Hello! I've been researching the best japanese chef knife and initially settled on the Mac Pro 9.5" french chef's knife, until I started noticing that all the great endorsements for Mac seemed to be from posts ~5 years ago, and more recent posts seem to disregard the company now. Has quality diminished, or price gone up too high for the quality? It's on the high end of my budget at $185. $200 would be my max.
I've also been looking at the Miyabi Kaizen, Masamoto VG, and possibly the Misono 440 or UX10 (though that's getting even pricier, and I'm not sure I'm prepared for asymmetrical blades yet).
I'm open to other suggestions though, and would love an option that's a little more eye catching (damascus? Japanese handle, maybe?). It's probably shallow, but I'm a little disappointed with the rather plain look of the Mac.
For reference, my only "good" knife at this point is a Shun Edo 6.5" Chef's, so that's my starting point. I have had some minor issues with chipping, but was able to get it out on a whet stone. I plan to develop my own sharpening skills too, and would prefer a knife with good edge retention but also easy sharpening.
I also have a paring and bread knife from Victorinox, which are pretty cheap but get the job done well for the few times I use them (99% of the time I'm using the Shun)
Also, as a limiting factor, this will be going on an Amazon registry so it should preferably be something that can be purchased through Amazon. Brands I've seen on Amazon mentioned here and elsewhere: Miyabi, Misono, Masamoto, Yoshihiro, Mac, Suisin