Last edited by stevenn21; 01-04-2012 at 04:58 AM. Reason: more info
All of the linked to Carters are stainless clad carbon steel, e.g. Stainless sides for corrosion resistance and high carbon core for the cutting edge. The transition can be seen here
The knife you linked to was more of a santoku shape so I gave you links to more gyuto shaped knives, both with white steel cores? The high grade knife will have a nicer finish than the SFGZ knife but you pay more for it. I have 3 SFGZ and 1 HG and i quite like the SFGZ finish, it's a personal thing.
Where in the UK are you?
Edit: when I clicked the link you added before it took me to this
Hence thinking it was more santoku shape, must have been my computer going haywire as the link is now going to the funayuki........
Carters are nice knives, however you will get a flying start at Catcheside Cutlery. And a trip to a maker is a story to tell, the knife you'll get then got a cool story to tell your friends and brag about on this forum. Remember Camera on the trip
In reading over the threads, I've gotten the impression that you are new to Japanese knives, that this may be your first purchase?
The first two or three knife purchases are to learn how to use, maintain, and gain experience. In the end you may find that Japanese knifes are not a good fit for your kitchen.
The first knife should not be expensive, in the $100-$150 range. Hiromoto would be a good choice. Since you are in the UK, Japanese Chef Knife is a good option, flat rate shipping, with no import fees.
A thicker knife also known as a work horse, is a better choice for new user. They will withstand more abuse, and tolerate sharpening mistakes.
The Geshin Ginga series are thin knives, or lasers. Carters can get very thin. The Hattori Forum knife is a medium knife.
What ever knife you choose, try to stick to well known brands. If the knife doesn't work out, it will be easier to sell.
I know others have probably said it before, but I wouldn't spend too much on a first knife. I have learned this the hard way. The second knife I ever bought was a Masamoto KS and I screwed it up and only now, nearly a year after I bought it do I know how to fix it really
I'm going to go another direction, and suggest a Sab Nogent. I have one coming to me, because I just couldn't stop myself (Christmas helped ).
They are kind of the shape that started it all, they have a reputation for taking abuse, and they're just damned cool! Maybe some who have them could pipe in. Sabs won me over a few years back, and I don't expect to be disappointed with this one.