I recently realized I have a fair amount of money in the bank, so it's time for me to build a knife kit. From my long-time lurking, I've managed to get a basic idea of what I want, but would like a bit of guidance. I work in a busy kitchen, demanding a lot of cutting. I don't know how to sharpen, but will learn freehand. Looking for a good chef's knife, (maybe) a petty, and paring knives. The mangled knives at work will suffice anytime I need a lobster cracker. Chef knife: I find myself interested more in carbon steel than stainless; it just sounds sexier. I don't know if the need to wipe the blade off frequently would prove to be a major issue in a professional environment, but if so I might go stainless. Definitely prefer French/Japanese profiles. I'm leaning toward K-sab au carbone, but want to look into some Japanese gyutos. If I go Japanese, I'd be inclined to get a 'laser.' Size-wise, I'm somewhat torn. I've often seen people recommend larger as better--as big as you can comfortably go. OTOH, some say anything larger than 10" is too clumsy. At work, I find myself reaching for the 12" french-profiled knife most often, and using that well enough. What's the argument for going smaller? Petty: If I go for a 12", I'll probably need a decent petty. No real thoughts on what I want here, other than possibly just grabbing a smaller version of whatever chef knife I get. Paring knives: Forschners, most likely. Relatively cheap, and I rarely need one at work. Anyone know of a good veg peeler? I'm rarely the one stuck with the potatoes, but I'm starting to develop a phobia. And on to sharpening. I'm inclined to get a beginner/budget set of stones, probably waterstones because I'll own a Japanese knife someday. Not knowing much, I'll say I'm looking for a basic setup: profiling, sharpening, polishing. Finally, honing rods: beyond fine/extra-fine grit, I don't know what I'm looking for. How likely is it that a ceramic rod might break at the workplace?