So I work in a Japanese kitchen, at the end of a shift i brought my knife up to my chef to show him the patina. I thought it was beautiful and said, "For me this is Wabi Sabi, I like it."
He says, "Japanese image, this is no care."
I find Blue #2 drastically more reactive than any White steel
Which blue #2 steel knives in particular? - iirc there are not many blue monosteel knives out there (Takayuki western gyuto, various honyakis spring to mind, think the yoshihiro blue wa-gyuto is blue #1).
I also sharpen or touch up my knives once they lose 10-15% of their initial edge and I've found that there really isnt much difference between steels when it comes to holding on the finest part of the initial edge and, if anything I'd say that some of the simple carbon steels are actually BETTER at that than the fancy SWR stainless stuff.
I agree on your points of it teaching good habits in terms of hygiene and frequent maintenance, but I do think that one potential problem is that they are almost too easy to sharpen / touch up so developing clean / precise sharpening technique is as important. While this is certainly much less frustrating for a beginner, it also means that they can get away with not holding consistent angles, not developing a small / even bur and removing most of if when refining the edge, etc. I really did most of my learning on very difficult to sharpen steels and while it was frustrating, it also forced me to develope very good technique and to also understand exactly what I was doing and why.... it also made me really appreciate good carbon steel.
"I gotta tell ya, this is pretty terrific. Ha hahaha, YEAH!" - Moe (w/ 2 knives). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVt4U...layer_embedded
Justin agree wt alot of what you said.I have had carbons that stay sharp longer than many so called better stainless like VG-10.If doing alot of prep. nothing can be too easy to sharpen.Much is made of edge retention,I think HT is important for this.To me ease of sharpening is just as important.If rotating knives,can have very sharp blades that are easy to refreash.
I made a rehandle on a 440c skinner blade was going to put a convex edge on it,could not thin well or raise a burr on my bester 1200.I can raise a burr easy on first pass wt my trained Carbons wt beaster 1200 or gesshin 2000.Also put a convex on a M-390 Gyuto for a friend who bought one of these.The M-390 may have better edge reten. than many carbons but I go to my diamond plates to thin & raise a burr on these steels.
Same way sharpening alot of cheap crap stainless for other people.I have little tolerance for even slightly dull knives,thats why I only used carbons at work,razor edges & ease of sharpening a great combination.
How does your Mizuno compare with the Watanabe? I have a way on order and the mix is on top of my list of what to try next.