Firstly - hi :)
Stumbled across the forum by accident but so much good stuff on here so thanks for those that share their experience.
However, the more posts I read the more confused I am so I thought I would reach out and ask for help.
A hobby cook. Cook most days on average an hour a day or so.
Almost exclusively Japanese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian and Malasian food.
I also do a lot of preserving and fermenting foods.
To date I have used fairly cheap Sabatier style cooks knives, mostly around 8" blades but also have a cheap Santonku 7" and a good kyocera ceramic santoku (was a gift) at 7"
What I find frustrating with the steel knives is how soft they are and how often I have to hone them. 3 heads of cabbage I carrot and 1 radish when making Kimchi and they are blunt again.
I spend a lot of time foraging/bushcraft too so have some good outdoors knives which I keep hair sharp, so have some experience of sharpening. Mostly 1095 and 19c27 type steels. I own a Spyderco sharpmaker up to their ultrafine rods, and 400/1000 3000/8000 whetstones (not the very best quality). Also a strop.
Im looking for probably two knives to begin with, probably a general chefs knife and a paring knife? Should I stick with Western style or look at Japanese (so many western style seem to be of poor steel and low Rockwell?)
So where do I start? Im in the UK and there is very limited local choice so it would need to be an unseen internet purchase.
Budget? Well whats reasonable these days? £100? £150? for a chefs knife? Im looking for maximum bang for buck. Pretty is always nice but its function and edge retention i'm most concerned with. I'm happy to wash and oil as necessary. It wont be used by anyone else so can be looked after properly (my wife is happy with any old crap knife)
Many Thanks in advance.