Hi all, I'm so glad to have found this forum. I'm usually living in Toronto but in the Bay Area for a couple of months for work. I had on my list to buy some new knives and stones and after much pondering and thinking "man, I really wish an expert could advise me..." I stumbled upon this forum! I hope this is the right place for this post :)
Here are my answers to the requisite questions:
What type of knife(s) do you think you want?
Presently thinking chef's (wide, 8" to 10"), nakiri, bread knife (not right away, but eventually), and cheese knife (meh)
Why is it being purchased? What, if anything, are you replacing?
My current knives are garbage. Won't keep an edge---they're mostly standard no-name knives that my parents had laying around when I moved out---plus I don't really have a good stone so I'm looking to buy one (or two...) as well.
Right now, I have a paring knife, a finely-serated utility knife, and a santoku from Chicago Cutlery that are decent. Other than that I have a dinky chef's knife, as well as a couple of other paring/utility knives that are also of unknown provenance. I don't really do a lot of paring, mostly chopping or slicing (sometimes fine mincing), so I don't feel the need to get a high-quality paring knife. Other than the chef's, I'm interested in the nakiri for its flat blade and ability to cut thinly when necessary.
What do you like and dislike about these qualities of your knives already?
Edge Quality/Retention- When I sharpen them, they get sharp. Sometimes. For a little while.
Ease of Use- Not terrible, but I don't have tons of experience with higher-quality knives.
What grip do you use?
Vary between pinch and hammer. Used to hammer, started using pinch recently. Depends on what I'm cutting and what motion I'm using. Willing to learn anything.
What kind of cutting motion do you use?
Similar to above: used to push, started rocking recently. Walk every so often depending on what I need. Willing to learn anything.
Where do you store them?
Presently in a wooden knife block. Eventually I want a magnetic knife rack, but don't want to drill through the tiles I have right now, so it'll have to wait until I move to a different place (not for at least three years).
Have you ever oiled a handle?
I have no idea what this means. There was that time I sliced through a flax seed oil capsule to see how much oil was actually inside...
What kind of cutting board(s) do you use?
Wooden, bamboo IIRC.
For edge maintenance, do you use a strop, honing rod, pull through/other, or nothing?
Honing steel, usually every time I use a knife.
Have they ever been sharpened?
Professionally? No. By me with my dinky pseudo-stone? Sure.
What is your budget?
Not super-high, but I'm looking for quality. Maybe in the range of $100-$150 (USD or CAD) per knife. (Except the cheese knife...)
What do you cook and how often?
Pizza, indian food, sometimes mexican food, all vegetarian (no meat at all) so it's pretty much all vegetables or herbs, probably 3--4 times a week.
Special requests(Country of origin/type of wood/etc)?
Something that will work, that is comfortable (which is why I'd also appreciate recommendations on where I can put a knife in my hand and try it, and preferably buy one and return it if I don't like it), that holds an edge, and will last. Looking nice would be a plus.
As I mentioned above, I'm also going to be buying a stone or stones. So far I've been thinking of two combo stones: a 300/1000 and 3000/8000. Would appreciate advice here as well :)
Thanks very much in advance! As I mentioned already, I'm so glad to have found a forum of people with a passion as well as expertise on this kind of stuff. First I found one for pizza, and now this one---it seems I just need to find the right place to ask!