Greetings from Christchurch New Zealand! A disclaimer on the below: I'm consciously aware of my own ignorance here, so if any of my statements are factually incorrect, misguided, or just plain stupid, do let me know - I won't take offence.
Having just picked up some money for some unexpected contract work (which required the sacrifice of a few weekends), I've decided to treat myself and get some decent kitchen knives. I'm a home hobbyist cook, chopping on a wooden board, have recently discovered the pinch-grip. Cooking a mixture of European, Indian, Mexican and Asian food, no one style predominating. I'm looking for a set of knives that can grow with me, and hopefully tolerate the usual schoolboy errors along the way.
I currently do just about all my cooking with a 6 inch chef and a 4.25 inch petty, plus a bread-knife and a carver for roasts. These are all from a cheap early aughts stainless "V" Sabatier set, which has seen better days. I'm realising from reading around here that the phrases slicer and carver are used interchangeably, and people do quite a bit with their slicers other than carving roast meat.
Question(s) #1: What kind of tasks do you use your slicer for, and what kind of profile should I be looking for in a slicer/carver?
I'm currently leaning towards Global knives. They have a good reputation for sharpness, I'm used to a French profile (although I have no real experience with a German one), and I like how light they feel in the hand. I was worried about sharpening, as I've never done my own, and I've heard Japanese knives can be difficult, but I was pleasantly surprised to read on these forums that the Minosharp 3 does a "more than adequate" job of sharpening them. More than adequate sounds good enough to me - I had previously heard roller sharpeners were pretty lousy, but that may just be snobbery.
At present, I'm looking at the G-16 Chefs (24cm / 9.5 inch) for the chef, the GS-36 Utility (11cm / 4.25 inch) for the petty, and I'm not sure about the slicer - either the G-1, G-3 or G-8, depending on the slicer advice above. Add to that the Minosharp 3 for sharpening, and all I'm missing is a honing steel. I'm not sure what to get here, as I'm not sure Global's honing steels are available in NZ, and I've heard they're not great anyway.
Question(s) #2 - what steel would people recommend for Global Knives? How often to they need steeling/sharpening?
For the breadknife, I think I'll take the forum's advice and go for the Forschner 10.25 inch.
I'm aware of a general "You can do better than Globals" sentiment, but given my local options, I'm not sure I can. I'm keen to get something I can hold/heft before purchasing, rather than making a mail-order leap-of-faith. Having surveyed the field, local options are limited to Wusthof, Henckels (Twin), Global, Shun, Ran, Forschner and Brasila. We'll say, for the sake of argument, that price isn't an issue.
Question #3 - do Globals sound like a good match for me, or can I do better locally from the brands listed above?
Apologies for the essay - thanks for taking the time to read it!