As "the programmer guy" constantly being asked to sort computer troubles, I'm taking a step into here to be the complete non-expert and let you guys tell me what's what because I have no idea with the vast amount of choice out there.
Basically, I'm looking for my first "proper" chef's knife. A knife I can call mine and take care of. After some research, I think I'm prepared to spend £100 or more (probably something like $130+ given shop prices?), but I just don't know exactly what I'm getting for that vs spending less or more. I'm really looking for something I can focus on getting better technique with and do the best job possible. I just tend to approach cooking with a "play to win" attitude - that's what makes it satisfying for me. I'll answer those questions now!
What type of knife(s) do you think you want?
I think some kind of 21cm or 24cm gyuto. I've felt knives of german stock before and they've seemed uncomfortably heavy. I think I prefer something a bit more nimble but I'd really like to try some out. I also have pretty big hands (I'm 6'2") and have heard some japanese knife handles can be a bit small? Wondering as well whether this is a decent reason for a 24cm knife or whether that length is just seen as good in general.
Why is it being purchased? What, if anything, are you replacing?
Being purchased because I definitely want to have my "one good knife". I'm replacing a no-name store knife that I can't even remember the origins of.
What do you like and dislike about these qualities of your knives already?
Aesthetics-Blacks or dark finishes are nice, but I don't have anything specific in mind
Edge Quality/Retention-My current best knife doesn't really do edge retention I can get it sharp enough to not be a pain to use, but some of those videos I've seen...
Ease of Use-It's a bit hard to rock with because the blade isn't that "tall" and the shape isn't the best.
Comfort-Smooth contours are comfortable(of the knives I have. Can't really compare it to better knives I've never held)
What grip do you use?
Apparently the pinch grip. That's what feels most natural to me.
What kind of cutting motion do you use?
Generally, push-cutting or rocking, resorting more to the former when rocking is proving too inneffective(due to knife shape/size and/or sharpness I think). Sometimes the draw on tougher chillis or something. I think I'm forced to "overdo" it a bit on cutting force to get certain things to separate completely.
Where do you store them?
On a makeshift rack, but I'd want to get a good block or something for a new knife.
Have you ever oiled a handle?
I hadn't even heard of oiling a handle before.
What kind of cutting board(s) do you use?
Cheap plasticy one with a lot of battle scars, but again, I'd want maybe a nice large wooden one suitable for the blade.
For edge maintenance, do you use a strop, honing rod, pull through/other, or nothing?
I have some kind of small stone from I-don't-know-where. I really wouldn't mind keeping the knife sharpened myself but what about the cost of stones? I'd get a honing rod for daily use of a quality knife, certainly.
Have they ever been sharpened?
When the main knife gets stuck in a potato I know I've forgotten to sharpen it recently. I know this is bad
What is your budget?
£90-130, more if it's worth it($142-206 straight conversation. Shop prices might be more expensive for me)
What do you cook and how often?
I tend cook a lot of curries, chillis, etc and go through a lot of fresh veg. I'll be cooking at least every other day, most weeks. I dice lots and lots of onions, use peppers and chillis a lot, use carrots and potatoes regularly and sometimes a squash, to name what comes to mind. And those squash? Wow... none of my knives are a match for a squash I have to take it carefully and it's a real pain to do.
Special requests(Country of origin/type of wood/etc)?
Nothing in particular, I don't think.
So, I've seen an awful lot of different manufacturers and different lines of knives and I don't really know what's best or has the most bang-for-the-buck for my price range (or whether my price range is right). Anyway, thanks.