I am looking to make some of my first legit knife purchases (investments) and could really use help with some navigation of what’s out there quality/price from the pro's on this forum. I love to cook and use my current garbage knives on a daily basis. I am 2 years out of college and my stamped SS "tools of the trade" $25 set is just not cutting it anymore, no matter how much I have cared for them. My father used to be a chef, and still swears by his 30 year old Henckel 4 star two's he got when he was my age, still using them to this day. I know there are a lot more options including Japanese now, and I'd value hearing what you all would recommend.
Right now I'm looking to get a solid 8" chef’s knife, possibly also a Santoku for chopping, is it worth it? And or a utility knife. I will be slicing/cuttings/chopping/mincing meats, vegetables and herbs on a regular basis.
What kind of cutting board(s) do you use?
Primarily I use thin flexible plastic boards, any opinions on this? I also have a wood carving board that I don't use as often.
For edge maintenance, do you use a strop, honing rod, pull through/other, or nothing?
I hone on a standard slotted steel on regular basis.
What is your budget?
$150-300 for all considered knives total. Looking for an investment to care for over the long-term, but still economical.
Thanks in advance!