After growing up with no experience in the kitchen, I started trying to cook well a year ago. I wanted a good knife, and I did a bit of research and it seemed that japanese knives had some advantages over western knives, so I handled a few knives at Williams Sonoma (the only cookware store in town.) After testing shun classic, shun premier, global, and global sai, I picked a 7.5" global sai santoku as feeling the most natural in my hand. Soon afterward, I also purchased a 4.5" global sai paring knife as well as a global honing rod and minosharp manual sharpener (i DO plan on sharpening better in the future, but I needed something efficient.) With these tools, I was satisfied. However, after I began watching cooking shows, I noticed that even bad cooks (e.g. contestants on America's Worst Cooks) were doing things with their knives that I couldn't: thinly slicing, quickly cutting, etc. Presumptively, Global isn't the best knife, and I'm far from experienced, but it seems that I should be able to outperform game show contestants. I figured I needed to simply sharpen the knives more, and I had an extended session with the manual sharpener, which seemed to help a bit, but not a lot. I took the knives to williams sonoma for their free knife sharpening, which turned out to be farcical because the employee knew less about knives than i did. Recently I happened to try a wusthoff...and I was blown away by how much easier it cut, compared to my global sai. I'm sure the wusthoff had been over-sharpened by an overzealous employee, but the difference was so remarkable that I almost bought the wusthoff immediately. I KNOW that the wusthoff is completely different from a global, but I would think that a freshly-sharpened global would perform better than a wusthoff that'd been demo'ed to the public all day. Can the difference simply be a result of the different proprietary steels, or is it likely that I simply have not really sharpened my global? What else could create this situation?