Hi all, I am a home cook with no professional experience and am looking to buy my first real knife. I would really appreciate your opinions and input on my selection. I’ve used chef friends’ knives occasionally, and have long been considering buying some decent knives of my own. I don’t have access to lots of different knives and I don’t know very much about knives except for doing a lot of review on websites, including this one. I’ve seen a lot of good recommendations on recent threads here, and am considering a couple of different approaches mostly with that background. I do recognize that everyone has their own opinion and it’s a subjective issue - and I’d love your thoughts. I’m left handed, FWIW. Like many, I initially considered buying a knife block set from a big manufacturer, but it’s obvious after five seconds of research that the quality is not there and also that I don’t need most of the filler knives. I’ve done enough in the kitchen that I use my (lousy) chef’s knife already 90% of the time. So I’m planning to go with the standard suggestions to start with: a good chef’s knife, a serrated bread knife and a paring knife. I’ll probably get the Victorinox paring knife, and the Vic bread knife (10.25 inch) or maybe a Tojiro one (F-687, 270mm) since it’s close to the same price as the Vic. Plus I plan to get an end grain maple board, probably the 20x15 Michigan Maple Block one, and the Idahone honer. I know that everyone recommends sharpening stones as well and I’ll probably do that a little bit down the road. The big question as always is the chefs knife. I’m in the US and looking to use it for general home cooking work for typical foods here. As a relative beginner, I worry about upkeep/maintenance, I fear chipping the blade of some knives, and sharpening seems intimidating. I'm sure most beginners have the same concerns. Here are a couple of options I am considering. Would love your thoughts, especially regarding additional details on the below or things I’m not considering/don’t know. 1. The Victorinox fibrox. (~$40 on Amazon) Since I don’t have a ton of experience with quality knives, maybe it makes sense to get the cheaper-but-quality basic one that people seem to like, and use it for a while. Then, down the road, look to get another knife. User Niftynorm recommended this on a recent thread and it makes a lot of sense. I won’t have to worry so much about maintenance and chipping and if I somehow destroy the knife, it’s not a huge deal. What I don’t love about this idea: I have the money now to buy a nicer knife, and kind of want to just get one. The plastic-handle-mass-market doesn’t have a ton of appeal. It’s easy, looking at the nicer options, to just want a nicer one that has serious quality. And at the moment, I can afford a nicer knife; this could conceivably change in the future. 2. The MAC Professional 9 ½ inch (~$185 on Amazon) or 8 inch. As Galley Swiller recommended on another recent thread, and as I’ve seen in threads and reviews and comments all over the internet, this seems to be a really solid baseline worldwide. Everyone seems to like this knife, and when something is a baseline standard, that’s often because it is really good. I worry more about maintenance of this one, and also chipping the blade somehow, relative to the Vic. 3. Another, cheaper option here might be the Tojiro DP F-808 8.2” (~$70) or 4098 9.4” (~$99): kind of a compromise between the basic Vic and a higher option. 4. A Tanaka Ginsan or Blue 240mm (~$230 at knives and stones). I’ve seen a number of recommendations and comments and it seems like people flat out love these knives. Also, if I understand right, these have a real artisan-Japanese-blacksmith pedigree, which is cool. But I’m even more worried about maintenance and chipping with this one than the MAC, largely because I don’t know much about these knives. When you are ignorant there’s some comfort in a standard option, I guess. But then, the Tanaka also feels like a work of art in some ways and is beautiful. Maybe the Blue would help assuage some of my maintenance concerns…? I would of course try to take care of the knife and hopefully have it for many years to come, but haven't had a nice knife before so worry I'd miss something. (and is there a place with more info on these knives and the details about them?) Obviously, the above are four options at vastly different price points. The prices aren’t my first concern, but I’d hate to buy a high-maintenance knife that needs babying and mess it up somehow – though I plan to be as careful as possible and follow standard protocols re washing, storage, etc. Right now, I’m less inclined toward full carbon and am favoring some stainless, but I’m not sure I fully understand the practical difference day to day. And having a Japanese blacksmith made cutting tool would be awesome. So I guess right now I kind of want a Tanaka – beautiful – but am not sure I know enough at the moment to buy a knife like that. The MAC feels like a safer-ish choice since at least it’s widely used and liked. And the Vic is a really safe choice. I’d love any help or insight you might be able to share. Any additional details about these knives, other options I haven’t considered, differences in maintenance, chipping concerns, babying-requirements among these, or other thoughts and considerations here? Thanks in advance!