Not sure where to really begin here....but right off that bat, I'm not a professional cook/chef, nor do I have any intentions to become one. The reason I'm posting here is because I've spent the last two days sick on the couch and browsing the reviews here. I've read more useful answers here than on most other boards. I do enjoy cooking when I do it, but to be quite honest, I don't cook many big meals, especially now cooking for one. And my knife skills in the kitchen are probably laughable by the standards around here, but I'm interested in learning now. Anyway, I've always had a bit of an obsession with anything with an edge on it, and for a long time I've been wanting a decent set of kitchen knives for those times when I do need them. Specifically, I've been very interested in getting a set of Japanese knives. Heck, it might even encourage me to cook more if I'm not frustrated by cheap knives that won't stay sharp. So, after reading enough reviews and opinions to make my head spin, I'm pretty sure that every knife I've looked at (drooled over) at this point is more knife than I need lol But,there's needs, then there's wants, so..... I'm thinking a compromise might be the Kagayaki Carbonext's or VG10's Petty 125mm Gyuto 210mm Sujihiki 240mm Boning 150mm (maybe. probably not. I probably don't really need this) Here's my issues/questions though: I have no idea if I should stick with the 210 Gyuto, or go with a larger size now? Is it really any easier to learn on a smaller knife and end up wanting to go bigger later? Or would I be just as well off learning with a 240? I hear a lot of people say go bigger if you have a big enough cutting board for it. But....what size is 'big enough'? I have some wood here and plans for making a 12"x18" endgrain board from maple and purpleheart. I'm guessing it's just if the blade is shorter than the width of the board, right? I really do love the look of the Wa handled knives. I've never used one, but visually they appeal to me. I'm going to look around when I'm feeling better and see if I can find one local to get a feel for it....but in the mean time, are there any good Wa handled knives in this price range? It seems most that I've seen recommended are just more than I'm willing to spend On a related note....and this is probably putting the cart before the horse....but, can anyone point me to a good walkthrough of how to re-handle a Wa handled knife? I've searched around and only come up with people showing what they've made, not much about how they actually go together. I'd love to have something along the lines of a Wa handle in Red Mallee burl and black buffalo or ebony.....but they sure aren't going to be in my price range if they're like that from the factory lol Ceramic Rod or touch up on a finishing stone? I've read the warning about not using rods on certain japanese knives, because of the hardness of the steel and the likelihood of chipping....but I'm not sure on where that line is drawn? The Carbonext should be fine on a ceramic rod, right? But what about the VG10? Or a white steel? Or a...whatever? Is there some general rule of thumb by alloy or hardness? As far as blade types go, I don't really care if it's carbon or stainless. I'm okay with either as long as it gets good and sharp and holds the edge decently. edit: Also, I like the idea of thinner and lighter with the Japanese steels, but not super thin or excessively flexible. I do have a couple older, sturdy carbon knives that belonged to my mother that I can restore and use for heavier tasks Speaking of edges, before anyone asks, here's what I currently have for sharpening options: Razorsharp Edgemaking System (Abrasives on paper wheels on a grinder) DMT 8c for flattening the stones and major edge repairs Norton stones in 220, 1k, 4k, 8k Chinese natural 12k Welsh slates ranging from 8k-15k 150mmx50mm natural combo La Grise Coticule Lapping film in progression up to....I wanna say the finest was .3 micron....can't remember for sure at the moment A variety of hanging leather strops and a paddle stop that I'd be willing to devote to knife use I'm assuming the Norton's and one of the finer natural finishers will do, but am I missing anything? And how fine is it really worth going on a kitchen knife? I have all these already for honing straight razors....I'm guessing I don't need to go as fine on a knife, but you tell me? Okay, this has turned into a book. If I'm just rambling, I blame the 48 hour fever. If I sound like I don't know what I really want, well, I guess I don't lol I'm starting to think I should just delete this and keep researching, but I've been reading and reading for hours on end and keep coming up with the same questions at the end. So, thanks in advance to anyone who can help!