Hi, and thanks for allowing me to participate in this super forum. I'm 66 and think I'm finally through buying knives. Below is my 40 year knife history. That's a warning, it's probably boring to everybody but me.
First good knife was a Sabatier HUGE (12" maybe) chef's in 1970 right out of college. Didn't know anything about sharpening and used Daddy's carborundum. That knife must have been pretty good because it took probably 8 or 9 years to destroy it (middle of blade became concave).
Next knives were Kyocera when they first came out, lots of $$ (for me), pretty sharp at first, then chipped. Duh! Of course everybody knows it's stupid to buy a knife that claims to not need sharpening. I fell into the same trap with Henckels' Twin something that was to be forever sharp. Even got some for my mother and friends. Didn't happen, they recalled and replaced them with another no-need-to-sharpen. Then they recalled those too, and I was to pick any of their current line to match the value of all those I sent in, including Mother's. This was in 2010. I chose their Cermax 5" utility, 9.5" chef, and 7" Santoku. Since then I've found a few more on ebay, one was a 7" chef which had been discontinued that was really cheap, sold as used, but it had never been used and still had the new plastic sticker on the blade. Then there was an apparent error by a guy who sold lots of the new Cermax.....it was the 8" chef with the red handle, cheaper than his price for the black handled one. I still don't use stones for sharpening (too lazy to learn), but I've been successful with the Chef's Choice 15 degree system because I haven't even had to totally sharpen any of them, mostly used their equivalent of a steel, only a couple times did a few swipes through the 2nd stage. Please don't make fun of me for the electric sharpener.
Now in between the forever-sharp debacle and the Cermax, around 2005, I got into Messermeister Meridian Elite before they became fairly popular (saw some chef on TV rave about them), really great bang for the buck, and 15 degree blade angle. My favorite non-chef type of those are the long very thin ham knife because we cook country hams at least 3 times a year and need paper thin slices and the flexible fillet for the fish folks bring me when they go fishing in our pond.
Then, in 2007 we got a cottage in Duck, NC. Had to rent it out in the summer to help pay for it. Vacation rentals are notorious for worthless dull knives, and I wasn't about to go along with the crowd. I watched ebay and managed to put together a nice set of Messermeister Meridians for the kitchen there. One I thought was a really good deal was a 5 piece set, chef, santoku, stiff fillet (not as good as my flexible), slicing, and steel (gave that away) for just over $200. I was taking a chance since they were used but found out they hadn't ever been sharpened. So they're at the cottage, been there through 4 rental seasons, and they've been treated with respect. We go down from VA to check the cottage every 3 weeks in the summer, so I can keep them sharp. Those knives are mentioned in many of our reviews, most of our guests had never used knives that sharp.
But wait! There's more! Back in the early days of Sam's Club, easily 15-20 years ago, they carried a bunch of restaurant supplies. There were big cards with Forschner Superblade knives, blades sharpened on just one side like Japanese. I think they claimed to have edges like food processor blades. They were super cheap, the most expensive were about $3, boning, slicing, and chef. To this day I use the boning knives for rough jobs to spare my good knives. Boning out a ham is really hard on knives. I used only a steel to keep them sharp for many years. Now they go through the electric sharpener and still hold an edge pretty well. I've tried to find more of them but AFAIK they're no longer made. Anybody heard of them?
Thanks, and nice to meet y'all,