Chef knife upgrade - some opinions needed

Joined Jan 2, 2013
I thought this would be simple.. But so many choices.

Must Haves:

Wood Handle


Around 9" for me and another smaller one for my wife

Pairing knife also.

Wood case for storage

I have a hand made maple butcher block cutting board Arkansas stone, but I am looking into diamond blocks also.

Cutting mostly fruits and vegetables.

Most of the meat we eat does not require cutting.

I have a good bread knife

What confuses me is the brands and styles.

I have always had the german style.

I am open to a Japanese knife with that handle style.
Joined Dec 18, 2010
What is confusing you, the breadth of choices or not being sure about the differences? Have you ever tried a J-knife? Are you willing to buy to find out if you like or are you in an area where you can try before you buy? This kind of question is asked 3 or 4 times each week, often with same or similar answers. Have you read any of the prior threads? More details will help people address your need.
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Joined Dec 18, 2010
P.S. Good for you to already have a decent cutting board and ARK stones!
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Joined Nov 15, 2012
Ark stones are great on the softer steels, I finish all my softer stainless knives on an Ark.  But when you hit 60RC and above, like many Japanese knives, you really want waterstones.  I have a carbon Opanel at about 61RC and the Arc does nothing much good for it.  Any imperfections on the Ark's edges will really reek havoc on the edge of a hard knife.  And they just cut too damn slow to deal reasonably well with harder steels.

Stones are no big deal though, a really great 1-6K combination waterstone stone will set you back just about $100, and perfectly adequate ones can be had for around $50.

You haven't told us what you want to spend.  As an idea, in a 9"very good can be had for <$150, significantly better can be had for <$250.

Also, some Japanes knives are very thin at the edge and have to be handled accordingly, ie: stay away from bones and other hard stuff; show good technique on the board, no twisting.

Looking at just some recent posts is a good idea.


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