So a co-worker friend of mine is having a birthday later this month, and I want to get him a piece of steel. He and I have worked side by side for probably 8-10 years total, and though we don't hang out much outside of work anymore (he fired off a couple of runts and moved 30 miles out of town), I still feel it's time to get him something besides a restaurant "gag" gift.
What type of knife(s) do you think you want?
240mm carbon or semi-stainless steel gyuto.
Why is it being purchased? What, if anything, are you replacing?
Giving him something to use besides our house knives. He's "frugal" and wouldn't spend more than $5 on a knife, though he's quite proficient at sharpening on sandpaper and can work a passable edge off a cheap sharpening steel we've got kicking around.
What do you like and dislike about these qualities of your knives already?
He doesn't like any of them, he just uses them because they're all we have. He's a big fan of my Misono carbon, though it's both a little bit long for him (270mm) and a bit more than I want to spend.
Aesthetics- Has never been interested in my wa-knives, so they're a no-go. Great Fit and Finish are a must, however.
Edge Quality/Retention- Easy to sharpen, but retention is not terribly important. He will steel it before every use regardless, and sharpen it now and then on his sandpaper block when it's ready.
Ease of Use- Erm. "Regular" I guess? I want to get him a gyuto, not a kiritsuke.
Comfort- How many people want an uncomfortable, difficult to use knife?
What grip do you use?
He uses a pinch grip.
What kind of cutting motion do you use?
It varies based off the task and the knife he's using. He's been a cook long enough that he adapts to his tools. Given the choice, though, he would use a "slightly" flatter profile and push cut more.
Where do you store them?
Knowing him, he'll most likely carry it around in a paper towel secured with some masking tape.
Have you ever oiled a handle?
I'm just gonna smile and nod at this one, after answering the last question.
What kind of cutting board(s) do you use?
Poly at work. Poly everywhere. Not sure what he has at home, though.
For edge maintenance, do you use a strop, honing rod, pull through/other, or nothing?
As above. A block with sandpaper at various grits, the habitual use of a honing rod before every use, and--when absolutely necessary--a few passes on a sharpening steel.
Have they ever been sharpened?
Have what? His knives? Our house knives? Back in like 2007 I think.
What is your budget?
I'd like to top out at around $130 shipped. Would be stoked to go less. I only spend more on people who let me into their vaginas (or pushed me out of one).
What do you cook and how often?
I'm looking for a gyuto.
Special requests(Country of origin/type of wood/etc)?
None really, only that it fit the characteristics more often associated with j-knives--harder and thinner.
A few names pop into my head right away--Fujiwara FKH, CarboNext, Kanesama-E, but I'm not positive these knives are likely to meet my F&F needs. As I said, the guy is "frugal," which means his little hawk-eyes will spot an imperfection at 20 yards (usually to assist in price-haggling).