It isn’t temporarily. If you are waiting for the Chan Chi Kee knife price to go down, then you will be disappointed. More and more people recognize the quality, so the demand has gone up a lot. Right now thee are numerous internet stores in China are importing CCK products from Hong Kong to the rest of China. The prices have been going up in the last 10 years, and have never once fallen.
I have the Dexter Russell S5198 Chinese chef knife too. About 7 years ago, I switched from Dexter S5198 to CCK KF1303, I wrote about the experience on Chowhound. At the time, it was only $43: “The carbon steel KF1303 was about $43, and the stainless steel KF1912 was $53 … The carbon steel version was sold at $43, but the stainless steel one was sold for >$60.”
To answer your question… Dexter Russell Chinese chef knife is made with stainless steel 420, and harden to HRC 54-56. So it is made of a relatively soft steel. It is also made with a medium blade thickness. This is why you probably felt the need to keep honing it.
Yeah, I thought about if I should post Martin Yan’s videos too. They are pretty fun. The only reason I didn’t is that what he mentioned are not specific to Chinese chef knife. The technique he pointed out are universal to all knives, which is a good thing too. Afterall, many of the knife skills are applicable to all knives.
To to be clear, the Dexter Russell, S5198 is a medium blade knife. The CCK KF130X that Christopher Kimball was using (as well as many people keep praising) is a thin blade slicer. They are quiet different despite their looks.