Hi everyone, I am a long time reader of this and other cutlery forums (don't be surprised if you see this post on those forums as well)--but a first time poster.
Without spending too long on the details, my situation and knife kit looks more or less like this. I graduated from culinary school about 2 months ago and as part of my school's curriculum I am nearly halfway into my 6 month stage in a small, michelin-rated restaurant in Paris, France.
My obsession with knives goes back to my teenage and college days when I would just cook at home. I amassed quite a set of cheap knives during those years. Shortly before leaving for school I picked up my first J-knife, a 270mm Hiromoto AS. Initially I didn't use it at school and decided to give the school knives a shot, as well a few French knives I picked up here and there.
In my stage now I work mainly in the Garde Manger during service, but during prep I am pretty much a floater--which I really like because I get to practice my knife skills on all kinds of protein and veg. My Hiro AS has served me fairly well but there are a few issues with it that have made me decide to pick up a new gyuto.
First, it is on the thick side of J-knives from what I have seen and read. I feel this too, because I have a chef knife or too that is the same thickness or maybe slightly thinner, albeit the quality of the steel is not as high and they are closer to a 210 than a 270.
This brings me to my next problem--I feel like the cladding makes the cuts not quite as smooth as some mono-steel knives i have and as result I reach more and more often for my K-Sabatier tranchelard/slicer for the finer cuts.
I have read obsessively across all the forums about people's opinions, reviews, and discussions regarding steel, shape/profile, thinness, etc. and I think I have narrowed my choices down to two very solid performers. The Kikuichi Performance TKC and the Konosuke HD.
I am torn between the two for their differences in handle, and thinness. I know that the Kikuichi is not a mighty knife by any means, but the Konosuke seems to be much thinner throughout--I am worried that not having much experience with a knife that thin that my productivity my suffer, not to mention the fact that should chipping occur I do not normally have the time to take my knife to the stones in the middle of prep.
I have never used a wa-handled knife that was longer than 150mm, and I am concerned how the balance of the knife will be affected and how the handle would fair in a pro kitchen environment. If anyone could shed some light on the differences in maintenance for wa-handles I would greatly appreciate it…perhaps this is a dumb question, but yo-handles just seem so much more sturdy in my mind.
I am sorry to have rambled, and i know that very similar questions have been asked before--but basically what is your input on someone just starting out in pro kitchens trying to make a switch to a wa-handled laser gyuto such as a Konosuke HD.