My question can be summarized thusly: I'm pretty familiar with the care and feeding of sharp things in general, and lately I'm looking more closely at kitchen knives. I have a CCK and a gyuto and I've used a nakiri in the past, but now I'm curious about single-bevel knives. How much of a difference will I notice between a CCK and an usuba? And... please show me where I can look at some pretty ones.
What type of knife(s) do you think you want?
I'm tempted to try an Usuba... maybe splurge a little and get something with damascus cladding and/or an exotic handle.
Why is it being purchased? What, if anything, are you replacing?
Mostly because I'm curious about single-bevel knives. I'm also living with two other people now (was alone before) so I have a reason to cook more often that I would for myself.
At the moment I have a cheapo stainless CCK which covers my needs pretty well. I just picked up a Masakage Yuki gyuto and a small Tojiro DP petty knife. Still trying to get used to the gyuto, which is pretty different from what I used before. (misc pocketknives, a cheap nakiri, a carbon steel butchers knife)
What do you like and dislike about these qualities of your knives already?
Aesthetics- Stainless bores me. Generic full tang with black pakkawood handles bore me. I don't like the plain Ho wood on my gyuto at all - I'm tempted to stain or oil it. The cladding on my gyuto has something like an ishime (ishismei?) finish which I enjoy.
Edge Quality/Retention- The way I use my knives, these are "nice to have" but really not deciding factors. I don't use them that heavily and I can maintain/sharpen "good enough" that I'm not worried.
Ease of Use/Comfort- If it doesn't shine at a particular task, it'll get left in the drawer. This one is really important.
What grip do you use?
According to your list, mostly Finger Point with some Hammer and other stuff thrown in.
What kind of cutting motion do you use?
Mostly push-cut and draw cut.
Where do you store them?
Lashed to the pilings of the closest pier. Or back in the box they came in, whichever is closer.
Have you ever oiled a handle?
Only on my khukuris, but the idea is the same.
For edge maintenance, do you use a strop, honing rod, pull through/other, or nothing?
In the past I used a ceramic rod and sometimes a plain leather strop.
Have they ever been sharpened?
I've done a fair bit of it, usually shooting for a convex edge rather than a crisp bevel, though.
Stone, diamond plate, sandpaper+mousepad, etc.
What is your budget?
Tough question. I guess am looking for something in the 180 MM - 210 MM size range for less than $500.