I know this is the same old question that gets asked all the time around here, so I kind of hate to ask it.... but after combing through thread after thread and taking in SO much information, I'm still a little mixed up and unsure exactly what to do! So, if you don't mind humoring me with a few more recommendations and pointers, I would really, really appreciate some personalized advice :) thank you SO much in advance!!!!!
I recently graduated from culinary school and am now enjoying my first job. I would like to keep it under or around the $125 range if I can. I currently have most of the basic knives i need, but my two principal knives are a 6" Zwilling Pro (which i dislike due to its length and shape of the blade, but it was a gift and i use it primarily because it stays sharper than the other), and a cheap 8" victorinox that came in my school kit and which I really struggle with. my coworkers are wiling to let me sharpen it with their stones, and i use my steel regularly, but even so it usually loses its edge by day two, and i'm sick of putting up with it, it makes work miserable. so, bring on the search for something new!
I have very basic sharpening experience (its quite possible I'm doing something wrong, but my knife still seems dull even when my coworkers help!). right now i've only got one of those ugly handheld sharpeners of my own that i use when i'm at my wits-end, but i am definitely looking to buy some good, basic stones to accompany my new knife so i can take care of it properly myself. and on that note, i don't mind taking the time to sharpen regularly, and i will and do use my steel, but to say i'm going to use a stone every day like i've heard japanese chefs do is not being honest with myself! i would like to aim for once a week with frequent steeling every day, but to be honest i'm still new to the pro kitchen environment and workload and really not sure what to expect when it comes to frequency of sharpening for these kinds of knives.
So, anyway, here's where i'm at::
I somehow stumbled upon the Sabatier TI nogents a while ago, and got my heart set on having one, but i eventually talked myself out of it because the only ones left are 10", and i'm not quite ready to make that leap yet. I'm still heavily considering a carbon TI, but most of the reviews i've read also seem to come from people who have vintage sabs. how do the new ones honestly compare?? Most importantly, considering this is going to be a workhorse knife that i use every day, at home and at my job, and which i really need to be as sharp as i can manage and not too fussy, is this really the best knife to pick for the sort of environment i'm in??? i've done my homework on how to care for a carbon knife, so that part doesn't worry me. it's mostly about how they're going to perform in a professional kitchen. But i still like them because i think they're beautiful, and i've read a lot of good things about carbon knives and sabatier knives in general. They seem to have a personality to them that a lot of the more popular knives just seem to have lost---is that a valid reason to choose a knife??
This leaves the Japanese knives. I've prettymuch crossed global and shuns off the list after trying them out at Williams Sonoma. I thought about a FujiwaraFKM but everyone i work with seems to have one of those, and i'm vain and like to be different so i've been unreasonably (and maybe foolishly?) leaning away from them. i dunno, they're good knives and i'd probably be happy with their performance, but for some reason i'm not totally enthusiastic about them, and i kinda feel like even if i do get one, i'll still wish i had something else, even with no real explicable reason for feeling that way. but it'd be a good knife to get me started until the day comes when i can afford something better. I've also had the opportunity to try a mac, which i preferred over everything else, but the one i tried was $230 so unless they have a cheaper model that's any good, that's out...although I do get a 30% discount through my job which puts it a bit closer to my price range and i am willing to consider the splurge if that's the most recommended plan of action.
are there any other good manufacturers out there that i don't know about but might fit in my price range and offer something that i should consider?? as it stands, my top choice is still a sab out of love, followed by the fujiwara out of practicality. and then the mac if i can get over the price tag.
I know i've said a lot and i know this is a repetitive question, and you're probably all sick of newbies like me clogging your forum up with the same thing over and over, but i really value all your advice and imput and really look forward to hearing what you have to say and learning from your experiences :) thanks so much!!!