Hi folks! Long time reader, first time poster ;)
After too many hours of researching and learning, I am still feeling the anxiety of picking quality knives for our home kitchen. I am writing this down to help with my thoughts but also in hopes of getting the nod towards a particular knife over another. The one thing I do feel good about is knowing that my wife and I will be using great knives. We foolishly bought a Miyabi Evolution a couple weeks ago and after learning what to look for in a quality knife, we quickly returned it to Sur La Table in search for something longer lasting. Our budget is flexible and we want to start out with better than good. Quality is an investment and we need these knives to last for many years--even if that means it is a knife we grow into skill-wise. Unfortunately, we don't have the means to buy and try many knives and create a true collection.
So, a little background on what we have made our minds up about (slowly making progress) ...or have we...?
- 50/50 edge. I am a lefty. Wife is a righty
- Stainless or Semi-Stainless. I think I would baby a carbon too much through my own paranoia of not wanting it to rust. Plus, I don't want to be the back seat driver when my wife uses the knife.
- French Profile...I guess. For better or for worse, we are starting fresh with this knife pick, so we are open to many profiles, but it's good to narrow a search, right?
- Western Yo Handle - mostly because this is all we know. If the quality is there, we could be more than convinced to spend time on the East Side.
- I will be doing my own sharpening.
- Needing a Gyuto, Petty, and Bread knife and a beefy backup.
Here are the 240mm Gyuto knives I found that peak my interest- in no particular order. The anxiety comes with having to pick just one. That is why the quality needs to be there for years to come.
- Kikuichi TKC - Seems a little pricey over other comparable knives - but again, we will pay for quality.
- Masamoto VG - Is this the VG-10 steel just like Shun? Is it too chippy?
- MAC Pro - Not pretty, but seems to be a top contender for being a good standard
- Richmond Ultimatum - Yes, its a Wa handle, but I am curious about the two steels being offered (19c27 and M390) is the M390 a significant upgrade offering a great value for the price?
- Gesshin Uraku - I feel like I should also give JKI some love and consideration
- Gesshin Kagera - Wondering the difference between the two - which is a better workhorse?
- Konosuke HD - Yes, it's a Laser, but it gets so much friggin Love! I am concerned about the flexibility of the blade. Will I mess it up on the stones or crushing garlic?
- Anything else to consider? Aogami Super Steel? Although, I have heard to stay away from clad knives --don't know why, though. - Can someone clear this up for me?
- Should I spend closer to $300+ on a 240mm Gyuto?
I figured I would match the Petty to the Gyuto with the same maker. Yes? 150mm sounds about right.
Bread Knife- Quality, functional, not looking for The End All in this one.
I am also learning that it would be good to have a beefy back up for squash and the like. Does a 10'' Sabatier fit the bill? Or should I go even cheaper or more expensive? We do a lot of sweet potatoes, squash, pineapple, watermelons etc. No red meat though, so bones aren't a concern.
I have much to learn about sharpening but I see this as an essential skill and important investment. What stones should I get? Do I need different grits for the different types of steels available? I guess that is why I was thinking of matching the Gyuto and the Petty. Again, I am looking for overall quality, not something that will "just get me by" for the next year or two.
Honing Rod- Ceramic or Steel? Simple salesman at SLT told us to stay away from ceramic because it shaves off steel from your knife. Can someone clear this up for me? Oh, how ignorance is spread by way of retail...Sorry that I have become a product of this.
Do I need a Strop? I don't mind getting one because I will also be investing in a Straight Razor for shaving -a topic for a different forum ;)
As much as I know the Greats on this forum are against simply picking a knife for someone, I am hoping you all could ease the anxiety. I find pros and cons in all the knives above. I just haven't found that voice inside that says "get this one."
Thanks for your patience. It helps that I only see your words typed and not your eyes rolling :)