Just wondering this is a small set of mine.
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Absolutely not. Buy an 'off the shelf' knife from a good maker. When you have preferences that cannot be filled by what is already made that is when you buy custom. You need to know EXACTLY what you want and discuss this with the knifemaker or don't bother. I will say that not all custom knives perform better, a lot of it is about customizing your knife looks and handle etc. I can get a knife from Japan for $150 that cuts better than $800 customs.
here are some very good price/performance knives for a few different entry lvel price range http://www.cheftalk.com/t/91829/my-first-true-knife#post_557355
This is very truth. To add just as knifebrands vary a lot, makers vary even more.
There are makers focused on art which is obviously costy and not needed to do the job.
And the ones focused on function - differences between them in the actual knife performance
can be quite dramatic and not related to pricing anyhow.
For example I cook in my spare time I enjoy using the best ingrediences and tools.
As I have an industrial background, made myself a knife recently.
(obviously impossible to vast majority)
the reason was I would have to pay at least double price for it and also
I never seen such type of the blade with the steel, geometry, handle ergonomy
(posted an another post with pics and vids of its performance, not sure it went trought)
Also no one asked what she knows about knives, and what is she currently using
and what type of food she prepares with them ?
Is it like people who never cooked a potato suddenly become a chef ? Unlikely.
So she might actually know if something could be different with different tool.used instead
But waiting and becoming more perceptive about how you use the tool is not bad idea.
the prices listed are for the CHEFS knife. The other shorter knives are going to be cheaper. Overall you can get a very good working set for $100.
Custom maker knives are expensive. I bought a Michael Rader gyuto used for $1000 (an $1800 knife with a two year wait), but sold it for . . . . $1000. At this price point you rent them. My favorite US makers are Murray Carter, Randy Hass, Marko Tsourikan and Delbert Ealy. There is always one of them in my rotation. Right now I'm enjoying a Goko 210 in Sanvik 19C27 damascus, A Kanhide PS60 240, my ever present Hiromoto AS 270, Carter petty in AS/stainles and an Ealy parer in AEB-L.
Not so familiar with makers in the U.S. so much but it appears to me that Murray Carter is a bit less costy,
when at the same time Murrays knives have a geometry more optimized for cutting performance..
There surely has to be makers capable making a good gyuto for a half price of Carters
where still they wont be much behind in performance.
1000usd or more has nothing to do with a price neccessary to pay for a tool of an excellent performance.
See a thin laser suji from AEB-L for food decorations on pics above with cucumber decoration.
182mm of cutting edge
1.44mm thick at the spine
weights 78grams with asymetrical handle for righty using pinch grip.
photo used as avatar its the actual grind geometry
performance is superior I have no clue how much I would have to pay for such custom order,
but this was around 200usd..
see how it performs and it wasnt just sharpened but that is a normal working sharpness: