This has photos, but I'm going to post this in the General Discussion section.
Cut up a bunch of mushrooms and about 20 pounds of onions (large & small) and some lotus root for some side by side comparisons of a bunch of knives.
I did a medium dice on the onions and used the lotus root, cutting thin slices to determine the knives' tendency to wedge and steer. I sharpened most of these to a Rika 5K + leather strop level to even the playing field a bit and at least get them as sharp as my current skill level allows.
Note: that's my new Jones 12x18 Walnut/Cherry cutting board - my first end grain board, very nice!
Random thoughts thus far, in no particular order:
The Kohetsu Blue #2 Gyuto: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kohetsublue1.html
is one helluva performer. It goes though an onion dice as well as any knife I've ever used, especially the horizontal cuts - it was silly easy, even on large, tough onions. It also did extremely well on the lotus root test. The Blue #2 sharpens up easily, quickly, and just wants to get damn sharp. Handle is so-so, but I totally forgot about that once I started blowing though onions so easily. It's light, lighter than the HAP40 210. The edge profile is a little more of a continuous curve, the HAP40 210 has more of a real flat spot towards the heel.
The Kohetsu HAP40 210 Gyuto and the Nakiri are very nicely done, with good F&F and a nice feel to them. HAP40 is more wear resistant on the stones, but sharpened up better than I thought it would. IMO the 210 has a pretty nice sized flat area at the heel, with just a touch of curve at the very heel so you don't hit a wall when rocking.
The Gassan 210 Gyuto is really designed like a 210+ Santoku. It's a pretty tall blade at almost 55mm at the heel. The Gassan's (all three) are very nice performers. The 210 did very, very well on all my tests. They sharpen stupid easy with their carbon core and get really sharp. I really like this line of knives.
The HHH AEB-L 240 production knife has the most comfortable Western handle I've tried yet - very nicely shaped and finished. This same knife has a dead flat heel area that covers at least half the blade - I mean pool table flat
. If you want a flat profile for chopping, check this one out.
AEB-L really is an easy to sharpen stainless steel that likes to get sharp. I sharpened 4 different AEB-L knives and they all responded well to the stones.
The Kaneshige Wa stainless steel is pretty wear resistant and did not want to get sharp for me. It took a lot of work to re-grind the OOTB edge from 90/10 to about 50/50. It's still not as sharp as I'd like. The Blue #2 knives were ridiculously easy to sharpen by comparison.
Do I dare even try out the Masakage Kujira 210? I haven't decided yet
. BTW, my sample was 220mm on the edge and 51mm tall. Quite different from the site specs. I guess there is much dimensional variation on these.
Masakage Koishi's just look bad-ass, like they mean business
The Fujiwara FKH 210 Carbon Gyuto comes REALLY sharp OOTB, with a highly right hand biased edge bevel. It steered quite a bit on lotus root, but did very well on the onions - nice knife! The embossed Kanji/Logo on the FKH line is so much cooler than the screened info on the FKM line - old school look to it.
More thought to come as they come to mind.