little background about myself so you can get a full understanding of what usage my knives would get. im 26 and looking into getting a set of GOOD knives that can last me forever. (i would prefer a full set of knives so i have the uniformity in the knife block) and i would prefer to not go over $500 initial investment and be able to slowly add to the set as i go
I LOVE to cook, was wanting to go into culinary school. however i had an injury that prevented me form being able to stand for long periods of time so i was forced to change to computers but i have never lost my love of cooking and frequently cook for other people such as my mom and her new boyfriend.
I currently use a Victorinox 8in chef knife and walmart special (crofton) - fillet, paring, and santoku. i have a nice big bamboo cutting board (20in x 15in) I would say i am using a knife anywhere from 3-9 times per week cutting things up for various things that i am cooking. i tend to do a lot more tap chopping than rock chopping, and tend to do a lot of various herbs, carrots, onions, and chicken, and sometimes (3-4 times per month) filleting of fish. I have limited "true" knife sharpening skills, i can sharpen my pocket knife, but not good enough at it to want to sharped a GOOD knife myself (i am learning, but its slow process, can only dull a knife so fast)
The knives im looking at getting pros and cons
Wusthof classic- the set i was looing at was a 16 piece set with block. Price is nice on these compared to shun, but the back end of the 8in felt extremely heavy in a pinch grip, the balance didn't feel tight to me. the 10 inch version fixed the weight balance, but I have always used 8in chef knives and it felt unwieldy. the paring knife however felt amazing and the santoku-ish (wonder prep i think was its name) was good as well. This may sound kinda cheap and petty, but the black handle with 3 rivets on it i can get cheap steak knives to go with the set. I believe if any steak is cook correctly you dont need a high quality knife to cut through it.
Shun classic- Due to the price dependency i was only looking at a 6 piece set. Firstly, I HAVE NEVER HELD A SHUN. There are no stores in my area that have them in stock to actually hold one to test for balance and feel. I can however buy one from bed bath and beyond try it and then return it (if they ever get them in stock again, go rural Texas). I have read almost everywhere that the Japanese steel in blades are better then the German steel in almost every way, making me lean towards Shun even at the higher price. Finally,
the lifetime sharpening is a big plus for me here, as i have previously stated im not exactly comfortable sharpening a good high quality knife, now do i have anything really suitable for a high end knife, i have a basic sharpening stone and a honing steel that is all. (its also why i love the victorinox, never need to sharpen that dam thing)
Now if i haven't bored you to death yet, are there any other companies/series that would be in this same range of knives. The more i look into both knife sets the more i dislike both of them. the German is to thick and the balance is wrong, and the shun is to fragile to cut through joins of a chicken and my mom would mess up the blade. (she swears she knows how to use knives, then using them to get lids the can opener dropped into the cans -shudders-) Please assist a clueless young man!