Hello, new guy here! I'm a Norwegian student and hobby cook. A few months ago i quite stupidly decided to test my primary knife's back against a pork bone *cringe*. I was unenthusiastically introduced to the inner anatomy of my favorite molybdenum-vanadium knife. Cheap though it may have been, it had lasted several years with no major defects and a sharp edge that had never felt the scraping of a sharpening steel.
Face to face with my ignorance on the importance of the materials from which my equipment was made, i went to the largest hardware store in the area i recently moved into but found clerks with no information beyond what was labeled on the knives and a poor feeling in my hand from every one of them.
So i looked for what i usually find to be the best source of information in any given field, the enthusiasts. Aaand now i'm here.
I'm right handed, looking for a Chef's knife for general use, a trustworthy companion so to speak. The knife should be a Gyuto and thus with a Japanese handle as I've come to enjoy the flexibility of my (albeit cheap) Nakiri (I'll eventually replace it as well as it has suffered profusely from me originally mistaking it for a suspiciously light cleaver).
I'm slightly unsure about the length, but i suppose it should be up to a chef's knife's standard. I definitely want it stainless and have a budget of lets say 300$.
I'm using it at home, primarily for slicing and trimming various meats and probably for cutting vegetables as well if washing the Nakiri is too much of a hassle as well. I suppose i use what you call the Finger Point and Pinch Grip and the cutting motions are 1.Push-Cut 2.Rock and 3.Slicing.
In terms of aesthetics i would like anything above a plain blade, no cheap plastic/synthetics and A wooden handle would be the best. I'm not too sure about the finish. I can trawl through a thousand items to find the one i like though.
It shouldn't be too light, shouldn't easily slip at the handle and it would be nice if it was good for push-cut and rocking. Would be great if food didn't always stick to it and that its possible to sharpen both sides. One last big thing is that i don't bash my knuckles into the board when i use it as i have relatively big hands. Some edge retention would be appreciated but i can sharpen it whenever. Maximum sturdiness for the money is a given i guess.
I generally use synthetic cutting boards. I sharpen my own knives with an old sharpening iron (is that okay?) but would definitely like to learn more about sharpening. Get a great feeling whenever i feel a newly sharpened edge. Yes, I'm interested in buying sharpening products after I've learned more about it.
PS: As I'm not too well versed in the nuances of fine cutlery, feel free to criticize, point out improvements or ask for more info.