In about a month, I want to get a gyuto to round out my current set of knives. I recently bought a Yamashin white #1 Santoku and Ko Bocho. I want a different steel to play with, so white #1 is out, though I love the look and feel of the Yamashins. lol
I am right handed and have no preference of carbon over stainless or vice versa. I just don't want an extremely reactive carbon that I have to maintain while I use it (the white#1 in the Yamashins has been VERY nice!) and if I go stainless I want something easy to sharpen that can take a mean edge.
For the length I think I want to stay around 210-240mm. I am used to an 8" chef's knife but I don't think a 240mm would be hard to get used to. My board is 18" by 16" so either should fit just fine.
I use a pinch grip almost exclusively when cutting, so handle type is not really important. I like the looks of wa handles but that or western style is fine. I also like the looks of the kurouchi finishes, but again it isn't a necessity. If it does have one though I think I would like it to be a smooth one, not rough.
I rarely if ever chop, with most of my cutting being push cutting on taller ingredients and rocking on shorter stuff. When making strips (like with bellpeppers) I tend to put the point on the board and pull the knife through so I would like a sharp point. I am no speed demon. lol I am a very deliberate cutter and my edges will not take a lot of abuse. I also use an end grain cutting board for veggies and a cheap, replaceable poly board I toss in the dishwasher for meats. I do disassemble bell peppers, jalapenos, and poblano peppers, so a nimble knife would be good when de-veining. I am a home cook that only has to cook for two people and occasionally (i.e. VERY rarely) a group.
For sharpening, I have a cheap $30 250/1k King combo stone. My Japanese knives will likely never see the 250 grit (unless that get some serious damage! lol), as it is for re-profiling/fixing some of my cheaper knives if needed. I am planning on getting better stones and some higher grit stones, but this one is pretty much one I bought to learn how to use water stones with. I am used to natural stones like Arkansas whetstones and diamond stones, I have never used a Japanese water stone until now. I am also used to free hand sharpening bigger angles and am trying to get used to the lower angles found in Japanese knives. It isn't an easy proposition to get your muscle memory to change and bring the back of the blade lower to the stone and keep it there. lol I am also a big believer in stropping (I use cow leather and compound, sometimes paper and/or newsprint as well), so that is how the edge will be finished for the time being.
I am trying to stay in the $100-ish range, with ~$120 being the top end. I would love to get my hands on a Goko, Kohetsu, Masakage Mizu, etc. but those are a little out of my range right now. lol
Some of the knives I have been looking at are the Richmond Artifex stuff with the AEB-L steel, Tojiro DP with VG10 (not to mention the nice $100 set with the paring knife!), up to the Suisin Inox and Tanaka kurouchi at the higher end of my price range. The Tanaka is a little outside, but I might be able to swing it. lol
I have seen a lot of knives I like on the site, I just don't know anything about them really. lol I want something relatively thin (doesn't have to be in the "laser" category), light to medium weight (5~7oz maybe but I am not opposed to a heavier knife if it performs well), is easy to sharpen, takes a nice edge, and has decent edge retention without being extremely chippy, like say I have a random piece of kosher salt on the board. lol The knife will likely never see a bone or hard winter squash. A carrot will probably be the most demanding veggie it has to cut.
So, all in all, I am mainly concerned with performance, low reactivity in the case of carbon steel, and ease of sharpening. Fit and finish is not a make or break thing for me, especially in this price range, but I know some are better than others. And I want to try something different than white #1 since I already have two knives with that steel.
Any and all recommendations to this Japanese knife noob are welcome, as long as it falls in my price range! LOL Actually, even then it is welcome, I'm just more likely not going to buy it if it costs too much.
Think more nice family car or sedan than Camaro or Caddilac. I do drive a Murano after all. lol