First, I want to say thank for all the good comments I have read on other threads on this forum.
About 30 years ago I put out the "big" bucks for a 6" Henckels utility knife that looks like it was once the one linked below.
I am honestly not even sure it is a Henckels, I do know it is a forged German stainless knife. Over the years, all the etching on the blade has been worn off, and over 1/2" of the blade has been sharpened back, the tip is now almost in line with the top of the handle.
I am looking to replace this knife with something of better quality.
There are a few things I really like about the knife, and a few things I really do not like about it.
Having read many threads on this forum, I will try to answer as many questions up front as I can.
I am a semi-professional furniture maker, a hobby machinist, and I shave with a straight razor. I have a good understanding of what "sharp" actually means, the limitations of different steels in terms of sharpening and maintenance, and a very wide variety of tools for sharpening along with several decades of experience in getting sharp edges from just about any cutting tool imaginable.
I am 6' 5" and I have very large hands.
I chop on a white maple end-grain chopping table I made many years ago.
I cook for myself and any one that stops by for dinner, seldom more than 4 people.
I do by far the vast majority of my cutting with my 6" utility knife, I use a paring knife, a long slicer, and a cleaver when appropriate.
Mostly I cut veggies, steak, and chicken. Most of the cutting on meat is removing fat and the like.
What I do not like about my current knife:
It has a wide bolster that is part of the heel. I regard this as a fundamental design flaw in a kitchen knife.
It has too much taper from the middle of the blade to the bolster causing it to wedge when pushing the knife forward.
The faces of the blade are too flat, stuff tends to stick to the side of the blade and not fall off.
Most Importantly; the stainless steel blade will not take a fine edge.
What I do like about my current knife:
The blade profile. I like the semi-pointy tip, and the position of the tip being about even with the bottom of the handle. I like the mostly flat portion that can be used for mincing and light chopping. The curve up to the tip is nice for slicing into carrots and the like.
The profiled handle. I am not a fan of round handles, I like having at least part of the handle to be flat or profiled.
I like the durability of the plastic handle, but I am open a wooden handle.
The size and weight. I know that 8" is preferred by most in a chefs knife, but I find the 6" to be a really convenient size. Small enough to cut the hearts out of a bell pepper, but big enough to prepare a roast for the pot. I am not adverse to an 8" blade, but it should be a tad bit narrower than typical so it can get inside of veggies.
The edge is far enough below the handle (it sadly no longer is) to clear my fingers.
I would like suggestions for a good replacement.
I am not especially concerned about whether it is Japanese, German, American, etc.
I am very concerned about the quality of the steel. I am fine with stainless if it can actually take a real edge and hold it, otherwise I prefer carbon steel.
I would like to keep the price under US$200.00.
Sorry for the wall of text,
Thank you in advance,