Recs for 240 Gyuto and 150 Petty
I'm going to get married soon and decided that I want to get my fiancee and set of nice kitchen knives. Originally we had a set of Miyabi Birchwood (SG2) on our registry but looking at it now, do I really need a damascus steel bread knife or one more set of kitchen shears? So I'll turn to you guys for help. I'm the type of person who would like to buy something once and not have to think of whether the grass is greener on the other side or not. Would prefer carbon but would like something clad in SS as I don't think my fiancee would want to take care of something carbon.
What country are you in?
What type of knife are you interested in (e.g., chef’s knife, slicer, boning knife, utility knife, bread knife, paring knife, cleaver)?
240 Gyuto, 150 Petty
Are you right or left handed?
Are you interested in a Western handle (e.g., classic Wusthof handle) or Japanese handle?
What length of knife (blade) are you interested in (in inches or millimeters)?
Do you require a stainless knife? (Yes or no)
Yes or at least stainless clad
What is your absolute maximum budget for your knife?
$1000 for both
Do you primarily intend to use this knife at home or a professional environment?
What are the main tasks you primarily intend to use the knife for (e.g., slicing vegetables, chopping vegetables, mincing vegetables, slicing meats, cutting down poultry, breaking poultry bones, filleting fish, trimming meats, etc.)? (Please identify as many tasks as you would like.)
What knife, if any, are you replacing?
Do you have a particular grip that you primarily use? (Please click on this LINK for the common types of grips.)
What cutting motions do you primarily use? (Please click on this LINK for types of cutting motions and identify the two or three most common cutting motions, in order of most used to least used.)
What improvements do you want from your current knife? If you are not replacing a knife, please identify as many characteristics identified below in parentheses that you would like this knife to have.)
Edge retention, Not chippy
Better aesthetics (e.g., a certain type of finish; layered/Damascus or other pattern of steel; different handle color/pattern/shape/wood; better scratch resistance; better stain resistance)?
I like a looker (damascus steel) but if it comes down to it, I'd rather have performance and edge retention.
Comfort (e.g., lighter/heavier knife; better handle material; better handle shape; rounded spine/choil of the knife; improved balance)?
Ease of Use (e.g., ability to use the knife right out of the box; smoother rock chopping, push cutting, or slicing motion; less wedging; better food release; less reactivity with food; easier to sharpen)?
Edge Retention (i.e., length of time you want the edge to last without sharpening)?
Do you use a bamboo, wood, rubber, or synthetic cutting board? (Yes or no.)
Do you sharpen your own knives? (Yes or no.)
If not, are you interested in learning how to sharpen your knives? (Yes or no.)
Are you interested in purchasing sharpening products for your knives? (Yes or no.)
Some knives I've been eyeing:
Takeda Stainless 250 Gyuto
Richmond Laser 240 Gyuto
Masakage Koishi 240 Gyoto
It's a pretty wide field and there are lots of things which are personal preference. Depending on how much you tend to analyse things, you may find down the line that you do get the feeling that the grass is greener, that's how most of us ended up here. The petty especially can be a potential minefield as different people use them for different things. I use a petty for breaking down chickens and for small jobs (like cutting up a single shallot), but others use them for anything from a line knife to a paring knife (for in hand work like peeling and cutting fruit). As the usage is so diverse, different people will need very different profiles and there is no one petty which is best or even appropriate for everyone.
It's also worth considering that stainless clad knives do still need a relatively high amount of care and won't hold up well if neglected. The face of the blade won't rust, but the edge will dull noticeably if left for long periods in water or after cutting acidic foods. If you're sure that the wife won't be interested in caring for a carbon steel knife, and you would like carbon, I would consider getting your wife her own dedicated stainless knife. There is plenty of room in your budget for a third knife, and for her comfort and convenience it might be worth considering a santoku or a smaller gyuto in a size of her choosing in stainless steel.
As you're in the US I would encourage you to go to SLT and try a few knives out, or if you're nearby any of the forum vendors go and visit. If you have an idea of a knife you like using it's quite easy to suggest knives with a similar profile.
I think you would be very happy with the Masakage Yuki series. It's cheaper than the Koishi series and has stainless cladding over white number two steel...Great knife easy to sharpen. But very thin and you must be careful. Contrary to popular belief, a high end knife should chip. Cheaper knives will either outright fold over or simply ripple leaving the knife to be worthless in edge.
An accidental drop or to is not going to shatter a hard japanese steel knife but it might break out some metal...Consider to add some sharpening stones in the budget...say 250$ for stones and lapping plate (atoma) and then 200-300 per knife. Although you don't necessarily need to spend crazy amounts on the petty if the gyuto is going to be the primary knife.
What about something in Ginsan steel? I got to try a Sukenari Gyuto in Ginsan and was a big fan, it was super responsive on the stones and held a good edge although a tad chippy and rolly, but it corrected easy on a ceramic honing rod and again cleaned up like carbon on the stones.
There are much more upscale models and smith houses that make knives in that steel as well.