Originally Posted by Toast
I guess, I'm just looking for some good quality knifes that will last about 20 years and hold a good edge with light to medium usage. But like us all, we want it to be sharp with no muss, no fuss until sharpening time.
There's nothing wrong with Victorinox or Forschner. They will last a lifetime and get the job done. But, they are soft and don't stay sharp, nor can they be sharpened ultra sharp, the steel just won't hold that kind of an edge.
On the other end of the spectrum are the Japanese kitchen knives. They vary greatly in quality and price, but even on the low end, they far surpass Victorinox & Forschner, and to a lesser degree they also surpass Wusthof & Henckels.
In the middle you have top shelf forged offerings from Wusthof, Henckels and Messermeister. Of those three, Messermeister is my favorite. Messermeister's steel is basically the same as the other two, but their blade profiles are a tad bit thinner and they don't have a full length bolster, which is unique in German kitchen knives and a very good thing. This makes them lighter and much easier to sharpen and use.
Here are some of my top choices where quality and price point are optimized...
Messermeister Meridian Elite: http://www.knifemerchant.com/product...productLine=46
And the biggest bang for the buck in Japanese high carbon; Fujiwara Kanefusa. These knives are cheaper than any of the best German forged steel knives and they are twice the cutting tool. You can only get them from Japan. The website below is actually located in Japan. I've ordered countless knives from them, so I will vouch for their great customer service & super fast (and cheap) shipping.
Hope this helps.