seems to have alot of Tojiros, Mac Pro's, Maasa VG's and my often scoffed at but never dull Fuji's. Come to think of it since all that harder steel is gone most of the knives are sharp.
So to all you young cooks, new guys, FNG's and grasshoppers beware! harder isn't always better. Sharp always beats dull. Easy to sharp is usually better than harder to sharp.
Any other pros's out there with the same thoughts?
p.s. I finally taught them how to sharpen those damn things but the Tojiros still get plenty of work !