I've been thrilled, this past week, at finding a forum with genuine people asking and sharing prime knowledge and experience in an area I've committed myself to invest in. But when I signed up it never occurred to me that I'd be stumped by the very first questions on my details page, yet here I am. Thing is, my answers to 3 simple questions are all kinda negative but darn it, they all served to bring me here so I guess I can forge my way thru em and get to the meat of it: Occupation: I own a firearm training school but have been sidelined relearning how to walk for the past few years after life kicked me in the back (and nerves and muscles) and changed things for me just a tad. Teaching's what I love doing most in life -- I've been teaching one thing or another for almost 40 years now --and, like the name says, I'm working on regaining my full mobility. Knives you own: None now. Like, really none -- my beloved knife set was stolen this year. I've made do for a while from the thrift shop; now I'm ready to get something that works. What knives most interest you and why (the intro info): Hubby went to Washington from our home in the midwest to help out his aging mom. Freak snowstorm fire took all but my husband and mother-in-law and the clothes on their backs. We decided to stay on with her and rebuild. BUT ... ... While we come from Chicago, where you can name any country in the world and find its authentic cuisine, up here in this beautiful mountain town of the Pacific Northwest, we've had a devil of a time finding ethnic food. We'd never before realized how much of a part of our lives it was. There are cows outside my kitchen window, chickens and geese and peacocks and ducks and horses in the yard; rescued newborn deer and llama and goats sally in and out of our house. This is a lovely, peaceful town. After a lifetime of living in Chicago where, currently, someone is shot every 3 hours, I am more than ready to stand on my Washington deck in the mornings and watch the mist on the mountains that surround me as I sip hot coffee. But the Italian restaurant that I called when I got to this town served me a single layer lasagna with a blackened top. And the town's only Chinese restaurant had the worst yelp reviews I have ever seen of any restaurant, consistently, no matter how far back I scrolled. Fast forward a year: the Chinese restaurant got new owners, and new reviews show they're doing well. There is a Hawaiian restaurant that's popular, and in the past year, an authentic Thai takeout has opened, but none of the three offer the meals or the tastes we most crave. An AMAZINGLY GOOD Pho restaurant did recently open 10 miles away -- and their sign and menu reads: 'Vietnamese Pho and Gourmet Hot Dogs' I asked about it and the owner told me it was because no one came in when they opened, cause no one knew what pho was; so they added hot dogs and a business was born! LOL! The bottom line is, if I want it -- and I do!!! -- I'll have to learn to cook it myself. And except for rare occasions, I do all the cooking anyhow, for me, my husband and my elderly mom and her brother, who has come to live with us and whose almighty passion is seafood and more seafood. It's all he asked for during his first week with us and finding a general store 20 miles away that stocks fresh seafood earned me 5 stars and made him happy as ... a clam . My and my husband's great passions are for all things Asian, and I still remember being stymied trying to find ingredients here. I didn't realize it, but searching for 'Indian grocer' in the pacific northwest gives you: a bunch of native american grocery stores. Which are good! But not what I was looking for. I finally solved it by phoning a Sikh Temple in Spokane from 90 miles away and asking the guy who answered where his family shops for food. Jeepers, this has turned into the longest post! Ok, what knives am I looking for? Well, I live on a vegetable farm. I feed elderly people who don't always ... wear teeth. I raw feed our dogs and we butcher much of our own meat. Half the household loves sushi and sashimi, half loves seafood in general, and three quarters love dishes from all 5 Asian regions. I realized that maybe 80% of our favorite foods involve thinly sliced fish and meats and even vegetables. So: Nakiri, Deba, Yanagi -- and Santoku for everything else. And I'm open to being told I'm wrong, lol. I'm here fully to learn what I should get and how to take care of it, and in what order, at whatever I can afford, slowly working my way up. I started researching knives for Christmas and found this forum and this is it, folks! This is THE forum, no need to read anywhere else. Nakiri - Harvest time is insane in our house. My mother-in-law and I can and freeze for entire weeks. The rest of the year, I batch cook weekly as well as cook for the day. We have 4 freezers and a harvest pantry. Yanagi - For Japanese sashimi, Italian carpaccio, Korean bulgogi, Vietnamese spring rolls, and all good thins to come. I think maybe I AM that rare person who will honestly use the yanagiba at least 5 times a week. Seriously. I plan my flights to Chicago specifically to lay over on Wednesdays so I can snag that huge, huge platter of sashimi for $25 bucks from Joong Boo. And my return flight suitcase is filled with all the raw ingredients I can carry back to Washington from that same bountiful market. Deba - Processing chicken and other soft-boned meats for the dogs as well as for humans. My dog's a service dog to help me walk, so it's really important for me that his bones stay strong enough for the job. I was stunned at what a difference raw feeding makes in a dog! The heavier boned meats get processed before they reach the house -- or I just grab a pair of branch loppers and pretend I'm Dexter . Santoku - General purpose not listed above. Santoku is what I used most from my knife set, but it was super time consuming to make thin cuts and I feel like I'm chopping all day long. I'm looking forward to learning to speed through more efficiently with bulk vegetables and to experience the true taste of raw fish and meats. My previous set was western, a culinary student set that, honestly? Introduced me to the use of knives and served me just fine for a decade with rudimentary knife knowledge. But now I'll be getting serious as I quest to replace all the restaurants I so took for granted. So I may as well get the correct types for the tasks since I have to get knives anyway. Right? Quality? Entry-level, just something to use now and while I hone my sharpening and cut/slice/chopping skills and knowledge. Not that I don't want higher, but, well, finances. I do plan to take live sharpening classes as well as study the videos made by Jon Broida and learn from the KKF community, natch. And that's it. I've been teaching people how to shoot well for the past 10 years -- and got my name in the history books, which is cool; been teaching folks how to have lasting relationships for 20 years; and how to recover from trauma for some years before that ... when you put it all together, I hope it's made a stronger future for a few along the way. That'd be good enough for me. For now: I just want to be happy preparing my favorite foods.