Hi all - in my newly found desire to own a kitchen knife, I thought I'd seek everyone's opinion. I am just familiarizing myself with the forums and will certainly be scouring all of the information available.
First - I have zero background with knives. I currently own a set of cutco knives bought from brother in law, and a Shun Classic 8" Santoku. I also own a very flexible boning knife from Wustof (I believe).
I am interested in buying a chefs knife for daily use. I read the sticky on the important questions to consider, and my thoughts follow below. Any input or guidance or recomendations would be very much appreciated. Looking forward to the info, and thank you in advance for your input.
What type of knife(s) do you think you want?
All purpose knife - preferably an 8+" chefs or asian style knife. I know next to nothing about Japanese knife styles.
Why is it being purchased? What, if anything, are you replacing?
Splurge gift for myself. I want one go-to knife that I adore and care for and use every day. I will keep my existing knifes.
What do you like and dislike about these qualities of your knives already?
Never owned a "beautiful" knife, anything with damascus patterning, anything with wood handles. All of it intrigues me.
I hate my knives edge quality and retention. I want a knife that is lazer sharp and extremely durable.
Ease of Use-
I am comfortable with my knives, and particularly like the Santoku since I use the pinch grip and it seems to suit my right handed cutting well. I want a knife that floats through veggies like butter.
I like a knife that I can use for hours. Nicely weighted and sturdy.
What grip do you use?
What kind of cutting motion do you use?
push cut, rock, slice, chop
Where do you store them?
In a drawer - horozontal wood knife block drawer insert.
Have you ever oiled a handle?
Never - I have a wood handle on my Shun but have never oiled it and wouldn't know where to begin.
What kind of cutting board(s) do you use?
When we recently remodeled our kitchen I installed a 6' long Boos Block 3" end grain maple counter, and set the cabinet height to better suit my prep work (I am tall and usually have to slouch on traditional heighted counters.) I do nearly all of my cutting on that counter - and I oil it every other month. When cutting raw meat, I typically use a plastic composite cutting board on top of my block.
For edge maintenance, do you use a strop, honing rod, pull through/other, or nothing?
Still learning how to use a wetstone, and also have a honing rod which I am decent with. Still not 100% comfortable that I am using them correctly.
Have they ever been sharpened?
Yes - I factory sharpened cutco recently, and attempted to sharpen my other knives with wetstone and steel. Factory sharp knives are what I yearn for.
What is your budget?
I am hoping to spend splurge money on myself towards year-end - and would consider spending up to $1200 for something truly special. I know custom knives can be extraordinarily expensive, but I am not yet a collector. I am a home chef with some training that likes to cook as often as my 9-5 allows.
What do you cook and how often?
American cuisine, ranging from family staples I grew up with (still a sucker for mom's meatloaf) up to more formal meals like my favorite local summer dish of a fried green tomato topped with virginia ham, a gently poached farm egg, maryland jumbo lump crabmeat, topped with homemade old bay hollendaise made from clarified butter. Cook dinner 4-6x a week, and cook all weekend.
Special requests(Country of origin/type of wood/etc)?
Love the look of a clean, simple, functional, elegant handle. Not into hunting knife style, antlers, horns, coarse wood, etc. (unless polished smooth). I love the complex damascus blades and have a hunch I'd like to go down that road. But I am not opposed to other types of steel. I want a one-of-a-kind feel, and am heavily leaning towards a custom knife, if that is feasible with my budget. I am in no rush to buy, just trying to begin to understand what is out there beyond what I can find at my local Sur Le Table or Williams Sonoma. Prefer darker wood generally.
Looking forward to your input!