Anyway, I'm looking at a couple of 240mm gyutos, and would like to know what you all think about each one of them:
Sakai Takayuki Grand Chef Western
Konosuke HH Western
I'm currently learning my knife skills, and currently using a 8" Victorinox Forschner with a Fibrox handle that I like the grip but it feels scratchy to me. I will be picking up a sharpening water stone set (I have some experience sharpening pocket knives on oil stones with guides) as well to support what I assume will soon become an addiction.
I am left handed, looking for a western handle, stainless, and push cut. When I first started with my Forschner, it seemed long at first, but now I think it's a bit on the short side. My preferred budget is below $200.
This would be my first J-knife, and I would have gone straight for the FKM (I hear it has good ergonomics, good intro knife), but I'm wondering instead of upgrading a few months later I should just pay the extra $$ now and skip a tier.
Which brings me to my second choice, the Grand Chef. From what I have read, it a great metal with a good fit and finish (though the metal isn't hardened as much as other J-knives). The reason I'm looking at it is because my professionally trained cook friend (who has never worked on the line after graduating) felt that the handle on the Richmond Artifex would be uncomfortable after a while. I have read on other forums that the Grand Chef is over priced and would be cheaper if bought in Japan.
It seems that Konosuke has quite a following as well, though choosing the HH over the HD is a tradeoff between ease of sharpening and stain resistance. And I can't remember why the Suisin made my short list.
I'm thinking of sticking to single steel knives because I read that cladded knives feel slightly different on stones. I have also read that VG-10 like on the Tojiro can be chippy (especially for someone who hasn't gotten proper technique). No carbon because I'm not sure I'm ready for that kind of commitment (yet). I'll be keeping my Forschner around as my beater knife.
All in all, the Grand Chef looks very very tempting.