Warning: Knife enthusiasts may cringe reading the following post. This thread is a plea for help to straighten me out. I'm eager to learn as much as i can on the subject.
What type of knife(s) do you think you want?
Seeking a chef's Knife of unknown style, length, brand, etc. I don't know anything about different styles, pros vs cons, which are good for certain cutting styles, etc. I'm new to the cutlery scene so bear with me...
Also seeking a quality paring knife though i am much less concered about that at the moment.
Why is it being purchased? What, if anything, are you replacing?
I really enjoy cooking as a hobby and prepare fresh from scratch meals several days a week. I believe my knife skills to be far above the average home cook (though i have tons to learn i'm sure) and would like to get the proper cutlery to make cooking even more enjoyable and efficient.
I currently use, and am trying to replace, a 10"(i think?) Cutco Chef's knife that i took from my parents when i moved out because they never use it and said i could. From my brief research before coming here it seems that Cutco is considered a very marginal brand though i am ashamed to admit it is the nicest chef i've personally used (my friends don't cook etc). I've become increasingly more into cooking over the past several years (25 yo now), see myself doing it for the rest of my life, and am ready to step it up to the big leagues with my steel (or carbon?...).
What do you like and dislike about these qualities of your knives already?
Aesthetics- Moderately attractive. I haven't seen a ton of chef's knives but it's better looking than the 25+ year old scraggly wooden handled chef's knife that my roommate brought to our apartment from his parents old stuff back in college. I'm open to all new styles and designs.
Edge Quality/Retention- Poor. Though admittedly this knife has had a rough life and has been abused. It's ~5-8 years old and has lived in a drawer tossed in with other kitchen knives in my parents house for years. I bought one of those $20 pull through sharpeners from Walmart and have run it through there a couple times (i have a feeling some of you are stroking out reading that). I also don't have a honing steal but will absolutely get one with the purchase of my new knife. I have a feeling i'm going to be absolutely SHOCKED when i find out how a high quality well sharped knife can cut.....as this Cutco is the sharpest thing i've used.
Ease of Use- Again, I have only worked with a few very low end knives, but this Cutco knife doesn't seem very well balanced or weighted. I just know that there are far superior products out there.
Comfort- Megh, it's decent. Not terrible. Though again, weight, balance, and I just know that there is better.
What grip do you use?
90% of the time, pinch grip. Sometimes a hammer grip if cutting through some root veg, water mellon, etc.
What kind of cutting motion do you use?
Push-Cut, Slice, Draw, Walk, Chop.
Where do you store them?
Currently in a small kitchen drawer with 3 or 4 other large kitchen knives, which i'm sure is terrible. I'll store it however you advise me to store it. Magnet on wall? Chopping block?
Have you ever oiled a handle?
What kind of cutting board(s) do you use?
Currently a large plastic one. Should i be using wood?
For edge maintenance, do you use a strop, honing rod, pull through/other, or nothing?
$20 pull through from walmart. Would love to learn what i should actually be doing. I definitely need a good honing rod and whatever else is suggested.
Have they ever been sharpened?
Not since factory. How often should a knife be professionally sharped? Or sharpened at home in using the ______ method?
What is your budget?
I'm willing to spend up to maybe $300 or so. I might be able to be talked into more but would prefer less. I want something fairly high end. Considering what i'm using now i'll be thrilled with any real upgrade...but i want something good.
What do you cook and how often?
The knife will be strictly for home use. Used nearly every day for chopping vegetables, potatoes, root veg, gourds, squash, fresh fruits (pineapple, melon etc), meats of all types - usually off the bone. 5+ nights a week. My chef's knife is my go to knife for probably 90% of my meal prep.
Special requests(Country of origin/type of wood/etc)?