Kai Makes really wonderful Santoku knives, and just about every Kai Shun Santoku is a work of art. The Shun dual core Santoku that I bought for my Japanese collaborator and the much more inexpensive Kai Seki Magoroku I got from a Japanese exporter shared that same profile. The version I purchased quite a while ago, a Shun Kaji hallow ground santoku is now a partner with my birthday Fuji Chef’s knife:
I was referring to my softer steel knives in my home kitchen. My softer steel knives are definitely occasional “backups” for higher risk situations–especially my Wusthof Classic Ikon Chef Knife, and my Shibazi vegetable cleaver–but entirely for roots and green squash. No bones. I do have some hard “tweeners,” like my XinZuo Zhen that I use interchangeably with my softer steel knives, but don’t hone–and green strop like my other hard steel knives.
The main difference is that I use these mostly softer steel knives for vertical chopping and they bang against the cutting board. This leads to more honing for maintenance for many.
Between honing and touch up with a pull through, I can keep the softer steel knives at a usable 1000 grit sharpness–and further up depending on my willingness to use my loaded strop to grind and reshape them.
My Rockwell hard knives are at least at 2000 grit level out of the box, and with my green loaded strop, refined to 3000 or so. The difference as I shift from knife to knife in my kitchen is striking–and my birthday hard steel Fuji Chef knife fits right in. I’ve rarely used my hard steel knives for meat–that’s why I semi retired my American butcher knife: lack of meaningful work.
I am sure it is a fine knife, but I’ll never pick one up. Although I have a decent kit, I would probably be quite content with only my ten inch chef. I have worked in kitchens where a ten inch chef, usually Russell or Victorinox, was the only knife in evidence. The other stuff stayed put away to keep the counters clear. Using only one knife promotes efficiency and speed. The only job I’d find challenging with the big knife is cleaning every little bit of meat off of a fowl, not a task I would undertake while knocking out a meal.
Sorry. You’re rhetorical question was ambiguous. I took ‘you’ to mean me, Kaleo. I can see now that you probably meant “One would know the job before one picked a knife.” As this thread has demonstrated, while one might think this is the case, even this is an iffy proposition.
IMO, they intended it for the head Chef, the kiritsuke type Chef in Japan, but we don’t have anybody quite like that here. At William Sonoma, they actually got a Fuji Chef Knife review by an American like that.
A knife not for use in production in a commercial setting that is to be used by the chef alone sounds like a prop for a person who belongs in the front of the house! And in such a commercial setting head=chef. A chef is way more than a good cook, and contrary to uniformed American usage, a sous chef is not support staff, more of a COO.
To me it sounds fictional. Head chefs don’t carry $$$ knives around in a scabbard, and they’re not leaving them laying around in a busy kitchen. And really, how many of these units will be sold if that was the market?
No, this is an "aspirational’ item aimed at separating fools from their money.