What knife constitutes a significant step up?
I have a friend that went from a Brieto to a Misono 440 to Misono UX10. I let him try out my A-type for a shift and he was impressed with sharpness but didn't like the steering from my 99/1 sharpening job. He also isn't sure he's up to dealing with something semi-stainless (I asked him to try to keep it dry whenever possible.).
What would you recommend? Go with semi-stainless and see what happens (this is my inclination)? Go with stainless? If the answer is stainless, he cares mainly about retention as opposed to keenness. What is going to significantly outperform a UX10 and stay under $300 for a 240 mm gyuto?
Carbo next, hands down! Much better retention than Tojiro, Fujiwara and most vg-10, although not the DT ITK. Semi-stainless... it is more on the stainless side than the carbon side. I have never had rust issues. It is not a waif so it can take some abuse. Mine came with a an edge at about 60/40. I have never tried the UX-10 but from videos appear to have flex, which I don't like, the carbo next is definately more rigid. All at a price point that makes me very happy! If you are going to try a semi-stainless knife...the carbonext is the one!
the one knife for me with noticeable retention difference then my misono UX10 is the miyabi 7000mc66 (confirmed ZDP-189) Mark (CKTG) will be coming out with his CPM-154 soon.
Some say the sharpening is too difficult, long, and/or hard, but I never had any issues maintaining on my diamond. I too am more on retention then keenness.