I want to get my parents each a knife for Christmas. I have Shuns that I take care of and I really enjoy using. Unfortunately, I fear my folks will not be as careful with their knives and they would chip quickly. From what I understand, the Kaizens are more durable than traditional Japanese knives which is the big draw. I've handled them recently and they seem just as sharp, sleek, and light as the Japanese knives but with quite a bit more durability.
Anybody have some first hand experience on edge retention, durability, and longevity? Because these are a gift, the brand recognition (Henkels) and pretty Damascus steel is a bonus but definitely not a must. The most important thing is the quality. I'm thinking of an 8" Chefs and a 4.5" pairing or a 5.5" Santoku.