Lurked here for a while. Been a home cook for much of my life. Dedicated amateur. I work in a restaurant but mostly FOH/some prep. I'm lactose intolerant and that's kept me out of a lot of kitchens. 90% of the cooking I do and take seriously is at home.
I've always liked good kitchen equipment but recently I've gotten into knives (I have pretty quality cookware). The first "good" knife I ever owned was a Shun classic that was given to me. I've used a bunch of victorinox, henckels, and wusthof knives. I've been improving my technique and coveting a proper Japanese knife and recently made a purchase of a Kanehide PS60 240mm gyuto, which was heavily hyped/recommended by a website that begins with "chefknivesto..." ;) Anyway!
This is easily the sharpest/lightest/most frightening knife I've ever used. I'm happy I went for the 240 over the 210 as the added length does not bother me at all and it's so light and nimble compared to the heavier knives I am somewhat more used to. I'm having some problems and I'm looking for a good place to start. Firstly I realize my technique is not nearly as good as I thought it was. I'm not sure how much pressure to put into the knife. The sharpness of the blade makes me feel like I'm abusing it by being aggressive in the way I'm used to with heavier knives. Additionally the blade is long and I'm not always sure which area I should be using. The sharpness of the knife also makes me feel like I need to be much more precise about where I place it in order to make clean and uniform cuts; essentially the knife goes wherever I put it and I'm not used to having this much control. Chopping also feels a bit barbaric with such a long blade and I don't want to damage the edge unnecessarily.
I basically have two questions: how best can I use this knife? How can I improve my technique? What are good resources for improving with this kind of knife? Where should I start? I feel unworthy of my new blade.
2. The knife is so sharp its catching in my poly cutting boards (i've yet to invest in a proper wooden board). I'm afraid this will ultimately damage the edge as I don't realize it's sunken into the board until I'm basically twisting it slightly as I pull it free. How serious is this? I have other, less elegant knives that I'm willing to use in the meantime? I sharpen with waterstones but again I'm not sure if I'm good enough to resharpen this blade yet. How can I know if the edge is ok? I am under the impression that I should not be steeling this knife (with a ceramic or metal steel)