I can't speak to the specific knives so much, but I completely understand your desire to have a knife that both challenges and inspires you, and helps you honor what you do with it.
One thing I can say is that I've learned to push-cut, rock-chop, and an appreciation for a belly in a certain knife has changed what I reach for?
These forums had me reaching out to my brother who is an engineer working with metals for space-based purposes, and he gave me a chart on the 4th of July, and a breakdown of what we're talking about here, that has melted my brain. An in-depth explanation of what Rockwell hardness means, how it's tested, how it translates into use in knives, and a breakdown of elemental components in steel that is still changing my understanding of what a knife is.
And the greedy eyes thing made me laugh out loud from 2nd hand experience. Cooks in my best friend's kitchen now lock their knives up on smoke breaks or hand it off to a trusted friend. It's a sad but true fact, apparently...
The choices become overwhelming if you let it go that far. But you have a legit budget, and some awesome advice. Good luck, I think these guys are going to help you find the right tool. (I wouldn't say no if I had the Sukenari handed to me to cook with... ;P)
PADDY <> I own them both, but due to seemingly a never ending string of issues I've had very little time with either. As a fellow professional food processor, I can say, IMO, SUKENARI ZDP <--link hands down... for me. For you, you haven't told me shit about what you resonate with in a knife beyond what I can extrapolate from your using MACS & some Wa. Everyone who knows me here are well aware of how guarded I am with my opinions until they have entirely formed, and I am the first to tell you my opinion is developing thus far on these knives, but I find the Sukenari to feel like a much higher performance tool in hand. That said, well aware of how many liter bikes I have left rolling in the marbles off my 600's 180. Case in point: higher performance doesn't always equal the most appropriate choice, and you still have said basically nothing as to what you need out of this selection. I resonate more deeply with the feelings I have from cutting with the Sukenari than I do from the G3Takayuki <--link... which I will add is not discounting the Takayuki's magnificence.. I simply connect with the Sukenari at a deeper level.
My opinions of these two knives' personalities on the stones & where they go from there on poly boards are still in their genesis, overall performance head to head, and specific nuance of these knives regarding their blatant disjuncts - the intangibles & tangibles for that matter - will present themselves over time. I will add the stock handles are perfect, and the only reason I had rehandled the Sukenari was because I size the machi gap to my hand on all my knives & wa-handles most often break upon removal. The Takayuki's gap is on the cusp of acceptability for me so I'm still debating if I yank it to reset it, but I will absolutely w/o doubt nor question use the original Wa if it doesn't break upon removal. All that bling bling shit is for... well, it's not for me. I need a tool, not a piece of jewelry. Again, just my extremely opinionated opinion. Maybe when I see mechanics with Ambonia burl wrenches, my opinion might be swayed, but then again... who am I kidding; not even a paradigm shift like that would sway my opinion. Although I will admit, if I had real money, I would have a Doi, handled by Delosso, as a collector's piece framed on the wall.
Another factor I might add is the one thing I like least about the Sukenari, is the factor I think you might like most - from reading your text. The Sukenari mirror polish is stunningly bright. I despise that, BUT I acquiesce to owning one because this polish has proved functional... it does help eliminate food from sticking. The Takayuki has a much more elegant matte finish although itself is quite eye catching... another point against it.. in my book. I often kick myself for not getting the Kasumi <--link, instead. Ultimately, I see myself getting the Kasumi to compare & contrast, and then selling/trading off the one I like least.
If you have SPECIFIC questions, please ask, and yes, the Sukenari saya fits very well...
Here's a tiny view I captured first day OOTB.
And here is the Sukenari rehandle:
taz575 wrote:"Got around to Melampus' Sukenari 240mm rehandle in Blackwood and Cherry, that he had me base on his Suisin Inox Honyaki part octagon and part oval handle, or Octaval as I call it! Simple handle, but feels great in the hand!"
Melampus, wow, you own both!! Must say I'm a little jealous. Well to reply to your insightful response
Personally I can't say I resonate with knives much. My MACs have been unwavering in their performance for the 10 years I have been using them and never let me down but they are a bit "vanilla". As a chef honing his craft for the last 13yrs, I think its time to invest in more fitting tools that reflect my experience and distinguish me from the rest of the kitchen. I think its absurd that young kids have these pieces of bespoke equipment but don't know how to maintain them and use them properly. Like training with any equipment, you work you way up. Thats not to say I'm Mr know it all when it comes to Japanese steel but I think my knife skills are good enough.
Ive been in management positions ranging from sous to chef de cuisine for the last few years so sadly Im not as hands on in the kitchen. I have been lately but thats a another story. My MACs don't get abused as much and the varying types are rarely called for these days. I have pick of jobs in the kitchens usually and ted to do the fun stuff like break down sides of beef, fillet fish, sauces, prep mushrooms etc. I can get by with a petty, gyuto, deba and a boning knife. They gyuto would be used for all round jobs so my choice would have to be a good all rounder and be hard enough to be put thru its paces. Thats what I loved about the MACs. They stayed sharp.
i'm looking for something unique and also has good performance. Like you said, a tool, not a piece of jewellery. That said, Im a sucker for damascus. Steves video had me intrigued as he said you could feel the layers. Sounds like a cool knife and I've never seen anything like it. I'd like to change the handle also. Nothing fancy. Something black or dark.
I'd love a Doi knife myself as he seems like a bit of a legend. Maybe i'll treat myself to a Deba from him one day.