Hello so this is my first real post here. Now recently I have been researching across the internet for a good first knife set and for advice concerning knives. My roommate has an extreme knowledge of cooking (his grandma was some 5 star famous chef and taught him everything and I've witnessed his impressive abilities) and what not and I've asked him some questions concerning knives. Some of what he said has confused me though and I'd like a second opinion from you guys. First off he said that its a common misconception that the Chef's knife is the bread and butter of a cutlery set at home, it shouldn't be the most used knife instead a Utility knife should be most commonly used knife. Is this true? I always thought (especially from reading on here) that the Chef's knife should be the most used? Also he used sharpening steel and honing steel interchangeably in our discussion as if they are the same thing, I thought Honing Steel was just that..for honing? Lastly he said whetstones/oil-stones takes hours to sharpen a blade and that spinning wheels are much more efficient for sharpening blades, is this really true?
Secondly, in terms of knife sets after a lot of thinking and research I'm really set on Western Style Japanese Knives. I like the look of them and they hold an edge longer than German Forged knives which is important to me. These will be my first ever set and I want them to be something that will last me for life. I was considering the MAC Professional Knife Set ($399) and it includes a Chef's Knife. Utility, Paring, and Slicer. I like everything about MAC's and they are highly regarded. Also wondering if maybe I should just get the knives piecemeal so I can get a better array that serves the purposes I need. I know the the responses will pretty much be "well what experience do you have with knives," "do you know how to sharpen knives," and also "what do you primarily cook?"
The answers to those is: 1). I've only had experience with my parents set of Zwilling Henckles, my first knives once i moved out being cheap ceramic Ikea knives and a $10 serrated Chef's knife from a grocery store. I've learned some things over the course of the past few days of lurking on here, mostly the pinch grip and the different strokes you use on a knife (rock and chop for European knives and the glide and push for straighter Western Japanese knives). 2). No I don't know how to sharpen my own knives but i at least know that that those V shape sharpeners manufacturers try to make you use are rubbish. I've seen videos about Honing but don't have any experience. 3). I primarily cook protein and meat dishes: typically slow cooker recipes, pan cooked sirloins, London broils, chickens and various other dishes that include vegetables, sometimes the occasional seafood dish.
Anyway I know it's a lot to read and I'm open to any and all advice you guys may impart upon this lowly skilled at home cooker.