Long-time lurker on the various forums since I started heavily researching J knives a few months back. I won't go into my background now, or ask too much of the typical "what brand" questions. The lurking has answered many of those questions and I'll save the rest for another thread.
This question is about what styles/sizes of knives to pick in order to work on building a complete set without redundancies. I'm not one to have six 240s when 1 or 2 would do.
I made the jump with a 120mm Tojiro ITK Shirogami Petty and 165 Nakiri. The purpose of these knives was to be introduced to real Japanese steel and carbon steel. I plan on using my 120 as a large paring knife/small petty, and the nakiri was mainly to practice sharpening, and experimenting with cutting styles with the flat edge. They were inexpensive and I plan on practicing with them and building a set around them.
I know the nakiri will be redundant once I build up a collection, but it'll serve its training purposes till then.
I'm debating on whether I want to pull the trigger on the Konosuke 240 gyuto or go with the JCK Inazuma line or Ginga or Sakayuki etc.... I will be getting that size next when I figure out what I want to spend according to my skill.
Finally, the main point of my post:
I want to know the core list of sizes and shapes I should get when my set is complete-ish.
I'm considering these sizes:
150mm honesuki or petty
rounded out at the end by the bread knife and possibly a deba.
The problem I'm running into is the middle part. Is a honesuki really necessary? I do like to buy whole poultry and break it down, but would a dedicated 150 honesuki be redundant with my 120 petty and a petty in the 180/210 range? I could use it as a stainless knife for citrus slicing and bar work as well.
With the 120 petty/parer I have now, what would the next size petty be? 180/210... I would use it for slicing steaks to fan for plating, for other small slicing tasks, for trimming if I didn't get the honesuki, and other small slicer tasks (coring peppers/whatever) when the 240 wouldn't be practical.
Should I even get a 210 petty if I eventually want the 270 suji? Would that size be awkward slicing a small steak? I just used my western 10.5" slicer on seared tuna and could really have used a proper edge for that. However, the length was great and with the slight clearance benefit from the wa handles I want a J suji would have been great.
What knife would I use for fileting small fish (fish you would buy whole for home use, not tunas or salmons). I'm thinking I could lop the head off with a german chef's and filet with the 180/210 suji. Is that what people do without mioroshis or debas?
Sorry for the long winded post, but I wanted to give as much of the basic info I could to help the answers. I need help narrowing my list so I can pull the trigger again. What should the next size up be from the 120 based on the uses I illustrated? Honesuki or just the next size up and skip 150 altogether? Although not necessary for my post, for what its worth, I have the Bester, Beston, Suehira stone set and am practicing with the Tojiros.
Thanks for making it through my redundant post about avoiding redundancy in knives. :)