So, here is the deal... I need 2 knives for 2 rather different circumstances, but they will probably both be abused quite badly.
Knife #1 will be a petty 180-210mm. Primary use will be as an expo knife. Stainless or stainless clad. 90% sure I will be getting a Gesshin Ginga SS here, but I wanted to get thoughts on this from other people who work in a pro environment before pulling the trigger.
Knife #2 will be for my S.O. when she helps in the kitchen at home. She generally just helps with menial tasks but enjoys the time we spend cooking together, so she wants to be more involved. This is where I am most open to suggestions, as I don't have the perspective of a home cook. Gyuto, petty, santoku (I would never even consider this style for myself)? I'm open to suggestions. I have plenty of knives that I can let her use, but I want to give her one of her own. I would lean towards SS or Stainless clad here as well, but I don't think it matters much. My own preference is carbon, but this isn't for me...
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)?
#1 Petty 180-210mm
#2 Open to suggestions
Are you right or left handed?
#1 & #2 Right 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)?
#2 210-240mm??? Open to suggestions
Do you require a stainless knife? (Yes or no)
What is your absolute maximum budget for your knife?
None. My style is that form follows function, so I have zero interest in paying more for a pretty handle or other useless add ons. I'm totally fine with poor F&F on the handle, as long as the blade is great. Her style is similar, but may appreciate something prettier.
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.)
#1 Expo (light veg prep, slicing cooked protein, opening baked 'taters, etc.)
#2 Veg prep
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.)
Push or draw.
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.)
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 think Damascus is gaudy, so let's avoid that.
Comfort (e.g., lighter/heavier knife; better handle material; better handle shape; rounded spine/choil of the knife; improved balance)?
#1 Should be on the lighter side, but without too much flex.
#2 Should also be on the lighter side, but with some degree of durability. Rounded spine and choil don't matter, as I can easily take care of that myself. Well balanced is ideal.
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)?
#1 Doesn’t really matter
#2 Good release is the most important of these
Edge Retention (i.e., length of time you want the edge to last without sharpening)?
#1 Needs to make it through a few days of work, which shouldn't be too hard given its intended use
#2 Doesn't matter. It will stay at the house; same place my stones live.
Do you use a bamboo, wood, rubber, or synthetic cutting board? (Yes or no.)
#1 Sh*tty poly boards
#2 End grain block
Do you sharpen your own knives? (Yes or no.)