All your picks are good,whatever BS larger Gyuto you get,I think you will like the steel.
one man gathers what another man spills...
What makes you think the Yoshikane tamamoku is thick? It's no willowy laser but it is not in any sense a thick knife. It compares very favorably to a Shigefusa.
After looking at around at everyone's suggestions (JCK took a while, since I hadn't been there before), and watching Jon's video about the Kochi knives, I think I'm fairly convinced about a Kochi. Unfortunately, he's out of stock, so I'm going to have to wait, and maybe work on a sharpening setup.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to measure these things but easy to measure spine thickness, so spine thickness has become an easy way to compare knives, although not a very useful one, in my experience. The same thing happened with Rockwell hardness where it was widely held that the higher the HRc the better, but thankfully that has lost its popularity.
The worst part of all of this is that there is really no good way to evaluate a knife other than through someone else's opinion or by actually using the knife. My suggestion is to get to the point where you can participate in some of the passarounds that are offered at KKF so you can use a knife for a week and evaluate it. If you don't mind some additional expense, buy a knife, and if it doesn't meet your criteria, sell it on B/S/T - you will lose about 20% of what the knife cost new, but, as someone once remarked, you can look at that as the cost to "rent" the knife.
Some helpful info for sure. I wasn't trying to give the impression that I didn't think it would perform well. I can trust that custom makers with generations of experience know better than a rank newcomer such as myself what comprises a superior knife. Still, it strikes me as a curious shape, and I would love to get my hands on a knife like the Yoshikane so I can get a feel for it. That said, I don't know that I feel confident enough yet to buy something like this without holding it, particularly since it's quite a price jump.
Just got chinacats' Kochi!