I tried to add explanations where they might be helpful. LOCATION: Mississippi, US KNIFE TYPE What type of knife are you interested in? chef’s knife Are you right or left handed? Right handed Are you interested in a Western handle or Japanese handle? Probably not the most important criterion for me. I’m a home cook without knife training, and the “hook” just makes it feel familiar, but maybe that’s essentially just a set of training wheels that can come off at some point. What length of knife are you interested in? 8” is familiar to me. Anything longer would feel unwieldy without a lot of practice. My hands are small. I wonder if shorter than 8” would be a good idea, as in more maneuverable and manageable. Do you require a stainless knife? Yes, I assume, because I’m a home cook and want to minimize upkeep effort. What is your absolute maximum budget for your knife? $150 +maybe another 20% if it makes a big difference KNIFE USE Primary use environment? Home Main tasks? Slicing then chopping veggies; slicing meats (dividing a raw flank steak, slicing a roasted pork loin); trimming the fat and gristle from the edges of meats; breaking down a roasted chicken; occasionally mincing garlic, celery, and onions. I won’t use it for filleting fish or cutting bone. What knife, if any, are you replacing? An unimpressive Calphalon 8” chef’s knife. Part of our 8-year-old knife block wedding present. Do you have a particular grip that you primarily use? Finger Point, all the way. The Pinch Grip feels unsafe (probably because I’ve been using dull knives), and the Hammer Grip feels uncontrolled. What cutting motions do you primarily use? Rocking 80%, Slicing 18%, and Walking 2%. What improvements do you want from your current knife? I’m simply wanting to upgrade to something that’s reliably sharp, easy to maintain, and lighter than my big-box store mass market chef’s knife. I also enjoy a precise fit and finish. If we were talking about cars, I want to go from mid-level Toyota to mid-level Lexus, not Porsche. I’d like edge retention because I’d prefer not to have to get into sharpening as a side hobby. Shipping it somewhere once a year to be sharpened would be perfectly fine. KNIFE MAINTENANCE Do you use a bamboo, wood, rubber, or synthetic cutting board? Yes, bamboo and wood. Do you sharpen your own knives? Not really. Just an electric knife grinder with a steel rod follow-up. I’ll NOT do that with a nicer knife. If not, are you interested in learning how to sharpen your knives? Not now. Are you interested in purchasing sharpening products for your knives? Not really, but I wouldn’t want this to drastically limit my choices somehow. If this makes a huge difference, then fine I guess. I’m handy and comfortable with things like that, but I’m trying to make this easy. SPECIAL REQUESTS/COMMENTS: Thank you for reading and sharing your wisdom! EDITED TO ADD: Ok, I’m getting the picture from further researching the forum that everyone is going to suggest that I commit to sharpening my own knife regularly as an integral part of owning a nicer knife. If that’s the case, I hear you, and I wonder if there are ways to handle that on the easier end of a spectrum. I’m a tinkerer, and I could see myself really getting into sharpening as a little obsession for a month, and I’m hoping to avoid that and make this be a true upgrade to my lifestyle in the kitchen rather than a new chore, if that makes sense.