Hi All, I'm new to the forum and this is my first post. I have read through all the posts available here in the knife forum and have gained a lot of knowledge. Now I'm ready to get some new knives and add to my skills. In the late 70s I got a Chicago 10" Chef's knife and a Victorinox sausage knife. If you've never seen the sausage knife, it's kind of like a thin, delicate cleaver with big curved front/tip. I used both knives a lot and sharpened them on a Chicago steel. Yes, I wore those knives down with that grinding tool. Anyway, the Victorinox blade is where I originally developed my affection for thinner blades. In the 90s I "moved up" to a set of Chef's Choice Trizor 10X. The Chef's knife was 8" and shaped like a German blade. That's how I found I didn't like the German shape very much and definately didn't like an 8" Chef. I just didn't know why. I was also able to try (at friends' homes) other good German Chef blades like Henckles and Wusthoff. Then I found I didn't care for the thick bolster. I also had some cheap carbon steel cutlery I bought from a dept. store chain that was going out of business. Now I find by accident I like sharpening on my old Smith's Tri-Hone (only the carbon steel) and using the blades. Smoother, sharper cutting, dulls fast. I take care of the blades. They never rust, pit, etc. and I like the darkening patina they develop. So here I am years later and find this forum. I've learned a bit over the years how to cut properly with a Chef's knife, got a Chicago ceramic stick somewhere in the 80s that isn't destroying my blades and lost the worn out carbon steel blades I had. I still have my old Victorinox, my Chicago 10", my set of Trizor 10X and my Smith's Tri-Hone. Thanks to this forum I understand the basic shape differences of French and German style blades and the newer Japanese offerings. I need to learn a lot about sharpening and am willing to take the time and spend some money. I'll go back through the threads and see if there are recommended books, stones, etc. I haven't taken notes yet. Any new suggestions appreciated. Now I am interested in getting some carbon steel blades and stones. I am looking at the Masamoto HC series and Misono Sweden Steel Series. I still don't have a real handle on the differences between the two regarding quality of steel, edge holding, F&F (I'm guessing the Masamoto might be better cosmetics?), etc. I do not mind spending the extra money for the Masamoto if there are more reasons than just cosmetics. I tend to keep blades for a long time and after more than 10 years the extra money just doesn't matter. I am a home cook and will not wear blades out. The next set could very well last me the rest of my life. Having said all that, I'm looking for comparisons between the two makes I listed and any other I'm not aware of that would be in the same general quality and price bracket. I would also appreciate feedback for the length of Gyuto: 240mm or 270mm? I'm used to a 10" Chef. I can't visualize which direction to go. Right now I'm thinking a Gyuto, 150mm petty and paring knife would pretty much do it for me. If I need to split and/or debone some chicken, I've got plenty of other blades up to the task. Sorry if this is long winded. Just wanted to give a background to explain how I came to want some Japanese carbon blades. It might help with giving some advice. Thanks in advance!