Thanks in advance.
I've stumbled across the forum a number of times. I particularly seem to frequent threads heavily populated by boar_d_laze (BDL). I must admit I'm hoping he'll chime in here, if he's not sick of reading noob posts.
I'm a physicist who fell in love with cooking. I'm even considering a stage at a local resturant. One of my specialties is materials science, so blade crafting has a real warm spot in my heart.
All I've been using for some time now is a block of Hampton Forge knives from Costco. I find the steel too soft and it doesn't hold an edge well. The 10" chef is too heavy and thick and I almost never use it. I have good knife technique with a pinch grip and hand-guide, but I do consider myself still learning. I want a knife that will grow with me as I perfect my knife handling and sharpening technique.
I've just ordered a nice block of Sanelli knives from costco.ca (http://www.costco.ca/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=10328905&lang=en-CA) as work horses, but I want to get my first big-boy chef's knife.
Since customs is terrible in Canada, my best options for buying online are
http://www.kitchenvirtue.com/ (Basically just Shun and Wusthof)
I'm definitely thinking Japanese style. I appreciate the elegance to the design, the balance and I'm not affraid of sharp knives. I appreciate the challenge of learning to sharpen, so I would lean slightly towards a longer lasting edge than sharpening ease. I'm right handed and definitely looking in the 9.5"-10" range. I can go shorter, but I'm not interested in anything longer without a good reason. I lean towards lighter and thinner, but what's really important is control and agility. I like the idea of a knife that rewards good technique.
I'm looking at value more than I am price. I'd like to keep it between $100-$250, but I'm not going to let price keep me from getting what I want. That said, my knife collection will be a life-long evolution, so I don't mind buying with it in mind that in a few years it will get second billing.
Current items I'm comparing (in order roughly of preference) are:
- Sakai Takayuki Grand Chef SP Chef's Knife, 240mm / 9.5"
- MAC Pro 8" with the granton edge (Why no 9.5/10" with granton?)
- Sakai Takayuki 17-Layer Damascus Chef's Knife, 240mm / 9.5"
- MCUSTA Zanmai Pro Chef Knife (Gyuto), 240mm (9.4-inch), VG10, 32-layer Damascus, Quince wood handle
- Lee Valley Japanese Knives (not sure who makes them, but they may be a good value)
- Lee Valley Thiers-Issard french knives (I will probably grab the utility knif from this set, since I find the shape very beautiful, but somehow French 10" knives seem out of proportion compared to Japanes designs).
Comments, suggestions or any other knives I should be looking at? I'm particularly interested in a comparison of the Messermeister and the Sakai Takayuki Grand Chef. I love the look of the huge dimples, but do they really perform better? I do hate it when my slices stick to the side of my knife.
Thanks so much! I'm sorry for the long story!