My mom commented on how much she likes my knives and we got to talking about Christmas presents... She's got functional knives, but is hoping for something beautiful and comfortable. LOCATION USA KNIFE TYPE What type of knife are you interested in (e.g., chef’s knife, slicer, boning knife, utility knife, bread knife, paring knife, cleaver)? 180mm gyuto (or maybe santoku) Are you right or left handed? Right Are you interested in a Western handle (e.g., classic Wusthof handle) or Japanese handle? Japanese preferred but not mandatory What length of knife (blade) are you interested in (in inches or millimeters)? 180ish Do you require a stainless knife? (Yes or no) Yes What is your absolute maximum budget for your knife? $250 KNIFE USE Do you primarily intend to use this knife at home or a professional environment? Home What are the main tasks you primarily intend to use the knife for (e.g., slicing vegetables, chopping vegetables, mincing vegetables, slicing meats, cutting down poultry, breaking poultry bones, filleting fish, trimming meats, etc.)? (Please identify as many tasks as you would like.) Vegetables, boneless meat What knife, if any, are you replacing? none Do you have a particular grip that you primarily use? (Please click on this LINK for the common types of grips.) Mostly hammer What cutting motions do you primarily use? (Please click on this LINK for types of cutting motions and identify the two or three most common cutting motions, in order of most used to least used.) Push, some rock chopping on smaller things What improvements do you want from your current knife? If you are not replacing a knife, please identify as many characteristics identified below in parentheses that you would like this knife to have.) Edge retention, better looks Better aesthetics (e.g., a certain type of finish; layered/Damascus or other pattern of steel; different handle color/pattern/shape/wood; better scratch resistance; better stain resistance)? She likes the look of cladding of all types Comfort (e.g., lighter/heavier knife; better handle material; better handle shape; rounded spine/choil of the knife; improved balance)? Medium-thickness with rounded spine Ease of Use (e.g., ability to use the knife right out of the box; smoother rock chopping, push cutting, or slicing motion; less wedging; better food release; less reactivity with food; easier to sharpen)? Less wedging and better food release would be nice, but not top priority Edge Retention (i.e., length of time you want the edge to last without sharpening)? Good retention is important, since I'll be the one (occasionally) sharpening it KNIFE MAINTENANCE Do you use a bamboo, wood, rubber, or synthetic cutting board? (Yes or no.) Wood, synthetic Do you sharpen your own knives? (Yes or no.) I'll be sharpening it for her. If not, are you interested in learning how to sharpen your knives? (Yes or no.) n/a Are you interested in purchasing sharpening products for your knives? (Yes or no.) n/a TLDR: want a medium-thickness stainless knife with any sort of cladding, and good edge retention (willing to sacrifice some sharpness for lack of microchipping). I've struggled to find 180mm stainless gyutos that aren't monosteel, so I started looking at santokus. My top choice at the moment is the Tanaka 180mm ginsan santoku but hoping y'all can point out some gyuto options.