Just to toss some differing opinion into the mix, I'd get some decent waterstones first and learn to sharpen knives using that Chicago Clutlery set you have. Mind you, as Western knives go, old Chicago Cutlery wasn't a bad knife at all (the packing plant down the road used them exclusively for many years), so if yours are pre 1985 or so, you have a decent set of knives.
They will be MUCH better when fully sharpened! Once you have learned to sharpen knives well, think about a new knife. Any knife will need to be sharpened eventually, and once you are good at it, you can keep them all razor sharp with minimal effort
Just my two cent's worth. If you want a new knife, go right ahead, but if you cannot sharpen it properly, it will soon work just like the ones you have.....
Your right about gesshin stones, I'd say the 2k is a great starting stone as well but for best bang for the buck his 1/6k is hard to beat and you wouldn't have to upgrade later or buy more of course unless you want to.
Just use the 1k side until you get good lasting sharp edges with burrs before exec attempting to hit the other side.
Can't go wrong there.
Originally Posted by psfred
I still have my Chicago cutlery from decades past. I've turned their small carving knife into razor thin steak knife.
They have pretty soft steel, but they are fine knives indeed. I'd also use them as practice knives for honing purposes. They can take on some freakishly sharp edges.