Hey, complete noob here, I'm looking to buy a quality chef's knife, my first. I'm someone who is used to using a very crappy, unknown, likely from Walmart brand hand me down chef's knife.
I know everyone likely has there own criteria/qualities they look for in a chef's knife so I figure I'd cover that first. Basically I'm looking for an upgrade, something that will last me preferably a lifetime, one with a good reputation and warranty. Reading around there is a ton of information and I honestly find it all very interesting but that said, I'm not really looking to make too much of a hobby out of it, something to keep in mind I guess. I'm just looking for a good, easy to maintain, durable chef's knife that'll last and perform better than your average kitchen knife, given the proper maintenance of course.
So far I've pretty much settled on a 9" - 10" Messermeister Meridian Elite. I figure I'd ask some questions I can't find answers to or I'm still searching for before making a move though, there'll likely be a lot but any and all help will be appreciated!
While searching it seems many/most prefer japanese knives, from what I've read though, they are much more fragile as well. I've read lots of reviews from varies brands and it seems most sites have at least one or two reviewers whom end up with a chipped edge, a broken tip, things of that nature. This really goes back to durability for me, I would prefer a knife I can drop for example (though obviously not purposely) and not have break on me, chip and/or etc. The question is simply, are there any knives out there that while harder, would still be as durable as the softer Messermeister Meridian Elite I'm leaning towards?
I've been looking into maintenance and have got a few questions about that as well. I've always been very good and steady with my hands so I'm looking to use sharpening stones however I know nothing about them. Naturally the first place I looked (given the knife I'm looking to most likely buy) was on Messermeisters site, however I'm not really sure which kind of stone and which grits to go with? What are the differences between wet and oil stones? Any other just as good/cheaper brand sharpening stones out there?
Finally, I was thinking about Messermeisters 12" Fine Grit Steel-Germany or Messermeisters 12" Fine Grit Steel-France for use between sharpening, any other suggestions or would that work ok, also what are the differences between the two as their descriptions look identical? I do like how the guard is made of plastic, I noticed some made of metal which I would prefer against should I accidentally nip it with the knife on occasion. Lastly, I read somewhere that the Messermeister Meridian Elite Chef's knife actually has a convex edge, would a steel work on a convex edge as well or would a leather strop work better in this situation?
Again, any and all help is appreciated!