Hello, and thanks for all the great info! I've been lurking for some time and finally decided to join up. I'm a Newb in the truest sense: not a kitchen pro, own a bunch of garbage; but as GI Joe says, "knowing is half the battle." So I am trying to arm myself before jumping into fine knives. I'll attempt to answer the questionnaire, and any input is greatly appreciated.
What type of knife(s) do you think you want?
Six weeks ago I would have told you that Shun made the finest knives on Earth, and Wusthof Classics were more than enough for me. I have never handled a Japanese-style knife, but I am interested in trying.
I *think* I want the following:
All purpose 8" chefs
set of steak/dinner knives
Why is it being purchased? What, if anything, are you replacing?
I started this journey because my crappy santoku is finally beyond the ability of my crappy dual-sided sharpener to make useful. I stopped using my chef's knives as anything other than backups.
After several weeks of reading, I am starting to learn how much I have to learn. Primarily:
Sharpening - how to properly do it, finding an efficient method that I only have to do 2-3x/year
Technique - grip and chopping/slicing
What do you like and dislike about these qualities of your knives already?
I am most familiar with Euro styling, but am not opposed to Japanese. Weight is a factor since my wife will also be using them.
If I knew how to sharpen/hone correctly I could probably get more out of my knives. But as it stands now, this is where my current group fails most.
Ease of Use-
I do a fair amount of vegetable slicing, which is why I use the santoku. It is tall enough to get through potatoes and it releases wet slices of veggie well. I always thought this was due to the pocketing on the blade.
I don't mind a little heft, but I'm intrigued that I can get both sharper and lighter with a better knife.
What grip do you use?
Hammer. Willing to branch out.
What kind of cutting motion do you use?
Primarily push-cut or rocking (with herbs)
Where do you store them?
Wood block, though I'll be upgrading to a mag-blok soon.
Have you ever oiled a handle?
What kind of cutting board(s) do you use?
Calphalon branded butcher block. Thinking about upgrading this as well; those BoardSmith boards look mighty fine.
For edge maintenance, do you use a strop, honing rod, pull through/other, or nothing?
Nothing now. Would prefer to learn. Do you all frown on using a honing steel? Or is it just because the blade steel in your preferred knives are too hard for honing?
Have they ever been sharpened?
Only with a pull through. I want to learn how to do this properly, but hope to only have to sharpen 2-3x/year.
What is your budget?
I only plan on getting a few, and I plan on patiently acquiring. So ~$200/knife is a fair guess for a ceiling.
What do you cook and how often?
Mostly chicken, veggies and pasta. 3-4x/week.
Special requests(Country of origin/type of wood/etc)?
A knife that releases potato slices and can stop smashing the bejesus out of cherry tomatoes would be awesome. We also use steak knives with a slightly serrated edge on a near daily basis, and I'd like to upgrade those as well.
Thanks for suffering through my newb-ish-ness!