Hey, So many topics on this subject, countless threads being read, yet I feel the need to start my own... I'm about to purchase my first Japanese knife, which will be my first decent knife also. I'm at home cook, and would like to step up my cutting game a little. I live in New Zealand, so my choices are fairly limited. Most online knife shops that get recommended here don't deliver to NZ. Here is what I'm after... - 16-18cm all purpose knife. I'm slightly inclined towards gyoto, however will be just as happy with a chefs knife or a santoku. I find them all fairly comfortable, so I know I'll get used to it. - Simply for visual pleasure I'm looking at damascus steel, don't judge me. - Budget roughly US$150-170 What I found so far... - Yaxell Ran Santoku is available locally here, I held it and it feels comfortable, reviews are quite mixed about the brand. I can't say I fell in love with it. (http://www.blademaster.co.nz/shop/Shop+by+Brands/Ran/36001.html) it's currently on special in the store so fits the budget - Sakai Takayuki, not a lot of info online, hardly any reviews. I like how it looks, but don't know how it compares to Ran (https://www.japanny.com/collections...e-chef-s-gyuto-knife-210mm-with-shitan-handle) - Kenshin Santoky (https://www.japanny.com/collections...r-damascus-japanese-chefs-santoku-knife-180mm) - Not really considering Shun's, but they are widely available too. I almost bought the Ran today, but decided to do a bit more research. The reason why two other knives are linked to Japanny - so far it's the only website that delivers to NZ that I found. What else should I be looking for? Lots of advices on other threads were linking to websites that don't deliver to NZ, so my choice is a little more limited.... Thanks!