So as a home cook I want to slice roasts, poultry breasts etc. (application)=> either a sujihiki or yanagiba.
I'm not slicing sushi and have little interest in learning yanagiba technique and single bevel sharpening (application)=> suji.
I clean and dry knives after every use (application)=> all types of steels apply
I want a keen edge and easier sharpening (application) => white steel.
And so on.
At least that's the way I understand it.
Never confuse movement with action. Ernest Hemmingway
Sorry, that's poor communication on my part by "we" I did not mean Jon and myself. By "we" I mean myself and the people who put so much consideration into steel selection. You know who you are.
If any one wants the URL please PM me.
The Shigefusa gyuto's I saw ranged in price from $350 to just under $800 US.
I just Googled "Shigefusa knives" for the hell of it since it was mentioned here.
For me what is important (at this point...never having used a Japanese kitchen knife) is overall balance (weight not more in the handle or blade), moderate weight feel (e.g. don't want a "weightless" feeling knife), blade that can attain/keep (for "long" periods between sharpening) an extremely sharp edge...is near "effortless" to slice/dice through meat/vegetables...ease of sharpening? Least important for me as I might end up having some one else sharpen my knives for me if I decide I don't want to spend the time to learn/practice using whetstones.
And "application"...home cook..."plate" 2 meals a day for myself. Cutting/slicing vegetables and various meats (e.g. prime rib, chicken, lamb...etc.).
My comment about knifes with OTB edges that best show the potential of the steel wasnt ment as a recomendation of "knives you should buy/ are appropriate to your wants", it was just ment part of the academic discussion of sharpenes vs potential sharpness.
What i was trying to say is that very few, save some really high-end blades, come with edges that even approach the steel's full potential edge performance. Most are just an average starting place from which you can create your desired edge.
The single biggest factor in edge performace is the sharpening and maintenance skills of the user.
As long as the knife is made from a "good" steel and properly heat treated the differences between the inherent qualities of the steel will be almost indistinguishable when compared to the geometry and level of polish created by the sharpening job.
The single biggest performance investment you can make in knives is actually in yourself and your own edge creation and maintenance skills.
It's not the Answer it's the Experience
If you have no interest in learning how to sharpen you should get a blazen and send it to Dave Martell or Eamon Burke every 6 months for sharpening
I used to assume they do (before joining kitchen knife forums and doing a little digging).
Another question for every one...what makes one knife able to slice through food (e.g. prime rib) more effortlessly than the next knife? Geometry? Type of steel? The degree and competency of the sharpening? All of the above? Or, does it again come down to the sharpening done after we have our knife?
Blade steel type affecting sharpening potential. While in general it shouldn't matter (as a few of you mentioned and agree)...what I'm now wondering is what if we sent a #1 white steel (Fujiwara MNM Gyuto) and a Takeda blue steel gyuto to the same expert sharpener like Dave Martell...would he not be able to achieve more sharpness with one of the 2 knives?