I'm glad you can admit your only interest in the Kiritsuke is its appearance. It's functionally moot in 90% of Western kitchens, and it's best forgotten in this conversation. JEFF,
asked you an unanswered question: 210 or 240? This makes a difference, and space should be the predicate. He was blunt in his format because your indifference gets us nowhere... fast. CKTG carries 210s & 240s... which would you like? In a commercial environment, if its only used for service I can see the 210. If its only used for prep, I can see a 240/270. If you can only have one service/prep knife, a 210 usually wins out, but if you can swing the 240 in service... do it. This can also be confused by some 240's coming in from 230-250 & 210's coming in @205-215.
On to my suggestions. You want a "workhorse." Ah, how I love semantics. There have been so many damn threads over the years about "lasers" & "reprofiling" & "workhorses" it gets to a point where a man just wants to
, but then I gather myself & presume you want a knife that you can sharpen to a respectable angle, beat the snot out of all day long, and need not do anything to but strop after your shift/before your next. You have already specified you want SS. I own a myriad of knives, I've used even more, but I'm going to extend some suggestions I own & some that I do not as I look for different attributes in a knife than you do.
First, allow me to say I am a huge proponent for the TKC. If you have engaged even a modicum of due diligence in researching a knife for yourself, I'm sure you have seen how highly the item is regarded - particularly by one of our resident knife makers, ADAM MARR.
I have personally lauded the knife, as well; I love her dearly. Exceptionally versatile profile, weighted enough to instill integrity yet light enough to prep all day long, steel that is fun on the stones / takes a great edge / has impressive retention, great F&F, etc. It seems like just yesterday, albeit a handful of months, we were just telling DANCRUBENEW,
these very same things as he was deliberating if he should or should not get a second JK. As you can see, he has been extremely happy with the TKC. That said, I won't suggest against her, but I think you might consider something a bit more durable. I am not implying in anyway that the TKC is not a tough knife - it is undeniably tough - a "workhorse" FOR ME - IN MY HANDS, but we're dancing in the abyss of relativity which is nothing more than absolute ambiguity.
What you think is tough & what I think is tough can be disparate concepts.
The knife I want to suggest, is out-of-stock, AND if my intuition serves me correct - as it typically does, when it comes back into stock it will have a modified grind on it that will be a world apart from where the knife I grew accustom to resides. The knife I type of is the SHIRO KAMO, <--link
. A beast of a knife. Has some very distinct attributes that you can love or hate, but it has been well received, and could be worth the wait... especially if a new grind comes back with narrower shoulders. Knife is notably stiff with what I find to be limited feedback, but this is countered by sheer & awesome cutting power. They work a PM steel into an absurdly tough & durable knife. Any time I think of the Kamo, I think of a BEAST. It's so tough, I feel it's a prime candidate as a restaurant house-knife, but that's neither here nor there.
There are two knives that I think should rate extremely high in your consideration as they share PM steels, like the Kamo. Steel alone should never really be a deciding factor, but in this case, said steel is lauded for its durability & edge retention... both attributes you are seemingly focused on. Niether is ground as robustly as the Kamo, but that can be & most likely is beneficial for you as the Kamo might be a bit too "beastly". A thinner grind will afford you a more precise knife with improved feedback.
#1: The HARUYUKI.<--link
This knife's SRS-15 core steel @Hrc63 will offer you impressive edge potential with extended edge retention. I really like the profile, but if you choose the 210 in this model be aware it is on the shorter side at around 44mm tall; the 240 is much more appropriate IMO @48mm. Pay attention to the tapered design in the Yo-handle as it slims out unlike a typical Western.
#2: The TAKAMURA. <--link
This knife I only see around the web in a 210. It is about 15% lighter than the Haruyuki with a more delicate grind, but again, having a high-hardness PM steel - in this case Takefu's SG-2 @Hrc62/63, you should still enjoy very respectable edge potential & retention. Of note, its 210 has a bit more height coming in a millimeter taller... yes, a mm makes a difference.
I will add in one more suggestion, of which is at the high-end of your budget. The Kanehiro G3 line<--link
is a fully stainless Wa-gyuto that I have a lot of experience with, and recommend highly. The Ginsan steel is not a Powder Metallurgy High Speed Tool Steel, but it is still an impressive alloy of which is widely known to take a uniquely aggressive edge while still extending impressive edge retention when employed with appropriate final bevel angles. It is not so unique in it's design, but it has a large primary bevel which employs a noticeable convexity at the shinogi. I find this to instill an integrity of strength and durability with its full body, yet still exhibiting functional cutting prowess as a convex transitions into the thinned primary bevel.
I sincerely enjoy my connection with Kanehiro's knives, and this Hrc62 G3 line is no exception. Furthermore, I personally
prefer this knife over the last two due to statistical dimensions. I prefer their heights much more, and they employ a slightly tighter radius in their belly which will lift your heel slightly higher in your rocking style.
Know this... anything you buy from CKTG is a winner.. we're just trying to dial you in with the limited information we have about you.edit:
I had started this post last night & broke right into the draft this morning w/o seeing ATANG's & ADAM's additions. Interestingly enough, yet not surprisingly there is overlap, and I hope you find it prudent to recognize them in this swath of opinions.