Right now I'm leaning heavily towards the Granton® 12" or 14" Slicer or Granton® wavy edge.
I don't mind spending a bit extra on the front-end to ensure I get the best tool for the job.
Many times simply overlooked and maybe not quite in your budget range but perhaps one of the best on the market. Misono moly, exists in 12 and 14 inch.
Scroll down on this page; http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/MolybdenumSeries.html#MisonoMolybdenumSteel
Don't know anything about "the cake cutting wire", thanks, I will research as well as inquire at school about it.
That is a splendid looking blade, indeed. Yes, bit out of my current budget. but not obtainable if I can sell a few more loaves of Kalamata or Roasted Garlic Breads over the next couple of fridays.
There is a much cheaper alternative, but I'm not sure if they sell in the US.In my own country the Spanish brand Arcos in quite known, certainly amongst culinary students, for the simple fact that these knives are great value for little money. I believe Arcos has been taken over a few years ago by Henckel. I had a few Arcos knives before I switched to Japanese knives.
If it helps, this 350 mm (14 inch) one costs around... 15 €;
The Arcos store in Europe; http://store-en.arcos.com/products/knives/pastry-knives/
Or, try starting from their website http://www.arcos.com/
Forschner will do the job in your price range as well. 12" rosewood handle:
or 14" with fibrox handle:
At these lengths and with the chisel grind and somewhat flexy blade, you need to pay close attention to your cut to keep the blade from wandering or flexing.
A bread knife will be used for many things. The wire is exclusively for cakes:
Talking about unitaskers, what about this one for U$1.78?
Also from Arcos, these must haves for baking to be found here; http://store-en.arcos.com/products/complements/kitchen-tools/?p=60
In 200 and 250 mm and less than 10 €;
And a straight one in 205 mm, a bit pricier at 22 €
You should be happy with that knife. When you decide to get another one I would suggest one with an exaggerated bevel. We cut 1000's of cakes. This type of knife will incorporate air into the cutting so you won't have problems with moist cakes or semi frozen.
I will attempt to post,
The top one is what I'm referring to. HTH's
I really like the double bevel (bezel) of the Fat Daddio 14" serrated knife , unlike all the single bevel serrated knives I'v used, you can easily redirect the cut it you didn't start perfectly right.