Hi there, I am a medical student with a passion for cooking. I have been fascinated by sharper knives seen on cookery shows and online. I am interested primarily in the increased sharpness, and secondly the ergonomics/weight and ease of use when cooking.
My budget will be stretching up to $250ish, give or take, because I know that I would like to make one purchase to last me a longgg time without getting upgrade-itis .
I have tried to answer the following questions to help clarify things:
What type of knife(s) do you think you want?
I believe I would be looking at a gyuto or possibly a santoku – essentially a chef's knife that I would be able to use for almost everything.
Why is it being purchased? What, if anything, are you replacing?
I was using a cheap but effective (at least to me) ceramic knife, which has now snapped at the handle . Not good.
What do you like and dislike about these qualities of your knives already?
Aesthetics- The ceramic knife was...spartan aesthetically. The blade was white though, which was kinda cool I suppose.
Edge Quality/Retention- The knife kept an edge quite well, though the first couple of months were clearly its optimum. It was still sharper than other cheap metal blades I have though, I believe this was because it had a biased edge (sp?) for right handed use.
Ease of Use- I really liked the lightness of this knife. It was all plastic, so for soft objects I could just let the knife do the work, which was something I appreciated. I would like a bit of weight in my new knife, however, as it helps me control the cutting better.
Comfort- I suppose this knife didn't really have much ergonomics, so it didn't fit in my (relatively large) hands. I was using the finger point/pinch grip so the shape of the main handle did not impact me much.
What grip do you use?
As stated above, I think it was a mixture of finger point and pinch grip. Based on what I've read however, I would be keen to move towards a pinch grip with the new knife for the added stability and control.
What kind of cutting motion do you use?
For softer foods, I think I use the slicing/push-cut/drawing technique in that order. For times where my knife's sharpness was not up to par, I think I probably slammed it down into the chopping board pretty hard..
Where do you store them?
In a drawer, though if I were to get a proper knife I would obviously take better care of it.
Have you ever oiled a handle?
Never. I would prefer not to have this added maintenance (over and above sharpening, of course).
What kind of cutting board(s) do you use?
Using an acrylic board at the moment, but would be willing to invest in a better board some time down the line if this allowed use of better knives or prolonged durability, in the price range I'm talking about
For edge maintenance, do you use a strop, honing rod, pull through/other, or nothing?
Since it was a ceramic knife, I never tried to sharpen it.
What do you cook and how often?
I cook about once every two days. I cook all sorts of stuff, but mostly curries and pasta dishes with lots of vegetables and some protein, ie. chicken.
Special requests(Country of origin/type of wood/etc)?
Japanese knives - from what I have heard - offer the best value for money.
Aesthetically, I am quite fond of the layered look of the damascus etc. knives. But if this compromises value for money in terms of sharpness/ergonomics, then I would be willing to sacrifice it.
Also, can someone recommend me a sharpening tool/block etc. to go with the knife they recommend?
Thank you very much in advance for your advice!!