Yet another "which knife" thread. Can you feel the excitement? BTW, this is something I also posted in the other forum, you know which one. Looking for my wife, a great amateur cook, who cooks about twice a week. Budget is $300 for the knives, but could stretch to $400 if I can be convinced there is a significant difference (here we go, new knife nut material..). Really going for biggest bang for the buck, with aesthetics a significant nice to have. In our minds, that means Kanji lettering, preferably in black, and san mai damascus. I know, we are cheesy. However, aesthetics are second to blade and F&F quality. Stainless because we are not the best at cleaning up immediately. Fortunate to have Korin nearby, so we will probably skip the religious experience of sharpening, unless someone can help me figure out that we will need to do so often enough that the cost and effort of waterstones, flatteners, strops, learning and potentially hurting the knives is worth it. However, we will certainly need a cutting board or 2, at a price point below the Boardsmith. Probably (sigh, here we go again). So, I think she will need: 1. 240mm Gyotu 2. 180mm Santoku (i know, i know, but she really likes them) 3. 150mm Petty 4. Parer 5. Bread knife 6. Board We are a little unclear as to whether we should get a Honesuki instead of the petty, as she does chicken, but mostly not the whole bird. Could we just get some $25 Taskmaster shears for the rare occassions instead of a Honesuki and keep the petty? Current thinking: 1. Fujiwara FKM 240mm Gyotu - $71 2. Fujiwara FKM 180mm Santoku - $62 3. Fujiwara FKM 150mm Petty - $37 4. Shun Steel 3.5" parer - $45 5. MAC 10.5" bread knife - $67 6. Sani Tuff 12x18x0.75 cutting board - $50 All in $332, no honesuki For the knives, I had the chance to go in and hold the Togiharu Moly and Tojiro DP at Korin. Nice knives, but I was leaning towards Fujiwara because of higher Rockwell than Togiharu Moly and I hear iffy things about the Tojiro handle. Another way to go: 1. Tojiro DP 240mm Gyotu PLUS 2. Tojiro DP 120mm Petty (as a combo Parer/Utility)= $114 3. Tojiro DP 180mm Santoku - $65 4. MAC 10.5" bread knife - $67 5. Sani Tuff 12x18x0.75 cutting board - $50 All in $296, no dedicated parer or Honesuki 3rd option: our shameful secret, we ordered the 5 knives from Shun (mostly steel, santoku hollow ground classic) for $390 (no board yet). We could keep them, or pay $20 to ship them back. :look:Whew! So what do you think? Would you suggest an alternate lineup of knives and tools? Would you go with one of my combinations, keep the Shuns, combine styles a different way (honesuki? dedicated parer and petty or combo petty?), go with different brands (don't know enough about Takeda, other specialists)? Step up in cost to a different brand (JCK Kagayaki VG-10)? Can I justify stepping up $50 to a Boardsmith board (beauty not enough) on an actual cooking utility basis? Thanks for taking the time to read all this, and hopefully respond!