There seems to be a proliferation of knife brands these days (or maybe I've just been out of touch). Online I find all kinds of brands offering chef's knives at around $30 or less: Kuma, Imarkru, Katto, Augymer, Aikok, Kutt, Cozilife, Kape--and, at $9(!!!) Utopia. Does anyone have experience with any of these or know anything about them?
What about Top Chef, BergHOFF, Calphalon, Cuisinart, Farberware and Oster? Who actually makes them?
I'll do my part: here's a review of the Katto 8" stainless chef's knife, which I got as a gift a week ago. I know it came from Amazon and cost about $25. OK, it looks great but on inspection its a loser. First and foremost, a manufacturing flaw: the blade is out of alignment with the handle. Not by much--the handle points to 12 o'clock and the blade points to 12:05, but enough to render it useless. Next, design flaws. 1, the blade is very narrow, so there is zero knuckle clearance when at the cutting board. 2, you can't get a grip on the grip--the handle is ovoid and slippery. Finally, a cultural problem: Japanese knives are typically basil-edged, that is, ground on only one side of the blade, like a carpenter's chisel. It's tough to get used to--and impossible for left-handers.